Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Notes From Orlando

I thought y'all would appreciate some notes from last week's OHUG conference in Orlando Florida.  So, in no particular order, my observations...
  • The sessions were pretty evenly divided between Oracle E-Business, PeopleSoft and HCM Cloud.  Right around 1/3 of total sessions for each track.
  • The mix of attendees, from what I could tell, were about half HCM Cloud users and half on either EBS or PeopleSoft.  And out of those on EBS or Peoplesoft, about half of them were exploring the transformation of moving to HCM Cloud.
  • Attendance for this year's conference seems a little light; maybe down 10 or 15 percent from prior years.  I'm guessing that was caused by a combination of following so closely on the heels of Oracle HCM Cloud World and the fact that it's always tough for a user group conference to get a big draw in Orlando (I don't know why, just know from experience that it's generally true).
  • I did not run into many decision makers this year...very few upper management executives.  But tons of influencers: people who implement and use the products.  I suspect most decision makers are going to Oracle HCM Cloud World while most of those responsible for executing those decisions attend OHUG.
  • A follow on to the prior point.  Attendees were focused on the fundamentals of implementation and use; "how do I do...".  Not many strategic discussions.
  • You couldn't  walk more than 10 feet without encountering a Taleo session or a hallway discussion about Taleo.  Maybe the top topic of the conference.
  • I tried several times to catch Oracle's Justin Challenger, who ran the conference Report Jam this year.  But every time I tried, he was heads down with a group of users designing reports. So I have to thin that the Report Jam was a big hit.
  • Likewise, the UX Lab was abuzz with activity whenever I stopped by there.
  • When the folks in Orlando say they're going to get rain, they're not messing around.  It rained hard...and usually more than once...every day I was there.
  • There may not be anyone who understands global implementations of HCM Cloud better than Oracle's Jon McGoy.  The breadth and depth of the material he presented, plus his off-the-cuff answers to questions, was pretty amazing.
So, overall, I think the OHUG conference is in the midst of a transition.  First, it's becoming more cloud-centric.  You can see it in both the session tracks and the focus of the attendees.  Second, it's become a "how to" type of conference.  More emphasis on using, integrating, and extending the applications.  Less emphasis on strategic decisions.   Third, the type of attendee is changing.  More influencers and users, fewer decision makers (hot tip:  some folks think that's a good thing).

I'm already looking forward to next year's OHUG conference.  Can't wait to see how the transition continues to shake out.

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