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March 2013

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IOUG President John Matelski on Upcoming COLLABORATE 13

COLLABORATE 13, this year's Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) conference cosponsored with Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) and Quest International Users Group (Quest), is set to take place April 7–11 in Denver, Colorado.

Expected to attract 6,000 attendees, the conference is designed to enable Oracle users to build skills and knowledge by sharing best practices with Oracle experts, service providers, and fellow users. We asked John Matelski, president of the IOUG, for a sneak peek into what this year's attendees can expect.

Q. Who will be this year's keynote speaker?
A. We're really excited to have Aaron Ralston as our keynote speaker. For those who don't know him, he's a fearless outdoorsman as well as an engineer, author, and motivational speaker. He's probably best known for a canyon accident back in 2003 when he had to amputate his own arm in order to save his life. He told his amazing story in the book "Between a Rock and a Hard Place," which was made into the Oscar-nominated film "127 Hours."

Q. What can DBAs expect to get out of the conference?
A. For DBAs and other database technologists, we're planning a series of Oracle Database sessions, with topics ranging from security to application development to maximum availability architecture. Products such as Oracle Real Application Clusters and engineered systems such as Oracle Exadata will also be key focus areas.

Besides sharing best practices with experts and fellow users, hands-on labs will also give users a chance to get their hands dirty at the keyboard, interacting directly with Oracle Database technologies.

On Saturday night and Sunday, attendees should check out the preconference Oracle training workshops. They're a great opportunity to dive deeper into a specific topic—and they're free to IOUG members!

Q. A lot of director-level and C-level tech leaders attend the conference. What can they expect?
A. This year we are directly addressing their needs with content to help them in their business roles. For example, we are planning sessions that will give them better insight into the value of their technology investments, enabling them to go to their board of directors with a clear focus on total cost of ownership and return on investment.

Q. What about networking, socializing, and just plain fun?
A. COLLABORATE provides an unparalleled chance to meet peers and experts from your industry who work with the same products. Since this is the IOUG’s 20th anniversary, we'll be celebrating with a fantastic party, plus on Wednesday there will the annual party that closes the conference. That's always a big hit.

Because such a big event can be overwhelming, we have lots of smaller events such as the women in IT session, birds-of-a-feather lunches, and special interest group events. Finally, individual exhibitors will hold smaller gatherings on the weekday evenings.

And of course, there is lots of great stuff to do in Denver itself.

Q. Any tips for first-time attendees?
A. I definitely recommend the preconference workshops on Saturday night and Sunday—again, they're free to IOUG members. The Sunday night welcome reception is also a great place to get your bearings and start meeting experts and peers.

Most of all, get out and network. This IOUG forum features the latest in Oracle technology and database education, direct from Oracle customers and users on the front line. You might just end up saving your organization thousands—maybe even tens of thousands—in consultant fees, thanks to a casual conversation over a meal or cocktail. So yes, it's about education, but it's also about establishing relationships.

Learn more and register now for COLLABORATE 13.

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