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Oracle OpenWorld 2014: 10 Great Reasons to Attend

10 Great Reasons to Attend Oracle OpenWorld

Why I Can't Wait to Join the Crowd in San Francisco

By Michael Hickins


Rocking Out with All Things Oracle

Oracle OpenWorld 2014, held from September 28 to October 3, promises to be a landmark event—with an estimated 60,000 attendees from around the world—and not just because we get to watch a bunch of timeless rockers grow another year younger.

Here are the top 10 reasons for going to Oracle OpenWorld this year:

Keynotes are out, conversations are in.

Oracle OpenWorld 2014

Rather than hearing executives pontificate about the awesomeness of the latest product releases, we'll get to join Larry Ellison, Mark Hurd, and other industry thought leaders as they engage in meaningful conversations on stage. The luminaries will include top execs from Procter & Gamble, Xerox, Walgreens, dunnhumby, Tesco, Pearson, and other leaders in tech strategy and implementation.

Partners are more important than ever.

No technology company is an island—especially not in today's mobile, social, real-time world. We'll hear from the likes of new Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka and Intel President Renée J. James about the latest developments at their companies and how they are working with Oracle, both on the engineering side as well as on the front lines, to help our customers win market share and disrupt their industries.

Great insights.

Oracle Executive Vice President Thomas Kurian and Dr. Didier Bonnet, Capgemini expert in digital transformation, will discuss the transformative potential of cloud services, and how the cloud gives business leaders a great opportunity to turn IT from a cost center into a hub of innovation, growth, and customer insights.

Industry solutions in detail.

More than 1,980 sessions, 2,900 speakers, and 720 demos will provide a dizzying number of choices that offer detailed information and examples of how leaders in your industry have maximized their potential by transforming themselves in digital, real-time enterprises.

Big data gets real.

Data Warehousing and Big Data Customer Panel

You've heard the hype, but for me, big data doesn't really resonate until you've heard someone talk about how it's completely transformed their business. Oracle customers will be on stage Tuesday, September 30 at 10:45 a.m. to talk about how they use data warehousing and big data solutions on engineered systems such as Oracle Exadata and Oracle Big Data Appliance. We'll hear how these customers apply innovative data management and analytic techniques to drive their business, make the right decisions, and find hidden information. The conversation will be wide-ranging, with panelists from a variety of industries discussing business benefits, technical architectures, implementation best practices, and future directions. After all the vapor, I can't wait to hear about the real sizzle of big data.

CIOs are my peeps.

As the former editor of CIO Journal, this one is a no-brainer. It's no secret that cloud computing, while appealing on many levels, has also been the catalyst for many a CIO identity crisis. Cloud computing fundamentally changed the role of the CIO, made old job descriptions obsolete, altered organizational structures, and changed the benchmarks of success. We'll see a conversation among three CIOs that digs into how CIOs can effectively make that transition, and how the right managed cloud solution can not only put them back in control but also arm them with the comprehensive business insight they need in order to thrive in this changing world. The session is early in the program— Monday, September 29 at 1:30 p.m. —so get your questions ready.

My favorite industry analyst.

No disrespect to the many excellent industry analysts who will attend Oracle OpenWorld, but there's one visionary at the top of my list—Rebecca Wettemann, lead analyst of Nucleus Research. She brings a down-to-earth, ear-to-the-ground, open-minded approach to her work, which I witnessed in 2006, when I was plying my trade as a tech journalist at She was the first analyst I encountered who understood the power and potential of cloud computing to change not just the tech landscape, but the very way customers would do business. Thanks to her and her observations, I was one of the first journalists to report seriously about cloud computing. She'll provide her perspectives on cloud in the CRM space on Tuesday, September 30 at noon. And I can't wait to watch her on Wednesday, October 1 at 10:15 a.m., when she'll moderate a panel in her no-nonsense style.

Getting my Exadata geek on.

Oracle Exadata Database Machine has changed the game in how companies use Oracle Database for online transaction processing (OLTP), data warehousing, and database as a service (DBaaS). Monday, September 29 at 1:30 p.m., Oracle Senior Vice President Juan Loaiza will discuss Oracle Database In-Memory and explain why Oracle developed this exciting new technology. Loaiza will explain how this unique “dual format” architecture works and how the new in-memory functionality interacts with key database performance features such as Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC), Oracle Partitioning, parallel execution, and much more. Then, the same day at 4 p.m., he'll tell us about the latest Oracle Exadata technology and where it's going in the future.

New music and old.

OpenWorld Appreciation Event

I'm not saying anything more about my age, but suffice it to say rock and roll has been ringing in my ears since portable music meant either a car radio or a boom box. In addition to watching truly special guest artist Aerosmith rock the night, we'll get to hear the best of what our own kids are listening to: hit machines Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the haunting techno-pop sounds of Empire of the Sun, and the charismatic Capital Cities duo of Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian (who bears more than a passing resemblance to actor Zach Galifianakis). See our "Rock Out" blog post.

San Francisco.

From the Embarcadero to North Beach (my favorite, still home to the amazing City Lights bookstore), there isn't much this great city doesn't offer. Even this native New Yorker has to admit there aren't many better places to spend a week—assuming you can tear yourself away from the amazing workshops, seminars, and conversations at Moscone Center.

A lifetime’s worth of technology education placed in the context of a faster and more demanding market than ever—and exhilarating breaks to rest the mind and compose the soul—make attendance a no-brainer. As Macklemore is sure to say during the concert, "this is bleeping awesome." 

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