5 Questions with OAUG President Alyssa Johnson

As the  Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) gears up for  COLLABORATE 17 in early April, the group’s new president, Alyssa Johnson, shared her goals and objectives for the OAUG in 2017, as well as the latest initiatives being planned for this year’s conference.

How is the advance of cloud technologies impacting OAUG members?

Cloud is going to be a process for our members. A lot of them are going to have a hybrid system for the foreseeable future and we are going to do our best to help them navigate that journey. We know that integration is going to be a key component. At COLLABORATE 17, we plan to have a lot of great content again focused on on-premise applications and cloud applications, and how to integrate those together for a seamless user experience.

In Oracle’s product announcements, there is a strong cloud-centric message, but Oracle has said that it will support both on-premise and cloud approaches to help customer make that migration over time. How does that resonate with members?

Our members want to understand how they can take advantage of not just cloud applications, but also how they can reduce the footprint of their own on-premise data center, for example, by moving Oracle E-Business Suite [EBS] to the cloud. They are thinking about the next steps.

Besides the cloud, what are the other issues that you seek to address during your tenure?

I think some of the other key themes that we are going to be talking about are the changing roles within the IT community as cloud applications become more prevalent; how cloud changes people’s roles within their companies and the other skills they need to learn.

Another theme is user experience. As our members have more options for applications, the user experience is key so having applications that are very easy to use is really important to our membership.

Security is another key element because of the new architecture. Our members want to understand what security means in this new environment and how they can best implement it. Even though we are an applications users group we include that as part of our member educational offerings because it is key to making sure that those applications fit the needs of the business.

Is there anything else that is different than in the past year?

When you look at industry trends, data visualization is going to be a big topic, as well as the Internet of Things, and how is that is going to play out for our members’ overall strategy.

The next big event for the OAUG is COLLABORATE 17. What do you have planned?

We have over 700 sessions scheduled for COLLABORATE 17. We are offering several Exploration Series on specific topics which we will explore in detail such as procure to pay. We also have something  called the Power Hour to facilitate roundtable discussions, for example, on topics such as how to leverage your E-Business Suite Release 12 solution. A lot of times, people upgrade and then stop, but it is really a journey. We want to help people discuss with peers the things that they have done to take advantage of the new features and functionality of EBS 12.