A Man, A Plan, A Collaborative Period Close

Sometimes, I get to share something awesome.

A post about how Oracle Social Network can be used by Oracle ERP Cloud users happens to be something awesome. Let me explain.

Despite assumptions to the contrary, accounting is a very collaborative exercise in many enterprises. Ultan (@ultan) does a great job explaining why in his post “How to Chat Up an Accountant Safely: Social Networking in the Finance Department.”

If you read that post, you’ll see that honorary ‘Lab member, David Haimes (@dhaimes) is the nexus for this OSN+ERP Cloud feature. Check out his post, “Socializing the Finance Department” on how accountants can use OSN to streamline period close for more background.

Rather than rewrite what David and Ultan have already said, I’ll provide some awesome, at least IMO, backstory.

Back in 2012, when I was a WebCenter evangelist, David and I chatted about a brilliant idea he had to integrate OSN into Finance. WebCenter included OSN at the time, not sure if that is still true or not. If you read the above links, you’ll know what David’s idea was. If not, you should read them, or feel free to proceed with incomplete context.

Deep backstory, I’ve known David for more than a decade and worked with him for several years on E-Business Suite Financials way back in the day. Anthony (@anthonyslai) was with us then as well.

Anyway, I liked David’s idea and coordinated the resources he needed. I didn’t do much, just connected him with the right people within OSN and watched the magic happen.

As Ultan mentions, this is a user experience win. OSN does exactly what the users need, nothing more, in just the right context, i.e. during period close, ERP Cloud users can use OSN conversations to communicate, exchange information and get work done, all in a traceable, easy to consume stream of relevant information.

I like telling stories, and this is a success story, spawned from a phone call from David that I took at the San Francisco Airport Marriott while attending a product management training that was a complete waste of my time.

Maybe someday I’ll get to tell this story to a user. That’s always a hoot for me, humble beginnings and all.

So, here are some conceptual screenshots of what this looks like.



And in conclusion, I give you Hannibal and a victory cigar.


Image courtesy of Universal TV, fair use

Find the comments.




  1. Nice shout out, thanks Jake. The message there for me with David’s reach out is to never make assumptions about jobs and roles and users. Developers too are social and talk all the time… try this – 100K users, 10K projects and not a single sales rep involved… http://www.multilingualblog.com/transifex-a-language-developers-understand/

    Is it too late for a social networking startup just for accountants called “Checkbook” and to hit up some VCs in the Valley? Probably, we’d need a SnapCredit app now too or something…

  2. @Ultan: Niche networks are a thing now. FB and Twitter are too big and noisy, gonna be tough to sustain the niches though. Transitioning this lesson to enterprise is easy and sustainable, bonus.

  3. @jake good point. interesting trajectory with niche networks. Blogs followed that too – what remains is from the crazy days and still worth reading is the niche- or expert, special interest – stuff.

  4. Jake,

    This is a very late reply, but as I read this again I realized I had not responded to say you deserve more credit for this than you give yourself. It was a collaborative process, in a few minutes of chatting you instantly understood the thought and we developed it into something solid. Pitches, prototypes, design and development followed and we now have some amazing collaboration available in our cloud offerings.

  5. @David: Thanks man. It did go surprisingly well, and I do have to thank you for pulling me away from that training course 😉

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