#IBMWoW “Help!! My Manager Said We’re Getting Off the Mainframe!” Monday, 10/24, 5-6pm

Posted by Kim May on October 18, 2016 under DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA, TFG Blog. Tags: , .

The IBM System z channels team has just invited The Fillmore Group to present another session at next week’s World of Watson Conference.

The session, titled, “Help!!  My Manager Said We’re Getting Off the Mainframe“, will begin at 5pm in a hospitality suite in the Mandalay Bay.  Following the presentation we invite attendees to stay and network at a champagne reception from 6pm – 8pm.  If the topic strikes a chord, please plan to join us.  Registration is required; register HERE.  The session abstract and details are below.


Technology is all about innovation and everyone knows the mainframe is as old as dirt. Therefore, according to many CIO’s, now’s the time to move to something new, like maybe open source, in the cloud with some of those cute animals.

How can loyal System z users respond to this short-sighted “management by airline magazine” approach? Join us to learn tactics to win the battle of the best platform to trust with your organization’s critical data and applications. We will prepare you to respond to the “modernization” message with a clear and logical action plan that promotes organizational efficiency, cost savings – and sanity (the mainframe!!)

Attendees are invited to join us after the presentation from 6pm – 8pm for happy hour lite fare and champagne.

The 3 critical takeaways:

  1. Locate, gather and excite your IBM z team.
  2. Be smart, be bold. Understand the enemy – where management teams are hearing the mainframe is obsolete message and the specific issues to address.
  3. Gather collateral to *wow* your colleagues. Learn where to get industry white papers, how to complete a System z cost analysis and schedule activities to address management’s concerns.


Frank Fillmore: DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore has been working with System z customers throughout his 30 year career in IT. Most recently Frank has been working with IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) customers and working with customers to leverage the value of the mainframe. Frank is also an IBM Champion.

Kim May: Kim May is the Vice President Business Development at The Fillmore Group, an IBM Business Partner specializing in IBM data management software and services. Kim is an IBM Champion and serves on the board of the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group.

Another WoW! Break Free Forum Panelist Frank! #IBMWoW

Posted by Kim May on October 13, 2016 under DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, Oracle, TFG Blog. Tags: .

Frank Fillmore has been invited to be a panelist at the invitation-only Break Free Forum at the IBM World of Watson Conference.  Frank will be featuring IBM’s successful efforts to take market share from Oracle, particularly in the zIFL space.  As a few lucky System z customers know, when an Integrated Facility for Linux – aka an IFL – is installed on System z, DB2 for Linux/UNIX/Windows can be purchased for an incredibly competitive price.  DB2 licensing is based on processor capacity with costs calculated based on – and licensed by – Processor Value Units (PVU’s).

The “secret” making the IFL such a great deal is that IBM’s PVU count for the IFL is really, really low – either 100 or 120 PVU’s depending on the system.  This is – literally – as low as you can go with the purchase of DB2.  All DB2 versions, by the way – including the feature-rich DB2 Advanced Enterprise Server Edition (AESE).

The mainframe is alive and kicking and the Oracle sales teams continue to encourage their customers to run Oracle on System z.  Those of us on the blue side say, “why?” when DB2 can be run so inexpensively!

If this sounds interesting I hope you will come to my session Wednesday at 9am in the Expo Center Theater, “Run Your Organization’s Database for the Cost of a 2008 Toyota Matrix!” Did I mention DB2 on an IFL is inexpensive?  Join me and I will show you just how inexpensive it is!

TFG @ World of Watson #IBMWoW

Posted by Kim May on October 3, 2016 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA. Tags: .

Just three weeks from today IBM’s World of Watson conference begins!  I am looking forward to attending and presenting, along with Frank Fillmore.  If you’ve never attended World of Watson (aka WoW) there are hundreds of sessions and events and chaos spread around the Mandalay Bay Conference Center area in Las Vegas.

In reality no one has ever attended the actual WoW conference before – IBM previously hosted the more data-centric Information on Demand and IBM Insight conferences in past years at this location, during this time slot.  And before that the DB2 Technical Conference and before that a gathering of clans.

