Day 2 & Day 3 (Oracle PaaS Community Forum)… Networking & Awards

Clearly (… as a number of people have quite rightly pointed out 🙂 ) I already failed and broke my promise to write a blog post every day of this week. But, let’s be real for a moment – I’ve, over the past 2 days, had the perfect opportunities to build my network within the Oracle PaaS community and I would never turn that down. Over the past 6 years (..almost..), the entirety of my career so far, I have learnt many things. However, the single most powerful piece of advice I’ve ever had is “Your network is key!”. It is true,  and so is the old saying:

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know!”

So anyway…. the past 2 days have been CRAZY. And, that is a crazy in a good way FYI. Super busy, lots of information to understand and process. Lots of new faces and names to remember and quite simply, just not enough sleep! I’m going to have to consult my notes for this blog post to jog my memory on who I’ve met and what I’ve learnt – but, that isn’t because the information was not interesting enough to remember, more so that so many topics have been discussed.

I simply cannot write about each new thing that I heave been exposed to but, as with my Day 1 post, I’ll pick a couple of the areas that really caught my attention and sparked some conversations. But first, there are 2 things I need to write about:

Oracle PaaS Partner Community Forum – Annual Awards

Each year at the PaaS Community Forum, Jurgen Kress (the conference and community chair) selects people or a group of people for awards based on their exceptional contribution to the PaaS community. Now, if you were already too eager to see what the below picture is, than you will have already guessed that we made it onto this prestigious list. Not once… but TWICE. (Well… it was actually Luis – the CTO of Capgemini’s Oracle Delivery unit within the UK) who won one of them and a team effort from all of the DU team members back in the UK for the other.

Luis was up first to collect his award for “Outstanding API Contribution 2018” and then then all Capgemini attendees collected an award for “Outstanding PaaS Contribution 2018” (see picture below.) A huge congratulations to Luis, the rest of our team and to all the other award winners for all the hard work that certainly goes into getting these awards.

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Oracle PaaS Partner Community Forum – Networking Event

A networking event was arranged for Tuesday evening for all conference attendees. We took a very pleasant walk from the conference venue through the streets of Budapest to a bar called “KIOSK”. A fantastic bar next to the river Danube which made for a very picturesque view. The evening was filled with drinks, food and networking. I met the guys from my “Jarvis Pizzeria” story in my second blog post and many other Oracle experts.

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Now, for my technology highlights from Day 2 & Day 3.

API Management (Delivered by Robert Wunderlich, Jakub Nesetril & APIMatic)

I’ve attended 2 sessions on the subject of APIs. The first was a focus on how API Management unlocks new revenue opportunities (Led by Robert Wunderlich and supported by Jakub Nesetril). The second, focused on Oracle API Platform Cloud Service (APIPCS) and the functionality that lies within. Again, led by Robert Wunderlich, however, this time, supported by APIMatic).

The sessions gave me a high level understanding of the vision of API Management and how we can use it with our clients, and a small glimpse into the future in this space. There was some best practices around the utilisation of producing API blueprints and storing in tools such as apiary so that  all team members (both front end and back end) can use this as a reference point in their development. The Oracle APIPCS session had focus on API plans and provisioning APIs for use by users/applications.

Chatbots and Mobile development (Delivered by Grant Ronald & Frank Nimphius)

Again, I attended 2 sessions on the subject of Oracle chatbots and development in the mobile space. The first was a focus on Natural Language Processing (Led by Grant Ronald) and the second was a “from zero to bot in under 60 minutes” (Led by Frank Nimphius).

Before I start on this, if you haven’t heard of chatbots, where have you been for the past year! I feel like it is almost all that anyone has seemed to talk about!! Whilst both of the sessions’ topics were effectively the same and showcased the same technology, the delivery of the sessions were very different and so, I feel it was worthwhile to attend both.

I was introduced to the capabilities of bots (instant apps, FAQs, UI components, resourcing bundles for language recognition and translation, etc), how we must implement them in such a way that the bot can understand the context of a simple string of text submitted by the user and the best implementation practices. Frank’s session built on this, where we witnessed him building a simple chat bot a matter of moments. He actually built a bot which accepted pizza orders…. HEY Jarvis Pizzeria – the next extension to your PCS offering? 🙂

Soaring in the Clouds (Oracle ACE Director team)

This demonstration was simply outstanding. The creativity of the Oracle ACE Director team, inclusion of so many cloud technologies & capabilities and the complexity of the technical architecture was mind blowing. Oracle JET,  Oracle Visual Builder Cloud Service (VBCS), Kafka, mongoDB, Oracle Database Cloud Service (DBCS), Kubernetes, Oracle Wercker, microservices, etc. – You name a technology and I’m pretty sure it will have been in there! This was certainly an example where a lot of the presentation went well over my head!


