The UK Oracle User Group has announced a new president, David Warburton-Broadhurst, who is planning to transform the community so it can hold more power when collaborating with Oracle on its future strategy.
Warburton-Broadhurst's appointment was long-awaited by the User Group, which lost its previous president Debra Lilley in August last year when she unexpectedly resigned.
Speaking exclusively to V3, Warburton-Broadhurst said: "The Oracle User Group has been in decline recently because its focus has been on the end user. The group tends to talk about very technical subjects but has lost visibility of the bigger picture."
"A business doesn't implement Oracle to talk about a database but for a bigger commercial purpose. I saw the opportunity to take on the presidency and transition the User Group to the modern day, so I'll be looking to attract individuals of my calibre to speak about why they implemented Oracle, the top reasons a chief executive stays awake at night, and how Oracle can resolve their problems."
Warburton-Broadhurst, who spends the day working as the chief information officer of vehicle tracking firm Masternaught, said it is important for the User Group to attract senior executives of businesses, as well as their end users, and discuss what matters to them.
"Then we can more easily collaborate with Oracle to influence their strategy because we are consulting with some of the more high profile members of the IT industry," he added. "I want the User Group to become one of the most sought-after reference points for Oracle."
Warburton-Broadhurst said that while he is president, the User Group would continue to do regular research and analysis of its community, possibly more frequently than it has done before.
"I am certainly planning a number of key surveys for the future, maybe one at least every quarter," he added.
Warburton-Broadhurst has 27 years' experience in working with Oracle's software portfolio.
"I first got my exposure to Oracle with its very early version of the Oracle database, Oracle 4, when I was at university studying a maths and computing course. Then I got exposure to Oracle Forms when I was in a development role for a local authority, around the time of the poll tax, and we had to put in systems in place to collect all the charges," he said.
"From there, I went to GEC Alsthom, a power plant group, where we implemented an early version of Oracle Financials. That was my first exposure to Oracle products that relate to its portfolio today. In my consulting career, which followed, I've implemented Oracle's ERP suite many times."
V3 quizzed Warburton-Broadhurst on what he thought of the usability of Oracle's software portfolio.
"The Fusion products are outstanding and very intuitive, particularly Fusion HR. The standard Oracle products, if they are Java-based, tend to feel a bit dated and clumpy. HTML screens tend to be better but the usability could be improved, but then I know Oracle is trying to address this," said Warburton-Broadhurst.
"Oracle is making their products easier to use, but then Oracle have a wide spectrum of products and it takes a while for the refresh to filter down."
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