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 ( 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.

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”

Ora-Click is like Digg but better

I’m not a fan of digg, just doesn’t do anything for me, but Matt Topper has created something which I like the look of. Ora-Click is like a digg but specific to Oracle articles and has nice Oracle related categories that should help me get to aritcles in my interest areas fast. Check it out and see what you think. I like the bury option, I can vote for a feature or vote to bury it, so if you don’t like my ora-tag 8 things post, you have a chance to make your opinion count – it also felt good to bury a recruitment link on there.

I would add the buttons to my blog articles so you could vote for them right off my blog, but javascript is ot permitted on wordpress.com blogs :( One day I might get my own domain and spruce up the blog, but I’m struggling to find enough time to write content at the moment, I need to get my financials related articles written as my first priority – content is king.

While I am plugging useful resources Oracle Mix has a lot of new updates since I mentioned it last, with more to come soon. Check out the Intercompay group there and feel free to connect with me.

Is Oracle Cool Again?

designer2000I joined Oracle UK in 1997 when Oracle 8 was just out to a lot of buzz. I had written a College paper on Designer 2000, which in 1995 sounded futuristic; automatic code generation and reverse engineering of code was a hot topic around then. All in all it felt pretty good to be joining Oracle and many of my college friends were impressed, especially as I was joining product development. Things went well, I learned a lot, 8i came out, I was involved in building 11i which was on the latest tools and then I moved out to the US in 2000 at the height of the dot com boom.49 Zoe Continue reading “Is Oracle Cool Again?”

Mixed Messages

 The open social network Oracle Mix was launched at Oracle Open World and I’ll be watching closely to see what level of uptake it has from within and without Oracle. It could change the way we interact with our user community and how we both get input for product direction and disseminate product features, best practice etc.

I enjoy events like Open World, even if there are many tough questions, it’s a way to understand more about the user community and how they use (or why they can’t use) our products.  I always give out my business card to people I talk to and people tend to be surprised as they think developers ‘don’t want to be pestered by customers’.  The number of people from product development registered on Oracle Mix demonstrates we do want to mix it up in the user community.  I set up an Intercompany Group on Oracle Mix so please feel free to join and toss your ideas and thoughts into the mix.

Enough mix puns?

Oracle Open World Nights

I live a few blocks from the Moscone in San Francisco I can hardly avoid it even if I wanted to, every bar and second rate resteruant (Yes you Chevy’s!) is packed out and you can’t get a taxi for love nor money. So I decided to blog not about what I did at the conference but the evening events.

This year I arrived late Monday evening, flying in from a family vacation in the UK and missing the AppsLab event at 21st Amendment. I was disappointed especially as it was me who recommended that bar to Jake as it does some of the finest beer in the City and I like hanging out there – Of course meeting Jake and Anthony from Appslab is always enjoyable.

Tuesday I was hanging out at the W Hotel and I stumbled upon a few interesting people from My Virtual Lab. They have an interesting beta available which I haven’t had a chance to fully road test but looks pretty useful at first glance. I also got a free T-Shirt, I normally shun ‘freebie fashion’ as frankly free T-Shirts are only fit for giving to relatives to sleep or work out in, but the My Virtual Lab dudes do have a very cool logo.


Wednesday was party night, when we get to see which acts need cash this year, if Elton John is reading this I may get hit with a Law suit. Oracle employee passes do not get a conference ticket, which may explain to many attendees why the people on the demo pods are always asking if you have a spare wristband. The first problem was getting to the Cow Palace, the line at the Moscone was insane, so I jumped in a Limo splitting the cost ($40 – bargain) with a similarly frustrated dba – get there fast and make a new friend, I highly recommend it. The thing that amazes me about these parties is how I can see so few people I know despite half of Oracle being there – I suspect they see me coming and avoid me, but can’t be certain. Anyway I have to confess I left early, grabbing a big handful of Strawberries for my 2 year old on the way out. I saw a little of Lenny Kravitz, eat some nice food but there is a limit to how long I can hang around drinking Bud from a plastic cup.

I did go back to the W Hotel for a few drinks Wednesday and met a group of people who had just finished some financial reporting class in a college around the corner. When I was a student, I didn’t hang out in bars with prices like the W, a round there would have cleaned me out for the entire term, times must have changed. I was also surprised that there was anyone there not associated with Open World, but I had a great chat with one guy about the similarities between some of the Web 2.0 hype and the dotcom boom, even if some of the people there said they were too young to really remember the dotcom era. Feeling old I went home and decided to stay in Thursday evening and fall asleep on the sofa, blaming it on Jet Lag and not my age.

So the roads are all open now and life in SOMA gets back to normal – here’s to next year.