Why We Love Collaborate
I’ve been to various Oracle User Group conferences, as a presenter, exhibitor and a regular attendee looking to learn as much as possible. Collaborate is definitely my favourite. It’s a joint conference put on by three user groups:
- OAUG (Oracle Applications User Group) – Oracle applications, especially E-Business Suite and Cloud Apps
- Quest – mostly JD Edwards and Peoplesoft, but also Cloud Apps
- IOUG (Independent Oracle Users Group) – Oracle database and tools technology
The conference is held in early April and runs Sunday to Thursday. My first was in Denver in 2013; since then they have always been in Las Vegas.
What’s so good about it?
I’m always amazed and impressed at how many people give up their time to share their knowledge and experiences with Oracle products. It takes significant effort to prepare and deliver these sessions, and the quality is consistently high.
You can get the low-down on the latest products and releases, from Oracle and partners. Even more valuable, often, are stories from users and consultants on how they use products and particular features, or how they overcame challenges.
I would always encourage everyone to consider sharing experience via a session. You don’t need to be an expert; there are plenty of people there to learn the basics.
Collaborate attendees are some of the most willing to engage with exhibitors to learn about the Oracle related products and services on offer, and just talk about their situation.
I’m sure there are some who still shun the exhibition hall to avoid being ‘sold to’, but honestly it’s a great way to get free advice – all partners I know, and Oracle themselves, are more than happy to give it.
Events and Networking
There are lots of opportunities in sessions, socials and just around the conference to talk to fellow attendees.
The organisers also set up specific events to bring together attendees with common interests. The OAUG Special Interest Group (SIG) and Geo sessions on the Sunday are a great example. SIGs are organised around specific functionality and Geos are regional – both provide opportunities to continue collaboration between conferences.
The people who put together Collaborate are also really keen that everyone has fun. Personally, I’ve never met anyone who didn’t!