Engineering Confidence Index Results now live

Matchtech, an affiliate company of Provanis has recently undertaken a comprehensive survey of the perceptions, attitudes and ambitions of the UK’s engineering professionals. The Matchtech Confidence Index results and report are now live, please click here to view the full details.

In the 2014 Confidence Index, engineers have reported a year of change in 2014 and highlighted there will be an increased number of opportunities in 2015.

The need to encourage more STEM graduates to look afresh at careers in UK engineering, coupled with enabling more engineers to transfer their skills to different sectors, will be key to maintaining the growth and recovery we are seeing across the industry.

The 2014 Confidence Index report summarises the views of more than 3,500 UK engineers as they look back over a 12-month period which has seen the economic recovery gather pace, unemployment continue to fall and living costs continue to rise.

Engineering remains one of the UK’s core industries, and the huge investment currently being made in transport and energy infrastructure, coupled with a revival of the construction and manufacturing industries, means the skills of engineers will continue to be in high demand. Conversely, while this will boost the UK economy, it will also add further pressure to the skills shortage.

In 2014 we have seen a ‘broad brush’ approach to dealing with the issue of skills shortages, with engineering firms increasingly looking to hire staff from other sectors, and a renewed focus on apprenticeships and vocational training. Employers are also looking to international candidates when home grown talent is not available.

The age profile of the UK engineering sector is highlighted in this report as the greatest challenge facing industry. As the workforce ages and retires, the need to supply a pipeline of talent, to encourage more STEM graduates, to promote apprenticeships and vocational training, and signpost routes into engineering careers is vital in meeting demand.

The Confidence Index also highlights a willingness of the workforce to transfer skills to different sectors of the industry and move geographically. Today’s engineers are more flexible and aware of overseas opportunities and motivated by more than simple financial gain. This should indicate to employers the steps they need to take in order to attract and retain talent. Engineers want fresh challenges and stimulating jobs, but they also want to have a better quality of life and to feel their careers are progressing positively.

With the UK economy at stake, engineers expect the Government elected in 2015 to continue to recognise the importance of the engineering industry by supporting efforts to rebalance the economy, and promoting training and STEM education. They want to see a collective industry and political movement to build solid foundations for the future success of engineering.

While engineers are focused on playing their role in the on-going recovery of their industry, they are not willing to be taken for granted. This is an industry which is increasingly aware of its commercial, political and personal power.

The Confidence Index report provides the ‘voice of the engineer’ and the perceptions they hold. It is now down to the stakeholders who shape industry to listen and respond.

To view the results, report, accompanying interviews and articles please click here >>.

Business Analytics Summit Review

It’s time business Executives realised this is the year to get your analytics in order, or be left behind business development. You can be sure your competition are looking into it, or are already using analytics, so can you afford not to? Decisions should be data driven – You have a hunch? That’s not going to fly in 2014.

Today we attended the Business Analytics Summit 2014 in London. The event joined Oracle partners, Oracle customers and Oracle themselves together to explore the future of business analytics and the benefits to businesses. The day was spent listening and discussing the latest trends in leveraging and sourcing Big Data for business improvement. It was a chance to hear how other Oracle users have made the most of their Oracle investment.

You can follow tweets from the event using #BASummit.

Paul O’Riordan, Head of Business Analytics UK & Ireland, Oracle, kicked off the day with the proposition that 2014 is the ‘tipping point’ for businesses; now the technology is available to truly give value to Business Analytics. It can and will continue to transform businesses.

Harness my Data

Nick Millman, Managing Director Digital, Data & Analytics, Accenture then took the stage.  He started by expressing that Business Analytics shouldn’t be an afterthought, as it so often is when he first meets with clients. As you put in new business systems (ERP) and change processes Business Analytics should be considered from the very start of the projects. The value should be communicated at exec level within business.

Nick said by 2017 all analytical implementation will be using real time data. Now is the time for transformation. Data can come from ever-growing new sources, not just work forces but also through things like community crowd sourcing (He gave the example of Kaggle).

Data underpins all of these things. The challenge it to design and harness the data from the digital world. This can be achieved in three steps:

  • Data ownership – Does your business have a Chief Data Officer yet?
  • Analytical talent – There is a lack of specialist in the market

“@Accenture at #BASummit – There is a war for analytical talent. Do you grow in house or use a specialist solution provider?” @Provanis

  • Decision making culture – Is the business data driven? It should be!

“Hands up at #BASummit – how many of your business decision are #data driven? <10% raised hands!!! Time to start changing attitudes”. ‏@PippaGrayshon

Judge me on my results

Guest speaker, Sir Clive Woodward, then took the stage. He was there to give us a rundown of the DNA of a champion, adding in a few anecdotes along the way.

“Great teams are made of great individuals”

“An interesting parallel made by Sir Clive Woodward on Sports & Business – the underlying attributes of a true champion are talent and teach ability” Shefali Davda, Senior Consultant – Information Management & Analytics, Connectus

The DNA of a champion

The first thing Clive made clear was that talent comes first. You can’t make someone something they are not. You need a base of talent to build upon.

