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I read with regret that World Software had been unceremoniously extricated from Collaborate 2017. If you are looking for information on the direction of World Software, or an exploration on how your peers continue to run their businesses on World Software, indeed, if you are looking to COLLABORATE with your fellow World Software users, you are directed to attend the significantly smaller InFocus conference later in the year. This relegation to the “child’s table” of conferences comes tinged when irony. When InFocus was first launched, World Software was excluded from participation. Now it is the last refuge of a World Software user.
Why was this decision made? I can only speculate. Certainly participation by World Software customers has been on a downward trajectory for years. However, clearly Oracle’s decision to treat World Software with benign neglect has contributed to the decline in conference attendance. After 10 years of collecting significant maintenance dollars from World customers, Oracle appears to have put the software out to pasture. Sadly, unless you are interested in migrating to EnterpriseOne, Oracle has little to say to World users. The momentum that had been generated with the A9.x releases of World has been squandered, leaving the user community in a quandary.
And what of Quest’s role in the ostracizing of World Software from Collaborate? On the one hand it seems like a reasonable response to changing software user demographics; attendance by World users at Collaborate has been declining. However, this move by Quest to drop World from the Collaborate program seems more like unconditional surrender to me. Quest, who is supposed to represent the interest of the ENTIRE Oracle community, has taken the easy way out of a difficult situation. Instead of advocating for the World community’s rightful participation in Oracle’s premier user-driven conference, Quest has chosen to carry Oracle’s water by acquiescing to Oracle’s desire to focus all World customers on migration to EnterpriseOne. By limiting World’s sessions at Collaborate to migration topics Quest has abdicated their responsibility to World users.
With the retirement of John Schiff from the JDE World team, Collaborate 2017 was shaping up as a critical opportunity to gauge Oracle’s intentions regarding World Software, and to receive that guidance from Oracle directly. Quest’s short-sighted decision has eliminated that option for World users. While it is true that this decision itself provides a form of guidance regarding the future of World Software, Quest’s unilateral decision has superimposed their judgment in place of the transparent vendor-user interaction Collaborate is rightly famous for. This is a truly sad turn of events.