As Published In
Oracle Magazine
May/June 2008

COMMENT: In The Field

New IOUG Award Is Double Honor

By Ari Kaplan

From the Oracle Contribution Award to Ken Jacobs to Tom Kyte

It's not often that a single award can honor two people, but that's what the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) has done with one award this year.

The Oracle Contribution Award has been one way that the IOUG has recognized extraordinary contributions by Oracle employees to the user group and the user community. Each year at the annual COLLABORATE conference, which is cosponsored by the IOUG, the Oracle Applications User Group, and Quest, the IOUG has presented this award to an Oracle employee for outstanding dedication and service to the user group community.

Through this award, the IOUG has acknowledged people who have positively affected the success of the IOUG through their support of the organization. Recent recipients of the Oracle Contribution Award include Shyam Varan Nath (2007), Mary Lou Dopart (2006), James Hobbs (2005), Ken Jacobs (2004), Mary Ann Zirelli (2003), and Kate Kerner (2002).

The IOUG Is Pleased to Rename...

The IOUG has renamed the Oracle Contribution Award after Ken Jacobs, Oracle's vice president of product strategy in Oracle Server Technologies, for his many contributions to Oracle users. The years that Ken Jacobs has provided support, strategic guidance, and leadership to the IOUG have truly made a mark on our organization, and we very much appreciate all that he has done for the IOUG.

Jacobs has had an extensive career with Oracle, including helping to establish the first Oracle office in Washington DC in 1981; serving in various consulting, support, product management, and product marketing capacities; and helping to guide the development of the Oracle Database product over the years.

Jacobs says that the real stars of the Oracle community are the volunteers of the IOUG, who work so hard, invest so much energy, and inject so much creativity to provide support to others in the community.

"It has been my great pleasure to work with you and on your behalf, both as a strong voice of advocacy for users to Oracle, as well as a voice of Oracle to the users," Jacobs says. "I am truly touched and extremely honored by your naming this award for me. It's an honor I will always cherish."

And the Jacobs Goes to...

The IOUG is presenting this first-ever Ken Jacobs Award to Tom Kyte, Oracle architect.

"I am thrilled that this award is going to Tom Kyte, who exemplifies all the best that an Oracle employee can be," Jacobs says. "Tom is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about Oracle technology. He is tireless and every week answers what seem to be millions of technical questions on the Ask Tom Web site. His mission is to help people make better use of Oracle technology through education and examples. Tom's no-nonsense, just-the-facts, and show-me-the-proof style make him an invaluable resource for Oracle and users alike. It is entirely fitting that he receives this recognition," Jacobs says.

Kyte has worked with Oracle Database since 1987; he joined Oracle as an employee in 1993. He helps Oracle customers and users who work with the database and is familiar to users as the Tom behind the Ask Tom column in Oracle Magazine , answering questions about Oracle Database and its tools. "I spend way too much time working on," Kyte says.

Next Steps


 ASK Tom

The author of several well-regarded books on Oracle technology, Kyte has been involved with the IOUG since 1993, and every year since, his involvement in the user community has grown. He's now been to Oracle user group events all over the world and spends at least three or four days a month helping the user groups.

Kyte says that he's very flattered to receive this recognition. "I was in Toronto when Ken Jacobs received the Oracle Contribution Award in 2004, and I remember thinking how impressed I was that he had this connection with the user group community," Kyte says. "I'm humbled to receive the same award—now named after Ken—this year."

Kyte says that joining the IOUG offers many advantages for professional growth. "I'm a big supporter of the IOUG and try to do what I can to support it," he says. "I would strongly encourage anyone who calls their career Oracle to become part of it. The conferences are great. Great technical content, strong leadership, and great organization: that's the IOUG." 

Ari Kaplan ( is president of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) and a senior consultant at Datalink. He founded Expand Beyond Corporation, a leader in mobile IT software. He has been involved in Oracle technology since 1992.

Send us your comments