There are many reasons I like, no, make that love ODTUG’s Kscope conferences:
- Unparalleled technical content from my fellow EPM practitioners
- A great opportunity (usually this is the only time in a given year) to meet people that otherwise only exist on the web
- A chance to work myself to death (hey, you write original content for multiple presentations – I learn a lot but oh the work)
- A whole bunch of geek fun
All of this makes for a great conference and one that anyone who has anything to do with EPM (and a few other Oracle technologies) really ought to be at if he values his competency. I can’t think of another conference that even approaches Kscope’s depth, breadth, and value.
But there’s something more to Kscope than the “normal” stuff above – and that’s the Oracle symposiums that kick off every conference. The symposiums are the “preconference” that start on the first full day of Kscope (that’s a Sunday and yes it is sad that I am enthusiastic about it, but you’ll soon see why). In marked contrast to the rest of Kscope, these are Oracle-only. No, they are not sales pitches but instead Oracle’s way of sharing what’s coming in our beloved product lines. They are full of Safe Harbor statements a.k.a. “anything we say is highly unlikely to be true, don’t try to hold us to it, NO PICTURES OR RECORDING, etc.”
Just an aside here – really, please, NO PICTURES OR RECORDING of the symposium sessions. I am sure Oracle’s legal office ties itself into knots when the symposiums come around and it is (as you will read below) to our happy advantage that they say all they say. Yes, what Oracle discusses is that sensitive and if we want to continue to get this kind of information we (that would mean everyone at the symposium) simply must respect their wishes. Whew, rant over.
Back to the good stuff – the people you will see presenting are not sales people but instead Oracle’s Product Management team. These are the people that define what the product is today and more importantly, will be in the future. I went to Oracle OpenWorld last October (so three months after Kscope12) where Oracle officially announces product direction and was very pleased to note that much of what I heard at Kscope’s symposium closely lined up with what they announced publicly. And there was stuff further out (did I mention that the symposium product reviews always give a view a few years into the future?) that did not make it to OpenWorld. Nope, it isn’t that what was discussed at the symposium was contradicted, but that the OOW sessions didn’t go to that level of detail. Yup, Kscope got the exclusives. See, I told you it was awesome.
Symposiums are one of the best aspects of Kscope because they give you information not just about how Oracle products work today, but because they show you where the products will be in the future, and when. If information is power, then the symposiums just made you King-Emperor.