OAUG President Mark Clark wants to expand the
organization’s reach beyond North America.
Mark Clark isn’t afraid to go exploring. In fact, when I talked with him during
his recent visit to Oracle headquarters, he
had just returned from the mountains—
where he had a run-in with a mother bear
and her cubs. Now out of harm’s way, he
says he’s ready for another adventure.
This time, Clark will be undertaking new
explorations as Oracle Applications Users
Group (OAUG) president, a role in which he
hopes to extend the user group’s activities
to other regions of the world.
“I’d like to see OAUG expand geographi-
cally,” says Clark, a 20-year veteran of OAUG
who has served in a variety of positions with
the organization, including membership
chairman and executive committee member.
“Traditionally, OAUG has been very strong
in North America. A lot of our members are
making their first trips globally, pushing
forward to Brazil or Asia, and they want
information from their peers on the pros and
cons, the challenges, and the pitfalls.”
Global exploration, says Clark, will
include building on events such as OAUG
Connection Point—Dubai, a two-day educa-
tion and networking event. The third annual
OAUG Connection Point—Dubai event in
March attracted more than 300 attendees
from all over the Middle East and featured
Cliff Godwin, senior vice president of appli-
cations development at Oracle, who pro-
vided an update on the Oracle E-Business
Suite product line. Conference topics
included new features in Oracle E-Business
Suite 12, upgrade best practices, and enter-
prise performance management.
OAUG has also expanded its horizons by
partnering with the German Oracle Users
Group (DOAG) on the DOAG Applications
Conference in May. At this three-day event, the
spotlight was on Oracle Fusion Applications,
with Oracle representatives presenting the
next generation of Oracle Applications.
NE T WORKING STILL RULES
OAUG’s global reach with education and
networking events makes sense, given
Oracle’s growth in the applications area.
“When OAUG first started, Oracle was just
expanding from database into applications,”
Clark says. “There were very few sources for
Oracle Open World presents an optimal
opportunity for education, networking,
and interacting with Oracle developers and
product managers. At the upcoming conference (October 2 to 6, 2011) OAUG is offering
50 sessions at User Group Sunday (October
2) geared toward both geographic and special
interest groups. OAUG will also offer 30 sessions over the course of the week on topics
including master data management and
Oracle Fusion Applications.
OAUG President Mark Clark
information about the applications. Peer-to-peer was probably one of the best ways to get
information.” Now that Oracle’s applications
offerings are broader, OAUG members need
to find information that is relevant to their
specific needs. But with so much information
available online about Oracle Applications,
from a variety of sources, Clark says that
networking is more important than ever.
“Finding that person you can network with
and communicate with is key,” he says.
Education and networking, in fact, top
the OAUG member wish list. “We survey
our members every year to find out what’s
important. The first is educational events,
the second is networking opportunities, and
the third is for OAUG to have a good interactive relationship with Oracle,” Clark says.
As we wrapped up our interview, Clark
promised to limit his wildlife adventures to
his family’s new pet—a retired Greyhound.
He also shared his advice for new OAUG
members, likening new membership to
working with a new Oracle application.
“From an implementation standpoint, we
always try to do a sandbox instance, and we
encourage people to roll up their sleeves and
really interact with Oracle,” Clark explains. “I
would talk to new members the same way.
I’d encourage them to join the user group,
get involved, attend a special interest group
or local geographic group meeting. And then
think about giving a presentation on their
own—or evangelizing the OAUG message
throughout their organization.”
.com) is senior managing
editor of Oracle Magazine
and Java Magazine.
LEARN more about OAUG
WATCH the interview
SEP TEMBER/OC TOBER 2011 ORACLE. COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE