May 5, 2009

Collaborate - Day Three

9:35AM - Visual Explorer / Tableau Presentation
I'm at the back of the room getting ready to kick off the presentation into Hyperion Visual Explorer (i.e., the rebranded Tableau Software product). I really am going to do nothing more than introduce Deepak Ghodke, Director at Tableau. Deepak and I go back many years, because he used to work at Hyperion. He was nominally in a sales role, but he was (and still is) very technical. It always astounded me how though he was supposed to be an account manager, he could personally get in and develop, say, a Hyperion Master Data Management (now Data Relationship Management) solution that could actually be used in production.

After kicking it off, I have to race over half a mile to my presentation at 11AM. I really hate that all the presentations are divided by user group (OAUG, IOUG, and Quest), because right now I'm at an IOUG presentation, but my follow up one is an OAUG presentation (hence the excessive walkage). Next time, they should categorize the presentations by product/expertise and not by user group (which the users don't care about, honestly).

There are about 10 people in the room, so I'm up to introduce Deepak. I wish attendance was better at this conference!

10:55AM - Workarounds for Essbase Presentation
I'm currently in the front of a room of people, and they're watching me blog. The presentation I'm about to give is titled "Workarounds for What the Essbase Developers Forgot." It's essentially a "Hacking Essbase" presentation without the hard-core slides on things like how to hack Essbase native ID passwords.

I probably should stop typing now and start presenting. More blogging after the session!

12:15PM - Lunch at Maggiano's
There were about 50 people in the room for my Essbase workarounds session, well down from what I was seeing yesterday for an 8AM presentation. I know this is technical content, but I'm shocked. I'll have to compare the attendance I'm getting to the other speakers and see if maybe it is just me.

I stopped by to look at the food for lunch today, and sadly, Collaborate is back to its old cheap ways. From what I can tell, they spend money when people are only going to be eating appetizers and snacks (like in the exhibit hall during the evening receptions) and they spend nothing when people are actually hungry (like at lunch).

Today's lunch for most was a sandwich and one or two other items in a box with a can of soda. Typical Collaborate prison food. The vegetarians had it really weird: they replaced the sandwich with many different cheeses. Each vegetarian box had literally half a wheel of brie in it. I guess Collaborate wants to go into the growth market of lactose intolerance. There was also a bit of tabouleh so the vegetarians could have something other than dairy with dairy on top.

I'm expecting that dinner tonight will provide better food than lunch, but why when we are all captives does Collaborate want to starve us? I'm off to eat at Maggiano's with a client. Love the whole wheat penne with aribiatta sauce!

4:20PM - Essbase ASO is the Way of the Future
This presentation was down to 30 people. Apparenly, word is getting out that my sessions are so good that they're being recorded for the conference website (and as such, there's no reason to actually show up!). I'm kidding, I sincerely hope.

Why is attendance dropping off from yesterday? Maybe there were a lot of one-day visitors yesterday? This requires some investigation.

5:10PM - OAUG Meeting of the Members
OAUG is supposed to have over 2,200 attendees at Collaborate, but they certainly aren't at the general OAUG session. The meeting is being held in the large theater (Chapin, I think it's called) at the Orange County Convention Center. The theater holds 2,643 and the room currently has fewer than 150 people in it. I snuck in the back so I could blog in the balcony without bothering anyone. There are so few people, though, that I could have sat in entire sections without bothering (or seeing) anyone. A room less than 10% full looks ridiculous.

The OAUG people tried to adopt a "town hall" feel for this year's meeting. It was dry, boring, underattended, overteleprompted, and offered no new insight. I learned that Collaborate would be held in Las Vegas in 2010, but I guess I already knew that.

5:20PM - Solutions 2 News? None.
The only reason I came to this meeting was to hear if Ray Payne would say anything more about OAUG's plans for a stand-alone "Hyperion Solutions 2" conference, but he didn't say anything directly. He did hint at some targeted product conferences, but offered no details and certainly didn't say the words "Hyperion" or "EPM."

I've done some poking around, and Hyperion Solutions 2 seems to be little more than an idea at the moment. Mary Lou Dopart from Oracle, in particular, seems not to have been consulted on it, and hell hath no fury like a Mary Lou scorned. This fact alone may sound the death knell for Solutions 2 before it even starts. I'm going to try to find out from ODTUG what their involvement's going to be, but sorry to say this folks, but Solutions 2 may not end up happening and we may all go back to just gravitating towards Kaleidoscope.

Speaking as someone who really loved Solutions, though, I really hope it comes back in some form as a joing initiative between OAUG, ODTUG, and whomever else wants to help educate the community. If I hear anymore, you'll read it here first.

5:25PM - No More Stand Alone BIWA Summit
On the note of product/topic specific conferences, I had a talk earlier with some of the IOUG BI SIG (Independent Oracle User Group Business Intelligence Special Interest Group) leaders who mentioned that there won't be a BIWA (Business Intelligence, Warehousing, and Analytics) Summit in 2009. Starting in 2010, the BIWA Summit is being merged into Collaborate. It's interesting that while one group is being brought into Collaborate, another (Hyperion and EPM) is being allowed to thrive on their own.

7:00PM - interRel Gets Most Innovative Booth at Collaborate Award!
I'm stunned by this, but we were just told that we are the most innovative large sized booth at Collaborate. They came by, gave us a nice crystal plaque, took pictures, and everything. I think this was an award based on votes submitted by conference attendees, so I'm feeling very honored. We won a popularity contest: they love us, they really love us!

Attendance tonight at the exhibit hall reception seemed to be about half that of Monday night. This is really frustrating and not just because I paid a great deal for a 20'x30' booth: it doesn't bode well for the conference as a whole. Is the economy really this bad? As I look across the exhibit hall, it just seems to be partners feeding on other partners. Complete waste of everyone's money.

Food seemed to be good, though, furthering my theory that OAUG/IOUG/Quest knows how to feed people when they only have to provide appetizers. Actual meals are sadly beyond them.

I'm going to Universal City Walk (Pat O'Brien's) to host an interRel Client Appreciation Event tonight. I think we have around 30 RSVPs. Are those all the remaining Hyperion customers at Collaborate? Have the vendors all left for the theme parks? If I can find anything out, I'll write it here.


Anonymous said...

It's like I'm there!

GlennS said...

You have me on pins and needles. Where are today's comments?