Kscope15 Welcome

Opal.jpg Howdy and welcome to the Kscope15 conference year! This is my second and final year as the EPM/BI Content Chair. It is an honor to serve the ODTUG community one last time in this role. I am excited to pass the torch onto the next chairperson! :)

The conference committee has been quite busy since the end of Kscope14. It takes an entire year to plan out this grand event so we don't waste time in getting started! Our track teams are set and we are ready to kick off the abstract selection process. A huge THANK YOU is in order to the new volunteers and the veterans who have committed their time and effort to this year's content review. The conference committee can’t do it without you. Last year we had a record-breaking number of abstracts and we are expecting to smash that record once again!

This year you’ll notice some changes in the abstract submission process. I wanted to take a moment to highlight a few key items to abstract submitters before the deadline hits us.

1. Subtopic details

The first new item you may notice is a Subtopic Details page, which is located right off of the “Submit an Abstract” option at the Kscope15 website: http://www.Kscope15.com/content/2013-10-07-19-34-56/sub-topic-details

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This page will help abstract submitters understand how to categorize their abstracts into the correct track and subtrack. Placing your abstract into the correct track is very important, as it can add valuable time to the already short process when an abstract gets missed due to improper placement. 

Subtopics are more for attendees - these help conference goers choose sessions. 

Both track and subtopic can be changed after an abstract has been submitted, and, oftentimes, abstracts do get moved during the abstract selection process to ensure that the proper folks review them.

2. Differences between the Abstract and Summary fields

This is not necessarily a new item, but it is one worth highlighting again. There are 2 fields in the abstract submission form that allow for descriptions of your session: Abstract and Summary. As it shows at the top of the abstract submission form:

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The Summary field is the abstract description that attendees will see on the website. Therefore, this should be a concise description of your presentation that appeals to conference attendees. The Abstract field should offer more details to the abstract reviewers. The Abstract field is an opportunity to talk to the abstract reviewers, offering more detailed information about what you intend to present, your presentation format, etc.

It is usually frowned upon if both fields match, as they are viewed as having different purposes by the content selection team.Note: if you have already submitted an abstract this year, you do have the ability to go back and make edits before the deadline.

3. New demo option

The last item you may come across is a new abstract question to indicate whether or not a demo will be included with your presentation. 

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Although it is clear from survey responses that attendees appreciate a quality, time-appropriate demonstration during a technical session, these are certainly not required. In fact, there are some situations where a demo may lead to a lesser quality session. Therefore, plan to utilize this option if you feel it will enhance your session.

4. Final thoughts

Attendees have commented in past surveys that they wish there were a way to know what version of the technology were being presented in the sessions. Please put this in your Summary field, if it’s applicable. Not only is this information useful to the attendees (in fact, it can help increase attendance to your session), but it is also helpful to the content review teams.

In addition, a primary presenter may submit (or have submitted on their behalf) up to 4 abstracts. If you are listed as the primary presenter on more than 4 abstracts, then you should expect to be reached out to by one of the conference members. They will want to know which 4 you want to have in the running.

Finally, we cannot stress the importance of ensuring that your primary and co-presenter information are accurate. If the presenter should have to back out at the last moment, it is the co-presenter who will be allowed to step in to carry the presentation over the finish line during the conference week. In addition, if the primary and/or co-presenter information should change after an abstract has been accepted, the session will be subject to review once again. There is a chance that the abstract will be cancelled and another one put in its place based on presenter changes.

 


As the abstract deadline draws to a close, I have been getting questions about the types of EPM/BI sessions that ODTUG is looking for this conference year. Below is the advice that I have offered to a few folks already, which can apply to all tracks at the Kscope15 conference.

Writing abstracts is a challenge, as each track team looks for sessions that are both unique and compelling, two characteristics that are hard to define and quantify. I wish there were a secret formula that would guarantee that everyone's abstracts could go through. However, it’s not that simple and there are too many abstracts! :) 

In my opinion there are 3 true elements that contribute to a successful abstract:

1.    A unique and compelling topic
2.    A well-written abstract
3.    The speaker’s reputation (and past performances at Kscope, if applicable)

The first 2 elements are easily within your control and carry the most weight. 

For point #1, if you were able to attend Oracle Open World last week or one of Oracle’s many great product/strategic direction webcasts, then I would suggest that you use what you learned and focus on topics that: 

· Are leading edge (new features that are represented in a practical setting)
· Relay a great story with an intelligent solution that is on a current version (i.e. case study)
· Teach attendees something that they didn’t know (i.e. “101” presentations)

The track teams love to see innovative ways of using their technologies. Put yourself in the attendees’ shoes - what would you want to learn?

The below sites can help you with point #2. I would also take a look at the Kscope14 presentations to familiarize yourself with how past accepted abstracts were written.

·http://www.Kscope15.com/content

· http://www.odtug.com/p/bl/et/blogid=8&blogaid=279

· http://sqlblog.com/blogs/adam_machanic/archive/2013/02/22/capturing-attention-writing-great-session-descriptions.aspx

· http://www.thatjeffsmith.com/archive/2014/06/off-topic-some-advice-on-submitting-conference-abstracts/

· http://dbakevlar.com/2013/10/abstracts-reviews-and-conferences-oh-my/

As far as point #3 - if a speaker has a great reputation in the industry and has presented well in the past, then that helps. If they are a new speaker, that also can help, as we love to integrate new speakers into the conference each year. Speakers build great reputations by sharing quality knowledge (blogs, twitter, OTN forums, etc.), being active participants in user groups and speaking at their conferences and events, and networking with other folks in the community.

Presenting with a client is always a great idea if a case study is being shown. In addition, unique presentation formats have been on the rise in the past couple of years. An interesting way to present the material does not go unnoticed. See the sessions “Competing Essbase Optimization Tips from Glenn and Edward: Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves” and “Traditional Hyperion Planning Design on Trial" from Kscope14 to get some ideas on what type of format attracts a crowd.

Good luck to all of you! :)

The Kscope15 conference will be in beautiful, south Florida at the Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood! This resort is right on the beach and we expect to have a number of special, themed events next year.

The Kscope event is one of the biggest and best conferences in the entire Oracle community. We are proud of its success over the years and we hope to continue to celebrate its growth and evolution as new members join our user group and share new perspectives and experiences. 

We hope to see you there! :)

-Opal Alapat

Services Engineering Manager, TopDown Consulting

EPM/BI Content Chairwoman, Kscope15

Note: For anyone who would like to get involved on the content selection teams for Kscope16, please fill out a volunteer form after next June and specify that you'd like to be part of the content selection committee. We are always looking to integrate new folks into the mix!

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