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HI there!  Long time, no post.  I know.  I’ve been to a few interesting conferences – one on neuroscience and a few on self-knowledge and improvement.  I’ve also been on a long-term assignment that has kept me local to Dallas.  Being able to drive to work vs. fly has been a real gift since I traveled 100% for over 20 years.  WOW!  Sleep in my own home!  What a concept!

I’ve liked it so much I’m turning a new page in my humble career path.  I’m looking for a job!  If you have followed me at all, you know I’m a great analyst of many types – financial, marketing, business in general.  I suck in disparate information and digest it into something that others can follow to their definition of success.

Speaking of success, I’m about to offer a course on it!


This will be a combination e-course that everyone can participate in along with Skype calls, conference calls and, if you are local to Dallas, some personal gatherings.  The first gathering will be THURSDAY, June 16th at 6pm.

The Fillmore Room at Unity of Dallas
6525 Forest Lane
Dallas, TX 75230

Here’s a general description of the beginning of the 28 day e-course:

Let go of the past and succeed at your next big thing!

What’s your next big thing? Better health?  Lose a few pounds? Find a new job?  Fast forward to your natural
success using a structured method and group support to live a life you love.

You can!
You will!
You know how to do what you want to do. Why aren’t you already doing it?


The fastest way to success is maintaining a consistent success mindset. That may also be your biggest challenge! When you achieve a consistent level of thinking and feeling successful, your actions will flow, contacts will be made and your optimal life will be yours.  Join this gathering to fast forward your life with the knowledge and support you need to maintain your success mindset until success is your new habit.


The group will meet four times in person and receive support every day for 28 days through email, conference calls and/or other means.  Participate as much as you are able or desire.

Come to the first class and decide whether this method is a good one for you.  The method draws on Universal laws, personal experiences, scientific research, and your individual insights reached through guided meditation.

It will be fun and fast!

I hope you can join me either in person on the Net!  Go to for additional information and to sign up for the e-course.


Drupal!  Who knew?  After learning Joomla and WordPress to a decently functional level, now I am charged with creating a Drupal website – and a big one, at that.  OK… yes, the geek in me says FUN!  The business side of me says… can I learn this one (CMS) faster?  Probably not as fast as I would like but it looks like it’s going to pretty fast.

Drupal 7 sounds like it will be a lot more user friendly than the current version.  In this case user means both developer and end user.

One of the most interesting points made in Jay Batson’s presentation was that Drupal is gaining traction in the large business areas due to its scalability.  Add to that information, the info from Tom McCracken about the speed of Drupal sites with the use of a couple of SEO and performance modules.  The combination of the information shows how strong the Drupal offering has already become and is continues to grow.

As many of my readers know, I’ve been on the leading edge of many trends.  Sometimes I’ve often been on the bleeding edge (the one where people are making markets and trying new stuff). Drupal is going to be big, big, bigger in the business realms than WordPress or Joomla.  Mark my blog! (…newer than “mark my word.”)

Hi there… long time, no post.  I know.  I’ve just arrived at, aka Open Camp!  This conference will concentrate on using CMS software – WordPress, Joomla, Drupal.  How fun!  It’s taking place in Addison, TX this weekend.

I might not be able to attend Oracle’s OpenWorld this year!  I’m still trying to work it all out with a new project I’m on but stay tuned.  Meanwhile, enjoy new knowledge about opensource CMS software. You know we will all end up using it somewhere, sometime!  I’m about to begin using Drupal for a church website!

Shelly Rice has been putting on business mixer events for 21 years. I attended Chocolate, Blues and Business when it was last in Dallas.  What a swinging event!  Now it’s coming back and I’m a vendor and leading discussion groups about business growth through excellent market definitions and planning.

It may not be the 43,000 people who attended Oracle OpenWorld last year but the thousand plus that will be roaming the Plano Convention Center with me on August 3rd will be looking for how they can grow their businesses through networking, strategic alliances and cost-reducing suppliers – all while eating chocolate and listening to the Blues!  How fun is THAT!

Yes, you can expect some blogging about this fun and fabulous event.

Wow!  It’s hard to believe that I haven’t made an entry since the last OpenWorld and here we are getting ready for the next one!

The last year has been a whirlwind.  I no longer live in New Mexico.  I now live in the vibrant and hopping Dallas metroplex.  Woohoo!  Dallas is so much fun!  There’s always something to do.  I’ve been to a bunch of Meet-Ups, networking events and local conferences in order to get connected again.

Dallas has an incredible number of Oracle customers so I’m looking forward to serving them with a 2010 OpenWorld report.  However, I have not yet been approved to attend!

OOW is already over?

