Gerard's blog

Monday 03 October 2016

Sowing required before harvesting (October 2016)

As long as (IT-)vendors will excist, as long will User Groups be mandatory for those specific communities. Core values of User Groups are informing, connecting and supporting. The latter falls in the category: first sowing, than harvesting. This is true for the individual user, the internal user platform, the organisation as a whole, the (inter-)national chain the organisation is part of, Special Interest Groups as well as for the User Group.

For years there has and will be personnel turnover within the local Oracle organisation, mainly at the beginnen of a new fiscal year. Due to more intense messaging at events and changes in the market place the turnover seems to intensify. Organisations face the danger of lacking the right advise to maximise their investments. This notion has been discussed with several productlines within Oracle. Maximum cooperation has been promised to support balanced decisions in order to maximise investments. More than before the User Community itself must act to secure the independent role. Don’t hesitate to share past and recent experiences; discretion ensured.


More feedback of the user

Shortly before Oracle Open World 2016 started I received an invitation to join a focusgroup around Cloud products. The outreach to the Community for feedback and suggestions remained mainly unanswered. With or without input it as important enough to be given the opportunity to contribute any which way. The attendees of the session I attended were from user organisations, partners and an assembly of global User Group board members. Oracle embraced are a more user centric approach and started an initiative called “Guided Journey”. At first primarily focused on SaaS. However PaaS and IaaS will follow shortly after. Attendees of the focus group sessions will be given access to the current version in order to the usability more extensively. I’m reaching out to current Cloud users and those organisations that are in the acquistion stages to check out the new initiative and contribute on improvements for yourself as well as other, potential, organisations. Another success of sowing for many years in order to support the progressive course of OBUG in informing, connecting and supporting the User Community in a dynamic instead of static manner.

More than ever Oracle Open World 2016 showed User Groups are seen as the antenna to the market place. If a label was to be assigned it would be “trusted advisor”.

Physical and in many other ways it’s impossible to cover all represented product lines whit a small delegation. The reflection therefore will be restricted to main developments.



  • The tipping point has been reached where more (live) customers exceed the number of Oracle speakers
  • The SaaS suite closed ranks due to the availability of key SCM features and the addition of an e-commerce suite
  • The “chip to click stack” is closer than ever before. IaaS generation 2 must prove this promise soon
  • Data is the future. Oracle labels this as “ Adaptive Intelligence”. The analysis models are logica land Oracle keeps adding value, enabling customers to benefit for their businesses
  • Both Larry Ellison and Gretchen Alarcon demonstrated this feature with plausible use cases. How fast this functionality can be effectively used has yet to be disclosed



  • Demand tends to go for full (Cloud) Suites. The last several months shows this primarily for the HCM/ERP and or ERP/EPM areas
  • The driving force of the User Exerpience team has not been fully integrated with the rest of the conference
  • Moving most of the demo stations to central areas (eg. ERP, HCM, CX-central) has resulted in more space on the vendor showcase; thus creating more serenity/peace. A significant improvement.



  • With a still expanding productportfolio there’s no concern whether the underlying technology will be up to par. Oracle has built quit a track record there. The real concern is whether Oracle can deliver appealing, revenue improving, propositions.
  • IaaS must deliver ! Horizontal integration within the technology layers (Saas and PaaS) are desireable for organisations; such is clear. There’s no prediction yet on the desireability of vertical integration.
  • Customer relationship: it is a well known secret that organisations are far more forgiving for other vendors than Oracle


Evolution of the Community Portal

Consistency is key ! This is how we aim to approach all publications for informing, connecting and supporting the User Community. Progress resulted in the next visible change to the Community Portal: de news section on the homepage.

