Last week the 22nd Fusion Middleware and PaaS Partner Community Forum took place in Valencia, Spain.
For me this was a very valuable experience - again as I have visited a number of #ofmForum before.
Let me recap here the highlights of this meeting.
After a great Welcome-Reception the evening before, where everybody had the chance to catch up with a large number of old (and soon-to-be new) friends, the conference started with a kind of the state of the union by Jürgen Kress.
The community already has more than 8000 people. This - in a fact - is a tremendous achievement. Everybody agrees that this is only possible by the relentless work of Jürgen who puts a big effort into this. It shows that other areas inside the Oracle technology stack do not benefit by equivalent communities. Even other communities, when they exist at all, do not compete in the same league. So a VERY BIG THANK YOU for Jürgen is at its place here.
After the opening a keynote from Alistair Hopkins showed very clearly how the world in the Oracle space has changed. Gone are the days of multi-million dollar deals where large groups of partner consultants works for months at the customer site. Deals now start at 50-100k $/€ but will often expand afterwards. Customers embrace the cloud and project cycles become shorter, more agile and in a certain way also more productive.
Zooming in on different product areas Vikas Anand (SOA,ICS), Cesare Rotundo (BPM/PCS) and Grant Ronald (Mobile) the message was repeated. Cloud is there and the call to action could not be clearer.
The social event was fun as it gave up on the idea to sit at tables for dinner all together. Finger-food, music, drinks and various chats with Oracle PM and other partners gave a good networking experience.
The second day offered a number of break-out sessions in different tracks. I switched between all of them, so I get some insights into the Development Cloud Service, saw the statement of direction of PCS and afterwards SOA/ICS examples of customers.
New in this years OFMForum was the SalesCafe which offered the possibility to align partners business strategy with Oracle Sales. Together with a Swiss colleague of mine we had a meeting and discussed an enlargement of our focus to cover all of EMEA. Also a specific arrangement with another company was discussed.
So all in all this OFMForum was the summit of education, strategy, networking and business.
I hope to attend many more of these meetings.
PS: Valencia is also a great city - especially during the Fallas festival period as I could experience this with my wife the weekend before the conference.