May 9, 2008

Solutions Road Trip - Welcome to Texas

I really long for the days of the Hyperion Solutions conference. It was a great opportunity to get a bunch of like-minded individuals together to learn about Hyperion in a non-sales sort of way (that nonetheless had the effect of making a lot of people buy software once they heard other people were doing great things with it). It was a fun few days of deeply educational material and some networking too. For the moment, I'm going to overlook that some of the Solutions presentations were sales pitches for consulting firms, others were client presentations delivered at such a high-level that no one walked out having learned anything, and many were delivered by presenters who frankly aren't qualified to teach anything other than driver's ed. The point is that all-in-all, it was a pretty good conference every year, and I miss it.

To that end, several of us at interRel are trying our darnedest to bring Solutions (and sexy) back, so we decided to put on a mini-version of Solutions in Dallas, Texas. It was only from noon to 10 PM, but we managed to get a keynote, 3 tracks with 3 presentations per track, and have room for a reception & baseball game. We held the "Solutions Road Trip to Texas" at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (where the Texas Rangers attempt to play baseball) where our corporate headquarters are located (seriously: we're located on the 3rd story of the outfield).

Check-in for today started at noon with our first presentation at 1PM. Al Marciante, Senior Director of Product Management at Oracle, was our keynote speaker. His topic was "The Future of Hyperion: 2008 Road Map and Beyond." In other words, it was a talk about what's going to be released in the Hyperion space over the rest of this year and a little into 2009. I personally asked Al to speak, because I find him to be one of the best presenters at Oracle. Not only does he know his stuff, he can be quite entertaining as well. I always get a chuckle or two out of Al's presentations (in a good way). He was an Essbase expert back in the day, and he's still much more technical than your average product management director.

When Al got started, we had around 100 attendees (huge for a regional user's group) and many more joined after that. I've been to a number of "What's New with Hyperion" presentations over the last year, but Al presentation today was probably the best. First of all, it wasn't a big sales pitch for OBIEE+ (Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Plus). Second, it actually had some details that I hadn't seen elsewhere. Another plus was that it had some nice screen prints. I wonder if Al would be willing to share them since Oracle Hyperion 11.1 is only a month or so away from release?

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