No, no, not the perfume. I mean the emotion, the motivation, the drive that makes Kscope presenters conceive and create the Kscope presentations that make Kscope, well, Kscope. Your speakers are obsessed with quality, innovation, and knowledge sharing unlike any other Oracle conference. Yr. obdnt. srvnt. has been in the EPM space for (gasp, surely I cannot be that old but it is true) more than twenty years, and I have either attended or presented at Arbor Dimensions, Hyperion Solutions, and Oracle OpenWorld. Nothing I have seen or done at any of those conferences has come close to what goes into a Kscope session.

Some examples
Let me give you an example. I, in what I thought was a rare moment of cleverness, reached out to Dan Pressman to work with me on two (hopefully) great presentations: ASO Planning, Don’t Do That, Do This and Evolution or Revolution: The New Hybrid Essbase. In my naïve way, I figured that taking the work and splitting the effort in two would mean less work for me as well as a better presentation. I was both right and wrong.

The right bit was the improvement of the presentation. This, after all, is what you care about. There’s no denying that having two geeks look at a problem, tool, feature, or theory question results in superior content. I think the two of us are going to produce sessions that neither of us could write alone.

The wrong bit was the “less work for Cameron concept.” What has happened instead is yr. obdnt. srvnt. comes up with a half-decent idea, Dan counters with a comment, criticism, or extension that makes the original proposal that much better, and then I do the same to him. That process is why Dan and I have a standing daily 9 PM conference call. I like Dan, and I hope he likes me (although after this experience, maybe not quite as much as before), but this is perhaps pushing collaboration a bit too far. And that process is also why we were up till midnight on a GoToMeeting session last night building one of our sample ASO Planning applications. Like just about every night.
Obsession. Or obsessions. You decide. We are obsessed because we enjoy figuring things out (these are going to be good sessions) and because we think you, the Kscope14 punter, deserve the very best we can manage.

More than just one sad pair of geeks
Dan and I are not alone. I have had multiple email/phone/instant messaging conversations with fellow speakers over the last six years (EPM came to what was then called Kaleidoscope in 2008), and this kind of frantic, sustained, and high-quality work is the rule, not the exception. That means you have an army of presenters on a huge number of topics across just about the entire gamut of Oracle technology working, working, working obsessively to give you the very best conference material we can possibly come up with. Those speakers who do not work to produce this kind of quality work are extremely unlikely to come back as Kscope15 speakers. This obsession with excellence is reflected in the scores you give speakers.

Obsession behind the scenes
Speaking of obsession, as an ODTUG board member as well as someone who has worked on EPM content selection, the amount of work that goes into determining content, directing and performing the mechanics of running the conference itself, and all of the things that make the parent ODTUG user group exist are the result of what apparently is a widespread unhealthy psychological state because we are all obsessed with making Kscope14 the very best Oracle user conference there has ever been or ever will be. Until, of course, Kscope15 rolls around.

So there you have it – an armchair psychologist’s perspective on the engine behind the great presentations that make up Kscope. We speakers, staffers, and volunteers all need to spend time on the analyst’s couch; you attendees get the benefit of the care, attention, and detail that we pour into this event.

Judge for yourself
But maybe I’m wrong when I use the word “obsession.” Maybe that’s the one-word description, and a bad one at that, for something else – love. I don’t think I, or any of the other speakers whom I know, would do this fairly insane level of work unless we loved technology, knowledge sharing, discovering new ways to solve problems, or working with what just might be the very best Oracle user group extant. You’ll have to decide which word describes us and the user conference that results. The only way to know is to be there in Seattle. Join us, won’t you?

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