Learn About Blockchain at Oracle OpenWorld

In less than two weeks tens of thousands of Oracle’s customers and partners will gathering for our annual conference in San Francisco.  It’s always an exciting time, but this year I am more excited than normal because I’ll be talking about some of our work on Blockchain technology.  Blockchain, or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is one of the most exciting and disruptive technologies to emerge for a very long time and I’ve been quietly researching and working with it for quite a while in semi stealth mode (if you follow me on twitter you probably picked up on this) and this year a lot of Oracle experts will start showing you some of our work and sharing our views and insights.  Given the level of interest in the topic, I expect all the Blockchain related sessions to be packed houses so register for them as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

So three ways to find Blockchain sessions

  1. Use this Focus on Blockchain document that lists keynotes, demo, sessions, hands on and panel discussions.
  2. Go to the session Catalog and use the handy filter as seen below
    Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 8.50.43 PM
  3. Just use this link to register for sessions I’m presenting
    Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 8.55.06 PM

Oracle Joins Hyperledger and my Blockchain Session at Oracle OpenWorld

Blockchain ImageAlthough it was announced in an Oracle blog post a few weeks ago, there was an announcement from Hyperledger today which has been picked up by coindesk and a lot of other news outlets.

I have been working on/with Blockchain or Disitributed Ledger Techncology(DLT)* for some time, as have many, many people inside Oracle.  I have also been talking to A LOT of our customers, because when a technology has the possibility to make huge transformations to the way we do business, collaboration is critical.  I love that I am able to not only be part of the conversation on how the technology evolves, but also how enterprises will be able to benefit from it and how it will impact existing applications and business processes in the short, medium and long term.

I will share some of my work in my session at Oracle OpenWorld in a few weeks, so if you are coming to San Francisco for that, hopefully you’ll join me at the below session (register now in case it gets fully booked)

My OOW17 Blockchain Session

There are plenty of other sessions discussing Blockchain, watch this space for a comprehensive list.

 

*The controversy on what is a Blockchain and what is DLT merits a blog post all of its own.

I’m speaking at Collaborate 17 in Las Vegas

This year will be my sixth year at Collaborate, according to my recollection I first presented there in 2011 and have only missed one year (2013) since then.  It’s going to be a shorter visit than usual, so apologies if I don’t get to connect with you or attend your session.  Here is where you can find me…

Monday

Two of the most knowledgeable speakers you will see are speaking at the same time, there should be a law against it.  I might shuttle between the two, because I don’t want to miss either presentations

2:45 PM– Jasmine H – Mohan Iyer

How do I know where to use – FAH, FAHRCS or SLA?

2: 45 – South Seas I – Thomas Simkiss

Tips and Tricks – Get the most out of Financial Reporting in the Oracle Cloud

4:15 Jasmine H – General Ledger SIG – Always a good knowledgeable crowd.

Tuesday

7am – Morning run

Join myself, Peter Care (@FXLoader) and hopefully quite a few others for as many laps of the Mandalay bay pool complex as you feel up to.  This is now officially an annual tradition, we ought to get OAUG to put it in the agenda.  Best way to blow away the cobwebs and energize yourself for the day ahead.

8:30am – Keynote –  Glenn Finch, IBM

I have been quietly spending a lot of time around blockchain for some time now, so this got my attention.  If you don’t know about blockchain you should, I’m happy to talk about it at any opportunity.  This excerpt from the description should give you an idea how big it really can be

emerging technologies such as Blockchain, Cognitive and Quantum Computing will do more than change our businesses. They will transform industries and create their own ecosystems

Expect to hear more from me about blockchain as the year goes on.

1:30pm – I’m speaking about @FAHRCS

Come see my session – 1:30 PM–2:30 PM South Seas G

How E-Business Suite Customers have achieved modern reporting in the cloud

2:15pm – Fintech Design Jam

I’m a mentor for this two hour Design Jam run by the Applications UX Innovation Events team.  If you have not registered not sure if there is time now, but if you already are I will see you there.  Our goal is to help the teams tell a story about how they would use Fintech in their work, helping them hone in on a manageable 3 minute story showcasing their design.

