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EPM Conversations

Author: Cameron, Celvin, and Tim

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Call it Enterprise Performance Management or Corporate Performance Management or whatever you will — we will bring the most interesting, thoughtful, and sometimes maybe a wee bit controversial personalities in our little world and simply talk. The conversations will be free ranging and open ended. We (Cameron, Celvin, and Tim) think you will find it interesting. We hope.
7 Episodes
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Hah!  EPM doesn’t get a lot of polymaths, does it.  Yet Mike is exactly one of those.A polymath is, “a person of great and varied learning” although Mike is too modest to agree with that description.  If you but listen to this conversation, you (and he) will see that it is a fair characterization.But wait, there’s moreIn addition to Yr. Obt. Svt., this conversation also has Natalie Delemar as our guest host and regular John Booth.  This varying cast of characters is what I hope is the (or at least a) future of EPM Conversations.  Tim, Celvin, John, and I are wonderful (ahem) hosts but there’s much, much, much more to EPM than us, cf. our guests and Natalie. I’ve known (at least I was at the same conference although as I really and truly worked 100 hours that week in addition to presenting and working a booth so if I did meet Mike I have no recollection of it) Mike since Kscope 2009 in Carmel.What I didn’t know was how much Mike has done:  Atari 600xl owner, COMPUTE! magazine subscriber,   English school teacher, roofing product computer operator/developer, operations management, Hyperion course writer, Essbase consultant, Planning consultant, Essbase PM, Big 4 consultant, startup analytics evangelist, Big 4 (but a different one) leader, and I’m sure a few more roles I’ve missed.  What is crucial to understand and what is central to what Mike does and cares about is making sense of data, i.e. analytics.  Hear the conversation Start - 2:55 Introduction 02:55 - 14:56 How Mike Started with Analytics and EPM14:56 - 25:41 EPM vs Analytics25:41 - 28:05 Adoption of Tools in Different Organizational Functions28:05 - 36:04 Tools That Can Merge Financial and Operational Datasets36:04 - 43:44 What EPM Technologists Should Know About Analytics43:44 - 53:30 The Medium Term Future of Analytics53:30 - End Outroduction We hope you like the episode as much as we do.  If you do enjoy it, please give us a good rating on the provider of your choice as it both bathes our ever-needy egos and also – and rather more importantly – allows listeners to more easily find us.Join us, won’t you?
Different? You want different? Music? Humor? Freestyle Rapping? Maybe something related to EPM?Maybe.  Actually, yes, quite a bit really.  You read that right: EPM Conversations has a number of firsts in this podcast:A conversation with the artist and performer Chris Turner.A freestyle rap about EPM. Really. We have the best and simultaneously the only rap on this subject extant. I look forward to others contributing to this genre. And then a rap battle. It’s the obvious move.A podcast where your hosts are largely unable to form coherent sentences or at least keep up with the guest. We tried but we’re not that facile with language as you’ll hear when Chris covers EPM in all of its glory as well as the episode itself.A note before we get into the content of this conversation: if you are of a timid and retiring nature, easily offended at adult language and commentary, then I fear this isn’t for you.   This is absolutely a case of letting one’s work speak for itself. Check out his YouTube channel as a first stop.And yes, he’s English. Do yourself a favor and watch the rap-battle-that-I-hope-will-one-day-come-to-EPM-may-that-day-be-soon between Chris and Thomas Toles. Poor Canadians – they’re even practically British but that doesn’t help them much. Funny stuff, especially the bit at the end that drives home what makes the Special Relationship well, special.Done? Something else, eh? How much time did you not do your job? Guilty as charged I imagine. That’s what art does – and wordplay and music are most definitely art.  After that came the reason you listen to EPM Conversations – a conversation with all of your hosts and Chris. Chris has a very different take on data and how he crafts his product. Yes, quite outside of the typical EPM topic but there is that grain of what we do in what he does. Look for more of this in future episodes.  Oh sure, don't listen to the podcast -- we do in fact have the audio as part of the episode.Regardless, if you want to watch just Chris, click right here.We hope you like the episode as much as we do.  If you do enjoy it, please give us a good rating on the provider of your choice as it both bathes our ever-needy egos and also – and rather more importantly – allows listeners to more easily find us. Join us, won’t you?
What could be better than the Three EPM Conversations Cohosts?What whole number is greater than three?  Four, totes obvs.  And here we are, with Yr. Obt. Svt., Celvin Kattookaran, Tim German, and now John Booth.John and I did the very first EPM-in-the-cloud presentation at Kscope11:  EPM 11.1.2.something-or-other running on AWS.  John did all of the heavy lifting and I did…something.  No matter, he still talks to me as you will gather below if you but listen.John has been a writer in the Developing Essbase Applications books, is an ACE Director alumni, a contributor to the late and lamented Essbase Network54 message board, a frequent conference presenter, and always has a provocative and interesting viewpoint on the state of the industry, the value of performance management applications, and where on earth the Earth is heading.  Heady stuff, no?That’s quite an introduction and one that is well deserved.  I am very happy to share that John will be a regular cohost on EPM Conversations.With that, this episode’s précis:Start - 8:10 Introductions8:10 - 11:00 Running Hyperion on Lesser-Used Operating Systems11:00 - 13:15 Whatever Happened To Exalytics?13:15 - 22:55 Specialization in Infrastructure22:55 - 25:20 Is Software Supporting Fewer Operating Systems A Problem?25:20 - 28:00 Is On-Premises Software Going Away Altogether?28:00 - 31:00 Whatever Happened To Infrastructure Consultants?31:00 - 37:15 Industry Diversification in Tools (especially Integration)37:15 - 45:00 Does Toolset Diversification Call for More Technically Adept Practitioners?45:00 - 50:45 Doing Integration with “Real” Programming Languages50:45 - 52:30 John’s Future in EPM Consulting52:30 - 63:30 How are People Forming Professional Connections in COVID Times?63:30 - 66:45 Virtual Conference Structures66:45 - End Outroduction Yes, long, but lots of goodness are contained within and it will give you a taste of the ever-evolving aka we-cannot-make-up-our-minds direction of the podcast.We hope you like the episode as much as we do.  If you do enjoy it, please give us a good rating on the provider of your choice as it both bathes our ever-needy egos and also – and rather more importantly – allows listeners to more easily find us. Join us, won’t you?
