Last month, delegates from across the Oracle community met up in Vegas for Oracle CloudWorld 2022. It was a bit of a landmark occasion as it was Oracle’s first major in-person event since the pandemic. I’ve attended a lot of virtual events over the past 3 years but there is no substitute for “getting in the room”. Community is a great word, and there was a genuine sense of togetherness among delegates from Oracle, the channel, and the customer base. DWS showed up in force, together with representatives of our new parent company, LogiGear.
DWS at CloudWorld 2022
The name of the conference was CloudWorld but don’t let that fool you. There was a huge volume of valuable content and insights for all Oracle customers. Whether you were running Oracle Database, JavaOne, E-Business Suite or one of the many other tools offered, there was something for everyone. To give you some sense of the scale of the event, delegates could choose from a program that boasted over a thousand different sessions.
Leading up to the conference, there is always a lot of buzz around what Oracle leadership will be revealing for the year ahead. This year was no exception, with Oracle’s Larry Ellison (Founder & CTO), Safra Catz (CEO), and Steve Miranda (EVP Application Development) announced as keynote speakers.
Digital transformation the order of the conference
As you would expect, their keynotes were all unique. However, there was a common thread running through them – Digital Transformation. I’m not going to go into any great depth on the individual presentations, suffice to say Digital Transformation came up time and again throughout the week. For many organizations, the pandemic was a compelling enough event to accelerate digital initiatives – to bring ERP functionality to a geographically dispersed workforce.
Moving what would have traditionally been on-premises solutions to the cloud is nothing new. However, we have seen a noticeable shift of attitudes in favor of cloud migration. Some of the common drivers for cloud include security, agility, and scalability. However, recent events have highlighted just how important cloud solutions are for business continuity.
Everyone’s cloud journey will be different, if for no other reason than everyone’s idea of cloud is different. Completing this digital journey during a pandemic, where teams were forced to work remotely and with limited resources, caught the attention of many of us attending, as well as Oracle’s leadership.
Many of the sessions available throughout the week addressed elements of cloud migration, from road mapping to addressing specific challenges or how to resource effectively. Interestingly, one company was highlighted in multiple sessions throughout the week, with Steve Miranda calling it the most successful cloud transformation Oracle has witnessed to this point. Who is the company he is referring to? Heathrow Airport.
Heathrow implements their biggest business transformation in 75 years
Over the last two years Heathrow, with the help of their systems integration partner Capgemini, successfully implemented the largest business transformation in their 75-year history. They replaced their legacy on-premises eBusiness Suite R12, deployed over 15 years ago, with Oracle Fusion ERP and HCM Cloud. After an intensive 16-month program, the new systems went live in October 2021.
Caroline Knight, Heathrow’s CTO, recounted the transformation journey and shared what she thought were some of the most important takeaways. She referenced their focus on collaboration, agility, and business adoption (using an internal champion’s network) as the keys to their success. During her presentation, Caroline referenced an internal mantra: “we aren’t special”. Rather than a negative sentiment, this kept the project team focused on staying as close to a standardized, simplified implementation as possible; leveraging all the out-of-the-box efficiencies that Oracle Fusion Apps provide.
This approach yielded almost instant benefits as, just a few weeks after go-live, feedback from across the organization has been universally positive. User adoption and satisfaction levels went through the roof, with more employees using the system than ever before.
Having got off to such a great start, Heathrow are keen to maintain momentum and take advantage of the benefits of continuous innovation, delivery and adoption advocated by Oracle. They are keeping a focus on Oracle’s quarterly patching, adding new features, and testing each change with DWS Dimension SwifTest.
Heathrow’s incredible cloud transformation is just one example of how organizations have overcome unforeseen challenges over the last couple of years to achieve their digital goals. We’re incredibly proud to have contributed to Heathrow’s success and look forward to continued collaboration for years to come.
If you’re interested in discussing your cloud transformation journey or looking to learn how to manage your applications more effectively, we would love to share how we’ve helped Heathrow and many others.