Why Product Development Should Blog – Part 3

customerservprior2j.jpgI appreciate the shout out from Jake, I’d like to get more opinions on this from other bloggers, particularly my colleagues in Apps (Are you listening Joe, Anne, Puneet, Meg, Gretchen?). So in this edition I explain how blogging saves you time and makes you more productive in your day job. If you are interested check out part 1 and part 2.

Avoiding Customer Calls

Floyd Teter mentioned to me that he expected we could use more customer interaction in
development. Continue reading “Why Product Development Should Blog – Part 3”

Why Product Development Should Blog – Part 2

imbloggingthis.pngIn part 1 I talked about how a conversation on my blog took a frustrated customer with problems to a situation where they got sales to quote them for another Oracle product. Part 2 is a more personal branding issue.

Generating Consulting Opportunities

I contacted a reader of my blog who’d added some comments and I got the reply below:

<company X> is using Oracle as well, but they are not fully implemented across the globe. I’m noticing that we are having a hard time with intercompany transactions as they relate to foreign currencies.

I was researching the issue on google and I came across your blog. I think your blog is a great tool for questions, but I think I have too many question to ask on your blog. I was wondering if you did any consulting work?

Happy as I am in my job, especially now I’m working on GL too, it’s always nice to have other options. Of course this might lead to Oracle Consulting getting some work from this person, which would be nice too.

What is also really important to note is the research started with Google; not the user documentation, not support, not metalink or OTN, straight to google. I had a similar experience yesterday, I needed to know the IP address of my netgear wireless router. I didn’t go and dig out the instruction manual that came with it (not sure if I still have it), I didn’t go to netgear.com and start to navigate through that, I just googled it and I had the answer in seconds (192.168.0.1 for the record) and I have no idea what the source of the information was, I just know it worked. So if you have information about how best to use your products, you better get those tips and tricks out there so google can find them. I call it Help 2.0, but it seems other people have thought of that term already.

UPDATE: I now have added part 3 in this series.

The Armchair Architect

One of the more powerful additions to Oracle financials in R12 is the Subledger Accounting Architecure (SLA or SLAA) and it brings new concepts and terminology which may be hard to figure out.

The good news is there is a blogger to the rescue.  Anne Wong is The Armchair Architect and she’s starting to get SLA content up on her new blog.  I’d like to claim some credit as I badgered her into starting the blog, hopefully she will get regular readership and positive feedback to keep her momentum and get all that knowledge from her head onto the web so we can all benefit.

Intercompany Invoicing in AGIS

One of the key features introduced with the new Advanced Global Intercompany (AGIS) in R12 of Oracle E-Business Suite is the ability to create documentation for Intercompany transactions. The correct documentation is required in many countries for Intercompany trading, this essentially means I need to provide a Receivables Invoice for the Legal Entity Providing the goods or service and a payables invoice for the receiving Legal Entity. These invoices should have any taxes that are applicable in the jurisdictions, for that type of service.

We do not firce you to create invoices for all Intercompany Activity, you can still create just a GL Journal entry if you prefer. The AGIS transactions flow is illustrated in the diagram below.

invoice-required.jpg

You can see that we check if invoices are required and there are two places that we look for that. Continue reading “Intercompany Invoicing in AGIS”

Speaking Our Customers’ Language

brain.jpgEddie Awad discussed an interesting oracle Press release in his blog and the reaction of the Wall Street Journal Tech Blog too it. Eddie mused that as he is not a network techie it doesn’t mean much to him, this is intentional. The pres release was made at a network industry conference and was aimed at that particular group of people who would understand it.

Since Oracle went on it’s acquisition spree a few years ago, it has started to focus on industry specific applications more and more. Examples are the purchase of retek, a retail industry software vedor and Portal which produces telecom billing applications. May of these indusrty verticals are organized in their own business unit and we don’t just want the Apps, we need the experts in that industry to help us build hte best apps, market, sell and support them. This focus on industry verticals is not unique to Oracle, for example most accountancy firms organize their business so partners specialize in an industry. One of the main reasons for this is Continue reading “Speaking Our Customers’ Language”

Why Product Development Should Blog – Part 1

SaleI was talking with Jake about how my blog was going, I recounted some stories of great outcomes that had surprised me since I stepped into the blogosphere a few months ago. “Blog those” was his reply, he’s a very active blogger and has already blogged our conversation. This is part 1 in a series of I don’t know how many describing business value in my blogging.

A Troubled Customer

I got a comment from Manish, who before explaining the problem he was facing wrote:

We have taken the plunge with R12 Financials, GL in particular and your blog is like what the doctor ordered. This post is sort-of related to Intercompany but not quite so I apologize but I am really troubled.

A troubled customer who needs help, turns out they had logged a service request with support and had got an answer that was correct, but did not address the subtlety of their business problem. This is the sort of situation that could result in an implementation failing, Oracle losing revenue and getting a lot of bad PR. Continue reading “Why Product Development Should Blog – Part 1”

And General Ledger too

It’s been a busy week for me and I have a lot of homework to get through this weekend. I was asked to take on the General Ledger(GL) product ‘ownership’ in addition to Legal Entity and Intercompany.

I am a little uncomfortable calling myself owner of products, we use this to mean that the product management team and development team report to you. However I don’t own anything, I didn’t buy the product (like customers) I don’t own the source code (that would be the Oracle shareholders) I would say it is more like stewardship of the product.  However the fact of the matter is, I am the one people come looking for when there is a problem!

Taking on General Ledger is a big deal, it’s the oldest of the Oracle Apps and has a huge existing user base. Given the close integration of Intercompany and LE with GL it is a good fit to have all three I have a reasonable knowledge of the product and have worked with the development team a lot over the years. The development team I have inherited are very strong, so I’m looking forward to working with them. I’m also looking forward to getting my arms around the product and plan for Fusion.

The net result is I’m going to be very busy, but I am determined to keep the blogging going and I hope I will have some new insight into GL that I can share over the coming months.