5pm – airport… (and breathe).

 

Is Your Job At Risk Of Automation?

Knowledge worker’s jobs will be able to be replaced with automation and it will happen faster than we expect. I think the pace of change will accelerate because new technology is now so easy to adopt in the cloud and innovations are rolled out faster than ever before.

Last week I blogged about Automated Accountants, which was discussing chatbot use cases rather than full automation of a person. However the concept of automating what knowledge workers do today to the point were we really do have a fully automated accountant is something I have been researching too.

I had a twitter discussion with Vinnie Mirchandani (@dealarchitect) about automation as he is authoring a book on the subject.  I agree with him that dirty and dangerous jobs are the first candidates for automation, but I also believe knowledge jobs are good candidates too and it will happen faster than many expect.  In the world of finance we have seen continual adoption of technology to move us from paper based Ledgers to highly automated cloud accounting software with integrated reporting, social networks, mobile etc. I think the pace of change will accelerate because new technology is now so easy to adopt in the cloud and innovations are rolled out faster than ever before.  So automation will happen quicker for those corporations that are already adopting these cloud based business applications.

I came across an interesting article on the BBC entitled Will a Robot Take My Job? which has some nice tools to let you search for your job and determine how likely it is to be automated and despite my earlier assertions I was surprised that accounting professions were so high on the list of those that would be automated.  You can see my summary graphic below

automation

The full report from Oxford University’s Martin School is worth a read as it goes into a lot of detail of skills that are hard for a machine to replicate and those that are easier so you can understand the reasoning behind the ratings.  My profession in software development has a pretty low chance of being automated, I have to come up with original ideas and negotiate and these are things it is harder (at the moment) for machines to automate but it might just be a matter of time.

This will not happen in one shot, but over time more and more tasks will be automated, which is good because it will give is some time to think about the much bigger issue; what do we do now so much of what we as a workforce do is automated?  The common wisdom is the workers will gradually move to work on higher value tasks that cannot easily be automated and drive greater and greater value.  There is a lot of evidence to support this, but that discussion probably deserves a blog post of it’s own.

Automated Accountants: Personal Assistant Technology

We can use personal assistant technology bots to use context and intelligence to provide a natural interface and increase participation in our cloud applications.

robot-accountantIn my house, Alexa (aka Amazon Echo) is part of the family.  My young children check the weather whilst eating their breakfast, see how their favorite sports teams are doing, get some jokes, movie times and anything that pops into their head they will just “Ask Alexa”.  They also have a lot of fun seeing how Apple’s Siri and Alexa answer the same questions and which works better for what.  Observing these interactions and interacting myself has been a very good hands on research exercise and I have been thinking for a while of enterprise applications.

We can use personal assistant technology bots to use context and intelligence to provide a natural interface and increase participation in our cloud applications.We can increase participation on two groups of users

  • Casual Users
    • They have infrequent and limited interactions with the applications and do not have the time, or the training and familiarity with the capabilities to participate effectively.  They don’t know what information they can get, never mind how to get it.
  • Power Users
    • For these users it is about reducing the time it takes to do highly repetitive or UI intensive tasks.  This is like me at home getting sports scores or weather from Amazon Echo, I could easily look it up on my phone but it is easier to just say “Alexa, weather” whilst I am pouring my coffee.

I put together a team to enter a hackothon by our UX innovation team last month and we tried to focus on the former use case.  A high level manager who is very busy, runs a team of 50-100 people and manages to budgets but does not have a secretary.  We imagined her wanting to know details of budgets and implemented three flows

  1. Inquiry on remaining budget
  2. Details of who spent a budget on what
  3. Transfer funds from one budget to another (say from travel to computer hardware)

We spent a lot of time trying to make the interactions as natural as possible, so getting the natural language trained correctly was key and we also wanted to use Amazon Echo, IM and SMS messages to interact with the live data in an ERP Cloud environment.

