Examining the ongoing challenges of delivering high-quality, value-added ERP services in Higher Education.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

OOW Schedule Madness

A lot has happened since 2005, the only previous time I had the good fortune to attend Oracle Open World in San Francisco. Forget about the litany of political, technological, and cultural transformations that may have taken place—I am talking about the fact that in 2005 I had not (re) met my wife and had never changed a poopy diaper. It has been a busy seven years!

Oracle Open World may have changed, too—I won’t really know until I arrive on the ground—but the sheer scale of the event sure hasn’t diminished. I spent the last two hours trying to optimize my calendar and my head is spinning. I can only imagine the condition I will be in after four days of sessions and the closing event when I endeavor (at the last minute) to practice my lines for our Thursday presentation. Final day presentations are the pits…

Unlike many conferences I have attended in the past, there don’t seem to be dead spots in the program. It helps to have a broad set of interests; this year I want to see EBS R12 upgrade case studies and OBIEE implementation tips and tricks and most anything Fusion. Sessions on GRC, Advanced Procurement, and Exadata would be nice if I can find room. The situation would be worse if two members of my team weren’t covering the PeopleSoft HCM and Oracle Hyperion EPM realms. As it stands, I have packed every slot and wished the system would allow double- or triple-bookings (at least temporarily!).

[Although I suppose if the hashtags are clean and the Tweeps are active then I can probably virtually attend three sessions simultaneously via Twitter, right?]

Consider the first non-keynote, non-user-group session of the convention – Monday at 11am. I was excited about “Finance Modernization: Streamlining Processes and Systems” until I saw one from McDonald’s on Hyperion Planning. I would love to geek-out on technical sessions on ADF or OAF, but that’s just not in the cards… What about the executive session on OBIEE? Or an E-Business Suite roadmap session, an hour on the Fusion user experience, or a cool-sounding session on Oracle’s use of its own hardware and software. Oh, and Tom Mayhew from the Harvard team is presenting his lecture on Approval Workflow Engine (AWE) in PeopleSoft 9.1. Decisions, decisions. There has to be an app for this problem.

My favorite title so far? How about “What If Kramer Were Your DBA and Seinfeld Tuned Your Database?” on Sunday at 4pm. Genius.

When I planned this blog, I expected to spend a few paragraphs talking about the sessions that seemed most interesting, but that is a tall order with 25 sessions on my tentative calendar. Keynotes are not my thing, but I am excited for the Benioff (Salesforce.com) one on Wednesday. Honestly, since the last time I attended OOW they were announcing Fusion and Applications Unlimited, I am excited for every session talking about the long-delayed realities of the grand vision I heard

Before signing off, I must put another plug in for my own talk at 10:30am on Thursday ("Harvard University's Procure-to-Pay Transformation Using Oracle iProcurement"). Now back to writing the PowerPoint deck for it…

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