The UK Oracle User Group (UKOUG) is to run an Executive Summit event for senior IT managers and directors at its annual conference this year.

The independent user group, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary, is organising the summit to cater for the growing number of senior business leaders that work with Oracle products.

This importance of this constituency has been highlighted by the software giant’s acquisition spree over recent years.

Ronan Miles, chairman of UKOUG told CIO sister title ComputerworldUK that the "UKOUG has provided an independent platform for members of the Oracle ecosystem to talk to Oracle for a number of years.

“The audience has tended to reflect the Oracle product set in that it started as mainly database technical folk, moved to developers and then onto business users with the take-up of Oracle applications," said Miles.

While the user group has supported C-level members, in reality "there was not that much demand for what was mostly a technical product/sales purchase".

The Oracle trail of acquisitions, has meant a change of focus was required. "Oracle has become the custodian of a significant part of the enterprise software product for UK PLC. To that end, we need to reflect the higher degree of attention Oracle has, or at least should have, at board level,” said Miles. The UKOUG is working with CIO Connect, on the summit.

"We want to reflect the importance Oracle software has at board level in companies that are seeking to leverage ICT in order to grow their company's efficiency. I have seen economic data which shows that the US is typically 8.2 per cent more efficient than the UK and this is mainly due to a better use of ICT. We want to help enable the Oracle ecosystem in the UK to narrow that gap," he said.

The launch of an Executive Summit to run parallel to the user group conference is "the first steps in creating that audience and putting a C-level agenda into the very healthy relationship UKOUG has with Oracle currently - both in the UK and globally,” he added.

The summit will provide the opportunity for UKOUG members to influence the strategy behind future Oracle products and services, by engaging with senior Oracle management face-to-face, Miles added.

Speakers will include Jesper Anderson senior vice President for Oracle Application Development, Jürgen Rottler, executive vice president customer services and Sergio Giacoletto, executive vice president Europe Middle East and Africa.

With the UKOUG celebrating 25 years activity this year, Miles said the most important shift his members had witnessed was that IT had evolved from being viewed a cost reduction exercise to a "value generation exercise".

"IT was used as a way of taking out cost from business processes and in some cases making new business processes economically viable. However, ICT has added a whole new range of value creation opportunities ranging from business intelligence that can drive strategic decisions through to completely new products and services based around concepts such as 'zero touch' and workflow.

“As the understanding of what is possible has grown, so has the need for it to work, be implementable and be simple. The change it brings also needs to be managed."

The Executive Summit and UKOUG annual conference takes place on 1 and 2 December 2008 in Birmingham.

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