Oracle User Group Nixes Bid for Single Conference

FRAMINGHAM (04/28/2000) - The Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) has turned down Oracle Corp.'s proposal for a closer relationship, after the membership overwhelmingly rejected the company's bid in a survey this month.

In response, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said last Thursday during a speech to the OAUG membership that the company would hold its own conference next spring - Oracle ApplicationWorld. He added that Oracle will continue to send representatives to OAUG conferences.

OAUG President Jeremy Young announced the decision to remain independent at the group's spring conference in Philadelphia last week.

Oracle had wanted to incorporate the organization's two conferences into its Oracle OpenWorld conference, holding one Oracle-hosted, application-focused marketing event in the spring.

"We are very pleased with the overwhelming support for independence," Young said. "The most important thing for the board is that we are an independent organization, and we should remain an independent organization for the future."

The OAUG will continue to educate its members and provide a forum for communicating user concerns to Oracle, he told the membership.

With three quarters of OAUG's membership of 2,000 companies responding to the survey, 87% said they were opposed to holding one Oracle-sponsored event rather than having a separate users' conference.

The partnership would have fundamentally changed how the North American conferences were run, said Don Payne, executive vice president of OAUG's board of directors.

More Independence

Instead, the conferences will become a little more independent. For example, OAUG Executive Director Jim Collins said, Oracle has traditionally managed press relations at the conferences. "They will still invite their own press people," he said, "but the OAUG has its own media presence now and will invite its own press people to the event."

Collins said he expects to see more balanced coverage, with more opportunities for the public to get multiple perspectives on Oracle-related issues.

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