"One of the best things about OATUG membership is networking and working with different people."
The networking opportunities that are made possible at OATUG events may be the most valuable benefit of membership. There is no doubt that the conferences, white papers and other resources that are provided are informational gold mines. However, when you are starting a project to implement a new module and can make a contact that has been through the process and is willing to share their lessons learned, the benefits can be invaluable.
We recently implemented e-Commerce Gateway and Release Management. Prior to beginning the process, I met a Business Analyst at COLLABORATE in Vegas. He works for a company that is similar in size to Worthington and also competes in the manufacturing sector. He had just completed a similar implementation and encouraged me to reach out to him for help.
We did not have the in-house technical or functional expertise to know how to handle all of the challenges and bumps in the road that we faced along the way. Digging through implementation guides and white papers helped. But nothing compared to having that contact in my back pocket. Being able to reach out to someone who could help us quickly solve a problem or point us in the right direction with design questions literally saved us hundreds of hours of wasted research and development costs.
I have met similar contacts at all of the OATUG events that I have attended. Admittedly, I have my collection of white papers and presentations that I save as reference materials. But in the end, my cherished collection of business cards has helped me the most.
It also doesn't hurt to quantify some of the savings that my OATUG contacts have enabled when justifying why I should attend COLLABORATE!
Delivery Lead, Worthington Industries