New Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) President Andrew Flower just took the reins this spring at the group’s Collaborate conference. Flower, a vice president at data consultancy Logan Britton, takes over for Ian Abramson and will lead the 20,000-member IOUG for at least a year. Here’s what he had to say about the future of IOUG and Oracle.
What is something the IOUG needs to do in the next three years?
We need to continue to embrace and coalesce around the expanding Oracle community. Oracle is growing in a number of directions and our expertise is database professionals, so we need to continue to represent our core constituency and continue to advance.
So with Oracle constantly expanding, how does the IOUG decide on what areas to cover?
It starts with our core membership which is technology and database professionals. We don’t really pursue those application acquisitions. Hyperion, for example, some components were database specific, like Essbase. With the Sun acquisition one of the things that is important to our membership is MySQL, because many of our members are already MySQL customers in addition to being Oracle customers. MySQL is a focus for us over the next year. We are interested in getting that community integrated into our community.
What is something Oracle gets right when it comes to serving customers?
Oracle has done a good job over the last 5-6 years in trying to help align customers with representatives from the user community. We think it’s valuable because we find that people who are attached or involved in communities are better customers. They’re active, they’re interested.
And what is one of the major complaints you hear from members about Oracle?
To some extent, some of the acquisitions have been disruptive in a number of ways, in contracts and licensing. When a big company gets acquired, that customer is part of the Oracle sphere. How contracts get negotiated is different than with a smaller vendor. You’re going to have folks that liked the terms with the previous vendor, but now that they’re part of Oracle, that has changed.