Thursday, November 18, 2010

What is Takes to Succeed?

This morning I was driving to work and listening to my usual morning radio. I admit it I listen to Howard Stern on Sirius. It is some of the most interesting and humorous radio I ever listen to. This morning he had the second half of the Staff IQ Test. The last one ended with his engineer having a 121, and today more of the staff was tested. A score of 120 or higher is considered highly intelligent. But of course in the nature of the show it was as much a competition for bragging rights. Today it came down to two staffers, John and Will, with Will winning with a 130, considered among the top 2% of of the population. It was hilarious as Howard lost all is bets as he misevaluated everyone’s IQ and it made me wonder about what makes people successful. Is it IQ? Is it experience? Is it knowledge? Is it personality? Of course its a combination of all of these.

People think that it is merely the intelligence and knowledge that one has that drives success. Or could it be someone taking the initiative to create an idea that changes things. So do we acquire this drive from nurture or nature? When I consider people to work at Thoughtcorp, I look at what they know, but really I consider how they think. How do they answer questions? What is the though process behind solving problems. I obviously consider technical savvy, but tools and techniques cannot. So we must have that basic ability to communicate. To speak our thoughts clearly and concisely. That is the key to succeed. The intelligence we have is shown through our ability to communicate it to others. So what we learn you should share and what others share with you make you more successful. So more than simply IQ, intelligence and success come through our ability to show how we understand the world.

If you think you have this type of intelligence and want to work in that type of environment then check out some hot jobs currently open at Thoughtcorp (Click Here for Employment Opportunities).

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Oracle OpenWorld User Perspective

As we return back from Oracle OpenWorld, I thought that I would blog on some my experiences and how being active in your user community can make a difference.

I find that my experience at OpenWorld is something of a special one. An experience that is based on being involved and having the goal to help others. I attend in many ways. I attend as a leader in the user group community as a Board Member of the IOUG. I am there as a writer, representing Oracle Press and my book “Oracle Database 11g Beginner’s Guide”, there as a member of the Thoughtcorp team and as an Oracle professional and ACE trying to learn what is new and how to be a better solution provider. The value that I get from all of these things is immeasurable. I am always am surprised when I have to explain the value of being involved.

At OpenWorld I had the chance to meet Ironman (if you have seen Ironman 2. you will know that Oracle was a great supporter. This is me with the suits before I had the chance to fly around in one.


I was also invited to an event where I had the chance to meet Mark Hurd, the new President of Oracle. It was a pleasure to meet him and I look forward to seeing how myself and the user group will work with this new regime. And can you find the Oracle ACE in the sculpture gallery at SFMOMA, where the event was held.


The event was a clear event where the message was that Oracle provides us with a chance to leverage all aspects of the technology stack from one place. The announcement of the ExaLogic machine was exciting as was the continued messaging around Oracle’s BI offerings. It is an exciting time to be part of the Oracle community and in the coming weeks I will continue to discuss about what I learned and some of the new technologies which will be important to us in teh coming months and years.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Standard Configurations May be Your Solution

It’s really quite amazing to me how many organizations have database and or application performance issues and then spend incredible amounts of time in their diagnosis and treatment. We solve the issues in a number of ways; we improve SQL access to the database (the most common issue), we change database parameters and execution plans to improve memory and data usage during the execution of other queries and we change the database from both a design and deployment perspective. In the end most performance issues are solved but what happens to our learning's from these issues? Generally we make changes to the one database and then wait until the next performance crisis arises, so our new solution is often lost and the knowledge not shared.

