DB2 101 – IBM Data Management Portfolio 2016 – Woodberry Kitchen Luncheon

Posted by Kim May on March 10, 2016 under BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, DB2 Stars, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Pure Systems, IDAA, InfoSphere, InfoSphere Streams, Mako, Netezza, Oracle, pureScale, Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

For Baltimore and Mid-Atlantic area data management customers, The Fillmore Group is excited to announce a “DB2 101” luncheon event at award-winning Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore on Thursday, April 21, 2016, from 11am – 2pm.

Join DB2 Gold Consultant Frank C. Fillmore, Jr., for a delicious lunch and a sprint through the IBM Analytics 2016 data management solutions portfolio.   Whether you are a long-time IBM customer or are considering your first IBM product purchase, Frank’s presentation will deliver the latest on today’s hottest technology topics – HTAP, Big Data/Hadoop and Cloud – and the specific solutions IBM has built, acquired and integrated to enable customers to meet their data management goals.

Is this, “the more things change the more they stay the same”, or an inflection point for data technology? You be the judge!

Frank’s overview will include IBM’s DB2 core databases, InfoSphere data integration solutions, Hybrid Transaction / Analytics Processing (HTAP), Big Data/Hadoop and Cloud offerings, as well as his 2016 best product recommendations and resources to help you learn more and evaluate these solutions.

Lunch and valet parking will be provided free of charge by The Fillmore Group.  Registration is required as seating is limited.  Register HERE.

If you have any questions or dietary restrictions please contact Kim May at kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com.  I hope we will see you at Woodberry!

DB2 101 Woodverry Kitchen 003

 

IDUG, DB2-L and Charming Developers

Posted by Kim May on February 29, 2016 under BLU Acceleration, DB2 for z/OS, HTAP, IBM DB2 Services, IDAA, Oracle, TFG Blog.

There was some discussion on DB2-L this past week, not about “charming developers” (as in, “gee, that developer sure is charming!”), but about how the DB2 community can encourage developers to use the IDUG listserv as a resource for application coding questions.  Because, there are many extraordinary technical people monitoring the list.  And yes, many can also be quite charming to new listserv users!

Right now I see the division between DB2 users and their organizational colleagues growing as System z workloads are being restricted by cost and security concerns.  Quite frequently there appears to be very little communication between DBA’s and developers within organizations.  With larger organizations bringing teams of data scientists on board, many of whom are unfamiliar with the mainframe, the divide further broadens, as the data scientists view developers as their allies.

With the introduction of Hybrid Transaction/Analytical Processing (HTAP), the ability to run OLTP and Analytics together should be bringing data warehouse applications back to the mainframe.  The new data scientists, and their application developer colleagues, will need their DBA colleagues to help.  I hope DB2-L is one of the resources that makes the transition for everyone easier.

Steve Mills, #IBM EVP Retires

Posted by Frank Fillmore on January 8, 2016 under BigInsights, BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Smart Analytics System, IDAA, Informix, InfoSphere, InfoSphere Streams, pureScale. Tags: .

I only spoke with Steve Mills a couple of times and attended presentations he delivered at conferences a few others, but he has had an enormous impact on my career.  Steve was the executive sponsor of the DB2 Gold Consultants program, of which I have been a member since 1998.  Steve recognized that specialized, deep technical skills were imperative to enabling the adoption and successful deployment of IBM’s world-class, function-rich – but let’s face it: enormously complex – information technologies.  Through the DB2 Gold Consultants program, Steve cultivated a cadre that were not only among the best DB2 practitioners, but foremost in the world in relational database technology in general.  Folks like Richard Yevich, Bonnie Baker, Frank Ingrassia, Terry Purcell, Jan Henderyckx, and Gerry Hodge.  I am humbled to be numbered among them.

For years IBM would sponsor a week-long DB2 Gold Consultants conference, usually at Silicon Valley or Toronto Lab.  Dozens of presenters including IBM Fellows like Pat Selinger, Don Haderle, Don Chamberlin, Hamid Pirahesh, and Curt Cotner would tell us about broad industry trends and specifics regarding features and functions in vNext, vNext+, and vNext++.  It was an amazing feast of insight which enabled me to better serve my clients.  None of that would have happened without Steve’s leadership.

