It is a truly awesome event in in the true sense of the word. I found it hugely entertaining, tiring and of great value.
It was a week of stars and celebrities, from the size of the Keynotes from Larry, Thomas and others, to the down to earth nature of James Gosling, the celebrity of Arnie, Stanley, Aerosmith and Roger Daltry, capped with the appearance of Obama at our hotel.
However the real cast of Open World are the delegates themselves and the people you get chance to chat with on a daily basis. First of all it was great to meet up with the ACE Directors, a fantastic opportunity to talk with Oracle Product Managers and engineers, but also it is so beneficial to talk with other consultants and customers, it is through these chats that you really get to the ins and outs of how Oracle Technology is helping (or on the odd occassion not) delivering software. Some great chats with other UK delegates, normally in bars or restaurants (!), that seem rarer in the UK events. I think this is because the Moscone area of SF turns into an almost 24 by 7 Open World Village. Not quite the scale of the Olympics - but if the acquisitions continue !?!
From the sessions, my 3 personal highlights where :-
- The prominence of SOA and BPM in the executive keynotes. It is so clear to everyone now that Fusion is built from the ground up on these technologies and so if you haven't got a SOA/BPM strategy yet, you should really be thinking about it now and start looking into the tools. Applications Configuration will be done at the SOA services and BPM process level rather than at the Data level - so skill up now.
- It was good to see Fusion Applications taking shape - with 1st releases coming out next year, some of the User Interface on show now is very impressive and it will only get better as the applications roll out.
- The clarity and openess of the Oracle Technology strategy, certaintly in my areas of focus. The customer advisor boards were excellent this year and spawned lots of interesting conversation and advice between the delegates, if you were considering attending one of these for you focus area I recommend it strongly for the future. The hands-on workshops where based on future releases and in BPM gave clarity to how this would fit into the SOA stack, showing this at an early stage in the release cycle was very appreciated by the participants that I spoke to. I can now confidently advise my customers. In general all tricky questions on SOA and BPM where tackled headlong and not much was avoided, apart from the elephant of an aqcuisition in the room that is pending - although the keynotes made most of the intentions pretty clear.