So how can we fix these types of issues? How can one performance issue help the entire organization? If the organization adopts the use of standard approaches to data and databases a lot of these issues can be reduced if not eliminated. Consider a large company who has many databases, often 100’s of database instances. In this company they need a team of DBAs who are responsible for a subset of these databases but yet they have no synergy and the differences in these databases make each one a custom deployment, which requires significant  involvement from the various IT teams. Consider if the organization adopts the use of standard configurations. If they decide to create databases in 3 to 5 standard configurations. They may create one for small applications, another for web deployments, another for analytic and data intensive applications and another for mission critical applications. This creates a limited number of selections, but each one is optimized for the application and allows for quick and simple deployments. It also reduces the variations which increase maintenance costs. The same can go for data models. Tables can be deployed based on standard approaches to how tables, indexes, partitions and other objects get created. By creating and defining standards, you reduce the risk while maintaining the highest quality and optimal performance. The key is that when we make one change we can easy replicate and deploy it in all environments such that the entire organization can gain the benefits.

As we come up to Oracle OpenWorld and the IOUG User forum, you will begin to see this type of message for larger organizations to provide them with the ability to deploy applications faster and maintain the infrastructure more effectively and efficiently. By simplifying the choices you can improve your ability respond to issues and ultimately reduce costs

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Arming Us with Knowledge

As the time for Oracle OpenWorld approaches (Sept 19 to 23rd) I started to think about knowledge and learning. This is a fundamental right and gift that I hope to have instilled in my children and what I hope we have all done for our own.

So then this morning I see a billboard that said “In the war of ideas; Are we sending out children out unarmed?

This is a question that seemed profound to me today. We live in a world where our knowledge is one of the most important qualities we can each have. This knowledge is what makes us productive but it also makes us interesting.

So how do we address this? We send our children to schools where there are educated on the way the world works and how we can find our place in it. However is this preparing us for what we really need? Do we have the skills we really need? Are we street savvy? Today the world is a complex place. One where we must be prepared for multiple influences on our everyday lives. We need to understand the influences of activity in all corners of the Earth. We need to understand how economic factors in the Far East impact North America and vice versa as well. You need to look at the big picture to be able to take a stand on how you react to various scenarios. It is no different in the IT industry. This is a place that has so many influences that you really need to understand how each impacts an IT project. You need to be armed with knowledge.

The world today is about acquiring knowledge and using it in a way that benefits everyone around you. So it is imperative to gather knowledge and quickly turn it into value. It is never too early to start this journey, but it is one that you must start so that you can be prepared as well as creating an environment where ideas are valued.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oracle BI 11g Launched

I realize that it has already been a few weeks since Oracle officially announced the availability of the new Oracle BI 11g, but today was the launch event in the Toronto area and was it ever well attended. This is the version of a BI suite which will allow Oracle to compete in a mature market and I was not surprised to see so much interest in it from today’s capacity audience.


We have been waiting for quite a while to see the final release of the software (which is now available from Oracle) which has been much anticipated. We in the BI and data warehousing space have seen so many products over the years, such as Cognos, MicroStrategy among others, but Oracle never really had a great answer and Answers to these vendors, that is why this release is so important.

The latest incarnation of the OBIEE stack includes many new functions and features. It has a solid approach to dashboards, scorecards and reporting and provide it all from a common interface, which is a nice change. The software will still need to prove itself but at this point things look very promising. As I begin to work with the product I will be sharing my experiences. I will also be at Oracle OpenWorld in just a few weeks and I excited to see more on BI and all of the other DW technologies, and hope to meet some of you there to exchange even greater ideas.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The IOUG Leadership

This past weekend I got to attend the annual IOUG Summer Board meeting. It is at these meetings where we plan the strategy for the user group in the near and long term. This meeting was no different and some great work happened. I believe that the IOUG is the place you need to be if you use Oracle technology; it is one place where you can create an life-long environment for professional and personal success. What was also important was that Andy Flower, led the group for the first time as our new incoming President. This was a role I had filled for the past two years and Andy now was filling and doing a great job. So I decided why not Blog about the IOUG Presidents that I knew and show how each one helped the user group at various times and remember those that helped build what we now enjoy in the changing user community.