I guess we are all sort of new to the conference.  However, for The Fillmore Group, pre-conference means preparation for sessions and events.  We are looking forward to attending the Break Free Forum, IBM’s session highlighting the competitive advantages of DB2 (vs. Oracle), the IDAA luncheon, and meetings with colleagues and customers.

Most importantly we are preparing for presentations.  Our sessions and locations are below.  Please join us if you can!  And…more on WoW soon!

DMT-2435, Kim May and Frank Fillmore
DB2 Cloud Deployment Options for On-Premise DBAs
Mandalay Bay, Palm D
Tuesday, 10/25  4:00-4:45

Back in the day, when you wanted DB2 you installed DB2. That’s so last year. From the various “as-a-Service” (XaaS) options to pricing and other considerations, this overview is designed to help you ask the right questions and provide meaningful feedback when your CFO asks, “Are we cloud-ready?” This session covers both DB2 for z/OS and DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows, and addresses data loading and interoperability across data repositories, wherever they reside.

Kim May
Run Your Organization’s Database for the Cost of a 2008 Toyota Matrix!
Expo Center Theater
Wednesday, 10/26  9:00 – 9:30

An Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) processor is used to run Linux workloads on IBM z Systems. IFL’s support Linux; they cannot run other IBM operating systems. The attractively priced IFL processor enables you to add processing capacity exclusively for Linux workloads. What does this mean to your average cost-conscious shop dealing with the “do more with less” message from management?  You save – big money – on database software licenses.  DB2 for z/Linux is not only priced competitively, it’s downright cheap.  In fact, if you purchase an IFL, the DB2 Workgroup Edition for z/Linux license cost will be comparable to the price of a 2008 Toyota Matrix.  Really!!  Join me for a lesson in DB2 shopping at the World of Watson.

DMT-1153, Frank Fillmore
Mandalay Bay – Jasmine A
Thursday, 10/27  9:00 – 9:45
IBM z Systems (Mainframes!) for IT Architects and Data Scientists
Fifty percent or more of a large enterprise’s data—especially the lifeblood online transaction processing (OLTP) data—likely reside on IBM z Systems computers. The rich transactional data they contain are crucial to predictive analytics such as fraud detection, and real-time data warehousing applications such as point-of-sale market basket analysis. This session is intended for IT architects and data scientists who don’t have a mainframe background, but have been tasked by lines of business to develop new competitive insights into customers, supply chains, insurance claims, financial transactions and/or any of a variety of other opportunities to turn an enterprise’s OLTP data into big data.

TFG Website and Blog – We’re Back!

Posted by Kim May on September 22, 2016 under TFG Blog.

Many thanks to our colleagues at Substance151, particularly Ida Cheinman, for their rapid response to a website error blocking access to the many documents and presentations attached to both our website and blog.  When the error was first reported there appeared to be a simple fix to reconnect the content with the site.  Unfortunately, we ultimately determined the best way to correct the problem – permanently – was to move the entire site.

Ida’s team has been working with The Fillmore Group for almost ten years, and has not only designed our website twice (the current site received a design award in 2012 – yes, it’s probably time we begin thinking about V3 – how time flies!) but has also provided technical support when we scream “SOS!” as we did recently.

Thanks Substance151 and Ida for getting our site back – perfectly!!!  Baltimore’s Best!!!!

IBM Authorized Training – “Using Queue Replication” Starting August 23rd

Posted by Kim May on August 15, 2016 under Arrow ECS, Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, Global Skills Initiative, IBM Champion, Oracle, Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

We have seats available in the “Using Queue Replication” class scheduled to run Tuesday through Friday, August 23-26.  Students may attend class in our Baltimore classroom or via distance learning.  The cost per student is $2680.  The outline and registration are on the Arrow ECS training website here.

If you are one of the many terrific IBM customers who attended Frank’s webinar a few weeks ago, I hope you will register and join us.   The IBM authorized Q Replication training class has not run publicly for 3 years.  It took several weeks to get permission to run this class – one we have delivered successfully many times in the past.  IBM wants to retire it because – surprise – it doesn’t run frequently enough.  !!   Frank will be the instructor for the class and he will include (beyond the course material) an overview of the new Oracle apply.

Please don’t miss the opportunity to take this class.  Organizations rely on replication; if you have never attended a formal Q Replication class, I hope you will consider joining us.  It’s a great product, but it is complex.  I hope I will see you there!

