Oracle has barged its way into the headlines several times over the last year with news of its cloud-based moves, customer experience aptitude and, of course, the purchase of FatWire. If you're wondering what kind of effect these plays will have on the company's technology and your business, this year's OpenWorld conference in San Francisco is not to be missed. 

Oracle OpenWorld at a Glance 

Oracle OpenWorld explores the depths of the company's technology, providing a ton of sessions and demos geared toward helping users get better results as well as strategically plan for the future. 

In addition to Oracle business and technology users, the conference will bring together customers, partners, industry luminaries and experts for one giant education and networking blowout. Here's a quick look at what you can expect:

  • Sunday: Begin the journey with an all-day Oracle Users Forum, the Oracle PartnerNetwork Forum, and a special Oracle Welcome Keynote.
  • Monday: Wake up bright and early for another keynote and the grand opening of the OpenWorld Exhibition Halls. Enjoy regular technical sessions, labs and general sessions where development executives and partners will discuss specific product areas. 
  • Tuesday: Two keynotes take place on Tuesday just before the Exhibition Halls open their doors, and sessions focus on Storage Systems -- specifically the latest on Oracle Exadata, Oracle Exalogic, and more from Oracle system-development executives.
  • Wednesday: After an afternoon keynote and a full day of general sessions, have a little fun at  tis year's Oracle Appreciation Event. 
  • Thursday: Thursday offers another full day of sessions and classroom-style learning opportunities. 

Most importantly, attending this event will keep you ahead of the curve. You'll learn how to optimize your existing systems, get an inside line on upcoming technology, and schmooze with the strategists and developers responsible for the products and services you use.

After you register, I would suggest checking out Billy Cripe's excellent overview of last year's event, which comes complete with advice on how to optimize your experience -- building a schedule, creating a starter set of questions for the exhibition halls, and staying wary of customer success stories.