Consistency in the news section beholds simplification and limitation. Directly afterwards we will reconsider the news section in it’s entirety. Progress on the latter area will show itself in due course. Oracle Open World has been seized to obtain more relevant and exclusive content for multiple productlines. The editors are investing while aiming for the end of calendar year 2016 to harvest specifically for the Benelux User Community. Last but not least I want to address each and everyone who feels part for the Oracle User Community: please register at OBUG’s Community Portal and contribute to a lively and thriving Community. Doesn’t matter if you’re a member or not. Please contribute with content or suggestions to further improve the Community. Please share this appeal.

                                                                                                                                        Gerard Stam




Perceptive noted (July 2016)

“Promise is a promise” is a “truism”. Remarks, epxressions we sincerely use on a daily basis. Way too often initiatives fizzle out due to daily mayhem that surrounds and influences us. It’s just that OBUG’s board recently faced. Karl Raats disquisition on 20 April 2016 showed what a community is about and what the pitfalls are when a self acclaimed community fails to act as close-knit community. All the more remarkable is the international response to the community portal, most particular OBUG’s proposition: The Oracle Community.

Without prejudice to the brand (OBUG) and the proposition (The Oracle Community) small, effective changes have been made to the homepage. The tagline more explicitely than before shows that the brand OBUG encompasses the Benelux region and that there are and will be no plans to extend territory. The symbols that underline the core values (Connecting, Informing, Supporting) are postioned more prominently. The image of the homepage also has a more inviting character.

International interest was expressed by User Groups from Europe, Africa, Middle East and Northern America. A short version of OBUG’s rebranding adventure might get an uptake in other regions. A small regions can make a difference.


In the pipeline 

Now that the start up issues are dealt with and the member administration has been synchronised we are now able to put together a newsletter more appropiately as well as distribute it. The result is or will shortly become available. Focus can now shift to recruit contributions/contributors to the community, internally (OBUG) as well as externally (Oracle, Partners, collegue User Groups). By extending gradually, instead of pushing all levels, the community portal can grow to a source for exclusive information and possibly a meeting place. The latter (meeting place) will be explored with the SIG leaders. However you as concerned and interested person are cordially invited to contribute in any form of feedback, input, news article, blogs or any other form of input. Don’t hesitate but reach out to us.


                                                                                                                                            Gerard Stam




A dream come true (april 2016)

According to dictionaries a user group is an organization with member whom share a common goal. OBUG's therefore earns it's existence by and for it's members and shared interests for Oracle users. Connecting seems to be the most important element for existence and at the same the entity of the society. Use of resources is done from member fees, OBUG's board is very aware of that and are reluctant to spend resources. 

After, almost, nine years of precautionary principles and disappointment of providing optimal connection means via a community-portal the time had come to make a leap forward. Aspects of the audit carried out are taken to heart and turned into action. The new community portal you are exploring now is living prove that providing connection means be be supported optimal.  Like my collegue board members I am extremely please with the facilities/opportunities we can offer you as well pleased with the fact that we can all work in one system. Regrettable yet inevitable some parts, like the forum are not available yet. We are aware of this and aiming to complete all capabilities as soon as possible. First of all I hope you really like the community portal, can imagine the possibilities. Secondly I am excited who will be the first to contribute either in an individual or structural manner.

Communication is a two way street. What we ask of you is to reconnect and let us know your situation and interest. Our promise is to communicate in a more tailored way as of april 2016. We aim to please but need your help to succeed.


                                                                                                                                       Gerard Stam


Gerard  Stam
Gerard Stam

Besides being a partner, father, family member, friend and professional of and for the municipality of Rotterdam volunteer for the Oracle community, obug in particular. Over thirty years business, IT and Business4IT experience. I firmly believe that every organization that uses IT(services) should unite with co users. Benelux region based, I embody the role as board member from a global Oracle community perspective since 2008. I truly believe that standing still is going backwards. Therefore I have an open mind and don’t shy away from any discussion regarding change and/or progress. The role within obug is voluntary and mainly performed in personal time and without pay. To leverage the most from available time I try to balance contributions via several channels eg. Newsletters, blogs and/or personal meetings.

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