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…

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.

my-virtual-lab.jpg

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.