Tuesday, May 5, 2009

COLLABORATE 09: OAUG - Jan Wagner

I had the opportunity to interview Jan Wagner, the past president of OAUG (2007 and 2008). This was my first interview, ever. I was nervous and didn't want to ruin any future opportunities, so I came prepared. Well, I thought I had. All my notes were online and I could not get a connection in the Press Room. Thankfully I got there early, I even skipped the ApEx SIG - Ask The Experts panel (John Scott, David Peake, Dimitri Gielis, et. al). After fighting with the stupid computer for 30 minutes, I just decided to write down my questions so I wouldn't look like a complete fool.

As I write, I'm still debating on the format, so I may switch between the narrative and a Q&A style. So bear with me.

First, Mr. Wagner's bio
Jan Wagner, OAUG (past) President

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Board member since 2004

Jan Wagner is the immediate past president of the OAUG and currently is an OAUG board member for 2009. He was first elected president of the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) in January 2007 and was re-elected the following year. As a member of the OAUG since 2004, he has spent the last several years on the OAUG board of directors.

Wagner is currently the chair of the Communications Committee. He previously served as the co-chairman of the organization’s Pricing Council, chairman of both the Governance and Finance committees and treasurer of the Executive Committee.

A native of Denmark, Wagner currently serves as the branch chief for operations and internal review for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In this position, he oversees the management of the Oracle E-Business Suite as well as financial planning and corporate governance at the Allied Maritime Component Command Headquarters Northwood outside of London.
Let's start with the basics. There are 2,000 Member Companies in OAUG. Unlike IOUG, OAUG is made up of Member Companies. A company signs up and all of their employees have access to the OAUG resources. Individuals are a part of OAUG, but their role is usually that of a one-person consulting company. Thirty five (35) of the top 100 on the Fortune list are members. Funny, I asked what percent that was. Um, 35? Yeah, I know.

I'm fairly new to the conference/group world. I am a passive member of SOUG and have presented there. I've never been real clear on the differences between IOUG and OAUG, so I asked. Paraphrasing Mr. Wagner:
OAUG's main focus are the applications, Siebel, PeopleSoft, Hyperion, etc. The majority of members are from the Business side like Accountants or HR, but there is definitely some crossover in that some of our members are Information Technology (IT) professionals. Mainly Business types or Power Users.

IOUG is more database specific and the members are DBAs or Developers typically.
. Since OAUG is application related and Oracle is trying to take over the world (of software), I thought it appropriate to ask him how they manage all those acquisitions. Again, paraphrasing:
It's not easy (laughs).

We work with Oracle very closely to integrate the new application users. In some instances, they have independent groups and others are supported by the particular vendor. Siebel for instance fully supported their user groups providing all the necessary resources including content. Independent groups (like OAUG) are community driven in that the users are the experts and provide the content (educational sessions and such).
I had other questions but I believe I captured some of the most important points. OAUG, through their Customer Support Council, has done a fabulous job of keeping pace with the Oracle acquisitions and integrating the respective user groups. Oracle, through their Global Customer Program, has provided the necessary access to OAUG to help accomplish their mutual goals.

I'm spent. That's the most thinking I've done on an article in awhile. I tend to just write what's on my mind. I know it's not perfect and could probably be better, but I'm happy with the result.

View my notes on the interview here.

Let me know what you think. Do I have the chops to pursue a career in journalism or should I stick to my day job? Be honest...brutally honest. It'll only make me better.

2 comments:

Mike said...

What I think: Stick to your day job :-) Not because you're a bad journalist; it's because of how much time you've invested in your day job as compared to the time you've invested in journalism.

Besides, have you read much journalism lately? Yeah, not a group I'd really want to be a part of you know? Don't get me started...LOL

oraclenerd said...

@mike

I hear ya.

I do enjoy the writing, but I don't like the way people react when they hear it (in an official capacity anyway).

I enjoy my day job far too much to ever let it go.