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IOUG President John Matelski Previews Oracle OpenWorld

As Oracle OpenWorld 2012 approaches, Database Insider (DBI) asked John Matelski, newly elected president of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) and an Oracle OpenWorld veteran, for tips on getting the most value out of the event, which will take place in San Francisco September 30 to October 4.

In addition to his new role as IOUG president, Matelski serves as CIO and director of IT services for Gwinnett County, Georgia, where he is charged with providing technology vision and leadership for the county's enterprisewide information technology program.

DBI: What are your secrets for making the most of Oracle OpenWorld?
JM: For me, preplanning is a must. The Oracle OpenWorld scheduling tool is a big help, and I use it to preregister for sessions I know I don't want to miss. And because events are spread out over a large area, I try to map out my movements ahead of time.

DBI: What do you think will be Oracle Database and Oracle Exadata hot topics?
JM: Based on developments of the last 12 months, I think big data is definitely going to be hot. The challenges and opportunities of data governance will be another biggie. And there will obviously be a big emphasis on Oracle Exadata and the other Oracle Engineered Systems, with more than 100 sessions.

DBI: In addition to individual conference sessions, how do you spend your time?
JM: I really urge folks to consider the Oracle Users Forum, which takes place 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 30 in Moscone West, Levels 2 and 3. It's an incredible opportunity to dig deeper into specific topics with colleagues, peers, and subject matter experts.

I also schedule time to visit vendors so I can keep up with latest developments, and of course catch up with the vendors with whom I already have a relationship. There are so many vendors that—again—I map out a plan of attack.

Finally, I always block out time to spend in the User Group Pavilion at Moscone West, Lobby Level 2. It's an amazing opportunity to connect with peers to share best practices and lessons learned.

DBI: What top three sessions do you recommend?
JM: Each person will have their own don't-miss sessions, depending on their function, their industry, and their reasons for attending. That said, I think these three will appeal across the board.

First, you clearly don't want to miss Larry Ellison's keynote, "Hardware and Software, Engineered to Work Together: Why It’s A Different Approach", to get an overall view and roadmap of developments at Oracle. Larry’s keynotes are the highlight of the show, there’s always a buzz in the air and sometimes something unexpected happens. It’s bound to be informative, entertaining, and a packed house—get there early to get a good seat!

I would also recommend the session 100 Oracle Exadata Implementations Later: What We Have Learned. Tim Fox from Enkitec shares their experiences from more than 100 Oracle Exadata installations running everything from OLTP applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle’s PeopleSoft, to large-scale custom data warehouses. He covers best practices, what to plan for to ensure a successful project outcome, as well as lessons learned. That's definitely on my radar.

Finally, I’m looking forward to the panel discussion of Accelerate Big Data Adoption with Less Risk and Complexity. This panel covers big data use cases and provides insights into a roadmap for integrating big data capabilities into existing information architectures. It should be great chance to consider a practical and disciplined approach to big data.

DBI: When you need a break, what do you do to recharge?
JM: San Francisco is such a beautiful city, so I schedule time before or after the conference to take advantage of being there. During the conference itself, I am completely immersed. I'm up at 6 a.m. and don't get to bed until at least midnight. If I have some down time, I spend it sitting down with other technologists to share best practices. Again, the User Group Pavilion is a great place to do that. Be sure to stop by Moscone West, Lobby Level 2 to meet the IOUG leadership team during the show.

Get all the information you need about Oracle OpenWorld: Visit the content catalog for complete session information, read about Oracle user group communities and the User Group Pavilion, see the exhibition hall floor plans to map out your approach to the event—and don’t forget to register today.

Read more about IOUG and John Matelski.

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