Previously, we reported that DXM was a proud recipient of the 2017 Oracle Small Business Customer Innovation Award, a prestigious designation that still has us beaming. The award was presented by Oracle Chief Information Officer Mark Sunday during the tech giant’s biggest annual global event, Openworld. This four-day data “geek fest” is held each year in San Francisco and features thousands of exhibitors, hundreds of workshops and sessions, and keynotes from some of the world’s most recognized business and industry leaders. Approximately 60,000 people from across the globe attended this year’s Openworld, including six from DXM.

Two of our small tribe, CEO Ray Owens and Chief Technology Officer Jerry Gearding, had the distinction of presenting at several Openworld workshops. Ray was also fortunate enough to be invited to a small, but illustrious, private roundtable meeting with Oracle CEO Mark Hurd to discuss new innovations and possibilities with Oracle Cloud-based Marketing and Data solutions.

Although Ray and Jerry have attended Openworld conferences in the past, it was a first for the other four. Their collective reports from the conference were so cool, we thought we’d share highlights with our blog readers. So, for the next few minutes, sit back and enjoy these random recalls from four days in Fog City with 60,000 of the most loveable data geeks you’ll ever meet while rubbing elbows with the wildly rich and famous, consuming more free cocktails than anyone should ever admit, and piling onstage for one unforgettable awards presentation.

DXM CEO Ray Owens: “My jaw literally dropped on Day One as I walked up to the Moscone Convention Center and there before me was the DXM logo emblazoned on enormous banners hanging five stories tall above the main entrance. As I made my way through the two conference halls, the DXM logo appeared on banners over and over again. With over 60,000 attendees at such an exclusive global event, this was quite a reception.

And this… “Sitting in the audience as our own CTO Jerry Gearding participated in presentations highlighting our move into Oracle’s fastest and most robust database platform was a particular source of pride. Jerry was able to illustrate our rapid ascension into Oracle’s most celebrated database infrastructure, Bare Metal Cloud Services, and to top it off, Jerry and DXM were asked to beta test Oracle’s new autonomous database platform designed to bring more companies to their cloud environment regardless of size and scope.”

Oh, and there was also the random run-in with Mark McGrath and other members of the band Sugar Ray just before they were whisked off in a limo to perform at the Openworld opening night concert. Yeah, there was that…

DXM newly appointed Chief Data Officer Bill Reynolds: “Being my first Openworld, I was somewhat overwhelmed, but the breadth and diversity of the Oracle ecosystem is amazing. Wandering through two giant exhibition halls in [the conference center], I saw hundreds of companies with offerings that integrate and leverage Oracle’s technology across many industry spectrums – healthcare, logistics, government, automotive, robotics, AI, and more. A real demonstration of how the data is transforming every industry.

“On the other hand, I was surprised at the relatively low visibility of marketing applications at the show. There were some exhibits showcasing Oracle Marketing Cloud capabilities, but not many other vendors using it. Based on what I saw, DXM is even more on the leading edge than I realized.”

Emily Blair, DXM Digital Account Manager: “I really enjoyed hearing actor and entrepreneur Joseph Gordon-Levitt talk about collaboration and his project, It was a great reminder that rather than compete and try to “outdo” one another, we should see how we can collaborate and build on each other’s ideas to make something great.”

Our VP of Strategic Planning and Research, Melissa Goodwin, was also “super psyched” to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt, someone she’s been trying to catch – but somehow has always missed – at Sundance Festivals, which she attends without fail each year. More importantly, though, Melissa nailed an important business goal she had set for herself at Openworld.

“My goal was to connect with the right people at Oracle who could help me when I need to troubleshoot DMP/BlueKai issues, and who could assist in translating the widely varying methodologies of the data partners who operate in this massive data exchange.”

The conference led Melissa to the perfect contact in the Oracle network.

“She is not only able to answer my questions, but she will also be someone we can collaborate with on improving what the data exchange does for DXM. Attending Openworld was a 1000 percent win for me and DXM!”

DXM’s partnership with Oracle has been game changing, for sure, and we can’t wait for the rollout of their new Cloud Marketing and Data innovations in the coming months, but truth be told, we’re all vying to see who is lucky enough to make the cut for next year’s Openworld.