Woodward split down each of the levels needed to create a true champion:

Character Criteria Coaching
Talented Ability Skill
Student Teach ability* Sponge (not a rock)
Warrior Pressure T-Cup**
Champion Will Attitude


*Passion for your subject, is what sets people apart. Marginal gains, innovation, individual responsibility also important but these come second to passion. A sign of passion is the capture and sharing knowledge. Business parallels with sport there.

**T-Cup (Thinking Correctly Under Pressure). A warrior knows the right decision in an instant. A champion shouldn’t come across anything they haven’t planned for. They should, perhaps with the help of a team, understand what could happen to prevent success. Decision making, change thinking, opportunities, trust – all attributes of a warrior.

“Winners perform at their best when the pressure is at its greatest.”

What struck a cord with me was his comment that; having an obsession is a positive thing. Understanding the detail – the details of everything. Being obsessed with what it is you are doing, and with beating the competition, can turn you into a champion.

@CliveWoodward at #BASummit – Talent, learning, thinking and hard work – makes up the DNA of a champion #Obsession #Talent #TCup” @PippaGrayshon

Transform my Business Analytics

Rich Clayton, Vice President, Business Analytics Product Group, Oracle flew in from the US, to give a keynote at the event. Despite the very American references to baseball and farming in US, the crowd appreciated his enthusiasm for the difference Analytics can make to Business.

A few headiness from his presentation – You need for a clear strategy. Your solutions strength must be enduring – hardware and software together. Data is going to grow, so your IT decisions need to reflect growth. Your speed must be amazing to keep up. You need to be smarter than the competition – with predictive analytics.

“Proven $10.66 return on every $1 spent on analytics – @OracleAnalytics #BASummit@Provanis

Rich explained there is a strong tailwind of technology trends – Oracle thinks 50+% of customers moving analytics to cloud in 2014. 12% of executives feel that they understand the impact data will have on their organisations – this need to increase. He highlighted the implications of big data, pulling references from Film, Money Ball and Oracle’s performance this year in the USA Cup.

Clayton said that very soon, CMO’s will spend more on data than CIO’s. He also announced that on Friday they will be launching a cloud solution for Hyperion. Their little valentines present to their customers.

Case study – United Breaks Guitar

A customer received bad customer service when flying with United American, when he found his guitar had been broken. He created a video that went viral with over 3 million views. Following this the company’s stock went down by 10% within four days. This demonstrates the power customers now have and the need to integrate analytics to protect and improve your business.


Final thoughts

If you can get past the sales pitch Oracle was pushing today and get to the real crux of this issues, analytics can make a significant and positive contribution to any business. Find the right talent by utilising specialist services out there, such as Provanis – we know talented Oracle Business Analytics Professionals looking for their next challenge. Maybe your business transformation could be that challenge.  We also have a sister company Connectus who can supply BI resource on a wider range of projects (non-Oracle).

You’re move – get in touch to see how we can support your business and ensure you are future ready.

2013 Year in Review

2013 Year in Review

From all at Provanis, thank you for another great year! Here are a few of our own highlights:

Expanded – In April Provanis expanded its team taking on a number of new staff members. Meet the whole Provanis team here.

New Brand – In August Provanis refreshed its appearance with the launch of a new responsive website alongside a brand update.

Thank You – We are happy to have successfully matched 189 fantastic Independent Consultants to Oracle Applications projects globally, from Canada to Japan. As well as supporting the transition of 65 first time specialist contractors onto their first Project through us.

Events – Provanis attended events throughout the year, here are some of the headlines:

  • Mark Hurd’s OOW Keynote – Transforming businesses with Big Data and Analytics – Watch the Video.
  • Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2 – Read the Oracle Blog.
  • Oracle re-positioned their Fusion Applications offerings.
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) ‘Trend’ – 9 billion devices will rise to nearly 50 billion over the next few years, Is your business ready? Watch the Highlights.
  • Support Timelines – E-Business Suite Support Timelines (11.5.10 to 12.2). Support for 12.2 extended to 2021.
  • Historic Moment – Oracle Team USA’s dramatic victory in the America’s Cup. Watch the Video.


Acquisition – In September Provanis was acquired by Matchtech Group Plc. This has provided a chance to enhance current capabilities and expand our reach within the Oracle Applications sector.

Oracle Gets the Silver – In October Oracle Become the 2nd Largest Software Company in the World, with IBM now in third place. Read the Press Release.

Neale Provan, former Provanis Chief Executive Officer, retired from his post at the helm of Provanis in September. Neale co-founded Provanis with one of the leading ‘hands on’ Oracle luminaries – Dr Paul Parnis in 1997.

Provanis Moved – In November the team up-rooted from their Twickenham office, for the bright lights of Central London.

Global Growth – As our European presence continues to grow so too does our international offering. By December we were excited to be able to offer Consultants projects in more countries than ever before.

Our resolution for 2014? To eat less biscuits! And to give more back to the Oracle community through User Group volunteering.

What’s yours? Tweet us and let us know @Provanis.


What’s in store for 2034? We keep our eyes on Tom Cheesewright, Applied Futurist, who offers some interesting insight into developing technologies and emerging trends for the next 20 years.