Friday, July 27, 2007

Oracle Fusion Conference - Presentation Available

Since posting about the SolStonePlus presentation at the Oracle Fusion Conference, I've had a few requests to share the presentation.

It's available from our corporate website at this link.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Oracle Fusion Conference

On Wednesday, a colleague and I gave a joint presentation at the Oracle Fusion Conference held in the Emirates Stadium, London.
We were co-presenting the Business intelligence breakout session alongside Duncan Fitter and Phil Bates of Oracle.

The presentation that Mick and I gave was ‘Under the Covers of Oracle BI Suite Enterprise Edition’ which meant we were alternating between Mick talking about the different elements of BIEE (Answers, Dashboards, Delivers and BI Publisher) then handing over to me for the live (yes, that’s LIVE) demos.

To say that I was nervous in the week or so leading up to this is a bit of an understatement!

I’d previously done quite a bit of work around BI Publisher for various pre-sales engagements, but other than a brief glance at BIEE as a whole I hadn’t had much of a chance to get to grips with it.

So that’s why I’ve been off radar lately - that and spending a week diving off the North West coast of Scotland of course :-).

Armed with the Oracle by Example tutorials, some internal training guides, and papers from Mark Rittman’s blog, I shut myself away for a couple of weeks and concentrated on learning the product and putting some demos together.

By the time the Fusion Conference arrived, I was confident in my knowledge, but nervous about the presentation, particularly as the demos would be live. Anybody who has ever done a live demo before will understand this I’m sure.

We arrived at the venue the night before the event for a rehearsal, only to bit hit with the mother of all issues. The demo was set up to run from a VMWare on my laptop, which is a beast of a machine with a widescreen, which was incompatible with the events AV equipment. They just couldn’t get the image to display correctly on the big screens. The stage was set up with two podiums at each side, and two big screens behind each stand. There were then two mini screens at floor level for the speakers to see their slides.
The only workaround we managed to find in order to get the images to display clearly on the big screens was to have no image displaying either on my laptop or on the floor screens!

It was a bit distracting to have to keep turning around to see what I was doing, but it worked. At least the audience were able to clearly see what I was talking about, even if I couldn’t!

As it turned out, the presentation went better than I could have hoped for, all of the demos went without a hitch.
After the presentation I was stunned by the amount, and level of positive feedback that we received, from Oracle Corporation themselves, our co-speakers and also from delegates, potential customers and even our peers (or competitors!) in the world of BI Consultancy.
Our exhibition stand was very busy during the lunch and networking session with delegates asking to see more personalised demos and asking lots of questions.

I was completely worn out by the end of the day but loved every minute!

What surprised me the most about the presentation, from a personal point of view was that I had been very nervous beforehand, but as soon as I got up on stage to do the demos my nerves disappeared and I actually enjoyed doing it.

I even managed to make a joke about being a Geordie in the Arsenal stadium so I must have been having fun. :-)

Last point to make from the day is that I had some very interesting discussions with James Haslam from the UKOUG.

Note to all Newbies – there will be a big announcement here soon so watch this space!