Collaborate 2010 feels like a return to normalcy.  Attendance is back close to where it was a few years ago and the mood of participants seems upbeat.  So far there has not been much hard news to report.  Oracle chose not to use Collaborate to introduce any major products, upgrades or changes in direction.  Big news is coming from Oracle this year in the form of BI 11g, Fusion Applications and a host of Sun related offerings.  Understandably, Oracle plans to hold off making a splash about them until OpenWorld.

Collaborate 2010 has focused on helping attendees understand what is already available and how to make more effective use of it.  This does not sound exciting but it is extremely valuable.  Most customers use only a small fraction of the capability of the products they already own.  Helping them understand all the additional things they could be doing without buying anything more is very valuable.

In addition, lots of add-on products and services are available from Oracle and the ecosystem of other vendors here that haven’t been bought yet simply because no one in a position to do so understood what was available and what it could do.  Collaborate provides an invaluable way for JDE customers to learn what is available, even if it is not new, that could improve their environment.

Additional customer feedback today reinforced my earlier observation that the reaction to the Oracle keynote Monday was quite negative.  Sadly it seemed to confirm the widespread notion that Oracle senior management does not care very much about the customers of some of its niche products.  When I have more time to compose a posting on the subject, I intend to offer my own analysis as to why we continue to get this impression.  There is more here than may be apparent.

I have attended as many sessions as time permitted but have only been able to cover a tiny fraction of what was being offered.  Some of the interesting factoids and ideas I was able to pick up from them included:

  • JDE apparently has the greatest customer loyalty among Oracle product customers.
  • 79% of JDE E1 customers are now on release 8.11 or higher.
  • 15% are on 9.0
  • Hundreds of net new customers bought JDE last year (counting those coming back onto maintenance).
  • Fusion Applications were not mentioned in either keynote but a few of the individual sessions covered them at a high level.
  • A program called Development Direct allows JDE customers undertaking major projects to get a great deal of planning help from Oracle (more details to follow).

Stay tuned for more analysis once I have time to compile and digest all that I learned this week.