I work at BTRG, an Oracle Platinum partner that specializes in PeopleSoft and Oracle Cloud HCM and Financials. We’ve been working with Oracle applications for over twenty years.

After a long absence from the conference circuit, I attended Collaborate 17 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas this month. My objective was not to acquire in-depth product knowledge, but rather to evaluate the effectiveness of our participation in conferences in general. I also wanted to find out where the actual Mandalay Bay was since this hotel always seemed to me to have an identity crisis.

Our company delivered two sessions, both well-attended and engaging:

Janet Martin, well-known to PeopleSoft conference attendees, delivered a session entitled “Deploying Fluid Guided Self-Service and Approvals”. Oracle describes Guided Self-service transactions as “transactions that will display contextual information and help guide users through managerial processes.“ Janet clearly demonstrated the value and ease of deployment of a real-life case study. Clearly guided self-service can greatly reduce the change management effort and increase user adoption.

Kishore Mantri, a first-time presenter, shared his experience with “The Impact of Transitioning to Elastic Search” which detailed some considerations when migrating to the new search and analytics engine used by PeopleSoft. Elastic, (https://www.elastic.co/) is an “open source, distributed, RESTful, search and analytics engine” that touts faster performance and greater flexibility than previous search technology used by PeopleSoft.

BTRG hosted a social event in the Mandalay Bay hotel Wednesday evening. Attendance was double our initial estimate no doubt driven by our well-received sessions. One clear takeaway from discussing current issues and challenges at this event with customers was that PeopleSoft still has a devoted following due to it’s feature-rich capabilities. Oracle cloud customers seem to be in a similar situation to PeopleSoft customers twenty years ago: strong belief in the underlying technology and faith in the long-term direction of the application.

Back to my objective – was this a good use of our company resources? I believe it was. Oracle conferences are an invaluable opportunity to listen to customers and gain insight into the direction of Oracle product developments. Oh – and Mandalay is in the former Burma (now Myanmar) but there’s no bay at Mandalay. In Vegas, this makes sense.

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