If we look back the first President of the IOUG was Michael Corey, a big man, with a big voice and a personality that drew people in. He was one of the founding members of the community when Oracle did not understand how this group of independent user, customers and consultants could help make the product better, but that’s what he and the other Oracle users who put together a group which found Oracle’s ear and helped us start this road that is the user community

image After the bravado of Mike Corey came the calm and diplomatic Merrilee Nohr, a true professional who brought a calmness and a direction which turned this group into a more professional organization. Merrilee struggled to build a solid relationship at a time when Oracle was starting to evolve into what it is today and in many ways Merrilee educated Oracle on the value that the community brought and how important it was for Oracle to support us.


After Merrilee I recall Rich Niemiec. There are few people like Rich, for those of you how know of him, know he is a great technical genius who taught us lots about performance and leadership. He led as any good Ex-Marine would and helped to motivation the Board and the community onto better things. As Rich once said to me “Leaders are chosen when they are needed and ready to take on the challenge,'” and Rich was there to help stabilize the IOUG during some rough times in working with Oracle.

image After Rich, came Kim Floss, a customer of Oracle’s, which is always a good thing, as Oracle likes their customers and when one came to lead the user group like Kim, it was a great for our relations with Oracle as the relationship evolved.


Following Kim, was Ari Caplan. Another one of a kind leader. He brought a quiet calm and a strong leadership. He knew about a lot of cool stuff and was a business leader in the Oracle community. He also had a skill for baseball and analytics and today he works for the Chicago Cubs, maybe Larry can use him one day if he buys a team. And of course it was during his watch when we launched the first COLLABORATE conference and a new era in user group events was born.

imageThen came me. I am proud of what I did to help the user community and Oracle during my two year tenure. It was exciting and evolving as Oracle continued to expand while the user group continued to focus on the networking, advocacy and education. And together with the Board we all did a good job.

image Which leads me to the current President. Andy Flower, who is a great, engaging and strong leader who is focused on continuing to grow the community. It will be under Andy’s leadership when we will welcome one of the newest communities to the IOUG; that of the MySQL community. After our meeting I am confident that Andy will help us move the community to a period growth while still keeping us focused on our core community.


Plus he looks a lot like Bobby Flay, so we can get good tables in restaurants and bars.

The IOUG has come a long way in the past years and will continue to evolve and change just as our great leadership has done over the years,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What it Means to be Part of a User Group?

As the summer continues and I continue to struggle with a golf game that continues to elude me I start to think about the user group. The IOUG is the user group that I know the most about but it follows for any user group member of an independent user group.

The summer is the quiet time for user groups. We have finished one of the greatest Oracle user events in May, when Collaborate 10 ended and now we are interacting with our members in the virtual world. The IOUG as other Oracle groups run independently, which means we receive no funding from Oracle. They provide the user community access to the resources available at Oracle, which is a great value. We also support Oracle at their events; as we will be doing during this year on Sunday Sept 19th at Oracle OpenWorld where we will be providing a great technical program.

So at this time you should consider being part of the group and include your voice in the independent vision from your user group. It’s time to get involved and time to include yourself in some information and knowledge sharing.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Analytics In Sports

Today I was reading a story about how Marian Hossa chose to play with the Chicago Black Hawks this season. He chose the team based on a statistical knowledge of what it takes to win.

">Hossa’s agent has developed a model which analyzes goals by the top 6 forwards, other measures for defensemen, and a  goalie’s save percentage all add up to success. The key measure for Hossa and Winter was the fact that a team who scores 143 goals in it’s top 6 will achieve 100 points. This along with quality of management helped him make the decision and now he is appearing in the Stanley Cup final for the 3rd consecutive year.

Analytics in sports is no stranger, but it is one which has been slow on the uptake. Baseball has always been an active statistical league, but companies like Ariball ( have taken the analysis of the these numbers to a new level. He helps teams and players understand their own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of their opponent to achieve maximum performance. Consider that we can easily look at where every ball hit at Yankee Stadium landed in 2009 as you see below:

image Imagine what you can do with this by adding the dimensions of hitter, pitcher, pitch, count and more….lots of power.

