I just returned to Germany after spending last week in Las Vegas for the Collaborate 12 conference. arcplan had a booth at the show, billed as the "Technology & Applications Forum for the Oracle Community," for the first time in 4 years. We've noticed trade shows having a bit of a renaissance and this one – with 6,000 attendees – was no exception. With our strong Oracle customer base and our billing as the most widely-used BI front-end to Oracle Essbase, we thought 2012 was the perfect time to return to Collaborate. And after our great experience at KScope 11, the Oracle Developer Tools User Group Conference last year in Long Beach, we want to participate in more conferences where the attendees are the users and creators of BI applications in their enterprises. Collaborate turned out to be a terrific (re)addition to our lineup.
The conference kicked off with a keynote from Oracle CIO & SVP Mark Sunday on "IT at Oracle: The Art of IT Transformation to Enable Business Growth." His presentation stressed the importance of simplifying IT, which complements arcplan's vision and our 2012 tagline: It simply works™. With our focus on reducing infrastructure and helping our customers leverage what they already have, this message really resonated with us.
The rest of the session topics reflected Collaborate's heterogeneous nature as a melting pot of three different user groups (OAUG, IOUG and Quest). I attended sessions from a sample of the 1,400 speakers on the agenda, who showed off a wide variety of expertise with specific sessions (Oracle Essbase Calc Scripts, Leveraging Oracle OLAP for Mobile BI) to broader sessions like Calculating ROI for Business Intelligence Projects (from our own SVP Dwight deVera), as well as many customer presentations with real-world examples and experiences. I heard someone remark that the show was "three shows running in parallel," which was a plus since it allowed attendees to build their own agenda, choosing presentations beyond their primary area of interest if they wanted.
At our booth, we chatted with many attendees and were especially surprised to have so many people coming to us to discuss their budgeting, planning and forecasting challenges. It's easy to get lost among so many vendors on the expo floor, but it seemed that our reputation preceded us and we're becoming well-known for our robust budgeting & planning solution, arcplan Edge, as much as for our BI solutions built with arcplan Enterprise, which easily integrates Oracle and non-Oracle data sources into one table, report, or dashboard. We met with many soon-to-be arcplan partners and look forward to solving some issues for Oracle customers, like better access to Oracle OLAP and the R engine. Most companies are using Excel as their Oracle OLAP front-end but arcplan is a perfect front-end and we're working to make it more widely used for this function. As for R, the open source statistical computing and graphics software, Oracle has invested heavily in it but there is no suitable front-end for it currently. arcplan can leverage R with new partners that specialize in accessing R and advanced statistical tools in the Oracle database.
I'd be remiss not to mention the great networking events at Collaborate, including the back-to-the-80s party!
All in all, Collaborate 12 was a great show with a terrific agenda and attendees eager to learn about the latest solutions in the Oracle world. We look forward to exhibiting and presenting again at Collaborate 13 in Denver!