An even more critical and direct aspect of Steve’s support was his sponsorship of contracting vehicles for DB2 Gold Consultants which enabled us to engage directly with IBM without having to add additional layers of third-part procurement.  He understood the practical problem of small businesses and sole practitioners trying to navigate a large, cumbersome bureaucracy.  One time I explained to Steve that even with the contracting vehicle in place, IBM buyers occasionally refused to use it.  His response was “Sometimes the inmates are running the asylum”.  I didn’t hear anything for a couple of weeks and then I received a call from a senior IBM procurement officer who introduced himself by saying: “Hi, I’m one of the ‘inmates'”.  Of course, the problem was resolved.

Steve Mills, the quintessential old-school “wild duck” IBMer, will be missed.

Looking Toward 2016 – TFG Events Schedule

Posted by Kim May on December 18, 2015 under #IBMInsight, Authorized Training Partner, Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IDAA, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

Fillmore 2016 Scheduled Marketing Events

The Fillmore Group had a terrific 2015 thanks to our great customers and terrific consulting team.  We are looking forward to an exciting 2016, with some key focus areas already “in the works” and of course plans to remain as competitive and flexible as possible so that we can continue offering top quality technical education and consulting at competitive prices, along with helpful, knowledgeable IBM Analytics software purchase assistance.

Our 2016 schedule contains some annual highlights:  IDUG (in Austin this year; should be great!), the IBM Insight Conference in October and four quarterly meetings of the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group, our local RUG.

In addition we are planning a 4-part webinar series to support customers working to keep System z thriving and growing in their organizations, another free, hands-on IDAA class, and assistance with getting a college or university in the Baltimore/Washington area to work with the IBM Academic Initiative team.

Happy Holidays!  2016 is coming up fast!!

Frank to Present on HTAP at Philadelphia System z Meeting

Posted by Kim May on August 21, 2015 under BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IDAA, Netezza, TFG Blog.

Frank will be presenting, “Hybrid Transaction Processing” at the new Philadelphia System z group meeting at Maggiano’s Little Italy, located at 205 Mall Boulevard, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, 19406, on Friday, September 18th.  Frank’s presentation will run from 10:45am – 11:45am, after which lunch will be served.

In his session, Frank will describe and compare the four distinct data retrieval technologies available from IBM, including two Hybrid Transaction and Analytics Processing (HTAP) platforms.  Choices are good to have, but how do you choose which technology to apply to a particular business use case?  Learn now these technologies differ, including their relative strengths and weaknesses.

Also on the schedule to present are Bill Shipley, Senior DBA from Vanguard, discussing his experience facilitating analytics with both System z and the IDAA,  Mark Anzani, IBM Vice President of IBM z Systems Strategy and Montgomery Bauman, IBM Technical Specialist for z Systems.

The event runs from 9:00am to 2:45pm, and is being sponsored by IBM.  Register to attend at:  https://ibm.biz/zPhillyUserGroup

 

 

IBM’s OLTP and Analytic Data Strategies Webinar Series

Posted by admin on May 20, 2015 under Authorized Training Partner, Big Data, BigInsights, BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, Hadoop, IBM DB2 Services, IDAA, Netezza, TFG Blog.

I am excited to invite IBM data management users to join DB2 Gold Consultant Frank C. Fillmore for a series of three webinars covering the latest IBM database strategies.  Each session highlights a topic critical to IBM data management customers’ knowledge of the many, sometimes competing, often confusing, options available from IBM.

The content will help data architects better understand the latest solutions available to support analytic and OLTP workloads, as well as IBM’s data strategy direction and where today’s solutions – relational databases, Netezza and Hadoop – are best applied.

Attend one webinar or join us for all three.  Each one hour session will provide a wealth of clear, useful information.  Click on the links below to register.

#1  IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator v4 PTF 5 Enhancements
Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 1pm-2pm EDT  Register here:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5384878354738776577
Frank will present an update on the latest IBM DB2 Analytic Accelerator (IDAA) PTF released in April, 2015. This PTF delivers new functionality to extend IDAA utilization for DB2 for z/OS users including:
– Improved Incremental Update reliability and performance
– Accelerated dynamic query statement caching
– Additional scalar function support
– In-database transformation with Accelerator Only Tables

#2 IBM Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing (HTAP)
Tuesday, June 20, 2015, 1pm-2pm EDT  Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5118968064636087810
Learn how customers are using HTAP to eliminate analytic latency and data synchronization issues to transform and simplify information management infrastructure. For years IT customers have been told that online transaction processing (OLTP) and analytics couldn’t co-exist on the same platform. This led to costly and complex regimes to move OLTP data to a different platform for analytics. With HTAP, the barriers to near real-time analytics are removed amid significant reductions in IT expenses and complexity risk.

