Wednesday, September 21, 2005

 

Let's Get It Started

There was some talk last night about turning this blog into a Lunch & Learn back at the office, or even adding it to the RUG web site, but I’m sure that will never happen… at least not with out a liberal amount of personal editing and some artistic license.

Last night’s events had kept me out a little late, so I decided to skip this morning's keynote by John Wookey from Oracle and Mark Hurd from HP - which promised to be just another corporate sales pitch. Instead I headed directly to my 9am class - titled The ROI of HCM. Believe me it was just as interesting as it sounds. Plus there's a second keynote this afternoon after lunch. At noon I caught up with our team, including my boss, for another box lunch. Still it's amazing that in a conference of over 35,000 people with attendees from over 120 countries, I'm able to continue connecting with people I know every day. Especially since I don't have that essential connectivity tool - a Blackberry. Today we had to eat on the grass, but the weather was okay and with the complimentary Oracle blankets it wasn't too bad. I even got a free blanket to take home. I wish I could bring home one of the huge bean bag chairs they have dropped all around the conference. I hear that they are free once the conference ends, but there's no chance it would fit in my luggage.

After lunch was a keynote speech by Scott McNeally, the Sun Microsystems CEO. He's always good for some laughs and an interesting perspective on today's technology and where it is heading. He’s definitely opinionated and doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to naming names. He started with a joke about what songs are on Larry Ellison's iPod. The later portion again degenerated into a Sun sales pitch, but I guess that's the cost of getting a CEO to speak for an hour and a half. Afterwards I attended a
Panel Discussion on the Future World of Work
, which touched on globalization, out-sourcing, demographic changes, the "Knowledge Economy" and advances in technology. This was followed by a Case Study session on extending the PS Application using MS Office, which I was wait listed for but never got in to. It seems that just about every session is standing room only, with really long lines to get in.

With our classes over, we all met up in the hotel lobby for dinner on Fisherman's wharf. The restaurant looked out on Pier 39, known for the dozens of Sea Lions that reside there. They’re a real hoot to watch and man are they loud. We sort of split up after that; some returned to their hotels, some walked the pier, some going on to the Deloitte Las Vegas Night event. I headed over to the Sound Factory where the Cedar/Crestone vendor party was being held. There was a really fantastic group playing called Busta Groove and they rocked the house all night long… as did an elite group of MWRUGers who shall remain nameless, but let me say that they sure can dance. Maybe the coolest part of the event was that to get everyone home safely when the party ended, they arraigned for limos to take us directly back to our hotels. And thus ended another fabulous night in SF.

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