October 30, 2008

Abstracts Due for Kaleidoscope and Collaborate

The deadlines for submitting presentations to the Kaleidoscope and Collaborate conferences are rapidly approaching. Collaborate is being held in May of 2009 in Orlando (yet another conference in Orlando, yippee...) and their abstract submission deadline is Friday, October 31. Kaleidoscope is held in June of 2009 in Monterey, CA (hey, someplace I've never been to a conference!) and their deadline is Monday, November 3.

Why bother?
So the burning question is, why should you submit a presentation and endure an hour of potential humiliation in front of complete strangers (or worse, people who actually know you)? The most important reason is that both of these conferences give you a free pass to the whole conference for speaking. This is worth around $2,000. It also makes it a whole lot easier to convince your boss to pay for the travel costs to the conference if your admission fee, the most expensive part of the trip, is paid for. What boss would, even in the current economic climate, reject a free week of training for you?

There are some other less major reasons for you to consider presenting. If you're an altruistic type (or just trying to weasel your way into heaven), consider that you're helping educate the rest of mankind. If you're a career climber, putting "Speaker on Hyperion at national convention in 2009" looks very nice on a resume. If you're one of those afraid of public speaking, it's probably not a bad idea to get outside your comfort zone, face your fears, and talk to a room of people for 60 minutes.

Which conference?
Now that I have you convinced that you should submit a presentation (you can always change your mind and back out later), which conference wants your presentation?

Collaborate is more for end users, so if you want to do a case study of your company's Hyperion, Essbase, BI, or EPM implementation, submit to Collaborate. Now submitting to Collaborate is a bit confusing. You need to decide which user group you wish to submit under (IOUG, OAUG, or Quest) since Collaborate is a mixture of three different user groups. I personally suggest OAUG since they have the strongest Hyperion SIG.although if you have an Essbase presentation, you might want to submit it under IOUG's Essbase SIG. Once you go to the OAUG submission portion of Collaborate (http://oaug.collaborate09.com/presenterinfo/), you have to select a track to put your paper into. You'll notice immediately that Hyperion, Essbase, and EPM are not mentioned under any tracks. What I'm told is that Hyperion/Essbase/EPM presentations should all be submitted under the "BI/Warehousing" track with "Hyperion" selected as the product. You then have to fill out a ton of questions.

Kaleidoscope is more for developers/administrators of the former Hyperion products so if you want to do more of a training session (or if your case study has a technical nature to it), submit to Kaleidoscope. Submitting to Kaleidoscope is much more straight-forward and there are fewer questions to fill in than with the Collaborate submissions.

Getting Accepted!
Since I'm one of the abstract reviewers for the selection committees for both conferences, I thought it might be helpful to tell you what I tend to look for (and not look for) in submissions:
  • Don't submit one hour infomercials for your company or product. No matter how well you disguise your submission, the reviewers can easily sniff out a "marketing-centric" presentation. If you want to market for an hour, buy one of the vendor sponsored presentation slots.
  • Don't make a presentation so high-level that no one walks out of the session having learned anything. Your number one goal should be to educate your attendees, so make your abstract and title reflect that you intend to teach people
  • Do be creative. If I see one more presentation titled "How We Implemented Hyperion _____ at ______", I'm going to scream. Submit a presentation that will stand out from the rest because no one else is teaching something on that topic. It doesn't have to be a one-time only presentation, but it should be something that other people aren't likely to be presenting on as well. For instance, I regularly submit a presentation called "How Essbase Thinks," and it usually gets accepted, because no one else is presenting on the topic of Essbase under the covers. If you submit a presentation on using the Essbase Excel Add-In, expect to be one of 5+ submissions on this topic.
  • Do understand your conference audience. Again, if you submit a high-level case study to Kaleidoscope, you're going to get rejected. If you submit a developer-centric presentation to Collaborate, you're going to get rejected. Know who the people are who tend to go to each conference.
So by October 31, submit your Collaborate presentation:

And by November 3, submit your Kaleidoscope presentation:

Good luck on your submissions!

October 11, 2008

Oracle EPM, Hyperion, and Essbase - Supported Platform Matrixes

On the old hyperion.com, there used to be a link one could visit to easily find out which operating systems were supported by which versions of the Hyperion products.  With the demise of Hyperion, the "platform matrixes" disappeared for the most part.  The ones that still existed were scattered all around the conflagration that is Oracle.com.  Due to an outcry from the user community, the support platform documents are all now in one place:

That said, they're not as easy to read as they once were and often the answers are buried in one of the documents on this page.  At least we now have one place to find all the documents, again, even if they're a mite confusing.