Eye on Oracle

Jun 29 2012   2:38PM GMT

The virtual partner event and the virtual peanut gallery

Lena Weiner Lena Weiner Profile: Lena Weiner

Remember the old “You Will” ad campaign of 1993-1994 from AT&T? “Have you ever driven across the continent without asking directions? Put your kid to bed from a phone booth? Attended a corporate meeting from the beach while buried in the sand? You will.”

In a move eerily reminiscent of ye olde marketing campaign of yore, Oracle’s most recent Oracle Partner Event was completely virtual.  A series of webcasts Oracle partners could watch from the comfort of their bedrooms, living rooms, toilets or yes, the beach, Oracle compared it to a summer blockbuster and encouraged the audience to “grab a box of candy” to kick back with while taking in the info.

As anyone who regularly works from home can tell you, there’s something about working from your bedroom that inherently makes it feel less formal. Time was, you whispered softly your questionable comments to your nearest coworkers- In the day of the virtual peanut gallery, however, you tweet them loud and proud for everyone to see. While there was a fairly consistent cast of twittering characters, the most prolific seemed to be Oracle partner Albert Peng, @apprunstheworld.

Maybe I’m alone on this, but this seems like a very odd “the future is now” moment to me. There’s something very meta about the idea of hundreds of Oracle partners worldwide sitting at home, (possibly in shorts and T-shirts) watching the broadcast “together,” tweeting their thoughts and IMing each other their snarky comments. One way or the other, I’ve got to hand it to Oracle- it’s a great way to save money (no need for hotels or flights) while ensuring maximum attendance by their partners. This is a great way to ensure that Oracle has enough resources to focus on what really matters.

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