As the president of the Independent Oracle Users Group I often get asked for advice about which Oracle event to attend—COLLABORATE or Oracle OpenWorld. Sometimes it’s just, “What is COLLABORATE?” or even, “Isn’t COLLABORATE just a mini Oracle OpenWorld?” These two events are very different, and, depending on your role, one may be better for you than the other.
Oracle OpenWorld is the “big event” for Oracle. This is a very large event where Oracle showcases everything new, such as product launches, road maps, and more. You will find out where Oracle is going over the next year, what the new releases will be, and where the company is focusing. Product teams will be there to talk with customers; Oracle executives will be onsite; and some of the Oracle A list celebrities will be there. On the first day, there are usually user group sessions to get a taste of what their conferences are like and then product sessions and road maps all week long. Of course, you can’t forget the entertainment at the end of the week, and usually, it’s a major concert.
In my experience, the types of people that can really benefit from Oracle OpenWorld are C-level executives, management, and architects. The C-level attendees get a chance to connect with their vendors in the exhibit hall and Oracle executives in private meetings. Management attendees get a chance to see where Oracle’s strategy is going so they can start planning for that. Also, if they are looking for services and service providers, the exhibit hall is a great stop. Architects get a chance to understand all of the new features as well as sit with product teams to get a voice with them.
COLLABORATE is the big Oracle users group event hosted by IOUG, Quest, and OAUG. This event is where you go to learn from users about practical implications, user case studies, and hands-on labs. COLLABORATE is focused on diving into how to use what you currently own, connecting with people who have the same issues you do, and sharing new solutions to solve them. Customers and partners of Oracle are the center of COLLABORATE. If you are looking to get up-to-speed on Oracle technologies from a user’s perspective or want to dive deep into a topic with an expert, then COLLABORATE would be a good option. Just like Oracle OpenWorld, there are Oracle product teams giving road map sessions, but the big focus is customers sharing what they are doing and what works.
The types of people that can benefit most from COLLABORATE are new technologists, engineers, architects, and developers. A new technologist would have to go to many different classes over time to get the same experience he or she would at COLLABORATE and likely would not meet as many people from different industries and backgrounds.
Consider COLLABORATE to be very intense training (moving sessions about every hour). Engineers can find out how to implement many different things over the course of a week. Architects can use COLLABORATE as a way to get hundreds of new ideas to try out and to build a network of colleagues to bounce ideas off of. Developers may not want to go deep but can get a broad understanding of how to use many different Oracle technologies.
As you can see, depending on your role, both events are worth your time and money. Both serve a purpose in the community and simply allow us opportunities to be better at our jobs.
Meet me in Las Vegas to see why COLLABORATE is my favorite event of the year and to get the training, solutions, and connections you need. To find out more about COLLABORATE, visit http://collaborate.ioug.org.