For three days this week, I'm hanging out at Oracle OpenWorld. After a 20-mile training run (and a very understanding wife who took the kids all day) early on Sunday morning, I flew out in the afternoon on a United 747 out of Chicago -- a rare plane that I've not personally flown out of O'Hare on domestically -- that was filled with what seemed like 300 people going to OpenWorld. To give you some indication of how many frequent fliers were on the plane, I was something like 55th on the list for an upgrade with Premier Executive status. Yet I reckon I was probably the only person on the flight headed out specifically to probe on Oracle's -- as well as PeopleSoft's and JD Edwards' -- procurement tools.
I'll be posting my impressions of the event and what I learned throughout this week and next (as well as finalizing some of the posts from Emptoris Empower that I've not had a chance to put up on the site yet). I'll also plan on tweeting some of the break-out sessions I go to as well, especially those involving Oracle's procurement road map and vision. Furthermore, I'm hoping to talk to a number of customers and partners, and I'll relay, without breaking any confidences, my learning from these discussions as well.
My first impression of the event is not surprising -- it's big. Really big. It feels much larger than SAP Sapphire to me, perhaps owing to the diversity of developer, database and business application types in attendance. As much as I was hoping to see more billboards from one of Charles Phillip's conquests (See: The Sourcing Oracle? Making the Sun Deal Pay Might Not Be as Easy as it Looks) -- or Mark Hurd's attempts -- lining the road into the city, it looks like Oracle has policed the highway. Alas, on a more serious note, the other first reaction I'll share is the quantity of material in the procurement track relative to SAP. There are dozens -- and I mean dozens -- of breakout sessions and related meetings I'd like to go to examining product road maps, new products, customer success stories, etc. Which means, of course, this will be a packed few days and provide lots of good fodder for Spend Matters coverage.