This content is part of the Essential Guide: Oracle cloud architecture push spawns new tools, issues for users

OAUG head Dues talks tech plans, Oracle cloud applications

OAUG president Patricia Dues talks about the technology that has the Oracle user group's attention and why it's important to learn about the cloud even if you aren't planning to use it.

At Collaborate 16, Oracle Applications Users Group president Dr. Patricia Dues discussed with SearchOracle the new technology directions for the OAUG and the importance of Oracle cloud applications. Her philosophy is to always keep an open mind. A technology that may not be directly applicable to you today could be important to you tomorrow. Dues brings this attitude to bear on the future of the OAUG.

When you worked for the city of Las Vegas, you received an award from the OAUG for an innovative mobile application. Do you plan to implement any new or interesting technologies as president of the OAUG?

Patricia Dues: We're looking at our technology within OAUG, and one of the things we're looking at doing is having a mobile app with the association. We have a lot on our plate on the technology side, so we need to establish some priorities. But it is definitely on the list. I don't know for sure if it will be out this year.

We've done something -- I think it's pretty exciting -- we took all of our [geographic user groups], and they of course had websites and things, and we set up a standard platform for them, ... and we just finished this year rolling them all into a standard website. So, they have, I think, a really nice look and feel, and there's a consistency to them. When they have their meetings, people can register through that website. They can also post their papers, anything they want to share with their members. If you want to be a member and join you just have to say, "I want to be a member" and join this SIG, and the system automatically takes you over there and lets the [geographic user group] know you want to be a member and start a profile. We just rolled that out. It's not a hard thing to do technologically, but we have about a hundred groups, so it's a huge effort.

[At Collaborate,] I sat in on a meeting on mobility, and IBM did a keynote. It's just fascinating, cognitive computing...That's what I was thinking: all the ways we can use cognitive computing that we can take advantage of.

Like what?

Dues: It's Siri. That's really what it is. They use Watson, of course. Say we have our member database, and people build profiles and put pictures in. You can take that and with some of the code IBM has that you can pull from, you can build actual thought process into it. So you could talk into your computer and say, "I'm curious about the members we have that all have this kind of profile." You can start looking more in depth at all that data, but with more of a thought process than filtering with "Okay, give me all of the people who live in Dallas, Texas."

That's an area that we could maybe start eventually moving into, but not this year. We have a lot on our plate.

I've heard people say that they're not looking at cloud or that they're frustrated by a perceived focus on Oracle cloud applications. What do you think of this?

Dues: People here have made a significant investment in on-premises systems, and so, of course, they're not ready to just say, "Let's throw all of that out and move on to the cloud." In my discussions with Oracle, what I'm hearing is hybrid is what they're probably seeing.

OK, I'm going to be a brand new customer -- I haven't invested anything. I believe if an Oracle sales person is calling on me, they're going to recommend cloud to me because there are a whole bunch of advantages to it. Now, depending on my industry, cloud may not fit, but it's much easier to implement because Oracle is doing it all for me.

If I'm like the city of Las Vegas that has run for 20 years on-premises, a large investment plus lots and lots of applications, you can't forget that you aren't just Oracle. You can move your Oracle to the cloud, but you can't move all these others. There's no cloud to go to [in some cases]. So that's another consideration.

My impression has been that they understand that. Oracle is open. To me it sounds like Oracle has a number of offerings. So you can just have your database hosted. There's a lot of different ways to approach it.

I think that people, just in talking, they get this fear because they hear so much about the cloud, that they are going to be forced to move to the cloud. Oracle has not said a word about not doing future upgrades or releases for the applications or that they're making people go to the cloud in 2020 or anything like that. Everything I've heard is "We're offering you a lot of different options. Yes, we like the idea of the cloud. We really see the benefits. But if that's not where you're going, we're not going to make you."

Next Steps

At Collaborate 16, the ECCU shared the best and worst of its migration to Oracle cloud applications

OAUG president Dr. Patricia Dues makes the Oracle Support Council and younger members priorities

Former OAUG president Melissa English gives her thoughts on Oracle's cloud strategy

Oracle IOUG Collaborate 18 puts focus on skills

Dig Deeper on Oracle cloud computing infrastructure