And considering the controversy of last night’s blown call in the Detroit-Cleveland game where Armando Gallarraga lost a perfect game….was this simply a mistake or a blown call or was it official bias? If it was Roy Halladay or some other great pitcher on the mound would the call had been “right”. The statistics definitely do show this for the NBA. When a star is in foul trouble they have fouls called about 1/2 as often a non-stars. So how would things had gone last night if we were watching a future all-star?

Sports statistics are here to stay and just as they make a company more competitive it does the same for a sports team.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Changing Face of Oracle Technology

The coming year is one which will provide Oracle users and user groups with the chance to evolve and change as Oracle continues to change.

In the past year wehave seen significant changes in technology and the Oracle technology stack. The changes are comig and the evolution of Oracle as a company and as a technology is changing. We are beginning to see the changes in the latest products which are coming from Oracle.

The BEA acquisition is showing this as the latest release of WebCenter Suite has truly shown great changes whic allow it to better integrate wih Oracle and other products. The changes hae meant that the product and it's support for Web 2.0 initiatives is simple and easy to implement.

The Seibel acquistion changed Oracle in the most obvisious way by allowing Oracle to offer a world-class CRM solution. The acquisition also made some real changes to Oracle's BI offering. Oracle BI which grew out of acquired products have allowed Oracle to compete with the big boys of BI. OBIEE and especially the coming release of the prduct will provide users with a solid product which can be used to depoloy a solid BI solution. In addition Hyperion and Essbase complement this tool with robust forcasting and budgeting capabilities. The total package.

Other acquisition will change things even more, the Sun acquisition will be a game changer and one that will forever change the face of Oracle, but we will watch as the technology changes and improves our solutions and our businesses and see what change we embrace and others which fall to the side.

I also want to thank Patrick Fordham ( who recently took some heads shots for Oracle magazine and which I am now using as my new profile picture. Thanks.

Friday, April 23, 2010

COLLABORATE 10: Users Rule!

The COLLABORATE10 has come to close and it is time to reflect on the week that was and how the user grow has and will grow in the future.

It is great to be part of a user community where people and ideas come together to improve how we all do our jobs on a daily basis. The personal and professional learning's which we all have the opportunity to acquire during the week is so significant. The relationship we build. The elite people of our profession who educate us. The COLLABORATE event is like no other.

Our meeting in Las Vegas ended yesterday and I have had some time to reflect on it and how the IOUG has once again succeeded. For all those attended in-person and on-line the value is obvious. What is not obvious. There is a team of volunteers and staff who hard for most of the year to deliver a total program that is second to none.

The IOUG Board of Directors helps to guide the community and support a program of education 365-days-a-year, but the week of the COLLABORATE is the concentration and distillation of the entire year. The Board which includes Andy Flower, our incoming IOUG President, and Judi Doolittle, who has helped the IOUG launch or new and improved web site, Jon Wolfe, our Education director who delivered another superior educational event, Todd Sheetz, who has grown the SIGs and RUGs at a unprecedented level, Steve Lemme, who helps guide the vision for the group and adds a special perspective, John Matelski, our Director of new technologies is working to bridge Oracle and the new communities, Michelle Malcher, who has helped developed a new membership program which you will see in the coming weeks and months and of course Kent Hinkley who makes sure we are fiscally responsible. The Board together helps to steer the user community based on what we need. Of course the conference committee and all of the various volunteers and staff, made it a year to remember.

If you didn’t get a chance to attend the make sure you start planning now to be part of COLLABORATE11 in Orlando, FL on April 10-15, 2011…..if you are serious about your Oracle job then get off your chair and get ready to get to Oracle for a quantum leap in your professional development.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Great Time of Year

This time of year is always a special one in my world. It is the time when I am getting ready to attend COLLABORATE 10 in Las Vegas. This is the conference for Oracle users by Oracle users. It is also the time when I am wrapping up my hockey season and starting golf. And finally it seems to be a time when a lot of your work comes together and you begin to see the potential benefits of the work you’ve done over the winter.

