It’s Who You KnowBy Blair Campbell
Teaching, partnering, and connecting online—plus, a different kind of icebreaker
What’s your favorite tool on the job? When you need to maintain complex environments with tens of databases and Oracle Automatic Storage Management instances running on Linux or Windows, you evaluate the possibility of administering all these products from one point. I like Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control for this—it’s robust, but still fast and easy to use.
Tell us about your experience with Oracle University. I’ve taken about 20 Oracle University courses in administration and programming, as well as special courses for Oracle E-Business Suite. It’s always good to listen to somebody who knows more about the topic than you do. I also used Oracle University classes to prepare for my OCP [Oracle Certified Professional] exams. Now I’m on the other side, teaching.
What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do more of? I hope that Oracle will continue to partner with small companies, even as it continues to expand. There are more and more small companies that want to use Oracle databases. They have great potential, and if Oracle gives them good support, they’ll remain devoted as they grow.
How did you get started in IT? I started building PCs from parts while I was studying engineering at university, and after graduating I got a job supporting GIS [geographic information systems] applications with Oracle databases. Since then I’ve run Oracle databases on five continents—including Antarctica, where I worked on the icebreaker Aurora Australis managing the data for a scientific expedition studying climate change.
Which new features in Oracle Database are you currently finding most valuable? The features most useful in my current position are Oracle Real Application Testing, to simulate large complex applications in performance testing environments; Oracle Active Data Guard, to move long-running reports off heavily loaded databases; and Oracle Recovery Manager Duplicate from Active Database, which makes it much easier to automate the refresh of large development databases.
What’s your favorite thing to do that doesn’t involve work? I enjoy adventure travel and have done a few expeditions to Antarctica and Mount Everest [see photo], but these days when I am not working I enjoy spending time with my son.
Which new Oracle applications are you currently finding most valuable? The new Oracle Hyperion Financial Close Management and Oracle Hyperion Disclosure Management modules are going to make a huge difference in the “last mile” of finance—that period when all the enterprise data is collected by the finance department. From that point the data is consolidated, reconciled, analyzed, put into GAAP formats, and reported to the public. These modules empower the finance department to accomplish these tasks more efficiently and accurately.
What technology has most changed your life? I’d have to say Hyperion. Of course, Hyperion has evolved as all technology has evolved. I started in 1987 using the DOS PC solution called Micro Control. It was soon eclipsed by Windows and client/server. Then Web-based solutions arrived, and now we’re moving into the cloud. But the goal is always the same: people collecting, sharing, and analyzing data.
How are you using social media in your work today? Besides my Twitter account, I use social networking to interact with other Hyperion users on the OAUG Hyperion SIG LinkedIn groups and Facebook page.
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