I had to get up at 6 this morning, because Rye Livingston (Senior Manager of Hyperion User Group Relations) decided to hold a HUG (Hyperion User Group) leadership breakfast at 7:15 AM. It was mostly a meet and greet, but I did learn a few things. The HUGs will, it seems, be allowed to remain an entity independent of one of the existing user group communities at Oracle (like OAUG, IOUG, Quest, et al). The user group leadership community at Oracle looked at the people who attend Hyperion User Group meetings and realized that they're not exactly like the other Oracle products. Hyperion users tend to have a blend of technology and application skills, so it's difficult to slot them into one of the more stratified existing user communities.
The Oracle folks asked what changes we (as user group leaders) wanted to see in the user groups with the Oracle acquisition. I lobbied for a sharing of best practices across the HUGs as well as a shared database of presenters and presentations. I've presented at 6 or 7 HUGs across the country, and the content that each region delivers varies dramatically. It would be nice for one region to be able to leverage the presentations that another region is delivering.
They're targeting the new HUG structure to be in place by May/June of 2008. I think that the HUGs are likely to improve in quality and attendance under the new leadership. I genuinely liked all the people I met and I really liked some of their improvement suggestions. You definitely get the impression that these people have done this before. I think they've learned from the disaster that occurred when they tried to integrate the JDEdwards user groups into the overall structure. Then again, I could be wrong and any sense of vibrancy that the HUGs currently have could be dead in 18 months. I don't think there will be much middle ground.
I've been complaining about the lack of helpful information at OpenWorld (for Hyperion users, at least). It seems that Oracle COLLABORATE will be a lot more content focused and customer driven than OpenWorld. COLLABORATE 2008 will be held April 13-17 in Denver, Colorado. They're trying to have a Hyperion track, and I wish them the best. I'll try to submit a few presentations for COLLABORATE, and we'll see what happens.