Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Oracle Open World 2018 - Day 1

This year, I attended Oracle Open World in San Francisco, California for two days of the four day conference. Held in the Moscone Center, the conference consisted of keynotes once or twice a day, sessions about a wide range of topics about modern technology, and a vibrant Exchange Hall with exhibits from tens of companies operating in the space of cloud technologies, IoT, artificial intelligence, and blockchain.

Here's a short vlog I filmed of my day:

Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle, began the day by giving us his predictions for the industry for the next few years (Gartner, who?!). His top level insights about business intelligence mostly focused on artificial intelligence and development in the cloud. It is indeed true and can be said without doubt that artificial intelligence will have a profound effect on productivity and innovation. It is with this sentiment in mind that Hurd predicted, quote, "all cloud applications in 2025 will include AI". This is in contrast to the current situation, where applications reach out to specific AI based services; rather, in the future, they will be embedded into the solution. Also in the field of AI, Hurd predicts that "85% of customer interaction will be automated". This seems terrifyingly frustrating at the moment - I can't help but have flashbacks to repeatedly yelling at the robot on the phone with me, desperately trying to reach a human. However, with leaps and bounds being made in fields such as natural language processing, this might lend to a better experience than with a human. Finally, Hurd gave a prediction that rustled the crowd the most: "60% of IT jobs in 2025 have not been invented yet". While this may seem terrifying, and developers may be afraid that the robots are coming for their jobs, Hurd states that this is actually because the technology field will innovate. Lower level jobs will be eliminated, but the need for developers will actually grow - just in different areas. Hurd claims, "Automation will not replace jobs - it will create them".

Since this is an Oracle event, of course we were introduced to further development on the Gen 2 Cloud that Oracle announced at last year's Open World. This big push towards the cloud includes Oracle's Autonomous Database, which automates database administrative tasks, includes strong security measures, and has embedded AI and machine learning capabilities. Though Oracle is several years behind competing cloud services like Amazon's Web Services (AWS), Google's Cloud, and Microsoft's Azure, the company is trying to make up for that lost time by positioning its "gen z cloud" as better for data-intensive business applications.

After sitting in on a keynote, which had representatives from Oracle partners including Cern, Cisco Tetration, and AT&T Business discussing their growth in the cloud and how it has helped and transformed their businesses, I headed to the exchange hall. This was a center for companies to pitch their latest projects, and it was super informative and exciting to get the chance to witness these products and speak to some people working in these areas. Companies like IBM, Deloitte, Hitachi, Dell, and Rubrik were there to showcase their work in artificial intelligence and the cloud. Hitachi had some really interesting wearable technology solutions for worker safety, and Rubrik was showcasing a very intuitive solution for cloud data backup. I even got a free trial from Dell to try their integration platform, Boomi, as well as a short demo on how I could get started.

Overall, it was a great day (despite having to overcome the infamous Bay Area traffic on the way there and back). I'm glad I have the chance to visit such awesome events and keep up with current industry news and developments.

See you in the next post for a recap of day 2!

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