So, I'm sitting on my deck enjoying the weather this fine Sunday morning in Southern California, just daydreaming about the next few weeks and months when it hits me…yow, Collaborate 2010 is right around the corner!
Important disclosure: I'm going. I don't need to persuade or be persuaded. The years I've attended have convinced me that it's a worthwhile investment, especially when Collaborate takes place so close to me (Las Vegas).
But I'm also betting that my case is different from yours. In another year of tight budgets and limited resources, you're probably wondering whether you should attend at all. And if you do want to attend, how do you justify it? For those of you in this position, I have three points for your consideration.
1. The real story in real time. What I mean here is that you'll get real stories from real customers on what they're doing in real time (the present) with the same challenges, products and tools that you're using in your own enterprise. Not much sugar coating or sales pitching here (although there will be plenty of both as well if you're into that sort of thing). Just the real story.
2. Networking opportunities. You'll have the chance to rub shoulders and talk shop with other customers with technical footprints and business situations similar to your own. Make a friend, swap business cards. Then the next time your company starting talking about the next upgrade, new product, or business process change, you can call up your new friend and do some informal benchmarking.
3. Learning and exploration. Lots of new products, tools and configurations first see the light of day at Collaborate, especially in the workshops. Need some advice on a specific challenge? Swing by the OAUG/ITConvergence both on the exhibition floor to "Get Expertise from the ACEs". Want to get a peek at the latest developments with Oracle Enterprise Search? Sign up for a an Oracle Usability Lab user session. Want some hands-on training with a specific tool? Check out IOUG's Deep Dive sessions and Bootcamps. How about some "let me drive" exploration of new products without someone hovering over your shoulder? Quest is sponsoring a Playday with "live drives" of JD Ewards, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, BI Publisher, the User Productivity Kit, K-Rise Systems's EASYProcess and Hewlett-Packard's LoadRunner. Looking for information on Oracle Fusion? Come to the "Oracle Fusion Architecture: Soup to Nuts" workshop.
So there you have it. Who knows what nuggets you'll be able to take back to the office? But if you want those nuggets, you have to come to Las Vegas to get them. Three fine reasons to be in Las Vegas from April 18 through 22 for Collaborate 2010. See you there.