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February 2014

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IOUG President Michelle Malcher: Sneak Peak of COLLABORATE 14

COLLABORATE 14, the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) conference, will take place April 7 to 11 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cosponsored by Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) and Quest International Users Group (Quest), this year's conference will include some 1,250 panels and sessions covering the full spectrum Oracle applications and technology.

For a sneak preview at the conference and tips about how to get the most out of it, we turned to Michelle Malcher, IOUG president and DBA team lead at DRW Holdings.

Q. Who will be this year's keynote speaker?
A. We are hosting Adam Savage from the Discovery Channel series MythBusters, so that should be a lot of fun.

Q. What are the key themes planned for the IOUG Forum?
A. Right now, database administrators (DBAs) have the opportunity to play a transformational role in their organizations. So our theme is the mild-mannered DBA who transforms into the DBA superhero. The idea is, you can build up your DBA "superpower" toolkit at COLLABORATE, then go achieve what once might have seemed impossible.

Q. There have been some structural changes made to the agenda this year. Please elaborate.
A. We decided to devote the first part of the week to longer technical deep dives. For the database track, that means longer sessions with leaders widely recognized for their expertise. We found that attendees wanted deeper, more-focused content around their core concerns, so we are kicking off with that. During the second part of the week, attendees can then branch out and explore hot topics that interest them: big data for DBAs, some new features of Oracle Database 12c, or whatever else you may find intriguing.

Q. As a COLLABORATE veteran, what in your experience makes this conference so special?
A. I have attended pretty much every single COLLABORATE conference. To me, it's an amazing opportunity to connect directly with people who have solved exactly the challenge I may be facing on my job. And the learning doesn't stop when the conference is over. I often find myself reaching out to my COLLABORATE network throughout the year.

Q. Do you have any tips for first-time attendees?
A. You may feel overwhelmed by all the content. The trick is, come up with a game plan. Our new mobile app for the conference should help you build and execute a great plan. I definitely recommend attending the opening reception as well, since you can talk to old-timers—they can give you some great tips before the conference kicks off. And when you attend a session that is of particular interest to you, reach out to other attendees. That's sure to lead to some valuable networking, plus great tips on other pertinent sessions at the conference.

Learn more and register now for COLLABORATE 14.

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