Sticking with the Basics, OAUG Plans to Emphasize Education and Networking in 2012

The Oracle Applications Users Group is continuing its Back to Basics theme, Mark C. Clark, president of the OAUG, told 5 Minute Briefing during Oracle OpenWorld, with education and networking, enabled by smaller regional events and online learning opportunities, in addition to its continued participation in larger events such as OpenWorld and COLLABORATE.

The OAUG has enjoyed success with its Connection Point events, which are smaller, regional events that focus on a topic of interest, functional area or Oracle product line or aim to serve Oracle customers in a particular region, he noted, and as a result, those events will continue to be presented through this year and into 2012.

In addition, online educational events that don't necessitate members taking extended time away from the office, or require the cost and time commitment of a national conference, also continue to be a focus for the OAUG, Clark said. "As a manager, I would rather have my employees attend a few hours here and there, as opposed to being out of the office," he observed. These types of events dropped off 2 to 3 years ago for the OAUG, but have gotten more emphasis in the last 2 years.  "We have done a number of sessions this year and the feedback has been very positive, and members want it to continue."

In terms of the technology areas of focus, Clark said that much of the OAUG emphasis has been on R12 updates since OAUG members are either in the process of, or planning their R12 updates now. "That is going to continue in 2012," he said. But as Fusion is in the marketplace longer, the OAUG will be asked to provide training, networking opportunities and events around those technologies so that staffs can be better trained to go to Fusion. The skills for Fusion are different from the skills for R12, and good managers are planning for it now to make sure that their staffs are prepared for that move, he observed.

In addition, the OAUG continues to support members using products that have become part of Oracle through acquisitions. In that vein, the OAUG has created new SIGs and also held events at COLLABORATE. Hyperion and Demantra are good examples of product lines  that were acquired by Oracle, and whose customers are benefiting from such OAUG efforts, he said.

The OAUG also continues to work closely with Oracle itself, helping to disseminate important information to the OAUG membership, and in turn, bringing members' issues of concern to Oracle. For example, he said, an example of Oracle listening to concerns that OAUG members have is that R12.1.3 will be supported longer than was initially proposed. "We have great communication channels with Oracle and when issues do arise, they are quick to listen and they have been very supportive to the user group."

Upcoming Connection Point events include the "OAUG Connection Point-EPM/BI/R12.1 Upgrade" which will be held November 15-16, 2011, in Atlanta; and the "OAUG Connection Point-Dubai 2012" will be held March 14-15, 2012, in Dubai, UAE. In addition, the "OAUG Connection Point-EPM/BI/R12.1 Upgrade" will be held in the first quarter in 2012, with dates and location to be determined; and the "OAUG Connection Point - Oracle Fusion Applications" will be held in 2012, with dates and location also yet to be determined.

Additional events will be added to the OAUG Connection Point website.

For more information about the OAUG, visit