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Collaborate conference needs to go back to square one, says presenter

Michael Brown thinks that the Collaborate conference has gotten away from its roots in education. At Collaborate 15, he is presenting sessions for new users and experienced ones.

Collaborate conference 2015 speaker Michael Brown feels strongly about a basic point: "There is a need to go back to square one and make sure people understand the concepts."

Like some others, Brown, applications DBA at BlueStar and technical manager and senior Oracle DBA at Colibri Limited , received his early Oracle training at live conferences. However, in recent years, the Collaborate conference has had fewer lower-level sessions at which users just starting out could go to learn. The trend started, according to Brown, because, due to financial pressures, companies have been primarily sending their senior level people to conferences, and so events like the Collaborate conference have adapted to the changing body of attendees.

However, Brown said those just starting out with Oracle need attention, too. "Now companies are realizing that they now have an issue with getting new hires up to speed," he said. To that end, "We're trying to make sure Collaborate is an avenue companies can use to train their people," he added.

At this year's Collaborate conference, which is being held April 12-16 in Las Vegas, Brown will present two white papers, moderate a panel and serve as a panel member for the Oracle Applications User Group (OAUG). He has been a member of the OAUG since 2005 and began attending OAUG conferences in 1997. At Collaborate 2013, he was named OAUG Member of the Year. He is currently the chairman of the OAUG database special interest group and on the education committee with OAUG President Melissa English. He is also a member of the Independent Oracle Users Group and an Oracle ACE.

Brown's two whitepaper presentations for this year's Collaborate conference are "A Guide to Cloning the Oracle E-Business Suite" and "Getting Ready for R12.2: Edition Based Redefinition." During his presentation on edition-based redefinition, Brown plans to go through the specifics of how Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) works with R12.2 and cover the cover the core capacities. Then Brown plans to demo EBS on R12.2 on his laptop, which runs Linux. "[Oracle EBS] is a core technical application," Brown said. "DBAs have to have a firm grasp on it before moving to R12.2."

The presentation on cloning is a beginner's guide and, Brown said, "the session started from stuff I had to learn." Brown had thought that cloning in EBS was a well-known subject, but recently discovered that it's something a lot of users still need to learn. "I had to teach this stuff to myself," Brown said, "I'm just trying to boil it down and give people an easier start just referring to the manuals."

Next Steps

Find out about the current leadership of the OAUG and Collaborate

Get the OAUG's perspective on Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2

This was last published in April 2015

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Do you think that conferences and user groups need to focus more on educating newer members?
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For sustainability's sake, if nothing else - the future of these user groups and conferences is in those just starting out, so if they feel confused and/or alienated, they might not return. 
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