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COLLABORATE 12 Sneak Preview with IOUG President Andy Flower

COLLABORATE 12, this year's Independent Oracle User Group (IOUG) conference, is set to take place April 22–26 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event's sponsors, including the Oracle Applications User Group (OAUG) and Quest International Users Group (Quest), expect more than 5,000 attendees, who come for insight and education across the full spectrum of Oracle technology and applications.

We recently sat down with Andy Flower, president of IOUG and managing director of Right Triangle Consulting, to get some early buzz on the event and to find out what attendees can expect.

Q. What do you think attendees will be interested in most at this year's conference?
A. I expect security, virtualization, and energy efficiency to attract big crowds. But if I had to pick a couple hot topics, I would say big data and "Exa." By ”Exa”, I mean the range of Oracle engineered systems, including Oracle Exadata Database Machine, Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, and Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine.

We will have an all-day deep dive on Sunday into Oracle Exadata lead by Oracle Database gurus Vinod Havel and Daniel Liu, plus more than 30 individual conference sessions devoted to Oracle Exadata.

On the subject of deep dives, this year our Sunday deep dives are included in the conference registration. Previously there was an additional fee to attend a deep dive. In addition to Oracle Exadata we have deep dives in real-world performance, predictive analytics, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, Oracle WebCenter, and several more.

Q. Explain the concept of COLLABORATE 12 boot camps?
A. Basically, we organize a series of related conference sessions into a single curriculum. We ask a leading expert in our community to help orchestrate a series of sessions to make it easy to get an intensive introduction in a particular topic.

There will be a big data boot camp, managed by our very own Ian Abramson, that is presented to answer questions about what big data is and how businesses can derive value from it. The economic mining of vast amounts of data will allow businesses to accelerate growth and service to achieve better results. Big data is here and it is time to find out how it can help.

Additionally there will be boot camps organized by leaders in our community for DBAs, security, virtualization, cloud computing, and many more.

Q. Why do you think Oracle Exadata will be so much on the minds of attendees?
A. Typically, organizations replatform their IT infrastructure about every five years. Many are coming up on that five-year mark now, and as Oracle DBAs look around, they're realizing Oracle Exadata, or some kind of engineered system, is likely to be in their future. And of course these solutions require a very different management approach, so people want to make sure they stay ahead of the curve.

Q. Do you care to highlight any particularly exciting keynotes?
A. I'm personally really excited to hear astronaut Captain Mark Kelley. He flew four missions on the space shuttle Endeavour, including the Endeavour's final mission in 2011, which he led. Incredibly, he managed to complete that mission in the wake of the attempted assassination of his wife, U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Their story of mutual support and strength should be amazing.

Q. What about networking opportunities? Any fun events or activities planned?
A. Absolutely, lots of opportunities. Each of the three groups—IOUG, OAUG, and Quest—will have its own welcome reception. If attendees enjoyed our Operation Security Classified Hackfest competition last year they’ll enjoy the friendly competition we have planned this year, Operation Classified: It’s Personal Now. And every day of the conference, there will be a range of networking events. Often, special interest group events can pop up at the last minute, so attendees should keep their eyes peeled. The big bash is already in the works. It will take place Wednesday at Mandalay Bay and will feature the Spazmatics—a cover band that has always been a huge hit with the Oracle crowd.

Register now for COLLABORATE 12, and follow the latest news on Twitter with hashtag #C12LV.
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