It was a great experience and we learned a lot technically. but probably more of a revelation was the different design strategy for these types of interaction.  The other teams also did some amazing things(read the event review here) so we were pleased to pick up third place overall and the People’s Choice Award (voted on by all the participants).

I fully expect Automated Personal Assistants to be a key interaction model for Enterprise applications going forward, just as we are seeing them start to take off in the consumer space.   Exciting times.

The Times They Are A Changing

bob-dylan
Nobel Prize Winner

I am focusing on some new things here at Oracle.  I’ll be dedicating a lot more of my time looking into emerging technology trends and how we should be applying them to the enterprise ERP or financial management space.

So how does this effect this blog?

I’ve been blogging for many years on Intercompany, Financial Management and ERP, mixing in some general technology posts.  Now I plan to start writing about new technology trends a lot more.  I have always been interested in this, but now I have more time to get deeper into it and I find blogging about things helps me understand them better and get feedback and insight from others, so it is a win-win.  I have enjoyed all the comments on the blog and words of encouragement that people have given me in person, that has been a huge motivation to continue writing (even tho I have been posting as frequently as I would like the last few years) and respond to comments.  I hope that feedback will continue.

So now I have got this announcement out of the way, I can get started… watch this space.

Oracle OpenWorld 2016 My Cloud ERP Sessions

Where to find me and information on Cloud ERP, Accounting Hub and E-Business Suite at Oracle OpenWorld this month.

  • oow-logo-2015

    OpenWorld is this month, so time to start planning your agenda.  I’ll be presenting at a few different sessions this year with a focus on Financials Cloud (Part of the ERP Cloud) and E-Business Suite.

    I’m busy preparing for the first two sessions, hope to see you there.  Check out the content catalog for more details and to add them to your agenda.

    How Oracle E-Business Suite Customers Have Achieved Modern Reporting in the Cloud [CON7313]

    David Haimes, Senior Director, Financial Applciations Development, Oracle
    Sara Mannur, Financial Systems Analyst, Niagara Bottling
    This session discusses how to leverage powerful modern reporting tools with no disruption to your existing Oracle E-Business Suite implementation. You will learn the steps required to start using the cloud service. Customers who have implemented Oracle Fusion Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service share their implementation experiences and the business benefits they have realized.
    Conference Session
    Tuesday, Sep 20, 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Moscone West—3016

    Oracle ERP Cloud UX Extensibility: From Mystery to Magic [CON7312]

    David Haimes, Senior Director, Financial Applciations Development, Oracle
    Tim Dubois, Senior Director, Applications User Experience, Oracle
    The user experience (UX) design strategy of Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning Cloud (Oracle ERP Cloud)—including financials and product portfolio management—is about simplicity, mobility, and extensibility. Extensibility and admin personalization of Oracle ERP Cloud experiences include a range of tools, from a simplified approach for rebranding the applications, to match your company culture and image to page-level admin personalization and extension, to building your own simplified cloud application in platform as a service using the UX Rapid Development Kit (RDK). In this session, learn about RDK code samples, wireframing tools, and design patterns. Get a view into the RDK roadmap and where Oracle is going next. .
    Conference Session
    Thursday, Sep 22, 1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Moscone West—3001

    Meet the Experts: Oracle Financials Cloud [MTE7784]

    Do not miss this opportunity to meet with Oracle Financials Cloud experts—the people who design and build the applications. In this session, you can have discussions regarding the Oracle Applications Cloud strategy and your specific business and IT strategy. The experts are available to discuss the value of the latest releases and share insights into the best path for your enterprise, so come ready with your questions.
    Meet the Experts Session
    Wednesday, Sep 21, 3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | Moscone West—3001A