Oracle and user group play again

Oracle Corp. and its independent Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) are mending their relationship, but not all differences have been resolved, the group said Wednesday.

OAUG president Jeremy Young was invited on stage at Oracle’s second annual European AppsWorld event in Amsterdam. He ended a short pitch for his group with: “I wish you a good conference and implementations that will bring you profit made simple.” (“Profit made simple” is Oracle’s current marketing slogan.)

Earlier in the morning Oracle’s number-one executive in Europe, Sergio Giacoletto, executive vice-president for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), promoted the OAUG in the opening address of the show.

It seemed the air had completely cleared between Oracle and its user group, which have been quarreling since the software company two years ago decided to hold its own applications events and withdraw its support for the OAUG conferences.

However, the rift hasn’t been completely patched, OAUG’s Young said in an interview.

“The relationship is improving, we went through a much worse period,” Young said. “At this point we are looking at ways we can cooperate with Oracle on the conferences and we hope they will be able to participate, to some extent, in the future with us.”

Though the OAUG and Oracle have started to patch up their differences, the user group still wants the vendor to offer more support. Oracle has made some small steps to back up OAUG events, Young acknowledged.

Oracle and the OAUG have agreed, for example, that Oracle will provide leads so the user group can expand its membership, Young said. Also, Oracle will provide some speakers for the OAUG event in Toronto in May, albeit from local offices, not the senior executives that used to speak at OAUG events, Young said.

An Oracle spokeswoman said the company is “back on track with the OAUG” and that the user group picked many of the topics, accounting for about 20 per cent of the conference, for AppsWorld here as well as the upcoming one in the United States.

Oracle Canada in Mississauga, Ont., is at The Oracle Applications User Group is at