COLLABORATE 06 Joint Users Groups Confab is a Major Success

May 2, 2006

With more than 5,000 people attending and a bustling exhibition floor, the energy was palpable at COLLABORATE 06, the first joint conference of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), the Oracle Applications Users Groups (OAUG), and Quest, the JD Edwards and Peoplesoft users group, held last week in Nashville. "The conference is great," Ari Kaplan, president of the IOUG, told 5 Minute Briefing at a private interview at the conference. "It is like a wedding. You plan for so long and now it is going by quickly." In addition to the sessions organized by the separate users groups, there were several "super sessions" aimed at the entire Oracle user community.

Oracle had urged its major user groups to hold the joint conference and had provided additional support for the effort, the leaders of all the user groups noted. And the payoff has been great. Oracle itself organized 80 sessions, and around a dozen Oracle executives at the rank of vice president or higher were in attendance. Moreover, the exhibition floor was filled with senior executives from major companies serving the Oracle marketplace.

Oracle took advantage of the venue to release significant news. "There have been five or six major announcements," said Stephen Hughes, the executive director of the OAUG. The challenge for OAUG, he added, was to keep up with changes brought about by Oracle's aggressive acquisitions. The organization plans to pursue a policy of what he calls "glocalization," organizing at the local and regional levels, as well as around specific interests such as retailing, human resources and manufacturing.

"There is a lot of synergy," added John Matelski, president of Quest. For many companies, the combined conference allows for greater efficiency. For example, IT Convergence, an Oracle consulting and application hosting company typically exhibited at both the IOUG and the OAUG conferences. "We get to see everyone in one place. The traffic is good," said Dan Norris, strategic consulting manager.

Most observers agreed that Oracle's product roadmaps made it more likely that each user group will maintain their own independent identities but continue to work collaboratively. Plans are already underway for COLLABORATE 07, which will be held in Las Vegas next year.

For more information about the IOUG, click here. For more information about the OAUG, go here. More information about Quest is available here.

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