Geez… it was the proverbial prepare, prepare, prepare and then ZIP!  it’s here and gone!  It’s like I’m having withdrawal symptoms from all the camaraderie and the information overload.

True, I’m a conference aficionado which is why I created Praxis Reports as part of my consulting practice.  Praxis Reports shares the great (and the not-so-great) experiences of going to these large conferences where so much knowledge is shared.  However, let’s remember that the knowledge is great to share but how you apply the knowledge to your business is where the rubber meets the road.  Let’s get busy and bring this economy back online by applying the knowledge we gathered to our businesses advantage!

Back to the conference experience… Where else but a conference can you see to the former movie star turned governor  like Arnold Schwarzenegger and, on the same stage, listen to James Gosling – the father of Java!  Then, follow those experiences by participating in educational sessions all leading to ending the experience with a party including legendary rock bands like Aerosmith and Three Dog Night! Whew!

A conference is ALWAYS an experience.  A Praxis Report about a conference is intended to provide those that were not able to attend with a flavor of what it was like so that they can decide whether or not to make the commitment and the investment to attend the next year.  A Praxis Report also provides those that were in attendance with some information they may have missed.  You don’t even have to pay for the OOW09  Praxis Report because it was sponsored by a great JD Edwards consultancy – GRT Business Solutions!  GRT Business Solutions is into the knowledge sharing and networking philosophies that I personally hold as a services professional.  Thank you, GRT!

I already know what my recommendation for Oracle OpenWorld will be for 2010 – attend!  For me, OOW seemed much, much smaller this year.  That can be a good thing for some people.  Even with its smaller size this year, some people told me they felt overwhelmed with 1900 educational sessions to choose from and (per Oracle) 37,000 attendees.

The Social Media networking, the live video streaming and the twittering were lots of fun but they just cannot replace the face to face meetings, the feeling of the mass of people all in the same room anticipating one of the keynotes or the lively discussions about what should be / could be the next Oracle investment.

If you want more information about what it was like from the people I talked to, what was said about JD Edwards and Primavera, read the upcoming Praxis Report.  It will be available on GRT Business Solutions website sometime this coming week (approximately Oct 21, 2009) and on the Praxis Reports website around the same time.  Let’s all thank GRT Business Solutions for another opportunity to share knowledge and expertise on JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, World and, now, Primavera! 

There was so much to Oracle OpenWorld that there will be no way to cover it all in one ~20 page report.  A lot of the information is still playing on Oracle OpenWorld Live, You Tube and other social media networks.  Have fun with all of it and enjoy your knowledge gathering!  Now, I’ve got to go write the report!  Talk to you all later!

Oracle takes the stage along with legendary band Aerosmith.

Oracle takes the stage along with legendary band Aerosmith.

YEAH!  Oracle OpenWorld Day 3 provided more information about the software of your choice and made the hardware announcements I’m sure you have read else and even messages from Larry Ellison and the Cali-for-nee-a (quoting the consistent mis-pronunciation) Governator Schwarzenegger.  To be honest, Schwarzenegger was personable, funny and effective.  He thanked the techie audience for all the advances in technology that have helped him in each of his careers.  He was a big audience hit.  You will be able to read more about the information gathered when the Praxis Conference Report is published on the GRT Business Solutions website next week.  (If you aren’t one of my regular readers, a Praxis Conference Report provides the flavor of a lot of the educational sessions.  You can then get to know whether you want more information and, if you do, you can contact either the originator of the information or GRT.)

Information overload was traded for sound overload when the techies went to Treasure Island to party and listen to the four big sounds: Three Dog Night, Roger Daltry, The Wailers… and, the biggest and, in my humble opinion the best, AEROSMITH!  Woohoo!  My ears are still ringing this morning as I write this.  Traci Douglas, my daughter, took the pictures.  Thanks, kid!  (OK… her camera is better than mine.  That’s normal, isn’t it?)

Singing, screaming and getting the masses to scream with him.

Singing, screaming and getting the masses to scream with him.

Famous Photos!

Hey!  Check out  my fellow bloggeers at OOW!  Sam (in the picture with me) works for CBS Interactive – which has ZDNet – one of the places you will find the Praxis Conference Report for Oracle OpenWorld in a week or so.  Enjoy!  Gustavo (who published the picture) is a fellow blogger!

The remnants of the typhoon hit San Francisco.  No doubt about that!  Horizontal rain, fallen trees, power outages all over the metroplex… but OpenWorld continued to deliver!

