What does the Fall of Saigon Tell us about IT & Leadership and what does it have to do with Rugby?


Like me you have probably seen this picture many times this week, as people mark 40 years since the Fall of Saigon.




I am not American, a history major or even old enough to have remembered this first hand (although I was 13 at the time and only interested in the Bay City Rollers, so not sure what that says about me), but this was a major event in history and something that should (more...)

Collaborate 2015 – Certus Presentations


I had 5 sessions accepted at Collaborate, the first was about User Groups and Communities and the other 4 were Certus presentations.

I did a presentation on AppAdvantage, an updated repeat of Oracle Open World presentation I did with Rick Beers, this time just on my own. It was a small audience so I was able to speak directly about their companies.

I did a presentation on 'DO Cloud Applications Stack Up?' which as (more...)

Collaborate 2015 – Networking


All conferences are about networking and it is always what scores highest on delegate feedback forms. Some of it is formal sessions like the welcome parties and others are amongst friends.

On Sunday I attended the overseas delegates lunch, and then both the OAUG and Quest receptions in the evening. At the Quest session it was great to catch up with John Schiff who is such a great supporter of UKOUG.

Monday I attended the (more...)

Collaborate 2015 – Motivational Speaker and is WIT like Art?


Eric Wahl is according to his website, a graffiti artist. He said he didn’t use his skills until well into his 30s when he was made redundant from a corporate job during the dot.com bust. 

He told his story whilst painting, painting a phenominal picture of Bono. He talked about us all being artists, although afraid to do anything about it. He asked the audience how many were artists, with only 1 (more...)

Collaborate 2015 – Quest Executive Forum


Every year Quest hold a very successful Executive Forum at Collaborate, and this year I wanted to attend to see how UKOUG could learn from them, we are always looking to increase our senior attendees and I wanted to learn what Quest do differently.

First invitations are sent to anyone with an executive job title already registered for the conference, which means that these executives, or their management team were attending anyway, There is quite good content (more...)

Collaborate 2015 – Happy Birthday to Quest & OAUG


OAUG are celebrating 25 years and Quest 20 years, both took time to party at Collaborate.


OAUG held their members reception in the Light nightclub, which has a cirque du soleil theme


















Quest had a phenomenal cake and champagne toast in the exhibition.

















        HAPPY BIRTHDAYS to them both

Well done to both, who continue, like IOUG and ourselves at UKOUG, along with all user groups to serve their members.

Return to main Collaborate post




Collaborate 2015 – Final Thoughts



Last year after Collaborate 2014, I titled my blog, A Rainbow of Emotions, and that could easily have been the same this year.

The other blogs in this series talk about the great things at Collaborate, here I am having a little moan about the things that could be better. I have included all in my feedback because if you don't give feedback your user group can't improve.

This year I had 5 papers selected (more...)

Collaborate 2015 – User Group Thoughts


There is not normally many IOUC official meetings at Collaborate as the 3 user groups hosting, IOUG, QUEST and OAUG are too busy to take part but they all try to include Usergroup leaders in invitations to their receptions.

This year however there was an international delegates lunch on the Sunday with a 100 or so guests and EOUC had a good representation, interestingly the biggest contingents came from Iceland.

This was followed by my (more...)

Collaborate 2015 – Very Varied Vegas


Collaborate 2015 was held last week, and as it is frequently, it was held in Vegas.

So much to say, so as is my norm I have broken it down to a series of shorter posts:

I was attending Collaborate with Certus-Solutions, my employer, but as always represent UKOUG, who did have (more...)

Collaborate 2015 – Keynotes


Collaborate had done really well with keynote lineups this year, although I struggled with understanding the competitive sponsor session from IBM. It was very well delivered and some great generic statements but it was direct competition to Oracle’s offerings.

Mark Sunday, who is Oracle CIO, is the ultimate Oracle user, we had him speak at UKOUG in 2011 and he was great then as well.

Mark Sunday talked about how having access to everything (more...)

Yes It’s Election Time; UKOUG Need You To Vote



Currently it seems everywhere you turn someone is giving you advice as to how to vote, well I am no exception. This is a personal plea for the UKOUG elections that opened today.

I am asking you to vote for Fiona Martin as Member Advocate Chair and Linda Barker as President.

Last year I asked you to return Fiona Martin and myself as member advocates. As these were new roles, and we wanted to ensure (more...)

Webinar on why HCM Cloud?


Cloud is not only a disruptive technology for existing Oracle customers but is making enterprise systems available to a much wider group of people.

I wrote about this recently in Oracle Scene , was previously interviewed by HR Aspects Magazine. "How can Cloud HCM Transform your Business?" and was discussing with senior executives in Oracle at Collaborate last week.


Listen to what I believe as Certus Solutions hold a free 30 minute webinar " (more...)

Be Careful What You Have Volunteered For


Straight after the Ireland conference I flew to Germany to visit my daughter, so my next event for the Benelux User Group was just a 4 hour train journey, no waiting around in an airport, which was two hours away anyway. 

The event for OBUG was in Eindhoven but first I had a favour to carry out for Alex Nuijten, who was to be my host for a few days.

Alex works for (more...)

Benelux User Group OBUG – Experience 2015 – 24th March


Experience 2015, was held at Evoluon which used to be a science museum owned by Phillips Electrical which practically owned Eindhoven, the town were it is located. The centre is no longer a museum but a great conference venue.




The exhibition was fantastic, Oracle were out in force and and Jeremy Ashley had bought over 6 people from the UX team, including Vlad Babu (@vladbabu), who had been drafted in for Budapest. (more...)

Certus-Solutions, Six Months In


Six months ago in September I joined Certus. They got ‘Cloud’ and had great ideas and success that I wanted to be part off.

I guess most of what I do comes under the title of enablement.

Get the Certus name more widely known, and yes I am speaking, blogging, tweeting and simply being known as working for Certus but it their success with customers that makes them stand out.

They retained, gold for UKOUG (more...)

OUG Ireland – My Home Conference


Favourite Conference in March was Ireland, this is my home conference, and this year we were back at Croke Park, a beautiful stadium that means so much to the Irish.

Faye Wood was the project manager and this is her last Ireland conference, and I want to say a big thank you to her, she is still working with the Irish community SIGS.

Roel Hartman
The evening before the event there was an ACE (more...)