One out of three ain’t badWe were lucky enough to land Abhi Nerurkar, one of the three co-founders of EPMware, a software company specializing in Master Data Management (MDM) and Workflow, for our very first vendor conversation.A note: we didn’t speak with Abhi’s partners, Tony Kiratsous and Deven Shah, as we’re simply not set up/not experienced enough to manage a six way conversation. We have to work on that but I hope that Deven and Tony understand/are deeply appreciative of not being bored to death/annoyed beyond endurance by the chaos I fear such a large group would produce.Just what don’t you know about software development? Well, if you’re like us: everything.We – you, me, Tim, Celvin, The Man in the Moon (probably not) == we all use software as part of our job, else why listen to this podcast? But do we know anything about writing, managing, and selling-software on a commercial basis? Unless you work for a vendor and are at the coal face at that, I can answer this one for you: no, not at all. It’s fascinating. Listen for the term “wireframe” and be as astonished as Abhi was when he first came across the term. It isn’t what you think.More than just software: peopleA market opportunity, a gamble, and a result: empty words without the human context behind it. I don’t think any of us (Celvin, Tim, or Yr. Obt. Svt.) have the guts (well, at least I don’t) to make that leap. Abhi and his partners did. It’s a fascinating and informative conversation.Join us, won’t you?
Second part of Episode 2.Here is the agenda00:45 - 06:40 The Changing State of the EPM (Vendor) Market06:40 - 17:20 What’s the technical profile of people getting into the various EPM tools now? Developers, Administrators and Groovy.17:20 - 22:32 Why has Oracle incorporated so much customizability via Groovy? History of Groovy in Oracle EPM.22:32 - 34:25 How long will Essbase stay the Engine for Oracle Planning?34:25 - 40:26 ODTUG Board Experience and Growth from the Professional Community40:26 - End Summary / Conclusion
Intro and outroFor once your author aka Yr. Obt. Svt. is keeping it short and sweet. Enjoy it, as its brevity may be akin to Halley’s Comet and happen again in 2061.Natalie Delemar, Essbase Lady, Madame President (emerita) of ODTUG, dynamic personality, and friend to all of us in the EPM space (but especially to me), is our guest. There was so much history, so much interest, so much conversation that we simply couldn’t do it all in one episode. Also, one wonders if a two hour podcast would actually be listened to.There’s a lot of good content, hence the splitting of into two episodes. Natalie has strong opinions and a forthright way of putting them in the best of all possible ways. Would you want a simpering milquetoast of a guest? Why? Natalie is funny, warm, and kind – all of that comes through in the podcast. Please join us in welcoming her.Here’s the agenda:0:00 – 5:20 – preamble, how we all met5:20 – 8:25 – drive and why Natalie Does What She Does8:25 – 14:40 – WIT and advice to women in tech, being an African American woman in tech, mentorship, and the importance of a professional network14:40 – 16:30 – Advice on career progression16:30 – 22:10 – Working for Big Four firms22:10 – 26:50 – Advice for people who want to get involved in community without employer incentives26:50 – 28:55 – Relationships between boutique firms and the Big Four and where technical work actually gets done28:55 – 36:10 – Changes in the consulting market recently: layoffs, mergers, and new software vendors36:10 – 39:25 – Selling the value of EPM, especially on “insight”39:25 – End – Predictive analytics and adoption in different areas of business and reluctance in Finance/FP&AJoin us, won’t you?
IntroductionWe (Tim, Celvin, and Yr. Obt. Svt.) are thrilled to announce our new endeavor:  EPM Conversations.  If you’ve made it to this page you are about to experience the joy that is the three of us – and many more of our fellows in the EPM/CPM world.WhatWhat is EPM Conversations?  It’s a forum for you to hear your peers as they discuss why, what, and how they exist and thrive in our little corner of the software world.   You will hear opinion, advocacy, a fair amount of skepticism when it’s deserved, and always a keen curiosity.  What you will not hear is any negativity from the interviewers or the interviewees.  This isn’t gotcha journalism but a collegial place to share ideas.  NB – every guest has final say over content to preclude personal embarrassment/potential unemployment/likely lawsuits.   You are not going to hear one of us (Tim and I personally think this will be Celvin and we will do our utmost to dissuade him from reading Groovy or VB.NET or MDX aloud) go on and on about detailed code and (beyond the basics) techniques but we will always cover the considerations, approaches, and philosophy that make us who we are in the EPM world.WhoWho will you hear?  People just like you:  customers, consultants, software companies, and even people who just might drive you in a new professional direction (never fear, this is not NSFW and definitely all about W).  We currently have 12 guests who were foolish gracious enough to agree to be our guests.WhyWhy will you listen to EPM Conversations?  You’ll listen and care because we’re going to bring the human – the connection, really –  that a blog or a book or an article can never really convey.  Think about why technical conferences are so valuable:  yes, of course, technical content is key but so are the people you meet, people that you’d never even hear of within your formal job.  EPM Conversations will bring home to you the person behind the name, the presentations, the message boards. WhenWhen will you hear new podcasts?  Look for new content every three weeks or so. WhereWell, right here.  We’re also on Apple Podcasts and Google Play.Join us, won’t you?
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