With attendance way down at almost every conference this year it was a pleasant surprise that around 100 JDE customers came to Foxwoods resort in Connecticut this week joined by another 200 or so PeopleSoft customers and a similar number of vendors, consultants and Oracle groupies.  It is too bad that more of you were unable to get the tightwads that control spending in your companies to let you come.

Quest has already decided to cancel the Midwest conference planned for December but still plans to go ahead with the one scheduled for San Diego in August.  IMHO these events can safely be shortened to two days versus the current three-day schedule.  Those that did come seemed to get good value for their investment of time and money. 

The Thursday keynote by Oracle Senior VP John Kopcke was excellent.  It was a good sign that Oracle sent someone at his level to this event.  Look for a posting covering his speech as soon as he sends me his Power Point slides.  John made a strong case for using BI tools including those Oracle picked up in the Hyperion acquisition as a means of achieving management excellence. 

Other useful or interesting tidbits picked up at the conference included: 

  • Oracle management is heavily focused on closing the Sun deal.  If it is done in time, a major theme at OpenWorld will be explaining what it all means.
  • The Quest Q&A publication is going digital – no more hard copy. Besides our humble attempts to provide information of interest and value, Q&A is one of the few available sources of independent information on what Oracle is doing for the JD Edwards community.
  • Oracle’s plan for a big bang announcement this summer of BI 11g has been pushed back into 2010.  As we learn more, additional postings on this subject will be provided.
  • Oracle itself held its annual sales kickoff online this year.  Instead of bringing thousands of reps together everything was recorded and provided via the Internet.  I am sure it saved lots of money and was a more efficient way to transfer information, but what fun is it being an Oracle sales rep if you cannot go to Vegas each June and have a few things happen that need to stay in Vegas? 

I found attending a conference in a casino this year mildly depressing.  Seeing row after row of slot machines sitting idle is a stark reminder of what things have come to.  Where did all those little old ladies go who smoked and pushed quarters into machines as fast as they could? 

Anyone else that went is welcome to offer comments or observations.