Collaborate 12: The Week That Was

April 27th, 2012 11 Comments

Collaborate 12 (#C12LV) has wrapped, and overall, I really enjoyed the event.

I’ll lead off with a big thanks to all the organizers from OAUG (@oaug1), IOUG (@ioug) and Quest (@questusergroup), with a special mention for the IOUG WebCenter Special Interest Group (SIG) who made sure we found the right sessions and networked with the right folks. This is a definitely a special group, e.g. they rocked togas at the 80s Party on Wednesday night. Legit.

Also, big thanks to our WebCenter Marketing maven, Kellsey Ruppel, who worked so hard to make the conference run smoothly for us.

I got a lot more out of Collaborate 12 than I did Collaborate 08 in Denver, which is entirely my own fault, largely thanks to help of these people, and I’m already planning for a Denver do-over at Collaborate 13.

Day 0

The show got started early for me with the WebCenter Customer Advisory Board (CAB) meeting on Sunday.  This wasn’t technically a Collaborate event, but since many of the CAB members were in Las Vegas for the big show, it made sense to have it before the events really got going.

The CAB is enormously valuable to our PM organization, since these customers provide real use cases and feedback, and I spent the day meeting meeting, greeting and listening to real users of the product.

One of the highlights for all the customers attending the CAB was a chance to touch and feel Oracle Social Network for the first time. The OSN PM team provided an overview of the product, and then collected feedback through the tool. The commentary I heard was overwhelmingly positive, and after spending a week with the product, everyone is excited for release.

Another highlight was Christian (@cfinn) and his flying monkeys. I won’t give away the specifics, but if you find him speaking at an event you’re attending, make an effort to go.

Last but definitely not least, thanks to TekStream for sponsoring the cocktail reception.

I had planned to attend the WebCenter Deep Dive, but unfortunately, the two events conflicted. I did manage to sneak away briefly to catch up with longtime Friend of the ‘Lab, Bex Huff (@bex), whose company Bezzotech sponsored that event.

Day 1

Monday kicked off the event in earnest. I spent most of the day preparing the WebCenter Sites demo booth, but I did manage to sneak away for a meeting with the IOUG Board of Directors and the IOUG WebCenter SIG.

This was a treat for our entire team. As a team of WebCenter evangelists (or advocates, take your pick), we rely on communication and collaboration with organizations like the IOUG. They tell us what their members want, and ideally, we deliver.

So, this type of interaction is invaluable to what we do. Thanks to the Board and SIG for taking time out of their hectic schedules to chat with us.

I ended the day of events with the opening of the Exhibit Hall, and got a chance to watch the WebCenter Sites experts we have from the FatWire acquisition in action showing their product. I’ve spent a lot of time recently working with Sites, the Web Experience Management pillar of the WebCenter Suite of products, and it was great to see the real experts in action.

Although I didn’t get to any sessions on Monday, the day was very productive.

Day 2

Tuesday began for me with Bex’s session, “A Crash Course In WebCenter Sites (FatWire) for Site Studio Customers.” As a longtime Stellent guru, Bex knows a thing or two about Site Studio. His session mapped functions from Site Studio to Sites, and it introduced me to several customers who are interested in learning more about Sites. So, Tuesday began with a win.

I then spent several hours working the Sites demo booth. Booth duty always seems like a chore until I get into it. I enjoy talking to people and listening to what they have to say, and once the traffic starts to flow, the time flies.

We got a nice flow of people to our booth. Most of them had questions about the Content and Portal pillars of WebCenter, but they were impressed when they saw what Sites has to offer.

After a long day of booth duty, I mixed and mingled at the evening reception on the exhibit hall floor, then gave my feet a rest.

This was the day I started to lose my voice though, which always happens to me at conferences, since I talk so much. Note to self, listen more.

Day 3

On Wednesday, I stopped by “Build an iPhone app using WebCenter Portal REST APIs” presented by  Chris Bales (@cbales) and Rodrigo Lima (@rodrigo_lima) before heading back to the demo booth. The session attracted a nice crowd, especially for a morning session. I didn’t get to stay, but I heard good things.

