Another Kscope is behind us! This was the third time arcplan has exhibited at this annual conference put on by the Oracle Development Tools User Group. New Orleans was the perfect host city as it provided great entertainment options after hours, and gave us an excuse to adorn attendees with Mardi Gras beads in arcplan colors! We also enjoyed catching up with attendees we’ve met at past Kscopes and several arcplan customers who were in attendance, including Turner Broadcasting and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Of the 1400 attendees (attendance has risen by about 100 per year over the past several years), we found that half seemed to be business users and half were more on the IT/development side. Everyone who stopped by our booth was open about the systems they have in place, how they’re functioning, and the challenges they’re experiencing. We spoke with many attendees who:
- are looking for a replacement for their cumbersome reporting tools
- lack mobile access to reports and dashboards
- need access to Essbase data alongside data from other Oracle and non-Oracle systems
- want to fill the gaps in their Hyperion planning process
Several remarked on their extended OBIEE implementations (2+ years and counting…) and how they need an interim solution for reports and dashboards. They were delighted to see arcplan’s capabilities and excited by our drag-and-drop designer tool – and of course by our ability to deploy enterprise projects in less than 4 months.
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…
I just returned to arcplan’s headquarters in Germany after spending the last week in San Antonio, TX for KScope, the Oracle Developer Tools User Group Conference. This was our second year in a row at the show and another fantastic experience. It’s 5 days of knowledge sharing for Oracle customers, very applicable to real-life challenges and professionally delivered by industry experts with hand-on experience. And it’s an event very different from typical vendor-driven user conferences, which tend to deliver more “marketing driven” material. Again this year, KScope felt more like “by Oracle users, for Oracle users.”
The conference is an absolute must for Hyperion customers as it provides high quality content on a wide variety of topics of interest to them, from MDX to Essbase scripting to ASO cubes. While sometimes it was awkward for the conference to straddle the varied interests of attendees – especially between Apex developers and Hyperion/EPM attendees – the various tracks helped people find their niche. While my colleagues represented arcplan at our booth, I attended many sessions and heard first-hand how attendees were benefitting significantly from the knowledge shared and planning to apply it to their own projects. The Sunday symposiums provided a compact and good overview on some key aspects of Oracle database technologies and the future of Oracle planning, data integration, financial reporting and more. Our SVP Dwight deVera was on the agenda this year, presenting his infamous hour on Calculating ROI for Business Intelligence Projects. His session was as well-received as it was at Collaborate earlier this year.
At KScope, the conference atmosphere is very open and communicative. As an attendee, it provides a great opportunity to network and engage with organizations and individuals that share your same interests. As a vendor, it’s a terrific event for arcplan. We help customers enhance their existing Oracle investments, which is exactly what attendees are there to figure out how to do.
I returned from KScope, the Oracle Developer Tools User Group Conference, in Long Beach, CA late last week, along with my colleagues Dwight deVera & Pete Flagella. arcplan exhibited at the show – our first time there – and already can’t wait to do it again next year in San Antonio. We hoped to meet a number of Hyperion and Oracle Essbase users and found that at least 50% of the 1,000 attendees seemed to be up our alley. We had wonderful conversations with attendees who stopped by to see a brief demonstration of arcplan Enterprise and arcplan Mobile on top of Essbase and we exchanged thoughts on Smart Views. The attendees were a great group, along with the organizers who created a very well coordinated event with a positive and encouraging atmosphere. We overheard that this was the best attended KScope ever.
I personally attended a number of the educational sessions and found them to be extremely valuable. And as a vendor, it’s encouraging that the attendees don’t just think of the exhibit hall as a grab-and-go fest. Many people took time to converse with us and give us their feedback on our products, even testing out arcplan Mobile on an iPad before entering to win one for themselves.
I think everyone’s favorite thing about KScope this year was the Wednesday evening event on the Queen Mary. Food, open bar, dueling pianos, poker, and fireworks! How will they top it next year? I have no idea, but I’ll be there to find out.