Last week I had the pleasure of attending Collaborate 13, the Technology & Applications Forum for the Oracle Community, for the first time. Over 5,000 Oracle experts, users, and partners assembled in Denver, Colorado for a week of education and networking.
I was there as arcplan's Director of North American Alliances to build and expand our partner community. As the most widely-used third-party BI frontend to Oracle Essbase, I was looking to meet with Essbase experts as well as Hyperion and OBIEE consulting and systems integration firms. Collaborate was an excellent way to get in front of these companies, who can benefit by adding arcplan to their solutions portfolio. I found a great deal of interest and acceptance of our positioning: arcplan as a lower cost, less complex, and quicker-to-implement solution than OBIEE; our extensive connectivity within and outside of Oracle databases; and our ease of use for developers and end users.
My colleagues mentioned that last year at our booth, the common theme of conversations was the challenges IOUG and OAUG members were experiencing around budgeting and planning. This year, however, the conversations tended toward challenges around reporting and dashboards – the importance of connecting all their data sources and making meaningful use out of the data they already have without having to build additional repositories or metadata layers. arcplan is a lightweight, flexible alternative to the Oracle and SAP BI tools many companies have in place that aren't meeting their needs.
While I met with partners and our team manned the booth, our CEO Roland Hölscher attended Collaborate's educational sessions. He remarked that his favorite presentation was Oracle President Mark Hurd's keynote. He spoke about Oracle's strategy for innovation – something we identify with at arcplan as we strive to develop what's next in BI. Hurd said, "IT needs to be simplified in order to drive business value" – a statement that encapsulates the philosophy behind our tagline, "It simply works." Our platform ties together data from Oracle data sources and more than 20 others, simplifying the usually complex process of reporting, analysis and planning from disparate data warehouses. Simplicity in BI is a concept we strongly believe in and develop around.
And of course, I must mention the terrific networking events at this conference. In addition to receptions and cocktail hours, the Wednesday night Urban Revival party was a blast. It featured a crazy combination of street dancing, jump rope acrobatics, and bicycle tricks set to a DJ and electric violinst, followed by a U2 cover band, drinks, food trucks, games, and more. It was a great way to wind down the show for us.
Looking forward to meeting you next year at Collaborate 14 in Las Vegas!
FYI, you can check out more photos from the event on OAUG's Facebook page.