After my final demo booth stint, I caught a couple afternoon sessions, “Surfacing Oracle Social Network into Your Business Applications” given by Andy Kershaw, OSN PM lead and  “WebCenter User Experience and Interaction – From iPads to Xbox” by Friend of the ‘Lab, John Sim (@jrsim_uix) of Fishbowl Solutions.

Andy’s session was unfortunately timed to overlap with lunch. Had it been a smidge later, I suspect he would have drawn ten times more people, given the content. Andy showed several key features of OSN, including how to connect it to other business applications.

John’s session showcased the exciting possibilities for enhancing enterprise data surfaced through REST APIs with new interface paradigms like touch and natural motion capture, specifically Xbox Kinect. It was great to meet John IRL for the first time after stalking him virtually for a couple years.

By the end of Wednesday, I was sounding like a lifetime smoker.

Day 4

Although Thursday was only yesterday, Vegas seems like a nostalgic memory now. There wasn’t much on the agenda, as the conference wrapped at noon, so Noel (@noelportugal) and I spent some quite time debriefing and comparing notes from the week.

By the end of the conference, I left Vegas feeling like I had put in a good week. I had the pleasure of meeting dozens of new people and reconnecting with people I’ve know for years.

It was a great week, and thanks to everyone for making Collaborate 12 a personal success for me.

Now, to rest my voice.

Thoughts on the conference? Find the comments.

Update: Kellsey added pics to the repost she did over on the WebCenter blog. So, it did, in fact, happen.

Update 2: Among the many “finally met IRL” moments that I had at Collaborate 12, I forgot to mention newish Twitter Friend of the ‘Lab, Chad Thompson (@zirous_chad) of Zirous. He was the first of many fine folks who stopped by the demo booth. Sorry Chad.

Update 3: Forgot another old pal, David Haimes (@dhaimes), whom I caught up with a couple times during the week. He was presenting some cool Fusion Applications stuff. Not entirely sure why my memory is so bad.


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11 Responses to “Collaborate 12: The Week That Was”

  1. davidhaimes Says:

    It was a good conference, no mention of meeting your old Apps colleague here?  I’m not offended, I still mentioned you in my blog, it was really good to catch up again.

  2. Chad Thompson Says:

    Ha!  Thanks for remembering me; I know my COLLABORATE was a little different than I expected.  When I showed up, I was expecting to spend nearly all of my time with the “WebCenter” crowd – but my Tuesday and Wednesday ended up being spent with the “Fusion Apps and ADF” crowd.  Of course, they’re also a “WebCenter” crowd – they just don’t realize it yet.  :-)

    [ “We” – as the ADF Methodology Group – also had some really great turnout for the Wednesday ADF sessions. ]It was nice to meet yourself, Noel and Peter – I’ll be mailing you sometime soon about an idea I have with our Portland office…

  3. Jake Says:

    Rectified, sorry, memory has holes for some reason :) Did you move blogs? Not seeing it on the old wordpress.com one.

  4. Jake Says:

    It was an interesting week. I like the diversity of Collaborate, and yes, the smoking was suffocating by Thursday. Looking forward to your idea. Good to meet you IRL.

  5. davidhaimes Says:

    My memory is also bad, I realized I didn’t actually hit the publish button, it is there on the old  wordpress.com blog.  I realized I’m closing in on 5 years blogging at davidhaimes.wordpress.com, must have a party for that.

  6. Jake Says:

    I think there’s a badge for that :)

  7. Oracle WebCenter Sites 11gR1 Released « oracleidentitymanagement Says:

    […] you attended Collaborate 12 last week and came by the WebCenter booth, you got a sneak peak at the new contributor interface as well as […]

  8. uvox Says:

    Didn’t make it to Collaborate 12m, but today John Sim (@jrsim_uix) of Fishbowl Solutions demoed his stuff to us (Apps-ux [me] and PTS [Angelo S]) in the Oracle London office. Fantastic stuff, lots of potential for UX innovation there. Cant wait until it appears on youtube and we can share more widely.

  9. uvox Says:

    Speaking of badges, any thoughts on 
    http://openbadges.org/?

  10. Jake Says:

    Wondered where it would go. Nice idea, but lacking any reference implementation, at least when I looked, without any guidance, games based on badges alone will see mixed results.

  11. Jake Says:

    It’s definitely a great way to showcase the possible. I’m looking forward to seeing these interfaces attached to enterprise systems. John teased some of that.

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