As I wrote here, the quality of vendor analyst summits has improved dramatically in the last couple of years. Looking at the agenda I was sent ahead of coming to this week’s Oracle Cloud Summit I was prepared for an endless stream of Powerpoint presentations.
Instead I was impressed with the variety of perspectives – not just product centric, but executive, sales field, customer, partner as well. Day 2 was similar but focused more on HCM products – a bit of a repeat of the themes I had heard in Washington last month, but with a newer set of customer and executive voices
Thomas Kurian, President, set the tempo for day 1 with a slide a minute for 45 minutes where he summarized Oracle’s growing portfolio of –as-a-service offerings – SaaS, Paas, Iaas and DaaS. The man has a breathtaking command of Oracle products and you have to admire how efficiently he covered the portfolio. Across the two days, 20+ presenters marched through, by my estimate, over 750 slides.
CEO Mark Hurd took a different tack and presented more on state of the industry and a handful of slides with lots of white space, and instead answered several questions from the audience.
The night before as part of a reception, Oracle had several booths to show off its investments in UX. Day 2 we got to visit the applications UX lab with all kids of devices, motion analysis, eye tracking and other technology. The end result is a pleasing front end to a growing set of Oracle apps. Between the two days Oracle, also managed to showcase 20 short demos across the sessions.
Three panels hosted by Shawn Price, SVP Oracle Cloud, showcased 14 Oracle customers/partners, and 5 of Oracle’s field executives representing a breadth of industries and geographies. Many of them were available for conversations during the rest of the day. On Day 2, two HCM customers and two Oracle (internal) HR executives provided additional color
The setting – Half Moon Bay for Day 1 and Redwood Shores for Day 2 -allowed for plenty of fresh air and also pleased my FitBit. With so much to cover, it was thoughtful of Oracle to allow for enough “outside time”
Finally, given the mass of content at most of these summits, I find myself chasing the vendor for copies of slides for days afterwards. Oracle had them all on an internal portal by the afternoon of Day 1 and on a zip drive for Day 2. A minor detail, but again reflective of the logistical feat the event delivered.
I heard a few analysts bitch about information overload – clearly there was with that much content. Others complained there was not enough detail in some sessions. To me, that’s what follow up calls are for.
I for one appreciated the large investment Oracle made and for packing so much into the two days. It’s miniaturization applied to our world of content.