Sunday, 20 October 2013

UKOUG Applications 2013

We did it!

Last year we decided to bring all the applications communities together and hold an Apps conference and a separate Tech conference. Perhaps a big risk but having just finished the UKOUG_APPS13 event I would say it was the right decision.

We had planned on attracting about 650 delegates but actually had to close registrations due to Health & Safety when we reached 1,000. The actual number of attendees was just short of that over the 3 days. Excellent.

As well as traditional streams for the existing communities we added Business & Strategy, An Executive Stream and Apps Transformation streams. We also had themes for the days so many people were there for 2 days of the three. I think we had  a great agenda but we can always learn.

The additional non specific application streams had smaller audiences and we discussed this in one of the sessions and someone said the main streams cater for the 'What should I be doing tomorrow?' attendees and the additional streams the 'What should I be doing the day after?' Two different audiences and perhaps we need to do more to attract the second group. We are though in March having a follow on Apps Transformation special event so hopefully we will hit the right group.

I do through my blog and on stage ask delegates to try different sessions outside of their traditional streams and perhaps another tactic could be to have a time period with only the non specific content.

But that is me thinking aloud, it was a great conference, and a real buzz. The community keynotes were very well received and I particularly enjoyed the Executive community where Andrew Sutherland gave a quick review and thoughts on OOW. This really resonated with me as it relates to the AppAdvantage initiative I am working with Oracle on.

I also hosted Jeremy Ashley VP Fusion UX which I always enjoy, the advantages of User Experience in Fusion Applications, but secretly I wish I could have been at our own UKOUG President's session on what keeps him awake at night as a CIO. Another session I wanted to attend but clashed was Fiona Martin on Cloud Adoption, it is easy to forget that most of our volunteers are also excellent speakers in their own way. There were so many other excellent presentations and not enough time to go through them all.

I spoke about BI & EPM in Fusion and had Nadia Bendjedou from EBS in my session, at first I found it intimidating but actually it opened up the conversation which is what members want.

Oracle really did us proud, we asked Karen Clarke VP Applications to be our Executive Sponsor within Oracle and not only did she agree but she also created a Cross Line of Business team to ensure all communities were included. In her keynote following Dermot O'Kelly SVP UK, Ireland & Israel telling us about OOW means to the UK market, Karen gave a fantastic presentation about the Journey we are all on, our speed, our path and how Oracle and UKOUG can help.

One thing we have retained from previous years is our Inspiring Presenters Awards, recognising the speakers that you rate the best at conference.

One initiative that has really taken off and is growing at a great pace is our Recruitment Fair planned for next February which will help people who want a career in Oracle software and not necessarily with Oracle, graduates, apprentices, 1st movers. The press loved this and so did the round tables we had with Oracle Academy and BCS who both have some initiatives of their own which can hep in this space. A bit more investigation to do and I will write another post.

There are lots of photos from the event (official, not the many I came home with from the Motown Social Event), which can be found on the UKOUG facebook page.

There are the surveys to read through from the delegates and lots of comments to process but I am confident we have achieved what we set out to do. We need to work on increasing some of the communities but this is our journey and we are heading in the right direction.

And all too quickly it will be UKOUG_tech13 another event I am really looking forward to.

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