2015 LAOTN – Machu Picchu – OMG I Nearly killed Tim

Like I said, I love travel and to appreciate it, you have to make the most of the opportunities.

When I was considering the LAOTN tours, Tim Hall asked me if I was up for a trip to Machu Picchu. A few years back others had made the trip and I was envious, Ronald and Cindy Bradford had been and Tim's Dad, Graham Wood after another tour, so we had help with ideas.

I (more...)

2015 LAOTN – Summary – Was it Worth it?

I am often asked if the ACE tours are worthwhile? Are the numbers high enough? Is it good value for money?

Don’t judge them as individual events, think about what they are trying to achieve and look back at them.

I have done 4 Latin America tours and I can only say, yes they are worthwhile.
The numbers have increased over the years and the level of local participation is what I really like, more (more...)


Lima was the last stop, and what although Tim and I who had been at every event on the tour were tired, we were spurred on my the knowledge we had two days to explore Machu Picchu and we had had a lovely lazy day to re-energise ourselves before the conference.

The event was in a Hotel with a great setup, and the events company were excellent and really well organised. The rooms were actually (more...)


Chile was our penultimate stop and the only conference that didn't have translators, which I think is a pity because it does affect attendance in some of the sessions, although the delegates were possibly more animated. 

I had been to Chile before and it was the same university hosting the event. I had my biggest crowds and as an applications speaker having a full room is fantastic. 

The sponsors of the event were (more...)


Brazil, Brasil, however you spell it, I loved it, it was the warmest temperature of the tour legs.

The GUOB event was pretty good as well. Oracle was joined by David Peake and I also had the chance to speak with the local Oracle Cloud Customer Success Manager about how the local market is reacting and adopting cloud. This is great feedback for me and what I am looking for from talking to others.

I (more...)


Again AROUG was a 2 day event with me only doing the first day.

And again it was held in a university but with most of the delegates being professionals.

We were joined by Kerry Osborne from the ACE Program, Dana Singleterry and Bruno Borges from Oracle and it was great to see some of the Uruguay speakers come across the river to support the event and a whole host of local speakers.

Cloud was very prevalent even (more...)


This is a wonderful user group with the most amazing hospitality.

The event was over two days in a local university. Day one was sessions and day two was workshops. 

No one wants an Apps workshop so I had the second day off, which I enjoyed. 

I did pop in to see a Q&A session with Tim Hall, Mike Dietrich and Ronald Bradford. If you can get an audience engaged Q&As are (more...)

2015 LAOTN –

A few weeks ago I said I was on the Latin America OTN Tour and now it is time to tell you all about it.

I did intend to blog as we went through the tour but I am always distracted by other things and trying to juggle the day job and UKOUG. However putting me to shame was my fellow traveller Tim Hall who appears to have done nothing else. If you have read all his (more...)

2015 LAOTN – Lazing About in Lima

By the time we arrived in Lima at 2am we were exhausted, not simply tired. It had been a long 12 days and we were running on empty. As we collected our luggage the crowd of 'official' taxi vendors stared on us and we eventually agreed to take a shuttle as Ronald was at a different hotel to Tim and I. 

As we left the mayhem to get in the shuttle we saw Enrique (more...)

2015 LAOTN – Wet & Cold Santiago

Tim and I arrived in Santiago early in morning along with Francisco and his son. Unfortunately one of Francisco's suitcases did not arrive and that caused a delay. He had hired a vehicle so gave us a lift to the hotel and once we settled in Tim and I went out to do the bus tour. I had done it before but it was great to revisit everything, problem was it was an open top (more...)

2015 LAOTN – A Tourist in Sao Paulo

I had been to Brazil before when I worked for Fujitsu and spent most of the time in the Japanese Quarter which is the 2nd biggest Japanese community outside of Tokyo.

When I told people I was looking for something to do in Sao Paulo everyone laughed at me. Go to Rio for the day was the best offer of help I got.

There was only Tim and I and we chose to go 10 (more...)

2015 LAOTN – First Time in Buenos Aires

On my last southern LAOTN tour we didn't go to Argentina, so this was a first for me, and a new pin for the map in my kitchen.

We caught the ferry over from Uruguay, although it was 3 hours the crossing is for across the River Plate not a sea and walked to the Hotel. Earlier that day a whale and been stranded in the harbour and was happily released, but I wish I had seen it.


2015 LAOTN – Fun in Montevideo

I arrived in Uruguay mid morning and was met by Daniel from the user group. I love Facebook, we first met 4 years ago on my last visit and although he doesn't have the best english it was as if it was yesterday. 

After a quick freshen up it was time to meet Ronald Bradford and his wife Cindy, it was great to catch up with Cindy who is expecting their first baby, I even went to their wedding.


2015 LAOTN – Making the Most of the Travel

I have learnt the hard way that it is worth putting a little effort into the travel plans to try and fit in experiencing the places we visit. As I mentioned in the travel post this year I was the 'baddie' and I am not sure Ronald Bradford will ever forgive me, and I have to agree that at 2am looking for a taxi in Lima I hated me too.

However I don't mind early (more...)

2015 LAOTN – Why Do I do This? Travel

I love travel, I love to visit new places, meet new people and experience new things. I love geology and love to experience it first hand. This all means I have to travel, and most of the time I don't mind it.

Interestingly when it goes wrong (which is often), it isn't normally the air travel itself and my posting on my 10 worst journeys are mainly on land.

All that said, my journey to the start (more...)

Going For Gold – Please Vote for Certus

Last year when I joined Certus I asked you to vote for them for the UKOUG partner awards, they were nominated for Cloud (Fusion) and Training. 

Certus won gold in both and well deserved, they have implemented more Cloud Applications than any other single partner in the UK, and deliver most of the HCM Training in EMEA for Oracle University, Oracle Alliance & Channels and independent training.

This year we are looking (more...)

Revealing a recent hand – Four ACEs

This is my second Oracle ACE Program blog today, the first is about Community Sharing v Community Leading, and this one is about a few people who have recently been awarded ACE Director.

In May I wrote a blog about the Self Appraisal process and about how I feel when asked to nominate or endorse nominations.

When I wrote that blog, I talked about a number of scenarios that I had real experience of. I (more...)

More Thoughts on The Oracle ACE Program

I am very passionate about the Oracle ACE program and have been very open about the opportunities it has opened for me. This is not a one way street, Oracle get a lot back, not just from unscripted advocacy but also from expert input through beta programs, initiatives and working with product management.

I also believe that membership of the ACE program should not be easy, it has to be valued by both sides. I (more...)

UKOUG Conferences – The Countdown has Begun

The planning for conferences starts really early, but there is a lot to do, and this year is no exception.

The papers have been judged and the agenda planned and now it has been launched. I know you will find something to interest you come December, but start your planning now.

To whet your appetite there are some agenda highlight videos on this conference overview page, and because I am conference lead for (more...)

Next Up Latin America (Again)

One of the wonderful advantages of the Oracle Ace Program is that at ACE Director level you can apply for funding to take part in speaking opportunities overseas. The best of these are the organised ACE Tours, were usergoups in a region arrange their events in a time frame that allows a group of ACE Directors to travel together and cover several events in one trip.

They are hard work, for the speakers who have (more...)