Introducing OTBI-E

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Today I was lucky enough to attend a pre-release workshop for OTBI-E (Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence for the Enterprise). The product is currently in controlled release but is going to be generally available very soon.

What is OTBI-E?

OTBI-E fills the gap between OTBI Standard (which is more operational in nature, reporting against the transactional database and for line managers to perform real-time BI) and the full OBIA (which is a fully-fledged data warehouse solution, delivered on-premises).

OTBI-E takes most of the power from the OBIA data warehouse solution and brings it to the cloud, allowing you to perform complex, strategic BI against your HCM and Talent Cloud apps, plus 3rd party apps (PeopleSoft, EBS, Siebel) and other external sources (i.e. public data). As it’s a DW solution you get full access to historical data to perform trend and predictive analysis (something which is apparently quite weak in some competing products).

Show me OTBI-E

There’s a video available here:

Which BI Solution is right for me?

The answer to this depends upon a number of factors, however here’s a quick decision tree to show some of the factors involved:

Decision Tree for Oracle HCM Cloud BI Solutions 1.0

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Oracle Learning Streams

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Five years ago the only training that we could get was the in-person, classroom kind. The only options were whether you went to a partner or Oracle University, and whether travelled to the trainer’s venue or they came to your office. This type of training had some drawbacks, in that you had to commit to a specific week or set of days – often a long time in advance – and you had to take the training all in one go. In the fast-changing world of project work it was often the case that the training couldn’t be organised at short enough notice, or by the time it came around it was no longer convenient to take the time away from the office.

There is now a solution to this … enter Oracle Learning Streams … Read the rest of this entry »

Becoming a Fusion HCM Implementation Specialist

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In my quest to become a rounded out and properly qualified Fusion / HCM Cloud consultant, I’ve been working my way through the certification exams. So far I’d completed these 7:

The final exam to check off was the Implementation Specialist exam. This was a little different to the others in that it is proctored, i.e. you have to book in to go to a testing centre and all the travel etc that entails.

The exam itself is tougher than the others, and if you fail there is a period of time before you can retake it. Therefore it made sense to make sure that I nailed it first time.

Handily, I’d just come off of the Fusion HCM workshop for partners which gave me a good grounding in the topics and all it took was a couple more nights of study using the materials from the workshop and some sample questions (there’s a 10 question study guide available from Oracle here).

I was very pleased to pass the exam, but it was close as there were some fairly niche questions. The ones that caught me were mostly about security, and not security within the application – which I knew pretty well – but with APM (Authorization Policy Manager) which I was less familiar with) and I had four questions on which business sub-processes are within each product family.

Of course, the questions given are most likely selected from a large bank so others taking the exam may see other questions instead.

Becoming a Fusion HCM Reporting Specialist

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At first reading, the wealth of reporting options available to Fusion customers is a little confusing. How do you know your OBI EE from your OTBI and your BIP from your OBIA? Hopefully this post will clear it up a little. Read the rest of this entry »

Cedar wins Silver – Fusion Partner of the Year 2014/15

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If you follow any number of those in the Partner community on LinkedIn you’ll have seen many of us asking that you vote for us in the UKOUG’s annual Partner of the Year competition. All of the partners are really grateful for your votes as winning an award selected by end-users carries significant prestige.

I’m delighted that the company which I now work for – Cedar Consulting – were awarded 2nd place (Silver) for Fusion Partner of the Year for 2014/2015. It’s a tight-fought and highly coveted category, Cedar were also thrilled to win Gold in the PeopleSoft Partner of the Year awards, further establishing our reputation as the go-to partner for Fusion/Taleo for all existing PeopleSoft customers.

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Simon Boscoe, proudly displaying both of Cedar’s awards

SimonWr (normal)Simon Wragg, Director at Cedar Consulting said, “We are honoured to receive both the Fusion and PeopleSoft Partner of the year awards amongst such a strong group of finalists. Cedar Consulting are delighted to be recognised as one of the leading partners within the UK Oracle User Group community. Winning these awards and knowing that so many votes were cast from Oracle customers is a real testament to the service we have provided over the last 12 months”  

We’d like to thank all of you who took the time to vote for us, we’re very grateful for your support.

Oracle recognizes Cedar Consulting for Expertise in Oracle HCM Cloud

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Oracle HCM Cloud Specialisation (white bkgnd - small)We are delighted to announce that Cedar Consulting has achieved OPN Specialized status for Oracle HCM Cloud.