#IBM Q Replication – “Frank’s Field Notes Summer 2016” Materials @IBMIIG

Posted by Frank Fillmore on August 5, 2016 under Q-Replication. Tags: , , .

One of our best-attended webinars ever!  The recording of the webinar is found here.  There presentation materials for download: IBM Q Replication – Franks Field Notes Summer 16

Q Replication: Frank’s Field Notes – Follow-ups

Posted by Kim May on July 28, 2016 under Arrow ECS, Authorized Training Partner, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Federation, Frank Fillmore, IBM DB2 Services, Oracle, Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

Thanks again to everyone who joined us this morning for Frank’s presentation.  The recording and presentation files will be added in our next post.

In this post I am happy (thrilled!) to announce the Q Replication training class discussed on the webinar – the four-day, instructor-led session CE243G, “Using Queue Replication” has been posted on both the IBM and Arrow ECS websites and is therefore ready to accept registrations.  Please join us if you are interested, either in our Baltimore classroom, or via distance learning.  The class will run for four days, Tuesday – Friday, August 23-26.  Register here.

Special thanks to Megan Byrne, who helped get the class reinstated – it hasn’t run publicly for over three years – and is back on the schedule.

As a special incentive to anyone interested in attending the class in our Baltimore classroom, if you are interested in joining us for the Baltimore Orioles vs. the Washington Nationals game Tuesday night (after the first day of class), please let me know.  At The Fillmore Group we are all great O’s fans and they are, after all, in first place!

Finally, as one of today’s topics was the Oracle Native Apply now available for Q Replication, I am attaching a flyer with our Quickstart services offering to assist current Q Replication customers to transition from using Federation Server to the Oracle Native Apply.  Hope it helps!

Oracle Native Apply Quickstart 7.28.16

Thanks again for your help Megan!  Go O’s!

Megan at O's game


IBM Q Replication: Frank’s Field Notes, Summer ‘16

Posted by Kim May on June 21, 2016 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IDAA, InfoSphere, Netezza, Oracle, Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

Please join us Thursday, July 28th, from 11am-12pm EDT for a free webinar with an update on IBM’s Q Replication.

Having worked with Q Replication customers since 2006, DB2 Gold Consultant and IBM Champion Frank Fillmore has collected useful tips and techniques for Q Replication implementation and administration. Join Frank as he shares his notes and thoughts on the topics below and delivers a mid-2016 checkpoint on the evolving IBM InfoSphere Data Replication (IIDR) product development roadmap.

In this session Frank will cover the topics below.  Please register for the session here.

  1. Cold Start a Q Replication topology.
    1. When and why would you need to consider a Cold Start.
    2. What are the steps?
  2. Oracle Native Q Apply – replication directly to an Oracle database (including RAC and Exadata).
    1. Comparison to Federated Apply.
    2. Co-existence and migration.
  3. Tooling – what tool do I use when?
    1. Q Replication Dashboard.
    2. ASNMON.
    3. Replication Center.
    4. ASNCLP.
  4. ASNCONSUMER – used to replicate to PureData System for Analytics (Netezza).
  5. Pricing models.

About Frank Fillmore:

DB2 Gold Consultant and IBM Champion Frank C. Fillmore, Jr. is the Founder and President of The Fillmore Group, Inc., a Premier IBM Business Partner that specializes in IBM Analytics software sales, consulting, and training.  Frank has been providing IBM database-oriented solutions to government, industry, and not-for-profit enterprises as varied as The World Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, Northrop Grumman, and the FBI for over 29 years.  Frank’s current practice centers on Hybrid Transaction and Analytic Processing (HTAP) and Oracle to DB2 migrations as well as information governance and integration.  Frank kayaks and cheers for the Baltimore Orioles.



How Succeed with #IBM in 2016 – Ideas???

Posted by Kim May on June 16, 2016 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Education, Global Skills Initiative, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IDAA, TFG Blog.

Working for an IBM Business Partner organization is not easy and seems to be getting harder each year. Factor in IBM’s continuing (or accelerating?) decline in sales, and figuring out how to be a successful is really tough.

