Oracle OpenWorld

 
   
   
 



 
 
Doyle Freeman


 



OOW

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September 15, 2011

Fifteen Oracle OpenWorlds and Counting

As the Marketing Manager at Zirous I helped us celebrate the kickoff of our 25th year in business in July, which undoubtedly got me thinking about history. 25 successful years for Zirous or any business out there is a huge accomplishment - especially since years in the hi-tech world may be better measured in dog years, given the ever-evolving advancements in technology. Zirous and our employees have definitely grown and progressed over the years, as has Oracle, and today we find ourselves more successful than ever. What have we done as a company over the past quarter century to grow with Oracle and remain a solid partner; one that takes great pride in our expertise and commitment to offering the latest and greatest technologies to our customers? Let me explain.

My role at Zirous allows me to plan and be a part of one of the most well attended IT conferences of all time. Of course, I’m talking about Oracle OpenWorld. Today, Oracle OpenWorld (OOW) attracts tens of thousands of Oracle technologists, customers and partners from around the globe. It’s the most important educational and networking event of the year for those of us in the Oracle crowd. Zirous is always well represented at the conference each year, sending developers, architects and sales staff for five days of Oracle education overload. Our involvement in events like OOW strengthens our partnership and provides ample opportunity to stay current with the rapidly evolving Oracle technology stack. During my preparation for this year’s conference, it was brought to my attention that a certain Zirous employee had attended every OOW to date. To confirm the rumors surrounding this perfect attendance claim, I sat down with OOW veteran, Doyle Freeman, CTO of Zirous.

Doyle joined Zirous in 1985, just one year before Zirous was incorporated and coincidently one year before the very first Oracle User’s Group conference (IOUW) was organized in San Francisco in 1986. In 1991, Doyle began attending these user conferences, which rotated venues yearly and were significantly smaller in size compared to the conference that now engulfs San Francisco for five days each fall. It was not until 1997 that Oracle took control of the users conference, officially naming it Oracle OpenWorld. You can bet Doyle Freeman was there. This October, he will attend his fifteenth OOW. During my interview with Doyle I began to better understand why he has been making the trek to San Francisco year after year. His reflection on attending nearly 20 years of Oracle conferences emphasized both his and Zirous’ dedication to a partnership that has allowed us to become a standout in the Oracle technology business.


DANA: I’ve been told you haven’t missed an OOW. Can this be true?
DOYLE: It is true. I attended 4 IOUW conferences before the User’s Group and Oracle separated ways and Oracle created a new user’s conference, Oracle OpenWorld. Since that happened in 1997, I haven’t missed a year.

DANA: What are the major differences between the conferences today and when you first began attending?
DOYLE: First, and most obvious, is the size of the conference. It was a lot easier to build your session schedules during the early years. It was all technical, no applications – just Database and PL SQL related stuff. As Oracle grew and added new tech stacks, there were so many more opportunities for attendees. The atmosphere during the early years was very different as well. The conference was held in just one building, which allowed you to spend time with a specific group of people with similar interests and really get to know them. As Oracle took ownership of the conference, it really grew.

DANA: Where else has the conference taken you, besides SFO?
DOYLE: With the User Group, I’ve been to Orlando and Toronto. For OpenWorld, I’ve been to SFO and LA.

DANA: Over the years, what was the biggest standout announcement at OOW, technology wise?
DOYLE: I would probably have to go with Oracle Real Application Clusters in 2000 or 2001. The announcement and demonstration was very cutting edge.

DANA: What does it mean to Zirous and our customers that we participate at OOW?
DOYLE: Attending the conference yearly allows me to stay on top of the newest technologies. It gives me the ability to take that knowledge to our customers and make suggestions about new tools that may help them, upgrades and new capabilities. Internally I’m able to pass on the knowledge gained to coworkers who can then pass it on to clients as well. It’s really a win-win for Zirous and our customers.

DANA: Can you give me a few examples of things you have taken away from the conference?
DOYLE: I concentrate primarily on the data side of Oracle technology. So, as Oracle has developed and acquired new technologies and database enhancements, I try to attend as many sessions on these as I can. Some recent examples would be OBIEE, Application Express, Data Guard, Real Application Clusters.

DANA: What have you personally contributed to OOW and the conference attendees?
DOYLE: I have been a presenter twice. I partnered on presenting a session on “Building a Multi-terrabyte Data Warehouse” with a customer of ours. I also co-presented a session on a case study of migrating to Oracle Warehouse Builder with a co-worker (Mark Roush).

DANA: What do you most look forward to about the conference each year?
DOYLE: Networking. It’s a great place to meet like-minded people and learn from each other. Most of all though, I look forward to that San Francisco ‘feel’. It’s a great city to visit, but it’s a great city to leave too. By the end of the week I’m usually ready to go home.

DANA: What was the best concert/performer you’ve seen during OOW?
DOYLE: There have been so many great performances, so I’ll name my top 5.
1. Three Dog Night
2. Cheap Trick
3. Don Henley
4. Billy Joel
5. Elton John

DANA: What’s your favorite thing about San Francisco?
DOYLE: Walking through Chinatown. I’ve seen people walk into the street markets there and walk away with a live chicken in a bag.

DANA: What’s one piece of advice you’d give a first time attendee of OOW?
DOYLE: Don’t catch a red eye flight home after the Appreciation Event on Wednesday evening. I did it one year… BIG mistake.

DANA: Most memorable moment while attending OOW?

DOYLE: The first big appreciation party that I went to in 1997 was unlike any party I had ever been to. There were three completely different buildings with a stage in each, plus endless food and beverages. I remember on one of the stages was the Village People and another had Jefferson Starship.

DANA: Are there any tech news or advancements you are looking forward to hearing about this year?
DOYLE: Well, Oracle has announced a new database version every few years. In 1991 they announced Version 7, 1996 they announced Version 8, 2000 they announced Version 9, 2003 they announced Version 10 and 2006 they announced Version 11. So it would be consistent that they might announce Version 12 this year or next. I’m anxious to see what the key enhancements will be if/when they announce Version 12. Also, I will be interested in any new developments in the Business Intelligence products.


We look forward to OOW each year to educate our employees and network with key Oracle contacts and customers, like you. If you’re attending OOW this year, be sure to keep an eye out for Doyle and the rest of the Zirous crew. He’ll be sure to offer up some advice about go-to sessions and speakers, or that secret location to get the best oysters in the city.

Dana Brenner, Marketing Manager