Sunday 30 November 2008

Quiet before the Storm

So it is the day before conference opens but for me it starts in about 30 minutes. Ronan and I have to finish our introduction slides and have a quick rehearsal, then there is part 1 of a directors meeting, followed by a SIG volunteers meeting and then part 2. There are drinks for volunteers after that but Ronan and I can't stay long we are taking Dave Callaghan out for dinner.

However I have already had a night in Birmingham as the first flight in on a Sunday from Belfast would not get here in time.

The ICC looks quite different today than it will for the rest of the week, I can't say it is quiet as there appears to be a children's Christmas event happening. The directors have started to arrive and I keep bumping into people arriving and although the trains are pretty bad with the normal weekend engineering but the fog that affected my flight yesterday appears not to be affecting the airport, but we have already had one US speaker with a cancelled flight, although he has found an alternative route.

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Farewell to a special Friend

UKOUG relies on volunteers, we do have staff but Directors, SIG leaders, speakers etc are all volunteers. Each of our Special Interest Groups also have an Oracle 'buddy' who is also a volunteer.

Thank you to all our volunteers.

But one of our 'special' volunteers retires from Oracle this month, Ian Smith,Senior Vice President for the Oracle UK Region covering the UK, Ireland and South Africa. Ian has always been a greta supporter of UKOUG and we will miss him.

(Seen here on the right with Paul O'Riordan, MD Oracle Ireland).

I am honoured to have worked with Ian and wish him well in the next stage of his life. I had the opportunity to say farewell last week in Belfast and Ronan presented him with a small momento from UKOUG the previous week

Saturday 1 November 2008

Oracle Award

I have previously said how proud I am to be involved in Users Groups and how my own group UKOUG is the best user group in the World. I am also honoured to be an Oracle ACE Director but this week I have been honoured even further. Oracle Magazine have awarded me User Group Evangelist of the Year.

I want to say thankyou to everyone who has helped me in this role, to UKOUG, IOUC and all the user groups who have given me the opportunity to present. To Oracle for keeping me informed and for Fujitsu who have always supported me in this role. I hope that in return I share the knowledge with everyone.

From Rock to Classical

In my last post I mentioned I met a rock star in Denmark. Oliver Weers is by day a DBA in Denmark but at night he is a rock star. Following his entry in Denmark's X Factor he has just released an Album 'Get Ready' which he sang from at the Miracle Beach Party.

Then when I got back to Belfast I was invited to a event as part of the Queens Festival and listen to Dmitri Alexeev and Nikolai Demidenko phenominal piano players.

So proof that variety is the spice of life.

We Know How To Party!

Every conference is fun, I love presenting and sharing information, I love partying, but last week I found a conference where they say it is 80%/80%, how does that work? Well what gives is the sleeping.

Miracle Oracle Open World in Denmark is a real hard core technical conference where most speakers are members of The Oak Table, so what exactly was I doing there?

Well this year they had a business track and I was able to talk about Fusion which is my area of expertise, and next year I hope to be back to talk to the technical guys about what that means to them.

I met up with old friends and made many more. After the event I was honoured to be invited first to an Oak Table Dinner and then to stay at Mogens house for the weekend. Mogens has been a phenomenal friend (if at times annoyingly frustrating) and one thing I had always wanted to do was to meet his wife, now I have and have added another true friend to the list. Their hospitality knows no bounds, and having sat around THE Oak Table all night I now understand the magic.

So what about these 80% parties? Well I met a Rock Star (see next blog), went to the Beach Party and once left the Party House before 3am - only to get lost finding my house in Lilandia (did I tell you the conference took place in a Centre Parks type holiday camp).

And what about the content? well in the Business track the first they have attempted there was good content, Why should you go to R12? A presentation given by Richard Weaver from Oracle, poor Richard had no idea what Miracle is all about and even though we told him all the things to expect it was still a bit of a shock but he joined in and partied like the rest of us. Well done Richard.

But the best presentation for me was Gert H.N. Laursen who talked about his book ' Business Intelligence', it is not yet available in English but I am having the first copy. It was excellent, he went through his model of BI design, aligning BI to strategy at different levels of the organisation - 'From Strategy to Data Sources'.

The best conference is were I learn something and I so did. This is another book everyone of my team will be reading.