Friday, October 23, 2009

The IOUG at Oracle Open World 2009 – A Retrospective

A week has passed since I was last in San Francisco and I felt that now that I was over jetlag it would be a good time to look back at how the week went from mine and the user perspective.

The week for me has always been about networking and sharing and this week was no different. Although it looked like attendance was down, it was great to see the people who could make it plus the lines tended to be shorter. Which when you want to get to the corn dog at the Big Bash it was a good thing. The other advantage is that this was one year when I did not hear about people being unable to attend sessions due to room capacities. The people really do make this event. Below is a picture of me and a couple of IOUG Board members, Michelle Malcher and Todd Sheetz, at the IOUG booth at Open World. They along with the rest of the Board really did such a great job with the IOUG led programming that I am sure it helped everyone who attended one of out sessions.


The week as with most OpenWorld was about product direction and product understanding. I think as always Oracle presented their direction clearly for what they know and can talk about. The question of the finalization of the Sun acquisition was  handing like a big lead balloon over the entire event. I expect that when the EU finally allows this deal to go through, Oracle will have a strategy that will quickly integrate both businesses and communities together. The IOUG had some meeting with some folks from the various Sun communities and I feel that we have a number of synergies that will help both groups to benefit from the additional topics that become part of technology education.

I also met with a number of senior Oracle technology and Business Intelligence executives to see how they planned to focus their products in the next year and how the IOUG can help our users get ready for this technology. The focus for 2010 includes BI and Analytics and we are focused on providing the best Oracle BI event in conjunction with COLLABORATE10 event coming in April 2010 in Las Vegas. BTW, if you want to submit an abstract for COLLABORATE10, today is you last day….so click here to submit and abstract. The focus on driving down costs was clearly stated by all of the Oracle folks. The key is that through better more effective use of shared and open technology you can drive down costs. From a DW perspective the Exadata and Database Machine seems like the flavour of the day. I realize that this is some great technology and can provide some customers with some real performance, so don’t get me wrong about this, the other DW appliance manufacturers must be concerned. The latest version of the machine from Oracle and Sun show us where this company is going and how technology will make a difference. The speed of the basic machine along with Flash Memory provides the power not only for data warehousing but now for OLTP as well. Ray Roccaforte talked about how he expected this flash memory improvement to help DWing in the future, but for now it provides OLTP with the additional power of The Database Machine. I have to admit when I first discussed this machine with the VP in charge of this, I said I was surprised that Oracle had not gone after the OLTP market with this approach and now a year later here it is.

Lots of discussion around OBIEE and ODI/OWB, since this was my focus for the week and it was great to see how people are truly exploiting this technology. Considering how late Oracle arrived into the BI and DW tool game, they are making some solid moves into this domain and their tools can really provide the performance and results that companies are looking for.

Also met with some users involved with Z/Series Linux, a group that runs Oracle on Linux on IBM mainframes. This is a small but passionate group that was looking to the IOUG to support their networking and educational goals, and I expect that we will see many of these folks in Las Vages at COLLABORATE10 as we develop a conference-within-conference for the community.

The last evening was Aerosmith, Roger Daltrey, The Wailer and 3 Dog Night. I made it to 3 of 4, only missing the Dogs. Aerosmith was its usual polished self, with Steven Tyler being award and IOUG Lifetime achievement award. Daltrey was the biggest surprise as he delivered a great set of well known and lesser known Who material. He was in fine form and he voice in its 60th year was able to keep up. The Wailers were awesome. I grew up in Montreal with the music of Bob Marley and The Wailers and I had seen them perform before, so it was great to hear the wonderfully energizing music fill the San Fran nights.

The show wrapped and by the end of it many of us were happy to return back to share the word. I expect that 2010 will be an exciting year whether you are a Oracle or Sun customer, as we learn how the next evolution for Oracle and the user communities.

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