Oracle OpenWorld 2013-60,000 Attendees Minus 1

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openworld-logo.pngA Technology Event Like No Other

This year’s Oracle OpenWorld was truly an impressive event. The sheer scale of the event parallels that of Oracle itself. Mark Hurd, President of Oracle, stated that with 60,000 attendees, OpenWorld 2013 was the largest single technology event ever. OpenWorld is now so large that the City of San Francisco finally agreed to completely close off Howard Street, which runs through the Moscone Center, and temporarily rename it Oracle Plaza. OpenWorld 2013 completely occupies all 900,000 square feet of the Moscone Center, uses Yerba Buena Gardens, and requires the use of the majority of the meeting spaces in the major hotels in the downtown area.

The sessions schedule is now distributed in two separate booklets. One booklet for Monday and Tuesday and one for Wednesday and Thursday. On each day there are some 450 sessions to choose from, not including the vendor exhibit spaces. The sponsor exhibition hall in Moscone South has the powerhouse exhibits from the likes of Deloitte, Fujitsu, Intel, Dell, EMC, Microsoft, CSC, and the booths of some 100 other vendors. The second exhibit hall in Moscone West was stacked with another 100 plus booths of solution providers ranging from tried and true to upstart, including even a movie production company called FXbooth that is putting together a cloud-themed movie just for Oracle.

Maria Bartiromo anchored a live broadcast on CNBC from one of the press pavilions, digging into the numbers with Mark Hurd for the financial community. In the center of the conference and throughout the exhibit halls, jumbotrons and large screens broadcast the latest news, including keynote addresses and the final race of the America’s cup where team Oracle USA staged one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history.

San Francisco also showed its sunny side for the event with the temperature staying some ten degrees above normal for the entire week. After living in San Francisco for some years, I came prepared with a couple layers expecting the wind and fog to kick in later in the evening but it didn’t happen. San Francisco is like that relationship that was always on the rocks—you want to end it but then you have these wonderful weeks that makes you think it’s the most beautiful person you’ve ever met.

The Attendee That Skipped Out

Riding the escalator down to attend the keynote address by CEO Larry Ellison, one of the attendees quipped that he thought the CEO might skip out and stay out on the San Francisco Bay to cheer on his beloved Team Oracle USA. At the time, we laughed. But Mr. Ellison might be the one person who could pull off such an act. Well, the prophetic whispers on the escalator turned out to be true, and a couple of us didn’t waste 2 hours waiting for the one person who didn’t need an invite to show up. At least we were all able to see the post-race interview with Mr. Ellison on the jumbotrons at the event.

Major Announcements

Beyond the show itself, there were a large number of major announcements leading up to and during OpenWorld. One of the major thrusts of Oracle over the last year has been a push into cloud solutions. Announcements were made regarding a range of cloud-based solutions including human capital management (HCM); customer experience—Oracle Sales, Marketing, Services, and Social Cloud; big data and analytics; core database and platform technology improvements; and a number of simply awesome engineered systems including the Oracle SuperCluster machines that have an almost unheard of amount of in-memory power.

In the TEC blog, we’ll continue to cover these topics in detail. Please stay tuned to our industry news for all the latest software news. In summary, if there is one technology event everyone should attend at least once, I’d make a point to go to OpenWorld. The volume of content and information presented at the event is more than can be reasonably taken in. Content aside, as long as Mr. Ellison is at the helm, we’re sure that OpenWorld will continue to be one of the most exciting conferences on the planet.

See other detailed updates by P.J. from the conference on the Microsoft alliance here and the Oracle EBS 12.2 here.
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