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The History of Collaborate from One of its Founders

The History of Collaborate from One of its Founders
For the next 5 days the eyes of the global Oracle end-user community will be focused on the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado, the site of Collaborate 13.Since its founding in 2006, Collaborate has evolved in the their definitive grass-roots Oracle end-user conference of the year. What makes Collaborate so popular with the end-users, and what makes Collaborate attendees to passionate, is the fact that it is by, of, and for the community.

Collaborate really is your best chance to get real, practical hands-on solutions from fellow end-users who face the same pressures, challenges and frustrations that you face.

IT Convergence has participated in every Collaborate conference since 2006 and thought it would be appropriate to take a few minutes to sit down with Anne Ristau, who is IT Convergence Education Services Principle Instructor and also a former long serving OAUG Board of Directors member who, in that capacity, was one of the founders of Collaborate.

As a past member of the OAUG Board of Directors, you participated in the founding of Collaborate. Can you talk to us a little about how and why the OAUG, IOUG, and Quest decided to join forces behind a single event?

It became evident to Oracle that they could not support three separate conferences.  From a member perspective, many companies have more than one solution: home grown apps (IOUG), PeopleSoft (common for Payroll), and E-Business Suite for Financials, Manufacturing, and Supply Chain.  So it was a confluence of factors that made it obvious decision to bring all under one roof.

Now that Collaborate is in its 8th year, how well has it achieved its purpose, and what are some future ways you can see the conference developing?

OAUG is a member supported organization, therefore there is a cost savings to the members because of collocating.   It has taken a few years, but the three groups work very well with each other to work on common items, yet each has their own identity stamp which still makes it unique.

In a similar light, how as Collaborate changed since it’s founding in 2006?  

In 2006 the best I can say is we were all located in one city (Nashville, TN)  however, we couldn’t quite manage to fit into a single location!  In 2006 each group did its own thing, so it was like having three parallel conferences. Today we’ve outgrown that, and there’s a overall conference committee which makes decisions that benefit all three groups.

It took time, but Collaborate has really grown into a true, single conference, hosted by three separate user groups. I am quite please to see the way it has evolved.

As someone who has literally helped edit hundreds of abstracts for various Collaborate conferences, one of the questions I always get, and these are from experienced industry veterans, is what is the difference between the OAUG and IOUG? Is there a simple definition that you can offer to others who might have this same question?

IOUG is the original user group for Oracle. Back in the day when you did not buy pre-built applications. You wrote them yourself. So, IOUG still represents the database and the home grown applications community. The IOUG is 100% technical. OAUG was founded for what we now call Oracle E-Business Suite. As licensees of the software there was functionality we as users needed that was not included, the OAUG gave a voice into Oracle…as Oracle grew so did the OAUG, so it now represents many business platforms.

In years past as a member of the OAUG Board of Directors I can imagine that you entered Collaborate conferences with you hands full. What’s it like to participate as a member of the rank and file?

This will be only the second time since 1993 that I have been only an attendee… I feel lost to be honest!   Remember though, it takes many people to make this conference happen.  OAUG has a committee of approx 10 people planning the conference for 11 months…not to mention all of the Meeting Expectations folks, probably around 50, that make it all happen…as volunteers we throw out ideas. But even with that said, it was ME who was one of the people who had the legs and put the muscle into making it happen. But back to your point, I must say it feels a little wired not being intimately connected with the conference — I don’t even know what the theme night will be this year, so I will be surprised like everyone else!

Is there any advice you’d like to give to first time Collaborate presenters?

First, remember to breathe…and if you are still nervous picture the audience with no clothing…YUCK!   Then to the presenters that might only have 1 or 10 people remember those people chose your session over the other 21 OAUG sessions, and 44 IOUG/Quest sessions…so they really want to be there – it doesn’t make your session bad it is just that there are about 66 sessions at any one hour to attend.   Finally, remember you are the expert – you know your material better than anyone else – so stand up straight an blow them away!  And do not forget to mail a copy of your published paper and the agenda to your mom, she will be so impressed!  Hey you are now a published author!

Don’t Miss Anne’s Collaborate 13 Sessions on Oracle R12 Financials

Anne Ristau isn’t just one of Collaborate’s founders, she’s also and Oracle Financials expert in her own right. This year at the Collaborate Denver conference, Anne will be presenting two sessions “Accounting Methods Builder (AMB) – Beyond the Basics” (Session ID:  11590) on Monday April 9th in room 501 at 8:00 am. Here second session is “Setup and Use the R12 AP/AR Netting Feature” (Session ID:  502) on Wednesday April 10th at 9:30 am in room 502.

If you’re in Denver for Collaborate 13, please plan to attend. If you can’t make it but are still at the conference, make a point of stopping by booth #1423 to meet with Anne in person.

If you’re not able to travel to the Collaborate Denver conference, worry not! You can click here to visit our Collaborate 13 Resources page to download all of our presentations and white papers.

Follow Collaborate 13 as it happens. Click here to access the full stream of this blog’s Collaborate 13 conversation.