Thursday, September 22, 2005


The End Is Near

Wednesday morning’s keynote was Chuck Rozwat Keynote, from Oracle. His topic was Fusion Middleware, but people were really more anxious for the afternoon keynote with Larry Ellison. My first session of the day was a
PeopleSoft HCM 8.9 Overview
. It was easily the best session I’ve attended so far. I must try and get these speakers to a MWRUG event, so everyone back home has an opportunity to see it. I’ll try and include my class notes in the link above.

For lunch I had a real treat. One of my co-workers had used his credentials to arrange for a press pass and invited me to lunch in the press room. It was an island of calm compared to the normal lunch time cattle calls. Plus it got me early entry into the afternoon keynote, while the other conference attendees lined up out the door and down the street. As I said, the speaker was Larry Ellison, the multi-millionaire CEO who grew up on the south side of Chicago. He seemed very uncomfortable with his prepared remarks, which really didn’t say anything new. It became much more interesting when he started fielding questions from the audience. He definitely doesn’t play the politician and has no problems answering a question with a simple "No". The biggest attention grabber for me was when someone asked him point blank if the Fusion product would support DB2. His answer was that they still hadn’t decided and if he had to give odds, they were about 50/50. Could that possibly be true???

After the keynote I had another session, "
Getting Back to Basics with Core HR and Self-Service HR
", which I was looking forward to. Unfortunately, it was all about the Oracle product, so again I cut out early and headed over to the exhibition floor for a few more passes at the different vendors. Before I knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for the Oracle Appreciation Party.

On par with the PeopleSoft Connect Appreciation Parties of the past, Oracle’s party was huge. There were some negatives, like the fighting through impossible lines for food or drinks, and the fact that we were out on a pier, so temperatures were down right cold. (I can't imagine they'll use this location next year - when the conference is even later in the year.) But all in all, the music – by the Counting Crows – was really good, and the fireworks that preceded it impressed even me. I also amazingly some how rounded up the entire team again, to sit together in the bleachers for the concert. *Shout out to my new friend from Cinemark in Texas. You really are a movie star to me. Thanks for keeping me company.*

Some background on the Counting Crows: thier first album was August and Everything After. Released in 1994, the album was called "one of the best rock releases of the year" by Rolling Stone magazine, which earned them their first Grammy award, hit number four on the Billboard 200, and remained on the charts for an unbelievable 93 weeks. Listen to Counting Crows hit song Mr. Jones". If you want to learn the meaning of the song, Ask Straightdope.
Boy was (lead singer/song writer) Adam Duritz wasted for our show. First he took off his shoes, then he started rambling - remind me some time to share the joke he told about tic tacs - but it was a great show nonetheless. What a way to end the conference.

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