Examining the ongoing challenges of delivering high-quality, value-added ERP services in Higher Education.

Monday, October 1, 2012

OOW 2012 Day One Notes

Had a great first day out here in San Francisco, which has been "painted red" (quote from this morning's keynote) rather literally -- Oracle logos everywhere!

"Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management: The Un-Scorecard Manual" - Kevin McGinley (Accenture)

Interesting session demonstrating how to think outside the box and put OSSM -- one of the four building blocks of Oracle BI Foundation Suite -- to optimal use beyond the narrow scope of scorecards. By not locking oneself into the meaning of "actual" and "target" and recognizing that you can co-opt the KPI Object to compare ANY two measures, content developers can save themselves a lot of effort and deliver value more efficiently to business users.

Takeaway: business intelligence solutions require creative problem-solving more than anything else... It's more "art" than science.

"Oracle Fusion Middleware in Higher Education" - Tina Thorstenson (AVP and CISO of Arizona State University), Selim Burduroglu (Oracle) , Susan Beidler (Oracle)

After a primer on the components of Fusion Middleware (so many acronyms, so little time) the presentation focused on success stories across Higher Education with Web Center (Texas A&M), Business Process Management (UVa), OBIEE (FSU), among others. ASU advice was to start small and pick something low risk but highly visible. Success breeds success and all that... There was also a very interesting (though not relevant for me) overview of how Campus Solutions, now divorced from the other PeopleSoft applications, is pursuing a very different path to Fusion -- switching over to ADF and the Fusion UI over next several releases.

Takeaway: need to have our success stories up on that stage next year!

"The Neuroscience of Change" - Grace Chang (UCLA, Professor, NeuroLeadership Institute), Samad Aidane (Project Manager, Aidane Group LLC)

Now this was a surprise... Don't think I ever thought I'd hear "neuroplasticity" or "basal ganglia" at an IT conference... Not even at EDUCAUSE. But this is such a valid and important topic -- projects almost always succeed or fail in lock-step with the change management program. According to the presenter, not only is resistance completely natural, but we should embrace it; resistance shows engagement and that's better than ambivalence or blind acceptance. They introduced another five-letter acronym and framework -- SCARF, which stands for Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness. It reminded me of this article http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/09/managing-just-fine from the Harvard Gazette last week.

Takeaway: people see your IT project as "a big carnivorous animal" trying to eat them.

Higher Education User Group
Final session of the day was a presentation by the Higher Education User Group (HEUG). Two big(ish) announcements were the launch of a Young Professionals Group (to qualify one must be sub-34, so alas I missed the cut) and an evaluation of the existing Product Advisory Group structure to ensure the right level of engagement with Oracle. Mostly this was a networking opportunity, so happy to have spent some time chatting with colleagues from Wisconsin, South Africa, North Dakota, and more.

Off to the Moscone Center now for Day Two!


<< Home