June 10, 2008

Breaking News: It's Official, Kaleidoscope to Replace Solutions and Top Gun

Lost in the midst of the "HUGs are joining OAUG fanfare" is this sentence in John Kopcke's letter talking about the Kaleidoscope conference:
This conference will replace the technical content of Hyperion Top Gun and the breadth of presentations of the Hyperion Solutions conference.
In other words, we finally have the official word from Oracle on which conference will replace the beloved Hyperion Solutions conference: Kaleidoscope. This is absolutely shocking to me on a couple of levels:
  1. I'm the co-chair of the Hyperion track at Kaleidoscope. You'd think someone would have given me a heads up that our conference was going to suddenly take on the 4,500 users from the 2007 Solutions conference.
  2. I thought Collaborate was going to be the successor to Solutions.
On that second point, while Collaborate was discussed in Kopcke's letter, the praise was "less than effusive." Collaborate was first mentioned in Kopcke's letter along with the other conferences (Collaborate, OpenWorld, and Kaleidoscope):
We saw many of you in Denver at Collaborate08 taking advantage of the Hyperion track and meeting with other users and Hyperion experts, we see that Hyperion developers are still registering for this month's ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2008 in New Orleans with its special Hyperion track, and we look forward to seeing all of you in September during Oracle OpenWorld 2008 in San Francisco.
"We saw many of you... taking advantage of the Hyperion track?" That's a ringing endorsement. Well, surely there must be more mentioning of the Collaborate conference in Kopcke's e-mail, right? Actually, no. Collaborate isn't mentioned again in the entire e-mail. Talk about damning with faint praise. On the other hand, here's what he had to say about ODTUG Kaleidoscope (in addition to the above sentence where it's mentioned along with Collaborate and OpenWorld):
Next month's ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2008 conference will be a great opportunity for Essbase developers to become familiar with the ODTUG community. This conference will replace the technical content of Hyperion Top Gun and the breadth of presentations of the Hyperion Solutions conference. Kaleidoscope 2008 is offering an agenda of hard-core Essbase information brought to you by some of the most senior Essbase gurus from Oracle, partners, and customers alike. To coincide with this announcement, ODTUG will reinstate the early bird registration fee for the conference to allow Essbase developers just learning about Kaleidoscope to register at the discounted rate available through June 14th at ODTUG Kaleidoscope website.
That's damned near an advertisement for Kaleidoscope from the Great Kopcke, himself (I love that guy). Hell, there's even a plug for an extension of the early bird registration rate until the 14th of June. Let's get beyond the sales pitch for a second, though.

Of course, the second sentence in that paragraph is the important one: "This conference will replace the technical content of Hyperion Top Gun and the breadth of presentations of the Hyperion Solutions conference." That's a rather tall order to live up to. Top Gun always had amazingly hard-core presentations on things like "Optimizing Shared Services by Configuring Java Garbage Collection Settings." Solutions 2007 had close to 300 presentations. While I'd agree that the presentations this year are very techie (I'm chairing an entire day on Optimizing Essbase, for instance), they aren't quite as geektastic as some of the Top Gun presentations. Also, Kaleidoscope has a long way to go to get to 300 presentations.

I suspect that Kaleidoscope will need to GBF (Get Big Fast) to handle the demand from the Hyperion user community that's been practicing involuntary Solutions abstinence for the last year. There were a ton of people who were very disappointed in Collaborate both in the user community and within Oracle, so I guess I'm not totally shocked by this announcement (although you'd think someone would have the courtesy to give me a bit of warning: thanks, Leakers!). I will say that if Kaleidoscope puts on a horrible Hyperion conference next year, you may see people drift away and never come back to the Hyperion conference fold. I'm a bit worried that Kaleidoscope can take on 4,500 users all at once, but I expect that it's going to be a slow climb back to that number (if that number is ever reached again, at all).

It's worth pointing out that Collaborate and OpenWorld's Hyperion tracks are by no means dead despite what Oracle may be saying right now. I'm presenting 2 (at the moment, subject to increase) Hyperion presentations at OpenWorld, so it's obvious that OpenWorld is continuing to offer Hyperion content. OAUG is the home of the Hyperion User Groups too, so I would hope that the Hyperion SIG makes sure there are presentations at Collaborate. I guess this means that some of us will have to attend 3+ conferences in 2009. Here's what I see happening (and this part is just a prediction) with Hyperion content:
  • Kaleidoscope. This will be the replacement for Solutions and is where the vast majority of the old Hyperion Solutions (and Arbor Dimensions, if you can remember that far back) attendees will go. Kaleidoscope is put on by ODTUG, though, so I don't expect that they'll have a ton of client case study presentations.
  • Collaborate. This will become the home for top management looking for presentations on how companies are using Hyperion. They'll be fairly high-level "here was our problem, here's how we solved it, and here's our ROI" type sessions. The Hyperion SIG will become a big part of directing this track.
  • OpenWorld. This is where the gluttons for punishment will go (just kidding, Oracle; we tease because we love). Actually, this is where I see people who use multiple products at a not very deep level going. There will be Hyperion presentations at OpenWorld, they just won't be going very deep. I also think that IT executives looking to get the official word on Oracle's Hyperion direction directly from Oracle will go.
Congratulation homeless Solutions attendees: we now know where we're supposed to live. See you at Kaleidoscope in 2009 (which will hopefully NOT be held in Las Vegas or Orlando, or I just might boycott and go to Collaborate).


Anonymous said...

Any idea where Kaleidoscope 2009 will be held?

Edward R. said...

I believe it's going to be somewhere on the West Coast, but nothing is official yet. Keep checking here for updates: