As winter turns to spring, for thousands of Oracle users, that also means one thing: It's time for Collaborate.
The Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) will co-host Collaborate 2017, its annual user conference, April 2 to 6 in Las Vegas, along with the Independent Oracle Users Group and Quest International Users Group.
The conference features 17 tracks, and it includes more than 1,200 sessions throughout the week, to range across the scope of Oracle applications, such as Oracle E-Business Suite, Fusion Applications and Primavera, plus Oracle Database and broader areas of interest, such as big data and cloud computing.
Three overarching themes -- hybrid cloud, business analytics and professional development -- await Oracle users headed to Oracle Collaborate this year, according to Alyssa Johnson, president of the OAUG. But she said the primary focus is hybrid cloud.
"Many of our customers are on the cloud journey, but it's not a rip-and-replace journey," Johnson said. "They're still using on-premises applications and finding where the cloud makes the most sense for them."
Collaborate 17 features several sessions based on a hybrid cloud environment. One such session, "Strategic Cloud Procurement in a Hybrid Environment with Oracle ERP: Skanska Case Study," features Skanska USA's vice president of IT business systems discussing how his company implemented Oracle's Procurement Cloud and integrated with Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.
The second theme, business analytics, "is key," Johnson said, "because the data in your database is critical, but only to the extent that you can present that to business users to benefit the company. Business intelligence is a huge component of the conference."
"Developing a Comprehensive Unified Business Analytics Platform with BIFS and Oracle Essbase," scheduled for April 2, will show attendees how Oracle BIFS provides access to the Hyperion performance management tools.
Piggybacking on hybrid cloud is a session that integrates both business analytics and hybrid. The session, "Migrating Oracle BI Applications Analytics to the Cloud: Your hybrid cloud awaits," addresses the question of how much on-premises software can actually be migrated to the cloud with the shortest amount of downtime.
The third theme for this year's Oracle Collaborate, professional development, focuses on how IT is able to handle the rapidly changing industry landscape, Johnson said.
Alyssa Johnsonpresident, Oracle Applications Users Group
"What are the things you're going to need to learn in order to continue your career?" she said.
One particular session, "Learn, Act and Share -- How to Increase Your Skills," takes place on April 4 and details how an Oracle user can set a goal, sharpen his or her skills and advance within their organization.
Top of mind for many Oracle users is the company's direction over the next year, especially after it hiked its licensing requirements last month -- and that will be a focal point at Collaborate.
"Users definitely understand that Oracle's path is cloud," Johnson said. "What does it take to move your EBS instances into the cloud? What is a good use case for moving away from on premises to software as a service?"
On April 3, in a forward-looking session titled "Oracle E-Business Suite: Update, Strategy, and Roadmap," an Oracle general manager will provide an update on the future of Oracle's product line.
In addition to the different tracks and sessions, Oracle Collaborate will also feature an Exploration Series, expanding on a topic over the course of a day by improving business processes through R12 or coexisting with cloud computing. The three different series are "Procure to Pay," "Order to Cash" and "Record to Report."
Highlights from Collaborate 16
Primary topics at OpenWorld 16
Customers at Collaborate want self-service