First is the greatest conference to attend if you use any part of the Oracle technology stack. This is the first time we will get together to ask Oracle where are we and where are we going? What does the Sun acquisition mean and how should I prepare. I really encourage people of take part in person but if not then attend online via the best value access to the priceless information. Take a look at the IOUG’s Plugged-In to Vegas. You can sign up and “attend” over 40 hours of live sessions and be part of the event by posing your own questions in the room via your Plugged-In login. Take a look, I know I will be there and look forward to seeing everyone at this one-of-a-kind event.

My hockey season is finally coming to a close and it turned out to be a great overall success. My Monday night team played a solid and emotional season, where one of our friends Kevin battled back to play after being diagnosed with Cancer less than a year earlier. You next met a greater bunch of guys. On Thursdays we are still in the playoffs and looking like we might have a chance. Too early to make the call, but will keep you updated. And on Friday game ended in a dramatic final game, where I made the stops I had to but the team dominated to take us to a big win and the Rusty Nail Cup.

And of course Spring brings out the golfer in me. I played my first round on the weekend, April 3rd to be exact. I know I can attribute it to Global Warming, but I have to admit I really had a great time being back out on the course. Shot a 93, which included my first birdie, 3 pars and too many double bogies. And to my amazement the course (not my course) was in great shape. Its funny but April 3rd, 2010 may have been a better day in Toronto than any day last summer.

Looking forward to the next few weeks.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How we Learn

With COLLABORATE10, the Oracle User Group conference starting April 18th in Las Vegas it started me thinking how do people learn? Or should I say what is the best way to learn a new skill or improve an existing skill.

There is classroom, online, book and other methods. So what is the most effect form to learn this new capability? Well there are many studies out there that state that you will remember lessons better if you are able to apply the skill right away and that you can continue to develop it as you work on this as well. In the classroom or virtual classroom you have the opportunity to do this and ask the trainer for advice and methods. It also makes us think about visual learners versus audio learners. The best way is really only the best for each individual.

I look at COLLABORATE10 and look as the total package of learning and this is why I feel that conferences can have unparalleled learning options. Consider you can spend a full day in an in-depth session learning from a world renowned expert or listen to topics during shorter more concentrated sessions. The real value comes from the teacher of these sessions that can bring you the value. By adding this person to your network and building a relationship with these experts can be the way that you can take these learnings to the next level.

So for me it is about getting involved in my learning and taking it in actively. Learning the subject, but also learning who the experts are so that we can really absorb all of it and understand how best to apply it. Learning is about you, so maybe there is no one answer, but I can tell you that by getting involved by asking the questions will get you closer to your goal.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Weekend Thoughts

It’s been a while that I have blogged about something other than Oracle and IOUG related things, but today on a Saturday when I am hanging around the house I thought this was one of those times to blog about other topics.

So back to work after my trip to Oracle HQ for the Sun announcement and getting back into the rhythm of the everyday grind. Working with some great clients doing some interesting project. And last night was the Thoughtcorp “Holiday Party”-in February. Ok, a little late but probably better since we could have almost everyone there. It is a really important value that a company, especially a consulting company like ours. We work apart most of the time, but there are so many great people in the company who you can discover or rediscover. It really reinforces the motivation to be part of a team and realize how good a team you are part of. Great party…..great food……great entertainment. And of course watching the “Drunk Guys” struggle to make it to the finish line all added to what these events are all about. Working Hard and Playing Hard.

I also am getting ready for the Olympics in Vancouver. We are a mere 8 days away from the start of the games. I love the Olympics. As a kid in Montreal, I went everyday to see the ‘76 summer games. I loved the experience and am so excited to watch this year’s event. And finally this could be the year that Canada finally wins a gold at a games in Canada…its about time! Turns out that Canada is good at more than hockey and curling and this week SI predicted to be 2nd in medals with 10 of them being gold.

