Dr. Patricia Dues says she saw a lot of exciting change when she first served as the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) president in 2004.
“Oracle leaders started formalizing their relationships around the user groups, and as a result we began having a lot of meetings with Oracle, including summits where users came together worldwide,” says Dues, who served three consecutive terms as president until 2006. “That brought our group more opportunity to establish a closer relationship with Oracle. And a closer relationship with Oracle translates into stronger benefits for our members.”
In January 2016, the OAUG named Dues president, and she says she is focused on making the OAUG even stronger today—and tomorrow. Here she tells Oracle Magazine about her plans.
Oracle Magazine: What initially drove you to join the OAUG?
Dues: Part of it is in my nature. I am a joiner. I’ve always said you can’t complain unless you are part of the system. And I believe that if I join, I can initiate change. I saw positive change with other user groups I’ve been a part of, and I’ve seen it with Oracle.
I worked at the City of Las Vegas as business relationship manager for almost 18 years. During that time, I saw that because we had this relationship with the OAUG, we had a relationship with Oracle. I’ve always believed that the vendor should be a partner.
Oracle Magazine: You worked in the City of Las Vegas’ IT department during a challenging time. What did you learn from the experience?
Dues: What we went through was a very innovative time. With the downturn of the economy, we didn’t have a lot of money, but we took the opportunity to refine our applications and streamline processes. We had workers in different departments asking us how they could use software to improve their own processes. They knew if they could show savings, they might be able to justify funding for new projects.
As Oracle takes on more products, we need to make sure we’re meeting our members’ needs, including those of our new members. ”–Dr. Patricia Dues,
President, Oracle Applications Users Group
Also, we kept our applications upgraded, so when things started turning around we were poised to take advantage of a lot of innovation. For example, we launched a mobile application that members can use to find information on things like parking and graffiti removal that won a 2015 Oracle Excellence Award for Oracle Fusion Middleware at Oracle OpenWorld.
Oracle Magazine: What are your goals for the OAUG this year?
Dues: We want to continue focusing on networking, offering educational opportunities where we can learn from each other, and strengthening our relationship with Oracle. But as Oracle takes on more products, we need to make sure we’re meeting our members’ needs, including those of our new members.
We started the OAUG Cloud ERP [enterprise resource planning] Special Interest Group and a cloud resource center, and we will continue to do a lot around cloud at our COLLABORATE 16 conference in April. We also want to focus on millennials to help mentor them and bring them into the Oracle community. A lot of wonderful young people are coming into our community, and we want to harness their excitement, their interest, their knowledge, and their energy. The OAUG is driven by volunteers, and we want them to be part of the community.
Oracle Magazine: How will you reach out to young people?
Dues: Three years ago we started a group called the Young Professionals Forum. Usually these are people who are not necessarily managers yet. They are our techies, our analysts, and they want to advance their careers. We’ve had some wonderful events for them, including webinars on working your way up or working with difficult situations. And we always meet at the COLLABORATE conference, where we will have activities targeted to them, including a panel session on tips and tricks for networking and a cocktail meetup to put those skills into practice.
Oracle Magazine: What else is happening at COLLABORATE 16 that you’re excited about?
Dues: We are partnering with the German user group DOAG [Deutsche Oracle-Anwendergruppe] for a series of focused presentations. Because Oracle’s applications are global, there are unique uses when you talk about things like currency. I am excited about this because I’ve been involved in our international committee for a few years now. These presentations will be part of the Exploration Series at COLLABORATE, and we will see how it goes. An international piece is something that we might be able to start adding to the conference every year.
LEARN more about OAUG.
REGISTER for COLLABORATE 16.
WATCH the video.
Photography by Chris Benson, Unsplash