Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Look Inside the IOUG

When I started this blog, I wanted to expose people to my thoughts on Oracle, data warehousing, and the user community. I also wanted to provide people an inside view on some of the activities that go on as we run the IOUG. So today that will be the focus, the running of the user group.

Last night we had our monthly IOUG Board conference call. On the calls we deal with strategic direction, operational matters and then general user community issues. We discuss SIGs and RUGs, Select magazine, the IOUG website, the Collaborate conference among other topics. So last night was much like any of the calls. We had people from all over the continent on the call. Attendance last night was almost complete, as we approach COLLABORATE 09 we have a lot to get done.

The call starts with a review of the recommendation from the IOUG Election Committee. The committee was mandated based on direction from the Board to provide us with a recommendation of the people they feel will best represent the membership as well as providing strategic direction. The candidates this year were awesome. Each of them would have been a great Board member. I will tell you later this week who they are, but I figure I should tell each “in person” before the blogasphere. So stay tuned.

We then discussed the Volunteer of the Year Award or the Chris Wooldridge Award. This goes to an outstanding volunteer who exhibits the values of the IOUG, is a VERY active volunteer, and some who has worked tirelessly over the past years. Again we had a number of great nominees that came in from the various Board members and of course, I can’t tell you who won. You will to come to the COLLABORATE 09 event and find out.

Finally we discussed the conference. The conference is our biggest activity of the year and drives much of the other offerings that we provide each year. Our focus was on getting the word out to everyone we know. I feel that the value of what you get the COLLABORATE 09 event will provide you with the knowledge to keep ahead of your peers and keep your job as you are asked to take on more work and you need to do it more efficiently. Now is the time to KNOW best practices, not just read about them. This is what I expect people will need to keep their jobs in the evermore competitive marketplace. This is what an in-person event like ours provides and we will work to get this message out. We also had a discussion around coffee at the conference, and let me tell you coffee is surprising not a small cost when you are serving 7,000 people. We discussing the hotels and I would encourage all members to stay at one of the conference hotels. It provides you with better access to the conference as well you helping the IOUG.

So another monthly call was done. We have many more items that we are working on the coming month, including more SIG news and the ever nearing COLLABORATE 09. I hope this little window into what we do as a Board helps you understand how the IOUG works on a daily basis.

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