I’ll be providing this part Collaborate19 Recap Part 2 with my friend and colleague Christopher Jackson, our Director of Business Development. I’ll begin with my take on the event.
I’ve started to feel like I’m a (young) veteran at this Collaborate conference. It’s an enjoyable feeling too! I’m not as much a regular as some people I know, though. Some have racked up 20 plus years of participation at this annual event (you know who you are!). Nevertheless, it is definitely the moment to see familiar faces that have become friends over the years. San Antonio was no exception to the pleasure of sharing our knowledge with the community.
I clearly recall our first year as Insum presenters at Collaborate not a long time ago, where most of the attendees were wondering what was this “APEX” we were talking about! Things have changed. After 5 years evangelizing APEX as a corporate option for extending EBS, we are clearly no longer alone!
The week started well with a successful APEX workshop conducted by Oracle’s APEX Product Manager, David Peake. We were happily surprised that so many people showed up on opening Sunday. Most attendees were beginners with APEX, which shows once again that APEX is getting lots of traction in the community. Scott Spendolini and I were happy to give a hand to David. We helped the attendees and answered their questions while executing the session exercises.
Our “APEX in EBS” OATUG SIG session was a success once again. We had a sellout crowd where a nervous fire marshal was the only one not enjoying this popularity! This year, our session entitled “How Clients use APEX for Their EBS Environments” provided a customer panel and a great opportunity for attendees to hear it from the horse’s mouth! These were real-life APEX projects and EBS extensions created by 3 organizations willing to share their experiences: Perumal Veerappan of Carnival Corporation, Pierre Fernandes of GM Financial and Durga Vanamala of Best Buy. Kudos to these presenters who had an honest conversation while answering tons of questions from the attendees. They presented great use cases too…
But that was just the tip of the iceberg! For those who wanted an even more in-depth real-life journey, a full hour was dedicated to Pierre Fernandes of GM Financial to tell their story to another full house crowd. Once again, our friend the fire marshal was the only one not paying attention to the APEX in EBS journey described in a candid fashion to attentive attendees. What I got from that session is that by starting to use APEX, they were able to quickly develop an application in order to easily get the information they needed to make decisions impacting the organization. I must have heard the word “easy” a hundred times during that session…
It’s hard to quickly recap a full week of Collaborate19 in a couple of paragraphs, but my main takeaways this year could be summarized as follow…
SaaS and Cloud Applications
There is some sort of confusion it seems on why organizations are looking towards SaaS applications like Fusion Cloud Applications (ERP Cloud, SCM Cloud, etc.). On one hand it means simplifying your business processes by using a standard non-customized approach. On the other hand, you still have to “extend” this SaaS to satisfy and support fully what is being done in your organization. In other words, nobody can go SaaS only. Those were the discussions at our Insum booth. Insum has taken these issues into consideration and we will soon have something to say about APEX and SaaS applications…
APEX in place of Forms, AOF, ADF, etc.
This is going back full circle to my opening statements. APEX is well alive in the EBS space. It’s no surprise actually. You can see that APEX has the attention of a lot of people in the EBS world. This is because we all realize that we need to develop applications and EBS extensions quickly. An added motivation is that we can reuse an organization’s existing skillset with a development tool that’s already paid for! The number of APEX sessions (over 25 sessions of all things APEX) is a great indication of this adoption. People want to know more and do more. Supported by a new revision of the EBS-APEX white paper published by Oracle’s APEX Product Manager David Peake a few days before the conference, it seems there is no better choice than using APEX extensively for all sorts of mission-critical applications for your organization.
We had a great time sharing our knowledge and experiences with all the attendees at Collaborate once again this year. It sure is the greatest place to gather information for people and organizations involved in the world of Oracle applications like EBS. Insum will be again participating next year to another Collaborate edition at a familiar setting: the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Once again it will be a pleasure to meet old friends and create new ones at this annual event!
Christopher Jackson – Director of Business Development
I am a relative newcomer to Collaborate, with this being only my second time in attendance. Even so, I was able to observe significant changes from last year to this one:
There is clearly a steadily increasing enthusiasm for APEX and the potential that it represents for organizations. A prime example: David Peake of Oracle led an APEX workshop session with almost 100 people in attendance – the majority of whom were new to APEX. This speaks volumes about APEX’s increasing visibility and attractiveness in the market.
Additionally, this year we noticed that many of our booth visitors were already quite familiar with APEX to some degree. This was in contrast to last year, when a considerable percentage of attendees had only a tangential familiarity. Attendees came to us looking for guidance, expertise, or help with a project. Sometimes they came just to say “thank you” for help that Insum had given them in the past to give a boost to their APEX. That was nice to hear.
Not surprisingly, an important motivator for many of the people we spoke with at the sessions and at the booth was the desire to extend Oracle ERPs with a cost-efficient option. Of course, APEX presents just such a solution, and with Insum being at the vanguard of the trend, attendees naturally gravitated towards us to learn more.
One very positive experience was the high level of attendance of the sessions led by our Insum team. The notoriety, expertise, and charisma of our presenters energized people to embrace Oracle APEX as a transformative element in their organization. Many of the session attendees then subsequently stopped by the Insum booth. They were keen to learn more about how to bring about this cultural change in their department or enterprise.
Co-Presenting with Clients
Another very positive experience was that of co-presenting with clients. The peer-to-peer aspect of these presentations was attractive. Attendees were keen on learning more from people whose organizations had been in situations similar to their own. They also wanted to know how presenters solved their challenges using APEX with the help of Insum.
As in the past, there was clearly a strong sense of community at the conference. We were able to see some of our partners, support their events, and reinforce the many reasons we are working together. It was a great feeling to be part of such a collegial, positive environment.
Finally, for me it was a true point of pride to be part of the Insum team at Collaborate 19. It is especially at events such as these that one realizes the degree to which Insum has earned respect in the industry. This has come through focused determination, unrivalled expertise, and a veritable passion for what APEX can accomplish for organizations.
Want to learn more about how Insum can help you with your EBS or Discoverer applications? Contact us!