When I started with The Fillmore Group ten years ago the company had a great reputation for IBM data management training and consulting services. I persuaded Frank Fillmore to add software reselling to the mix assuming, as I was new and coming from the Microsoft world (essentially run by partners), that customers needing technical services and training logically needed to buy something. Also, I had this radical concept drilled into my head while working for Microsoft partners: customers prefer to buy from the organization that can help them be most successful with what they buy.

I’m glad I suggested reselling as over time our other business units’ profitability has shifted. The IBM authorized training business fell into a cycle of declining revenues blamed on post 9/11 travel fears. In 2013 IBM gave up on training and outsourced all public authorized education via the (spin of the century!) Global Skills Initiative. In the three years since the Global Skills Initiative announcement our classroom has never again been used for an IBM public training class.

Delivering consulting services as a subcontractor to IBM Lab Services was, for a long time, a true “win-win” as we provided a variable resource – great consultants – to IBM on an “as-needed” basis, while the IBM business helped support our direct customer business and growing the shared pool of highly skilled consultants. Unfortunately, a 2008 management change at IBM shifted the focus to lower skilled, lower cost resources, and moved our team to the “only call on Christmas Eve” supplier list. Over the course of four years the number of hours our consultants worked for IBM Lab Services dropped by 50% year-over-year until dwindling to less than 200 hours per year over the past 3 years.

As for reselling, ten years after I worked through the paperwork to qualify our team of technical experts to resell IBM software, I still cringe when I hear IBM sales organizations use the terms “incumbent partner” and “fulfillment partner”. This is how IBM describes Business Partner organizations whose understanding of the products they sell is so limited the only reason IBM funnels leads to them (which they do), is that they sold something to someone one time and/or they have the ability to prepare a sales quote with (one hopes) the correct part number.

On the bright side, in 2006 IBM recognized their reseller partners’ typical lack of technical expertise and created a program to try to introduce customers to partners who know more than just part numbers – by offering an incentive to the partners with technical skills outside of the actual purchase transaction.  IBM introduced another layer of compensation for selling IBM solutions, the Software Value Incentive (SVI) program, which enables Business Partners who are not being funneled leads, but who demonstrate that they actually help customers understand and justify their IBM solution purchases, to receive payment for their efforts. Not as much perhaps, as the partner who “got the lead” and became the “fulfillment partner”, but something. The SVI program process is similar in efficiency and simplicity to a NASA rocket launch, but provides enough revenue to justify the effort of engagement and selling (even when you know someone else is getting more!)

In 2014 The Fillmore Group ran a campaign for a solution IBM was struggling to sell – the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA). We love the IDAA and understand its value. We have people who can write training curriculum and present. We do lots of IBM promotion via webinars and outreach. It made sense to combine these; we built a free IDAA class and delivered it in our backyard, Baltimore. We had 18 people attend, including 3 IBM technical reps as “students”. Four of the customer organizations in the class purchased IDAA’s before year end. We didn’t sell any directly to customers as there were other IBM purchasing vehicles in place and incumbent/reseller partners. However, we were awarded SVI for our efforts and made some money.

It was like, “Magoo! You’ve done it again!”

But now, in 2016, the IBM teams are struggling. IBM has cut staff and everyone is worried their sales will continue to fall as the company tries to redirect their focus to cloud solutions. IBM sellers are less apt than ever to “risk” introducing their customers to Business Partners.  The Fillmore Group has scheduled and cancelled two IDAA classes so far this year.  The one lead we were passed by IBM was for a customer who was upset with a grossly inflated quote received from their local IBM team.

What can I do to help The Fillmore Group, my IBM colleagues, and our mutual customers be successful with our solutions in 2016?  Any ideas?  I’d love some feedback.

Chicago IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) Class – Seats Still Available!

Posted by Kim May on May 17, 2016 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IDAA, Mako, Netezza.

There are still seats available for the June 6th and 7th *FREE* hands-on IDAA training class, scheduled for delivery in the IBM Chicago offices.  DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore will be delivering this class.  Frank has delivered this class several times and the feedback has been consistently positive, as the class helps customers understand the broad range of deployment options and use cases, as well as how it works.

If you are interested in joining us please review the course outline and register HERE.  Please note:  this class is available to prospective IDAA customers only and registration is required.  If you have any questions on the course content or logistics, please contact Kim May.  I hope to see you in Chicago!