Once again this year we had the privilege to present at Collaborate, the highly popular technology and applications forum brought to you by the people at IOUG, OATUG, and Quest Oracle Community. And what a stimulating gathering of functional and technical Oracle practitioners, experts and vendors it was again this year! In this first of two Collaborate19 Recap blogs, Oracle ACE Monty Latiolais and myself share our impressions on the event.
2019 marks what I believe to be my tenth year attending Collaborate. I think in the end, this year was my favorite. Maybe it was because it was in San Antonio – a place I lived and worked in for seven years. Maybe it was because I got to spend some quality time with my Insum mates Francis, Sylvain, and Chris. Or, maybe I don’t need a reason at all.
I can tell you I’ve completely changed my opinion of the conference as the years mount. When my feet were firmly planted in ODTUG, I viewed Collaborate and KScope as competitors vying over the same attendee. That’s really not the case. Collaborate is much more apps-centric and KScope more technical in nature – that’s not to say technical content is hard to find at Collaborate, it’s just all you’ll find at KScope. I don’t think we’ll stop attending KScope, it’s in our DNA, but for different reasons, we won’t stop attending Collaborate either.
Low Code Low Cost BI with APEX and Analytic Views
Monday of conference week, I delivered a session titled “Low Code Low Cost BI with APEX and Analytic Views
“. When I arrived and saw the size of the room, I became a bit nervous, but once folks started filing in those butterflies quickly disappeared. I was encouraged to discover most everyone in the room had APEX experience, and as I expected, had little to no knowledge of Analytic Views. The session went great. I’m interested to see the session evaluations because the immediate feedback was amazing (see a previously recorded webinar of this presentation, here
). One gentleman later came to the Insum booth and stated it was the best session of the week. To that I say “Thank you” and please let me know where to send the check.
On Wednesday, I shared the stage with Insum’s own Sylvain Martel, and GM Financial’s, Pierre Fernandes. We held a session titled “How GM Financial Went From Zero to Sixty with Oracle APEX” where Pierre detailed their journey from discovering APEX through to successful deployments. I love peer-to-peer sessions like this because attendees can so easily relate to someone like Pierre who shares the same pressures and faces the same challenges as they do. The room was packed. and an hour just didn’t cut it. We spilled out into the hallway and talked to excited participants for another thirty minutes. Big props to Pierre. He represented himself and GM Financial extremely well. Additional takeaways from this years’ conference…
Extending EBS with APEX is HOT
I’d estimate 70 to 80% of the visitors to our booth were interested in extending EBS. Half of those are already doing it and wanted to share stories from the trenches. The other half are interested in taking the plunge. Luckily we have Sylvain Martel available to aid and assist companies on their journey. Also, while there was much talk about the ERP Cloud, it’s clear that companies aren’t willing to give up their customizations. Stay tuned. We’ll have more to say on this topic in the coming months.
A cost-effective alternative for Oracle Forms is needed
Each conference we speak with companies interested in moving away from Forms. It’s not that Forms is not doing the job, it’s that the users are demanding a more modern web experience. Our challenge is to find a cost-effective way to deliver such a customer experience. Some of the brightest minds at Insum are working to make our Forms2APEX migrations more efficient and even more economical. A great compromise to moving everything over in one fell swoop is to extend Forms with APEX. Yes, they can co-exist quite well. Actually, they have more in common than they are different from each other.
Discoverer is still in use
Last year, I gave a talk to a full room about moving from Discoverer to APEX. From the sounds of it, I could have given the same talk this year. I was shocked by the number of companies visiting our booth that were interested in moving from Discoverer back to a supported solution like APEX. As a result, we have several demos over the next week or two with companies anxious to make such a move.
Alrighty then, if your needs exceed your internal APEX bandwidth, please reach out to me. We have a fantastic team with the names you know and the experience your projects demand.
This year was yet another great Collaborate. It is always interesting to see, year over year, more and more companies using Oracle Application Express to extend Oracle E-Business Suite. It used to be something that people were wondering about but now it looks like it is becoming the first choice for many. Not only because it is free and easy but also because we have been developing all the tooling to simplify its integration.
My favorite session was the one from GM Financial that Monty mentioned: How GM Financial Went from Zero to Sixty with E-Business Suite and Oracle Application Express (APEX). It is always interesting to hear the success stories from companies that experienced the usage of APEX with EBS. Pierre Fernandes explained clearly all the benefits of using this technology and how they actually learned it and implemented it.
This year I did two presentations for IOUG: “What every DBA needs to know about APEX” and “Oracle Forms and Oracle Application Express: The Odd Couple.”
I enjoy doing my “Forms and APEX: Odd Couple” presentation because I get the chance to meet new people interested in learning more on APEX. This session is really about using APEX with Oracle Forms. Simply put, even if you are using Oracle Forms (Or any other Oracle development tools) you have APEX for free. So why not use it for augmenting your existing applications? We are doing the same with EBS and it works like a charm. I will not go over all the arguments here but if you want to learn more, you can go see out APEX and Forms blogs here
It was also another conference where we had the pleasure to meet a lot of people, friends, partners and clients from all over the world via all the Collaborate events and also at our booth. Again, we had a super team on-site with Christopher Jackson, Monty Latiolais and Sylvain Martel.
For the APEX aficionados, I think that Collaborate is now becoming a must. Mainly for EBS users but also ERP Cloud users and all the Oracle community on the Quest/IOUG side.
More on Collaborate19 from E-Business Suite APEX Practice Director Sylvain Martel and Director of Business Development Christopher Jackson, tomorrow!