On top of this, I also got to meet up with the team at UiPath a platform for Robotics Process Automation (RPA) and something which I’ve been dabbling in for a couple of weeks now. It was great to chat with them and talk about the capabilities of the tool. I will, at some point, write up a full blog post on this tool and RPA based on my understanding so far and the things that I have learnt over the past month or so through trial and error. Like UiPath, I also had the chance to talk with Flexagon about their FlexDeploy tool which focuses on build, deployment and release automation. A very impressive piece of software with a HUGE amount of pre-built functionality and full extensibility.

The main content of the conference is now over … 😦 😦 😦 😦 . However, there are still 2 more fun filled days of hands-on workshops to get using the latest and greatest of the Oracle cloud offerings. More to come on that over the next couple of days, however, I am very excited to really get my hands on the product and begin my implementation journey!

Thank you for reading, and stay tuned to hear more about my journey to the cloud.

Amy xo

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Day 1 – Part 2 (Oracle PaaS Community Forum)… ACRONYMS, ACRONYMS & MORE ACRONYMS!!!!

As promised in my earlier blog post, I’m back!!! … I’ll try and keep this short and sweet as it is past 1am here in Budapest, however, I am keen to share my experiences with you from this afternoon and this evening (or should I say, yesterday afternoon/evening?).

I was actually a bit nervous going to the conference venue. I knew that there would be almost 200 people there, and without a doubt, all would be experts in their field and have pre-built relationships with one another… and then there was lonely me! In reality, this IS what happened, apart from the fact that everyone was so willing to welcome me into their community! It really was a great feeling to get chatting and networking with all of these Oracle PaaS experts.

Before I go on, I must highlight the word (if I didn’t already do it enough in my blog post title 🙂 )…ACRONYMS!!! Wow, there were a lot – I knew the meaning of many of them but I’m pretty sure I could have written a full dictionary!

The afternoon kicked off with a short welcome and introduction from Jurgen Kress (The conference chair!). He explained how the afternoon will be filled with presentations from a number of Oracle ACE members (AKA… Oracle gurus). We had 7 presentations this afternoon, each covering a variety of topics where my personal favorites were as follows (in no particular order):

The Jarvis Pizzeria Startup – (Richared Olrichs, Marc Kuijpers & Marcel Van de Glind).

Imagine this… Ordering a pizza using Oracle cloud capability. …Ok, don’t imagine it, this is really here! A group of 3 guys (I didn’t get chance to meet today) who were bored of traditional Oracle implementations of HCM (Human Capital Management), Finance, etc decided it was a great idea to start up a pizzeria and leverage Oracle technologies to make it work – I AGREE! Fantastic!

They explained a structured theory, whereby traditional technologies may make use of the the same route for a delivery driver to get from point A to point B without any input or consideration for what is actually happening on that route. However, they also explained an unstructured theory, whereby cloud technologies are capable of making decisions based on the input the process or activity is receiving from external sources. For example, if there is a traffic Jam ahead, use an alternative route, or likewise, for some roadworks perhaps? That is what these guys are doing (with a few references to IronMan 2 and “Jarvis” thrown in there 🙂 )

Oracle API Platform & Microservices Case Study at a UK Retailer (Capgemini’s very own, Luis Weir & Phil Wilkins)

I was relatively familiar with the content that Luis & Phil would present in this space, however, I was still blown away with the complexity and architectural mastermind that has gone into this positive customer story. Luis & Phil described the multi-channel, modern application utilizing Oracle JET for the user interface (UI), Oracle API Platform for exposing & securing & managing APIs, ACCS & MySQLCS for the service layer, OIC for horizontal integration (also utilizing Taleo), Oracle Identity Cloud Service (IDCS) for Single-Sign-On (SSO) via OAuth 2.0 and a SAML bridge to SailPoint.

WOW! – Now that is what I’m talking about, fully fledged integration between a number of products to deliver a great experience to our clients! … Now, I’m not saying that I know what all of that means but it is certainly the first step to write this down here in such a way I’ve convinced myself what I’m talking about!

