Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Last Post... least here, on this blog as I’ve moved over to now.

I’ve copied all the posts from here across to the new blog, but I will also be leaving them here for a while, for anyone coming here through searches for old stuff.

For all the new stuff, pop over to my new blog...

See you on the other side!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Exciting changes at UKOUG!

First of all, a big Thank you to everyone who voted to keep me on the Board of Directors. I’m very grateful for all of the support and very pleased to be able to continue as a Director.

We had our first Board meeting on Thursday and were able to welcome two new Directors to the Board, Jeremy Duggan and Robert Stanton.

This board meeting was a very different experience for me as, due to a rather unfortunate skiing accident resulting in a fractured leg, I was unable to attend in person and instead participated via Skype video call from the comfort of my sofa!
I was disappointed to not be there but was glad to be able to still participate to some degree.

In addition to welcoming the new Directors, there were also a couple of big changes to the UKOUG Board this year.

Ronan Miles has stepped down as Chairman after 11 years in the role, although he will be continuing on the board as a Director.

Elections were held and Debra Lilley has taken on the role of Chairman and I have taken on the role of Deputy Chair.

I’m delighted to be taking on this role and am grateful for the support shown by my fellow Directors who voted me into the post.

It’s going to be a challenging year ahead, but I am very much looking forward to it. It’s going to be hard work but very much rewarding and I could not do it without the support of my employer and my peers.

I'd like to thank Ronan for everything he has done for the UKOUG and for the support and encouragement he has given me since joining the Board.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

UKOUG Director Elections - Please Vote!

There's only a few days left for voting in this year's Director Elections, with the process closing on February 28th.

More information on the election process, including information on the role of Directors, and this years candidates can be found here.

Each UKOUG membership is entitled to one vote, with ballot papers being sent to the main contact for that membership, but if they have a colleague who may be better placed to make that judgement, such as an active SIG member or volunteer, then the vote can be passed to them.

I'm up for re-election this year and I'm really hoping to secure enough votes to allow me to continue as a Director.

My details, and those of other candidates can be found here.

As with any election, it's important that each membership takes the opportunity to vote. So if you are a member of the UKOUG then please do vote, or liaise with the main contact for your vote, and hopefully vote for me!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

From Oracle Newbie to Oracle ACE...

When I started this blog over 5 years ago, I never imagined that it would take me on a journey from an Oracle Newbie, to a Director of UKOUG and onto an Oracle ACE (even if I did go via some strange evenings in some strange pubs in Birmingham and a rather dodgy Panto!)

All I can say is that it has been a heck of a ride!

I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and for me, the best part of it has been the friendships that have been made along the way.

To each and every one of you that has supported and encouraged me along the way, I thank you.

And a big thank you to OTN and the ACE Program for the award and a special thank you to the person who nominated me as an Oracle ACE (they know who they are).

Friday, December 03, 2010

UKOUG Inspiring Presentation Awards – The Winners

This is the Conference Review Part 2, but I wanted to do a separate post for the IPA’s.

On Tuesday night at the conference, we had the first ever UKOUG Inspiring Presentation Awards.
The awards and the evening’s social event were very kindly sponsored by OTN, so a big thank you to Vikki Lira from the Oracle ACE Program for helping out and making it all happen.

The first four categories are for presentations given at the Conference in 2009, with winners decided by the feedback scores provided by delegates in the sessions. The Best Abstract awards were determined by the highest scores given to abstracts submitted for the 2010 event.

We had a great deal of fun with the awards ceremony with a large crowd there to cheer for the winners.

So without further ado, here are the winners of the first ever UKOUG Inspiring Presentation Awards!

Oracle Speaker:
Technology – Grant Ronald Modernizing Your Oracle Forms Investment: Google Maps, Carousels, Web 2.0 and Web Services
Apps – Clive Swan Keynote: Fusion Applications demonstrations

UK Speaker:
Technology - John Scott Building Scalable Applications with Oracle Application Express
Apps – Simon Tomey BI and the Reporting Road Map

Overseas Speaker:
Technology – Connor McDonald 11g features for Developers
Apps – Michael Rulf Using Oracle Application Integration Architecture Foundation pack to build a best-of-breed landscape

First Time Speaker:
Technology – Jan Navratil Building large scale mission critical systems with Oracle Application Express
Apps – Marcus Rogers Oracle E-Business Suite: Why do users hate Oracle?

Best Abstract:
UK Technology – James Morle Sane SAN 2010
UK Apps – Margaret Greenwood Advanced Collections – helping the council's budget in these difficult times
Overseas – Christian Antognini Transaction Management Internals

Congratulations to all the winners!

