Monday, July 25, 2016

Kscope16 Reflections

I've had a few weeks to digest all the Kscope16 content and experiences I absorbed. I really had a great, if exhausting, time at the end of June with all of my favorite EPM people. This was my second Kscope conference and I think that I got more out of this year's conference than Kscope15. Part of that has to do with relationship building. There's no good substitute for meeting people face to face, interacting with them and discussing things. I will note three main reflections from the conference.

People and Relationships

I put this first because I believe this is the single greatest benefit of Kscope. I do interact with people via Twitter, OTN, Network54, email but I am the type of person who needs personal contact. I got a chance to speak with people from around the world catching up with them on topics ranging from the latest technology trends to the Brexit announcement. It was really cool to hear the opinions of such a diverse bunch of folks. Having access to the greatest minds in the EPM world, including the Essbase product management team is pretty much a once a year opportunity and Kscope is it. I look forward to Kscope17 where I'll be able to further develop the bonds begun this year.


Much of my technical interest in the conference was directed toward Essbase Hybrid aggregation. The panel of customers and consultants who are running Hybrid in production was particularly enlightening. It seems clear to me from listening to Oracle product managers that this is the direction Essbase is headed. Having said that, I really feel like Oracle needs to have a single message related to Hybrid. I heard "Hybrid is just BSO", which is kind of true. Then I heard "Hybrid is BSO with ASO aggregations" which is also true. I think I heard a few other things. Couple that with the fact that the word "hybrid" means a lot of things, even just in the EPM world, and there is the potential for a lot of confusion. Having said all that, I'm looking forward to coming enhancements that will take Hybrid to the next level.

My Sessions

I'm not sure what I was thinking when I submitted three abstracts for Kscope16. I guess I forgot how much actual work goes into creating a technical presentation. Thankfully only two abstracts were accepted. I thought the presentations went fairly well but then I got back my evaluations yesterday. They weren't bad but it was funny to read them. Apparently my audience thought that their fellow audience members "asked too many annoying questions." Anyway, the feedback was important and hopefully I can use it to improve my future presentations. There are a few reasons I'd encourage others to present at a future Kscope. 1) When creating a presentation it really forces you to know your topic. You learn a lot during that preparation. 2) You get to show what you can do to potential future clients and co-workers. Imagine walking in to meet an interviewer and they remember you from the killer presentation you gave a couple of years ago. 3) The amount of interaction and discussions your session fosters with attendees is incredible. I cannot even count the number of people who came up to me in the hours and days following my presentation to thank me and discuss the topics further. Those were some of the best conversations I had all week.

Final Thoughts

If you haven't been to Kscope before, I'd encourage you to go. It really is a lot of fun. If you've been and haven't presented, I'd encourage you to think about submitting an abstract on a topic near and dear to your heart.

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