So as winter continues. I think of when I go to Vegas in the Spring. It may be cold outside here in Toronto (-7c) but it was also the first day of the 2010 when the Sun on my face actually felt warm. And basically that means that its almost golf season.

Go Indy! Calling for a big win in tomorrow’s Super Bowl. Only downside for me is that I don’t get to see the US commercials…..looking forward to seeing loads of Tim Hortan’s and Canadian Tire commercials!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Larry Ellison Speaks on Sun


The last speaker of the day is inevitably the one that everyone who is attending in person and online today the Oracle-Sun update that everyone is waiting to hear from.

Up until we have heard about how Oracle will support and integrate Sun technology into the Oracle stack.  We heard how support will adjust to the new support needs and how support will change for Sun customers who will now need to follow the Oracle support and pricing models. This will change things for some. We heard of how the the company will be fully integrated as a company as Oracle does with all acquisitions.

The Larry took to the stage set to a backdrop of his America’s Cup boat. Larry stated that Oracle’s vision is the same as IBM has in 1960 and at that time made IBM the most important company in the world. Oracle and Larry would like to be seen that same way in the future.


The goal will be the integrated products that Oracle will be able to deliver that will leverage the best of the hardware and the software to deliver more products like the Sun-Oracle Exedata server. You should expect to see many more examples of this going forward. They will continue to support the full spectrum of servers, but you should expect the best performance and reliability from the Oracle stack; or at  least that’s the idea.

Larry answered the concern about Sun employees and said that he was not planning to lay off half the staff. The reality is that Oracle plans to hire 2,000 new employees focused on Sun, while he expects only a 1,000 layoffs. This is quite a change from what was originally suspected.

Ellison also said that the Sun business will be profitable in February and they will be profitable in the first month which they own it. Larry stated that he expects that the first year profit of 1.5 billion as originally set. He also expect that the business WILL grow and that includes the Sun hardware.

The questions focused on how Oracle will owkr with other companies. Such as why would an SAP customer pick Oracle and Sun or why would they not. Larry stated that you should expect that Oracle and Sun will provide the highest performance and be reliable. He felt that customers will lead the charge to ensure that SAP and others continue to work on and do it well on other platforms but that they work best on Oracle and would ensure that things will continue as is.

On his journey to the top, Larry said that he is not at the top of the mountain yet, but the journey continues towards the top of the software mountain.

The Fun is in the Details

The Sun deal is  one that is a real game changer for Oracle. It now allows them to get into the hardware business. So now they are responsible for enhancing the overall Sun Sparc hardware strategy.

The key will be performance, compatibility, scalability, availability and security. The new roadmap also now includes how to improve application performance and co-engineering with Oracle software. You can already see the first example of this as the Exadata machine shows some of what is possible. Considering that at the time of the Exadata, Oracle and Sun had very different agendas at the time, but yet developed a very interesting product offering that continues to improve. The acquisition will also allow Sun to develop newer chips quicker and more effectively. Where in the past Sun would have been developing one or two new processors at a time, with Oracle support they will be able to begin development on four chips which will allow new technology will arrive sooner and be more reliable, this accelerated roadmap means that Sun/Oracle engineering is also hiring.

Other products like WebCenter has benefited from teh relationship. Sun runs WebCenter faster than other hardware vendors. This is the message that I expected today, Sun is fastest and even fast when it runs Oracle or is that the other way? Does it apply accross the board, is still an outstanding question, but Sun does tell a good story. The focus going forward will include storage, tape archives with teh StorageTek product as well the innovations will include the higher use of Flash technologies will help make thing faster as we move forward

The Sun is Finally Rising for Oracle

Today I am at Oracle HQ in Redwood Shores in California. This is ground-zero for the latest on what is the next evolution of the acquisition of Sun by Oracle.
Today is a big day in San Francisco; Steve Jobs from Apple will be showing off their new palette computer. So how will Oracle counter this news? This is what we are here in California find out. The announcement of a final Sun/Oracle deal was made official yesterday, but today we get to learn how it will be done.
here is Oracle’s President Charles Phillips as he presents to us today:

