16 October 2008

some notes from a user conference

On Tuesday I attended the Australian Oracle User Group conference on the Gold Coast. I was interested in the sessions on OracleUCM and the experience of other sites in implementing this solution.
There were two relevant case studies presented, but before that, the keynote was by Dylan Larson from Intel on virtualisation.

At one point I nearly reached MEGO (my eyes glazed over) because I'm not in the least bit familiar with chip technology and it got a teensy bit too technical. But on the whole, I managed to follow much of the presentation. The issues targeted by virtualisation were server sprawl, power & cooling requirements (where this often costs 1/2 as much as the hardware needing to be powered and cooled), ooperating costs and space crunch (or lack of space).

Anyway, back to the case studies... key messages
  • problems with lack of local knowledge and experience
  • government sites were very helpful for guidelines on record management
  • single trainer used for entire company - same person who works on service desk - this was cited as being a good thing
  • Posed the question that it might have been better (although more painful initially) to make a big change for staff, rather than try to do it incrementally
  • There was a false confidence in user acceptance - difficulties didn't come to light until network drives were made read-only
  • "the earlier technical staff brought in the better" - this did not happen until much later
  • Good to keep the focus on the business needs
  • Keep dialogue with vendor open
  • communicate every step
  • secure support past the end of the project
  • require developers to work on site with staff to develop knowledge in house
  • do not customise too much - take it out of the box if you can
  • users are not motivated or understand why metadata is important - (consider metadata checking be done centralyy)