Mark works for Elsevier Ltd where he watches over the installation, drawing parallels between requirements and system provisioning and generally 'controls' environments and monitors who does what, and where.
Why did you first engage with the user group?
The initial feeling was a need to mingle with the Oracle community at SIGs and the annual conference and to 'get' the trends and where we collectively thought the technology was going.
What value did you find through UKOUG?
It enabled me to recognise the parallels between what we were doing and feeling in the Oracle space, and that experienced by other Oracle customers. We were not alone.
What about UKOUG membership has surprised you?
There is benefit to be gained for those prepared to put in the effort. For those who adopt a 'back foot' approach and are not willing to engage, the benefit is questionnable.
Is there a specific example where engaging with UKOUG has had a direct beneficial result for you and your company?
Yes. At APPS13, I was able to discuss a real-world deliverable with one of the vendors. Even though we have not yet engaged with said vendor, their business card is still on my desk, whereas others arriving through other means may be consigned to the waste bin.
What are the top three reasons you would recommend membership to another Oracle user?
1. The value to be gained from just mingling with other Oracle professionals is difficult to put a figure on.
2. Through participation at SIGs and conferences, it connects you with the Oracle Community in a way not achievable via online activity alone.
3. Group-based pressure (should the need arise) featuring input from key customers will always be more successful than individual campaigns.