Oracle Magazine Interview published at: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/oramag/2010/10-sep/o50upclose-165467.html
COMMUNITY: Up Close
As Published In
By Jeff Erickson
A growing Ecuadorian user group builds ties with its Latin American neighbors.
Paola Pullas knows how to do a lot with a little. With the nearest Oracle corporate office in neighboring Colombia and user group members spread across a geographically diverse nation, Pullas, president of the Ecuador Oracle Users Group (ECUOUG), is helping to forge a single Oracle user group that can attract top speakers and make its voice heard.
ECUOUG represents more than 200 corporate members in the country’s major industries, including mining, construction, and telecommunications, as well as agricultural production of crops such as bananas, cocoa, and flowers. “We have three main telecommunications companies in Ecuador, and all of them are members of our group,” says Pullas. “But there are many smaller businesses, such as in our flower industry, that are coming to us.”
Across the Stack
The group holds as many as 12 meetings a year, mostly in Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, and mostly on subjects such as Oracle Database, Oracle WebLogic Server, and Oracle JDeveloper. But the group is expanding to support other parts of the technology stack. “We’ve found that lots of midsize companies in Ecuador use [Oracle’s] JD Edwards, and many of our members use [Oracle’s] PeopleSoft and Siebel,” says Pullas. “We are in the process of launching an applications user group within ECUOUG.”
With Oracle’s acquisition of Sun, ECUOUG is also reaching out to Sun users through a new Sun special interest group and is working with an existing Java user group to fold it into ECUOUG. “As a small country, we want to bring all Oracle users, Sun, applications, Java, and tech under one roof,” says Pullas.
With members dotted across Ecuador, the ECUOUG community has become adept at using social media to communicate. The group is easy to find and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Oracle Mix. Its blog, at ecuoug.org, was the online foundation from which the current user group was formed, and it is still a great place to keep up with Oracle technologists in Ecuador. “We organize our live event each month to share experiences and network because we want to cover all the subjects and we want this community to stay together,” says Pullas. “In between events, we go online to share tutorials, tips, and news.”
On the heels of a successful Oracle OpenWorld conference in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2009, the Latin American user group community began working together to keep the momentum going. User group leaders organized a Latin American user group council, with each member country providing a board member. Pullas is the board member from Ecuador. Current member countries include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Ecuador.
For 2010 the group has organized what Pullas calls a Latin American Oracle Technology Network tour. The plan, says Pullas, is for smaller countries to hold their annual meetings in quick succession so that top speakers can make a swing through Latin America and visit several user groups along the way. Top Oracle ACEs from the U.S. and Europe and speakers from Oracle Consulting are expected to make the trip—even Oracle architect and Oracle Magazine columnist Tom Kyte is on the bill in some countries. Ecuador’s event is scheduled for October. “We are now working like one big integrated community,” says Pullas. “We know that Latin American technologists are a big presence in the Oracle world, and this community will be a voice for sharing our experiences with members in neighboring countries and with Oracle.”