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An education, networking and advocacy forum for users of Oracle Applications, the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) helps members connect to find the solutions they need to do their jobs better and to improve their organizations’ ROI in Oracle Applications. Each year during Oracle OpenWorld, the group hosts geographic (Geo) and special interest group (SIG) meetings as well as additional opportunities for networking and education.
As the organization prepares for Oracle OpenWorld 2017, OAUG president Alyssa Johnson shared plans about what is in store at this year’s conference.
Each year at OpenWorld, the OAUG presents Sunday sessions at the start of the conference. Is there a particular focus this year?
Alyssa Johnson: Our Sunday sessions highlight our SIGs. In addition to providing education on specific topic areas, it gives conference attendees interested in those topics an opportunity to network with each other. In addition to our SIGs, we also have Geo sessions for users that live in the same geographical region. Again, this provides an opportunity for attendees to connect and discuss their Oracle Applications.
What else is the OAUG planning that is new for the 2017 Oracle OpenWorld conference?
AJ: We have several new SIGs presenting at OpenWorld this year, including EBS Functional Analyzers, Oracle CPQ Cloud and APEX. If your readers have interest in any of those topics I would encourage them to attend. And our executive director, Al Garver, will be leading a new offering we hope will draw interest: Increase Your Cloud Expertise by Joining a User Group. It was created to appeal to emerging professional leaders who may not know what a users group is, but who definitely want to learn about professional development and networking.
Cloud is advancing in organizations across all areas and is a key direction for Oracle. How is the OAUG helping members as Oracle increasingly emphasizes public cloud and cloud at customer installations?
AJ: The OAUG educates about the cloud in numerous ways. The OAUG Cloud Resource Center offers representative eLearning sessions, OAUG Insight magazine articles, conference white papers and presentations, and updates from Oracle. Visitors can follow links to even more cloud-related educational content. The OAUG Blog covers a mix of topics and general announcements as well as customer stories about recent cloud implementations. At our premier conference event, COLLABORATE 17, of the 588 educational sessions offered, 26% were cloud-related. We’re in the planning stages for COLLABORATE 18 and expect to have a robust track of cloud educational offerings.
AJ: Besides the cloud, what are the other issues that you seek to address at OpenWorld?
OpenWorld is one of our best in-person membership engagement opportunities, and we host a kiosk or booth in the exhibit hall to engage attendees. This is a location where current members can gather to network and learn about the latest OAUG offerings. For attendees who are not members, this is an opportunity for them to explore member benefits and find out how the OAUG can help their organization better utilize their Oracle Applications. Attendees who stop by the OAUG table on Sunday outside the Geo-SIG meetings or in the expo hall throughout the week can enter for a chance to win a free registration to COLLABORATE 18. We will also be meeting with Oracle executives to provide member feedback and to learn what is coming soon!
AJ: Is there anything else that will be different than in the past year?
What makes this year different is our emphasis that all companies already exist in a hybrid cloud world. Our definition of hybrid cloud is any combination of products, whether housed on-premises or in the cloud, that belong to different ERP systems or different vendors. Our focus is to educate users on the Oracle Cloud Applications and technology that complement their current EBS and Hyperion products in a manner that provides seamless integration for their suppliers, customers and employees.
Another new and exciting offering at OpenWorld is the Connected Learning process, which offers attendees a very focused way to get the exact information they need at the event as it pertains to their specific area of interest. One of its sub-features is called Home Room sessions, which will take place on Monday, Oct. 2. These sessions are designed for people who want to learn more about a particular area, such as Oracle E-Business Suite, but are overwhelmed by the many different session offerings at OpenWorld. The Home Room sessions help individuals navigate the offerings, customize their agenda to include sessions of interest and maximize the value from Oracle OpenWorld. The OAUG has already been trying to spread the word to our member base about this new offering so they can get the most out of their conference experience.
AJ: The announcements at OpenWorld often signal the direction for Oracle for the coming year. How will the OAUG follow up with members on what is introduced at the conference?
We conduct follow-up surveys with our members who attend OOW, and we ask them about any new technologies, concepts or functionalities they learned of that should be shared with the rest of our members. Based on those results, we identify critical topics and content to share via webinars or at COLLABORATE 18. We also inform members of key announcements via the OAUG Blog and other communications channels.
Visit the OAUG’s Oracle OpenWorld web page the full schedule of Geo and SIG meetings and other updates.