Charles Phillips discussed the new theme for Oracle with the completed deal: Software, Hardware; Complete. I like this new message and in its simplicity it truly shows want to expect. They will be providing complete, engineered and integrated systems. The focus will be on open standards, which is no surprise and to improve customer service. The key will be to achieve the highest level of partnership if you really want to leverage Oracle’s sale force. Oracle also announced that they are hiring. They are looking for sales reps for storage, tape and other Sun technologies. If you listen to Charles’ message, he says that these people will be the highest paid in the industry. It will be interesting how sales and partners work together in the new Oracle/Sun world.

From an Oracle partner perspective, things are evolving. You will now need to provide significant added-value to become involved with Oracle. Their focus is partners providing services and products that add value to Oracle or that are no in an area which Oracle performs well within.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Success….Oracle and Sun a Reality

The story of the day has to be the information that the Oracle Sun deal may finally be coming to a close.

So what are the sign? The first was this morning when ComputerWorld that the European Union has cleared the deal that will allow Oracle and Sun to complete the deal and get on with business. The other was an invitation to be at Oracle HQ in Redwood Shores next week when we will get an update on the “progress” of the deal.

I feel that I have a vested interest in this deal finally being completed as it was envisioned as I had the great privilege to speak on the Oracle user’s behalf at the EU Competition Commission as part of the Oracle team. Being in the room on that day, I had been convinced that this was right decision and that the vision was nearly unanimous that this a good deal to go ahead with. It is an industry that loves to go their own way and competition will continue and open source will continue to be open.

I am so happy for Safra Catz who lead the Oracle team through this journey. I have the chance to see her leadership and now have a better appreciation for the tough job she has and how successfully she does it. I have to thank Oracle for allowing me to strike off one more thing on my list of “1000 Things To Do Before You Die”. I still have some Belgium Chocolate left….maybe I should bring it next week. Might be good for the celebration.

So it looks like everything is finally a go. You should expect to see more about it next week as I will be blogging from Oracle HQ. As well COLLABORATE 10 will have sessions on MySQL. It’s a good time to be part of the Oracle community.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The New Year is Here…..So What’s Next?

I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. 2010 is one that arrives with much anticipation and with hope that we will recover from the tough year that was. The coming year is one that we can expect to build on much of the work we did last year, but start to more fully leverage technology to help us achieve our goals. So what are the themes for 2010? Let’s take a look:

The first theme will be the more effective use of resources. In the past few years we have experienced downsizing and staff freezes, but somehow our workloads increased. This year we will look to ways to improve and optimize productivity. I expect that we will see a higher degree of automation in the area of data management. System and data administrators will need to better leverage the manageability components of their software. I expect to see more people move to proactive monitoring and use the capabilities that are provided in a Web 2.0 world. Now we are not looking for issues, we are preparing to avoid them.

Next, I expect a greater use of off-the-shelf solutions that will allow business to perform 95% of the tasks needed. I expect that the time of large customized solutions is limited. As you may see from Oracle’s Fusion direction we see that software solutions will provide significant process support and will require few customizations. The affect on the business intelligence world is one where most of the “standard” reporting that is needed will be provided and tightly linked to your applications and that the only customizations will be extending these capabilities to provide competitive advantage and reduce complexity and maintenance.  The age of custom applications is nearing a close.

The final theme for me today is one that is more a wish. I hope that 2010 will be the year where that Art of Networking is embraced. The new decade will be one where social networking will continue to evolve. I expect we will see greater use for personal and professional reasons of Facebook and LinkedIn. I am still not convinced that Tweets are the wave of the future, but it has been a game-changer. I am just not convinced that most things that are said in 140 characters is useful or important. Sometimes it seems like too much chatter. So my hope is that 2010 will be the year when Gen Y decides that in-person networking is like no other and of course the best place to see it and understand this is by attending COLLABORATE 10 in Las Vegas.

The year has just begun, but few have started with such great promise and need for change.