Working with Oracle is something users groups strive to do. We are all very independent and not simply vendor puppets but when we work well with Oracle we can use it for the good of our members.
Two weeks ago OAUG held a Connection Point in Dubai in the Dhow Palace Hotel and I went along as a speaker. Oracle Dubai was very supportive and it was a great success. But user groups need more than just Oracle on their side; they need volunteers from their membership. Each user group has professional people to run the events and logistics but it is the volunteers that drive the content, the agendas and ultimately the success, and the fuel for the volunteers is enthusiasm.
In Dubai 7 / 8 people volunteered afterwards to help with a Middle East user group and I hope they can continue what has been started there. These volunteers are in their infancy but Dubai as saw an example of the ‘old timers on the block’. The Product Development Committee I run in the IOUC has quarterly question times with Oracle on Fusion Applications. The latest one with Steve Miranda was at 1am on the first night (or rather 2nd morning of the conference), and 4 of us attended the call, Bashir Khan, Michael Rulf, Nadia Bendjedou and myself (and of course Stanley). What dedication! Not only did we all stay up and make it through the 60 minute call but it was so good we then stayed up talking about it for another 35 minutes.
The morale of the story is that working with Oracle whilst staying independent is a very important part of user groups success but most important is the volunteers.
Thankyou to you past, present and future (?) volunteers