First impressions from Oracle OpenWorld
By vtatkar on Oct 13, 2009
Yesterday was my first day at OOW. Even though there were some scintillating events over the weekend, in particular these keynotes from Sun's Scott McNealy & James Gosling(view here) and Oracle's Larry Ellison (view here), I wasnt at that portion of OOW.
My first impressions, even before I entered Moscone, was Wow! The place was entirely taken over by Oracle. Buses ran billboards advertising Oracle and the event, there was even a huge tent between Moscone North and South, reserved as dining area and essentially closing Howard Street (picture here). There was even the scale model BMW Oracle Racing High-tech Catamaran on display at the Fourth and Howard Streets intersection. Exhibitions were in Moscone South AND Moscone West. Essentially, that 6 block area was nothing but Oracle OpenWorld.
My second impression was suits. Lots and lots of them. Essentially different from IDF, which billed itself as the next, next, next big thing, and JavaOne, which is clearly a hacker's conference (and where James reminded Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz that he was out of place in his suit at the keynote and got huge applause from the audience), this one is a carefully and well-scripted conference. I could not listen to the entire keynote from Phillips and Catz (view here), but what I could hear was very carefully laid out and executed. One astounding fact I gathered (and later could relate to): Oracle has over 3000 products and the portfolio is growing ever faster!
So, I had booth duty on the exhibition floor. Moscone South. Essentially a technology, but even more importantly, a services showcase. All the major partners were there: HP, IBM, Dell, AMD, Intel and of course Sun. And also, networking and wireless partners like Cisco, Brocade, AT&T, Blackberry and Verizon. But also, Infosys, CSC, NetApp, Deloitte, Wipro, EDS, Accenture, KPMG, PriceWaterhouseCooper, Tata Consulting (TCS). I'm singling out that last list because I havent seen them at any of the developer conferences I usually go to (Sun TechDays, JavaOne, IDF, LinuxWorld, etc). Oracle itself was fairly hidden (or backgrounded), giving their partners essentially all the glory and topspots on the floor. [Moscone West has a HUGE, HUGE Salesforce.com presence which I intend to check out today].
There was a Cloud booth (for those of you who think Oracle is anti-Cloud) and I engaged in some interesting and long discussions with vendors in that booth (except Amazon, I'll corner them today, because they are more of a known quantity as far as I'm concerned, so unlikely that I'll learn anything new). On-Demand computing seems to have a big presence in what Oracle calls "DemoGrounds" (see this picture, eg).
The Sun booths were very strategic and visible. Right next to the main entrance. We had some foot traffic, but for the Sun Studio booth, mostly non-existent. I probably talked to about a dozen to 15 non-Sun folks and some of them were even Oracle folks, who I knew by email before. Given that the crowd was a suited, mostly business IT type crowd, I am not surprised. A few that came by were disappointed that we didnt run on Windows, but were suitably impressed by the offering and demo when I showed them what we had.
An interesting day. Tiring, since the shift turned out to be a 5+ hour shift without a lot of interesting traffic, but I think I learned a bit from others there. Which makes it entirely worthwhile.
More details tomorrow, I hope.