Why I created a blog

Its been four years since I first created this blog. It has remained true to Essbase and related information over those years. Hopefully it has answered questions and given you insight over those years. I will continue to provide my observations and comments on the ever changing world of EPM. Don't be surprised if the scope of the blog changes and brings in other Hyperion topics.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

KScope wrap up

Well after a few days of rest I have finally recuperated from KScope. If you missed the conference, you missed a lot. The conference for me started early Saturday morning where I joined about 80 other volunteers to refurbish a Boys and Girls club in long beach. Eager volunteers cleaned painted and set up a wireless computer network. The painting included, walls, doors, railings, pool tables, basketball courts and other various things. It only took a week to get all the paint off of me.

Sunday started off strong with the Oracle symposium. I’m not at liberty to speak about what was said there do to safe Harbor  and Oracle asking that we do not blog about it. I can say the lineup of superstar presenters from Oracle was well worthwhile. The roadmaps for Hyperion in general and in depth for Essbase, Smartview, HFM, and other products was informative. I have to say, I have been on the Smartview beta and have seen the enhancements to it and am impressed by them.  After the symposium, was a reception where I got to meet lots of attendees. Following that was dinner and work on the Monday midnight madness event. I think I got to bed at around 2:00 am.

Monday started off with an opening session where we were entertained by a series of reality show clips from the ODTUG board competing to see who would pick the location for the next Kscope conference. In the end Mike Riley won (I think it was fixed) and the new Marriott resort in San Antonio was selected. I think next year’s conference is intended to be more family friendly as the resort has a water park and other family type events. I’ve heard rumor of movie nights in the water. The opening also featured a Speaker Joey Asher on the topic “Even a geek can speak” talking about how to make presentations better. I came away from it with a couple of points I used to improve my presentations and one I now know never to use. Never, never, ever do a live tweet poll with a bunch of geeks.

After the opening session, it was time to get to work. For the last three years I have had presentations during the first and last sessions of the Kscope conference. I’m not sure why. This year I was the co-presenter on a session “introduction to Essbase Studio”.  It went well, and was followed by a session I did on Advanced Studio tips and tricks. I polled the audience and 90 percent or more had never used Essbase Studio. It meant I had to explain a lot more what I meant as I was describing the tips. I did not get through all of the tips I wanted to give, but the ones I covered were the most important and I think people got a lot of good information.

While I wanted to attend sessions in the afternoon, I ended up being scheduled to do a book signing. It was the weirdest experience having people wanting me to sign their Essbase Studio books. Early evening was spent updating some presentations for another presenter then it was off to the Hyperion Monday Night Madness event.  Yes it went from 10:00 pm to about 11:30 and we had about 150 people in the room. I would like to tank Ron Moore from MTG for sponsoring the event. The desserts were delectable it was a fun time. The SIG spent Sunday surveying the EPM attendees at the conference and so Monday night we did a Family Feud game. If you missed it, I can’t describe how fun it was. Let me just say after one question was answered, it took me 7 minutes to stop laughing. Yes someone timed me. It was an event not to be missed. I finally got to bed after that around 1:30 (see a trend starting?)

Tuesday, I started off the day with a session titled. “The exception to the rule in Essbase Design”. As I was presenting, I noticed Carol Crider from Oracle in the audience. I had never met her in person and she is someone I Idolize. She knows more about Essbase than anyone I know. It actually shook me up and I became a babbling idiot trying to present. If you did not make the presentation, I am doing it this Thursday (July 7th, 2011) as an interRel webcast. If you are interested in attending, contact Danielle White Dwhite@interrel.com to get connection info.

After this session, I was on a panel with the smartest from interRel answering different product questions. After a short break, it was yet another panel during lunch for heated discussions and opinions with other Oracle Ace Directors in the EPM/BI space. People enjoyed us battling out our positions about various questions.  After that I sat in on three of Edward Roske’s sessions. I knew he had not slept since Sunday and it was interesting to see him slowly melt down by the end of the third session. Even in his altered state, he presented some great info.  Tuesday night I skipped the interRel client event. I missed the hula dancers and fire jugglers to attend the Oracle Ace dinner. I met and talked with the cadre of Oracle Aces and Ace Directors who were presenting and attending the conference. I think this conference is only surpassed by Oracle Open world in the number of Aces and Directors who attend.

Wednesday was an “Off” day for me as I did not have any presentations . I attended sessions on a variety of topics. Two sessions that stood out were a panel session with Oracle Support helping to demystify how to get the most out of support and support answering questions. They were not technical questions, but more general questions on how to most effectively work with them. From the session, I was asked to email one of them to follow up on a problem I am having and am happy to say I’ve already gotten a response. It is not the answer yet, but a good beginning.  I think the best session for me of the week was a session from Steve Liebermensch (Steve forgive me if I butchered your name) from  Oracle on “Procedural calculations on ASO”. Steve assumed everyone in the room had heard about procedural calculations before and did not go over the basics but rather took the approach of showing how he optimized procedural calculations at a customer. Wednesday ended with the the closing night party on the Queen Mary. I actually wore a tux. You could call me a well dressed nerd. On the ship were too many things to do in the short amount of time we were there. The food was varied and good, there was a dueling piano bar, blackjack and poker for prizes, a band and what I went to. Don McMillian  and Engineer comedian who uses power point to convey his points. He had two shows with different material and I attended both. He was really funny, especially for the geeky crowd listening. The night ended with a special guest artist Young MC. A rapper. I’m not really into rap, so it was ok foe me.Following him was a  huge fireworks display and then the bus back to the hotel.

The final day of the conference, Thursday, I was again up early for sessions. I was coerced into going to a session on Groovy and I’m glad I did. For anyone who wants to write using the Java API but is intimidated, Groovy makes it easy. It takes and simplifies Java. Thanks to Joe Aultman for a great presentation. I then went to a session on HPCM and although it was not well attended, I got a lot out of it. My final presentation of the conference was a a co-presenter for Henry Robin from ConnocoPhilips. It was an interesting presentation of how they used LROs to add commentary to their  applications.  I was supposed to discuss other alternatives, but the audience was so enthralled by what Henry had to say, I didn’t get to say much.

With that the conference was ending. For some strange reason, some people wanted to take their picture with me. I guess they needed a new face for the dart board. I went back to my room, packed and headed home from one of the best conferences I’ve attended. While it was exhausting for me, I got a lot out of it and think others who attended did as well.  If you missed it, you missed a great event. Start planning now for San Antonio. As a matter af fact, if you would like to present, you can already submit your abstract at kscope12.com

I look forward to seeing you all there next year.