To achieve this a number of our consultants had to pass a set of exams on Oracle HCM Cloud and as a business we had to have a certain amount of clients. This means that we can proudly display this logo on relevant collateral.

Graham, one of Cedar’s Directors, said:Graham (normal)

“This Specialized status, which follows extensive investment in our Oracle Cloud practice, further demonstrates Cedar Consulting’s commitment to Oracle HCM Cloud.  Having been implementing Oracle HR applications for 20 years we are very excited about the opportunities Oracle Cloud brings for ourselves and our clients”.

Will O’Brien, VP Alliances & Channels, Oracle UK & Ireland said:

“We are delighted at the effort and resources that Cedar Consulting are committing to the Oracle HCM Cloud. Having been the implementation partner for one of the earliest UK customer implementations Cedar are one of the foremost Oracle HCM Cloud consultancies and we look forward to working alongside them to make future client implementations a success.“

You can view the full press release here:

Oracle HCM Cloud Specialisation Press Release

What’s coming in Taleo 14B

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The release notes are out, and the other night I attended a webinar showing the highlights of the Taleo Enterprise Edition 14B release (provisionally due on November 24th). It was a really worthwhile hour and the presenter – who I believe was Fabrice De Carne – was very engaging. Here’s what caught my eye:

Talent Acquisition:

Evaluation Management

  • The ability to mark some questions as requiring responses (shown with a star) to ensure that you don’t receive empty questionnaires

uploadA star signifying a question that requires a response.

  • Reviewer recommendation configurability (instead of “recommend” or “do not recommend” you can add a comment field for reviewers to explain their decisions with fuller answers, or just have the comment field)
  • Expired request management (if the hiring manager misses the deadline to review the applicants the requests can be resent to ensure that their feedback is gathered)

Mobile Experience

  • New User Experience in the TAP Mobile App

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  • TAP Composer (allowing you to create tailored content within TAP, displaying UDFs within TAP, customise strings and labels etc)
  • Enhanced Candidate Compare (side-by-side comparison of candidates on pre-screening questions or competencies)

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  • Worklist parity for Android & iPhone


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Candidate Experience

  • Submission medium enhancements means that the system tracks which medium was used to apply for the role. This gives a better understanding of where the best candidates are coming from and also allows auto-progression rules for some candidates (i.e. internal candidates may not need to traverse as many stages in the application process)
  • Import file from Indeed (Indeed has been added to the CV upload page – LinkedIn already exists). This should lead to faster applications and fewer drop-outs where candidates have an Indeed profile.
  • Branding File Extension (The branding files have been split into separate pieces – one for html and one for javascript. This means that if it’s only the html that has been updated it doesn’t need to go through Oracle validation – saving both time and money.)
  • Cross-language Profile pre-population (previous applications in other languages can be used, before 14B the new application would need to be recreated from scratch)

Taleo Social Sourcing

  • TEE Integration (job feed, rerouting apply flow, runs using APIs now rather than scraping the screens)
  • Language improvements (allows you to post requisitions in multiple languages)
  • Internal Mobility (gives control over which requisitions are visible to certain populations, eg. some jobs may be external only. It also enables some details (eg. the name or contact details of the hiring manager name) to be hidden for some populations)


Showing/hiding selective information

  • Multi-brand site and email customisations (manage multiple TSS sites from within one instance)
  • Custom landing pages (create landing pages for certain locations or custom audiences)
  • Widgetization (add small parts of TSS to corporate site, intranet etc allowing you to recruit from multiple places and drive traffic back to TSS)

Performance Management:

  • Support for mid-year reviews
  • Talent Profile multi-language support (requested most often by EMEA customers)
  • Ditto for reporting as BI Publisher brings multi-language support
  • Outbound emails have a setting for email privacy/sensitivity at the notification level

Business Intelligence

  • Taleo is moving away from Business Objects and it’s time to embrace OBI EE and BI Publisher (the end of 2015 is end of mainstream support for Business Objects, so there’ll be no more updates or patches)
  • BI Publisher is now integrated with Recruiting (it has only been in Performance Management previously)
  • Administrative reporting (on foundational data like Smart Org)


  • Export job submission statuses
  • Export candidate search logs

The final note is that Oracle are properly moving the releases to a bi-annual update cycle next year (this year has 3 releases, 13C, 14A and 14B). 15A is expected to be due on 27th April 2015 and 15B on 19th October 2015.