Luis & Phil also covered of some of their key hints and tips to watch out for in the integration of these technologies – Noted for if ever I need them 🙂  – Ask me if you want to know, I’m all for engaging about these blog posts and creating positive conversation as a result.

Chatbots Best Practices and Design Patterns (Ruben Rodriguez & Capgemini NL’s Soham Dasgupta)

Ruben and Soham (who I had the opportunity to catch up with after this afternoon’s sessions for dinner) delivered a great presentation on their implementations of chatbots. They explained how they were able to implement this technology to enable consumers to request information, or, book an appointment without even having to speak to anyone in a number of languages!

Instead, a text “conversation” with a robot that can respond and arrange any requests that you may have. This really is the future…. we are living in a world of people that are less frequently picking up the phone and having a conversation with another person, ordering a taxi or our dinner straight from a mobile application, etc.

The most interesting part of this session, however, was when NOT to use a chatbot. It is really important not to overstep the mark with technologies. Most technically minded people could force any technology to do anything they want it to, but, in doing so, they would not conform with the purpose of the technology itself –  We should use each technology for the advantages that they provide.

Watch out for their book that is due to be published soon (Professional Oracle Mobile)!

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…Ok, they were my top 3, but I did certainly take an interest to the Blockchain session that was delivered by Robert van Molken. A very interesting concept and presentation with lots of detail (far greater than I can go into right now!).

After the sessions had concluded, we had the opportunity to do some brief networking and head out for dinner and a few drinks with my fellow Capgemini Colleagues and some new faces that I met at the conference! Overall, a great day, now time for some rest before tomorrow begins!

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Thank you for reading, and stay tuned to hear more about my journey to the cloud.

Amy xo

My Journey Begins….

I guess I should introduce myself… I’m Amy Grange, an Oracle Applications Consultant at Capgemini since July 2012. I’m not a very funny person, people usually laugh at me rather than with me (DOH!!), so, please, excuse all of my attempts to be funny in this blog post or any subsequent blog posts should you frequent this site.

I’m also not a natural writer, I never have been and quite frankly never will be, but, I hope that I can, in these blog posts, be honest about my experiences, sharing my highs and lows of my journey to cloud technologies (…and any other topics that appear to be relevant!).

As the title of this blog post suggests, I certainly fall into the novice category when we’re talking about cloud technologies, Oracle Cloud, Platform as a Service (PaaS). All that is about to change. Cloud technology is EVERYWHERE and it’s about time that I turn my hand away from traditional on premise implementations and take my journey to the cloud. (not the fluffy white things in the sky – or grey, if you are from Manchester, UK like myself 🙂 )

The Capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The willingness to learn is a choice! – Brian Herbert

My journey certainly does begin here… Yesterday I flew to Budapest, Hungary to attend the Oracle PaaS Community Forum conference that will be held this week. This is pretty much my first real exposure to PaaS and I simply cannot think of a better way to be introduced. The PaaS Community Forum is famous for attracting some of THE most knowledgeable Oracle PaaS consultants from around the world. It is a very sought after event with a history of over subscribing…. ok, I guess I’ve made the point that I feel SUPER privileged to be here!!!

I’m staying at the Continental Hotel Budapest, it is a very nice hotel in close proximity to bars, restaurants, shops, and most importantly, only a 5 minute walk to the conference! The history of this building dates back to the early 20th century, when the former Hungarian baths were build on site (One of the most important spas of “Pest” and later to those of “Budapest”).  (Thanks for the info Wikipedia 🙂 ) –  The architecture of the hotel is amazing with a grand front entrance and quirky interiors.

I started the day by visiting a local (to my hotel) coffee shop. “The London Coffee Society” – Yes, I know, it doesn’t shout out “I’M IN HUNGARY” to me either, neither did the sign on the window that read “I was born in Hackney!”. However, it was very nice and the employees were all lovely and spoke really good English! This is important as the Hungary Forint (HUF) currency is unusual to me and it is safe to say I don’t speak a word of Hungarian! 😦 – Google Translate is coming in very handy.

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The conference does not kick off until this afternoon but I will plan (…try…) to upload a post to this site each day of this week to tell the world what new things I’ve learnt – or heard, and not understood :). I’ll maybe get round to doing a short summary of this afternoon’s content this evening, but, don’t hold me to it!

If you have made it this far, thank you for reading, and stay tuned to hear more about my journey to the cloud.

Amy xo