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!

 

Kim May Named #IBMChampion @IBMAnalytics for 2016

Posted by Frank Fillmore on May 5, 2016 under #IBMInsight, Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, Global Skills Initiative, IBM Champion, IDAA, TFG Blog. Tags: , .

My colleague, Kim May, Vice President for Business Development of The Fillmore Group, has been named an IBM Champion for 2016.  Kim’s IBM Analytics community outreach includes:

  • blogging at www.thefillmoregroup.com/blog
  • serving as a member of the board of directors of the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group
  • hosting webinars and workshops covering a variety of IBM Analytics topics such as IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) and Cloud Data Services (CDS)
  • advocating for formal training through the IBM Global Skills Initiative
  • and presenting the now-legendary TFG Monday evening soirée at IBM Insight in Las Vegas in October

Kudos to Kim for the well-deserved recognition!

A complete list of the 2016 IBM Champions for Analytics can be found here.

*FREE* IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) Hands-on Training

Posted by Kim May on April 26, 2016 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Smart Analytics System, IDAA, Mako, Netezza, TFG Blog.

DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore will deliver a free, hands-on IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) class at the IBM offices in Chicago at 71 South Wacker Drive on Monday and Tuesday, June 6th and 7th.  The course outline and registration link are HERE.   The Welcome Packet with travel and lodging recommendations will be sent once the registration is accepted.

Class is free, however students are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.  The Fillmore Group will provide breakfast and lunch each day to students in class.

The IDAA is a high-performance appliance that integrates IBM Netezza and zEnterprise technologies. The solution delivers extremely fast results for complex and data-intensive DB2 queries on data warehousing, business intelligence and analytic workloads.  You can:

– Query data at high speeds-to significantly improve response times for unpredictable, complex and long-running query workloads.

– Extend the capabilities of DB2 for z/OS-to support a cost-effective analytics solution for data warehousing, business intelligence and predictive analytics.

– Lower operating costs-by reducing System z disk requirements and offloading query workloads to a high-performance platform.

Please note:  this class is offered exclusively to IBM z Systems customers considering an IDAA purchase.  Registration is required.

I hope you will join us and learn more about the IDAA! If you have any questions on the class, please feel free to contact me at kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com.

DB2 101 Event – 8 Seats Still Available!

Posted by Kim May on April 8, 2016 under Big Data, BLU Acceleration, DB2 Connect, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Federation, Frank Fillmore, Hadoop, HTAP, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Mid Market Customers, IBM Pure Systems, IDAA, InfoSphere, Mako, Netezza, Optim, pureScale, Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

Frank and I attended an IBM Business Partner event in Philadelphia earlier this week where we met with several IBM’ers supporting Business Partner initiatives in 2016.  Each of the specialists presented their “best of” solutions to the partners in attendance, and then patiently answered our many questions (mostly mine – sorry team!)

The final preparations for our Woodberry Kitchen lunch event are underway:   Frank and I are polishing the presentation, IBM’s Andrew Levine and Warren Heising are tracking down answers to my Cloud deployment “what if?” questions, Megan is gathering gold coins for attendees who ask Frank good technical questions, and Jolanta at Woodberry Kitchen has me salivating with her menu recommendations.

If you will be in Baltimore April 21st and haven’t registered yet, please do!  Register HERE.