I arrived at Oracle OpenWorld in time for the morning keynote by Thomas Kurian and thought I would be smart and go directly to the InterContinental Hotel where the sessions I planned to attend were going to be held.  Oops!  No broadcast of the keynote there!  No breakfast either… not even a cup of conference coffee!  But, HEY!  NOT to worry!  I signed onto the live stream of the keynote and enjoyed tweeting with fellow attendees like @sfranklin1717, @passion4process (Clay Richardson) and @paulhamerman.  If I ever had a doubt about the value of social networking, all doubts are now erased.  I found out about the attendance, what announcements will be coming, some interesting events and gathered some qualified opinions from my fellow tweeters.

As mentioned before, Oracle is really using the Social Networking sites extensively at this conference and I feel they are doing a really great job – especially given the weather!  It’s almost like you can attend without attending but the face to face aspects of attendance just can be virtualized.  Sorry… let’s all remember that it is human energy that makes business tick.

I’ve met a lot of first time attendees this year and a lot of attendees that haven’t been here for a number of years.  The conference is decidedly smaller this year in terms of attendees – they are claiming 35K this year vs the 43K they touted in 2008.  If feels more like somewhere in the 20’s.  But, hey!  Even if it were as low as 20,000 people – that’s a LOT of people!  One of the Oracle presidents noted that OpenWorld brought SF 81K hotel nights this year and usually offers about $100MM in revenue.

All those people doing all those things can create quite a mess all by themselves.  Now add the remnants of a typhoon.  Gracious, what a day, but the intrepid OOW attendees pretty much took it in stride.  We all attended sessions.  We ate our lunches in the driving rain protected by the tents on Howard Street (and the tents did really well).  We got soaked and we continued on.

Green.  For the 2nd year, Oracle has dedicated a portion of the conference to being Green – even including a green market place with incredible mustards, chocolates and organic COFFEE!  Even the “plastic” style cutlery used for lunch is actually made from potatoes!  The staff person that brought me the cutlery for lunch told me that if I was still hungry, I could eat it!  Our conference backpacks included h2GO stainless steel bottles that we can constantly re-fill at plenty of water stations.  As a matter of fact, only water is served at lunch instead of the sugary caffeine normally served.  KUDOS Oracle!  I’m sure some of us are having caffeine withdrawals or are spending our expense accounts keeping up our addictions but the conference itself is as green as it can get it.

This entry is being made Wednesday morning, October 14th, because I totally admit to missing the parties last night.  Knowledge sharing and networking are why GRT Business Solutions and I are here, true, but after being soaked and cold every time I had to walk between buildings, I came back to the hotel earlier than usual and called it a day.  Opportunities were lost.  I totally agree.  Evidently I wasn’t the only one because one of the party promoters actually called me to say that the party was going on and asked if I was coming… Well, no.  I got warm and dry and caught up on some much needed sleep.

BUT!   Today, Wednesday is the big Appreciation Party.  I’ll let you know how THAT one is!

OK, the first day of OOW is about to dissolve into the vendor and group parties.  What did we learn?  Oracle is doing what they said they were going to do.  They are still acquiring other companies.  They are investing in existing applications, technology and, now, hardware. They are huge by design.  Remember how Phillips used to emphasize that the company had to be at a scale to change how technology is delivered?  They are achieving it.

But, why are we here?  So we can be informed and share the knowledge!  I haven’t checked out the reality of whether this is truly a Chinese proverb but I love and respect the thought. “When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others.”  What have you learned of value today?

Here’s a few bullets (like in the Praxis Report that will be published next week) (Yes, shameless plug to the JDE users and those thinking of improving their SCM.)

  • Upgrading to the newest versions of your chosen ERP helps to save costs in many ways – less support, more time on many levels, etc.  (GRT Business Solutions will love to hear that!  It’s their business!)
  • The challenges associated with upgrades are similar with all ERPs.
  • The greatest challenge in upgrading/implementing is still data.  Make it clean.  Make it consistent.
  • Information is the new currency of business.  Make it relevant not only to your business but within context of your Supply Chain and customer base.

The themes at THIS Oracle OpenWorld are no less subtle, but I feel they are being presented in a way that seems slightly different.  How? The adrenaline doesn’t seem to be as high.  There isn’t as much emphasis on “we will be doing what we say we will do” (future tense).  It has changed to “we have been doing what we said we would do” (present to past tense).  Wow… does this mean that the masses have begun to accept that Oracle’s vision to change the world of technology – how software is delivered, what it does for you and how it does it (my words, not theirs)?  I think it does.

What does this change mean to you?  Is this a good thing?  Is this how you see it or am I completely off base?  I’m looking for a dialog. Contribute!  Leave a comment!  Follow the discussion!  I find this all very philosophical when you view from the 50K foot level.  Do you?