We did have a photographer in attendance, I’ll get a link to the pictures as soon as I have them.
Thank you to everyone involved that helped make this happen and I hope it encourages more of you out there to get up and give presenting a go.

UKOUG Conference Review - Part 1

Well I finally made it back home from the UKOUG Conference in Birmingham, only a day and a half later than planned.
The problem was not Birmingham, no snow issues there although it was very cold, but Newcastle airport was closed for a couple of days and trains were struggling to get through all the snow ‘Oop North’.

The Conference itself was a fantastic event and, from a personal perspective, it was my favourite one out of the many that I have attended.

There’s not one specific reason for that, other than I got to attend quite a few of the technical sessions this year, spent time with good friends and made a few more. I also seemed to be constantly on the go, TEBS is always a very busy event for the UKOUG staff and Directors, but I feel that I somehow had more time this year to network and actually talk to people.

My presentation was on Monday afternoon and the feedback I got afterwards was positive which always makes it worthwhile. It was nice to have it on the Monday too so that I could do it well and then enjoy the rest of the event afterwards.

Monday was also the day of the UKOUG Pantomime.

We followed on straight from the keynote in Hall 1 and, after spending 30 minutes backstage getting Ronan into costume, it was hard work to compose myself again so as not to spend the whole time on stage in hysterics.

Doug Burns was a true sport, Marco looked to be having a great time waving a chainsaw around the stage, and Debra and Ronan were brilliant as the medics. I think it will take Ronan a while to live down the ‘Naughty Nurse Miles’ tag.:)

All of us involved had a great time and really enjoyed doing it, even if we did manage to make complete fools out of ourselves in the process!

Aside from the fun, there was a serious note with the whole thing being to raise money for Doug’s Movember Charity efforts.
The very generous audience were able to add more than £300 to his total – well done and thank you!

Of course, we ended up having so much fun during the Panto itself that not all of the Mo was removed there and then. Thank you to Alex Gorbachev for helping me out with the final shave in the Tap & Spile afterwards.

I’m now winding down from Conference, I had planned to be out Xmas shopping at the end of this week, but losing a day with extra travelling and being snowed in here has put an end to that.

Instead, I’ll be writing up another blog post about the Inspiring Presentation Awards and planning the fun for next year’s TEBS... :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Speaker Awards and a Pantomime.....

Before you think this is something completely random (which it probably is) yes, I am indeed talking about this year’s UKOUG TEBS Conference.

The Inspiring Presentation Awards (IPA’s) will be handed out for the first time at this year’s UKOUG Technology and E-Business Suite Conference.

The event will be taking place in the Exhibition Hall on Tuesday evening from 18:30 with the awards and the evening’s social/networking session being very kindly sponsored by OTN.

There will be a number of awards given out on the night in recognition of the Tech and Apps presentations that scored very high feedback scores from sessions at the TEBS 2009 Conference.
The awards will be in a number of categories, including Best Overseas Speaker and First Time Presenter and there will also be awards for the best submitted papers for the 2010 Conference.

Are you a winner? Come along to the Event to find out!

So onto the Pantomime.....

It’s all about the Monday evening’s plenary session (Hall 1 at 17:50).

The evening will start on a serious note, beginning with a presentation from UKOUG Directors Ronan Miles and Debra Lilley, followed by the keynote speech from David Callaghan, Senior VP for Oracle UK, Ireland and Israel.

Then it all goes a bit strange with the absolute hilarity of the UKOUG Pantomime, featuring Doug Burns’ ‘Movember Shave-off and many more surprises...
(If you read the wiki entry from the Pantomime link above – pay particular attention to the section on ‘audience participation’, it's important...)

I won’t give away any more details than that at the moment, but suffice to say that you’ll see a very different side of some well known faces from TEBS and you are likely to never look at certain people in the same way again.

Trust me, this is something not to be missed!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Back to Presenting...

The UKOUG Technology and E-Business Suite Conference 2010 is getting closer and the agenda is now live.

I was lucky enough to get a paper accepted so I will be presenting on the Monday afternoon.
My work situation last year meant that I was unable to commit to submitting a paper, although I was still able to attend in the end as a delegate, so I'm really looking forward to getting back to presenting this year.

As usual, the agenda is crammed with some excellent speakers and presentations and it's going to be hard at times to decide which session I want to see.

I'll be there from the Sunday and I'm looking forward to being able to catch up with everyone and meeting new people.

The first beer is already organised for the Sunday evening so let the countdown begin!