My Session at Collaborate 14 in Las Vegas

I am honored to have had one of my papers selected by the Oracle Applications User Group for the Collaborate conference this year.  These conferences are really good because all the content is nominated by and voted on by users and I personally think people get really good advice from their peers on how to get the most from their investment in Oracle’s products.  As well as trying to get some useful information out there for people, I also like the interaction with users both in the sessions and around the conference in general.

I am the main speaker for the session below, so mark your Calendars (or add me to your agenda on the conference app, available for iOS or Android)

E-Business Suite Coexistince With Fusion Accounting Hub and Implementing a Global Chart of Accounts

7 Apr 3:20 PM-4:20 PM

Session ID: 14977

Room: Level 1, Marco Polo – 805

Abstract: Hear how Oracle implemented Fusion Accounting Hub Coexisting with it’s R12 EBS Financials and transitioned to a new single Global Chart of Accounts in less than a year. You will learn the principles and process used to determine and reach agreement on the new chart of accounts as well as how the final result looks. In addition you will learn how over 100 ledgers are consolidated in Fusion Accounting Hub and the time to close reduced. We will discuss the best practice recommendations for Fusion Accounting Hub.

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I am also going to be speaking at the GL SIG and may be co-presenting another session with a customer (need to confirm that one), I’ll post details of those a little nearer the time.

An Update on Walking Meetings

The scene of our walking meetings
The scene of our walking meetings

I gave notice that I was starting walking meetings for 2014 and now that I am three weeks in, it’s time for an update.  The first thing that happened was I got a lot of support and encouragement right away, on twitter (check out #walkingmeetings), LinkedIn, via comments on the blog and email.  However the most important reaction was from my team, they were very enthusiastic to try it and seem to embrace it wholeheartedly.  I have 9 local direct reports and I shifted our weekly 30 minute one to one meetings to walking meetings, we have a beautiful location and climate here in Silicon Valley so getting out there is easy, although I did cancel one meeting when it was windy.

My prime motivation was to get more exercise and my fitbit statistics show I am walking between 4 and 6 miles a day now, up from 2 or 3 miles a day previously.

The meetings seem to be more productive, away from the distractions of interruptions from other people, emails and IM coming in we can actually talk through the issues we need to discuss, think about them clearly and agree on actions.  In general each of us jots down the things we want to discuss on a scrap of paper before we set off.   I can easily jot a reminder on my smart phone if I have an action I think I might forget.  If we need to do something on a computer we just end at my office and spend a few minutes in front of it together, but you would be surprised how little we need this.  We are a technology company, the stereotype is of geeks hunched over a computer in a darkened office surrounded by pizza boxes and empty Coke cans, but in reality most of a software engineer’s job is not about physically writing code, it is about solving problems, thinking, discussing, bouncing ideas off each other etc.  Getting outdoors now and again is certainly conducive to this creative process.

So these are my early thoughts, more to come as we keep this going and if we ever get any rain this year I will see how I cope with that.

Oracle Ebusiness Suite Financials Books

I am often asked what book to read to learn Oracle Financials, there is no simple answer here.  If you get the concepts right everything else will drop into place much more easily than getting overwhelmed with specific details of how to configure every single feature click by click or what every single UI does in detail.  I have listed some of the books available below.  I have given some commentary, but I advise going to amazon and checking out the reviews there or looking in the comments of this post where I hope you will all share your thoughts on the ones you have read.

Oracle E-Business Suite Financials Handbook, Third Edition

I have the first edition of this book, it is very readable and goes over the concepts and major features of all the products in financials, a good starting point if you are new to financials.  It discusses how you would run an implementation project and does not concern itself with step by step guidance on how to set up specific features.  It’s a good book and well researched.

I have not read the third edition in detail yet, anyone who has please feel free to post comments on this post.

Oracle E-Business Suite Financials R12: A Functionality Guide

Oracle E-Business Suite Financials R12

Full disclosure on this one.  Firstly I was given this book free by the publishers to review, secondly I know the author Mohan Iyer, who is chair of the OAUG GL Special Interest Group.

This book is not going to make you an expert in Oracle Financials and ready to get started on a major implementation right away, it does not get into the detailed steps of how to configure all the modules and features. It simply introduces the modules in a way that a business user can understand, diving into a little more detail in some places. I think it is intended to be a guide for a business user considering or already starting an implementation, so they can understand some of the options and choices available and I feel it mostly meets that goal well.

The Oracle General Ledger guide

I purchased this book and I’ve read most of it. It seems to be very comprehensive and accurate on the details but is not adding the value I’d hope for over and above the online help or product documentation.  I would have liked it to see some more concise overviews of features and business cases for using certain implementation choices over others.  That said I’m thrilled to a book on GL and am sure many people will find it useful.

Oracle E-Business Suite Development & Extensibility Guide

Not had a chance to read this one, but it contains information that many, many people will care a lot about.  Let me know if you have read it.

Shining a Light on the Release 12 World

The Solution Beacon crew have produced a number of good publications and have a lot of experience, they focus on what is new in R12 and what is in it for you.  It comes with a recommendation from Floyd Teter, who is a respected friend of this blog.  I have not read this one myself.

If you have any of these books, or maybe you are one of the authors of these books please share your thoughts with the community in the comments section.

Socializing the Finance Department

I have been doing a presentation called ‘Socializing  the Finance Department‘ within Oracle and to our customers and partners for over a year.  It is a way to explain the business benefit of Oracle Social Network being part of the applications platform in our ERP Cloud service and I am finally getting ready to start blogging on this, it will probably be a theme I focus on quite a lot, because it is such a game changer in the way people use ERP applications and get their job done.

In this first post I want to set out by what we mean by social in this context.  We do not mean sharing details of our business process on twitter, or sharing pictures of our babies on facebook.  We do not mean more office parties or chatting about football around the water cooler.  We do mean collaborating with the right people, wherever they, are in the context of my transaction to complete my job.  We do mean having real time visibility into the collaboration happening to complete a business process.  We do mean have an audit trail of the conversations, supporting documents and decision making process that supported transactions in our system, right there embedded as part of the transaction or business process.

In my experience, all of the above benefits tend to resonate very well with customers and they want to see more.  Below is a screen shot from the desktop Oracle Social Network showing the period close process, it should give you an idea of what is to come.

OSN Period Close

Now the pressure is on me to get more blog posts out on this topic.  Comments welcome below…

New for 2014 – The Walking Meeting

I always like to try new ideas so in 2014 I am going to give walking meetings a try.  There are loads of articles available on this topic, my favorite starting point is this The Art of the Walking Meeting  from 2008 by Ted Eytan.  We are only six years late to the party, but better late than never.  I am interested in how this works out, but I feel very excited that it will be a positive move.  I have been complaining for a while I don’t have enough time to exercise and that I have too many meetings, so this seems like a win-win situation.

I’m going to hold all my weekly one-to-one meetings as walking meetings, we’ll circumnavigate the the Oracle Lake, which is about 2/3 mile and then if we need to sit on front of a computer for any items do that at the end in my office.  I estimate it will give me close to 3 hours extra walking a week, which is not bad for a starting point but I can hope I can expand it if it works well.

As always I’d like to hear thoughts and opinions from all of you, so please use the comments section below.

UPDATE (2/6/14) :  You can see my early thoughts on how this is going here