July 19, 2007

Hyperion Solutions Conference is Dead: Long Live, OpenWorld!

Hyperion held two major user conferences in 2007.  The larger conference in Orlando in April attracted over 4,000 people.  A much smaller conference was held in May in Lyons, France that was oriented towards the EURMEA audience.  I had the pleasure of attending and presenting both.  While I had a great time in Lyons, I had a better time in Orlando.  interRel put on 15 or 16 presentations on Hyperion-related topics and I personally delivered 6 or 7 of them.  I also got to play the lead role in "Eddie and the Consultants: A System 9 Musical" and my Essbase book was officially released at the conference as well.  All in all, it was the most enjoyable conference I've ever attended. 

There was an odd vibe around the Orlando conference that got even odder in Lyons, and that was the general feeling that Oracle's takeover of Hyperion was going to somehow change everything.  We didn't know exactly what would differ, but we knew that Solutions 2008 would not be the same.  Maybe the food would improve, maybe Oracle wouldn't have a sense of humor that allowed a musical about Hyperion, or maybe the conference would change from being information-centric to marketing-centric.  Little did we know that Solutions 2007 would be the last Hyperion conference.

Solutions is now just an Application Track at Oracle's annual self-stravaganza, Oracle OpenWorld.  The 2007 incarnation of OpenWorld will be held in San Francisco (like every year, I'm told) from November 11-15.

At Solutions 2007 in Orlando, there were over 250 presentations.  Now Hyperion gets a track with 3 subtracks within it:

·         CRM on Demand

·         Essbase and Business Intelligence Tools

·         Financial Performance Management

First of all, I fail to see how 250 presentations can be crammed into 3 subtracks unless there are a whole lot of subsubtracks.  It's obvious that the number of Hyperion-centric presentations will drop dramatically.  Partners were told that they would be allowed at most 2 Hyperion presentations at OpenWorld 2007: compare this to the 15+ that we did at Solutions 2007 either by ourselves or with clients, and it's apparent that OpenWorld is going to slash the number of Hyperion presentations.  I suppose that it's possible for Oracle to still deliver 250+ presentations, but they'll either have to do hundreds themselves (and who wants to listen to a software company talk about themselves for hundreds of hours?) or open up to more partner and customer involvement.  Although I've been going to Solutions/Dimensions since 1996, I suspect that Oracle OpenWorld is mostly going to be a marketing event, so I'm sad to say that I may actually stay home in November.

There is also something interesting about the list of Hyperion subtracks above.  Why is "CRM on Demand" listed under Hyperion applications?  This may be significant (is Hyperion going to be the analytic face of Oracle CRM on Demand?) or it's also possible that someone just goofed, I suppose.  When you visit the Application Track page, you'll notice that Hyperion appears more than in just the Hyperion track: it also appears under the "Business Intelligence and Analytical Applications" subtrack under All Applications with the following description:

"With the acquisition of Hyperion, Oracle offers the industry's most complete business intelligence product line for our customers. In this track, you'll learn how Hyperion's enteprise [yes, they spelled Enterprise wrong] performance management software, coupled with Oracle's business intelligence tools and analytic applications, form an end-to-end performance management system that includes planning, budgeting, consolidation, pre-built operational analytics, and compliance reporting. Find out what's new and how to get better results with business intelligence and analytic applications from Oracle."

Based on this, it seems that there will be some spillover of Hyperion presentations into the Oracle BI subtrack.  This also leads me to think that Oracle's serious about rapid integration of Essbase with the current Oracle BI suite, but this may just be wishful thinking on both my part and Oracle's.  Hyperion appears under other tracks as well such as in BI under the Technology track.

If you interested in registering for the Hyperion track, they're giving away some additional gifts to the first batch of people who sign up.  If you attended Solutions 2006 or 2007 (or the conferences of a few other companies Oracle has bought recently) and you're one of the first 3,000 people to sign up, you get an alumni jacket for free, it seems.  You also have the opportunity to buy some add-ons if you're one of the lucky 500-1000 first people to sign up.  The add-ons you can buy (no, they're not free) include:

·         iPod (Oracle branded?)

·         Book (Oracle branded as well, I'm guessing)

·         CD/DVD Kit (contains all 1,400+ presentations from the conference)

·         Preferred Keynote Seating (see Larry Ellison's nostrils)

·         Special Lunch Seating Area (who wants to sit with the "special" kids at lunch?)

·         Access to Club Oracle Gold Lounge (no idea if this includes an open or cash bar)

·         Special Oracle Gift (is it really a gift if you pay for it?)

You can see all the possible ways to price your admission here:


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