The concept of Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing was coined by Gartner. IBM implements HTAP in two ways:
– IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) for DB2 for z/OS data (using Netezza hardware)
– DB2 BLU Acceleration – DB2 for Linux, Unix, Windows (a software-only implementation)

#3  IBM Data Retrieval Technologies:  RDBMS, BLU, Netezza and Hadoop
Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 1pm-2pm EDT, Registration here:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1762449336105853441
In this session Frank will describe and compare the four distinct data retrieval technologies available from IBM.  Choices are good to have, but how do you choose which technology to apply to a particular business use case? Learn how these techniques differ, including their relative strengths and weaknesses.
– The traditional RDBMS, relying primarily on indexes to speed access
– The new BLU Acceleration columnar compression and memory-optimized database
– IBM PureData System for Analytics (Netezza), which deploys racks of Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) processors to parse data
– IBM InfoSphere BigInsights,  the IBM distribution of Hadoop

Registration for each webinar is required.  To register, click on the session registration links above.  I hope you will join us!

Can We Reverse This Trend?

Posted by admin on April 24, 2015 under Authorized Training Partner, Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, Global Skills Initiative, IBM DB2 Services, IDAA, TFG Blog.

Just this week, while working to support a new customer consulting requirement, collaborating with IBM on a handful of IDAA sales opportunities, and following up on a Baltimore/Washington DB2 User Group initiative I ran into varying responses based on one similar theme:  customers are losing confidence in the long-term viability of the mainframe.

My consulting customer is looking for a skilled resources to support a DB2 for z/OS environment.  Due to the “downward pressure on rates” they want the hourly rate to be 20-25% less than they paid for a similar resource in 2012.  Of course, they tell me, they will accept someone with fewer years of experience – 3 to 5, rather than 5 to 10.  Where does one find a US citizen (a requirement) with 3 to 5 years of DB2 for z/OS experience?  With the Global Skills Initiative IBM education has dropped off dramatically.   The IBM Academic Initiative seems to have proven successful for one financial institution in the Southeast (but for no one else), and the skills shortage we’ve all been hearing about for years is being compounded by the drumbeat of Procurement teams requiring cheaper and cheaper personnel.

Our strategy sessions around IDAA prospects invariably begin with someone saying, “well, you know, XYZ Company is planning to be off the mainframe by 2017.”  Or some other year…but it’s always part of the discussion.  Apparently while people with moderate arithmetic skills can demonstrate the overall cost savings of System z, the “modernization” folks are beating us up with their messaging.  It’s tough to address the TCO challenge when the second question is, “and who will do the work?”

My local RUG agreed to sponsor college students at our meetings so that we can try to get some future graduates interested in the mainframe.  Baltimore, where I live, has many colleges and universities but thus far, in spite of my outreach, I’ve only gotten a response from one school willing to tell their students about our offer.  I can’t help but wonder if the career counselling centers haven’t been told to avoid the mainframe, too.

I am frustrated.

Win Some, Lose Some – Go O’s!

Posted by Kim May on September 17, 2014 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Education, Frank Fillmore, Global Skills Initiative, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Training Services Delivery Partner. Tags: , .

Frank and I attended the Baltimore Orioles game last night.  With the Orioles win (8-2!) the O’s clinched the American League East.  The energy at the game was amazing!  The O’s 2014 season story highlights the importance of a shared team effort, as they overcame the loss of three All-Stars during the season, and consistent leadership, as Manager Buck Showalter calmly rolled through the season focusing on one game at a time.

Sadly for Frank and me, this is the first year we haven’t been able to share Baltimore baseball with any students attending classes at The Fillmore Group.  Unlike the Orioles and their stellar 2014 season, the Global Skills Initiative team continues to talk a good game, while delivering very little.  The losers?  IBM customers needing skills to be successful.

And, unlike baseball, there isn’t necessarily a next year for many IBM customers, as there is growing pressure on IT teams to rapidly implement and support best of breed technologies.  IBM’s products may be the best, but training is the glue needed to make them stick.

Today I am focused on being happy for the O’s and sending greetings to our former students who attended games while in Baltimore for class.  I hope we will have a chance to send you to more games in the future.

The Top Three Reasons DB2 is Best! Webinar, 9/25

Posted by Kim May on September 15, 2014 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Mid Market Customers, Oracle, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , .

Date:  Thursday, September 25, 2014

Time:  12:00pm – 1:00pm EDT

Register:  HERE

Every organization – current DB2 users and others – is under fire to deliver a flexible, reliable database solution to support business requirements.  In sixty minutes you will learn why DB2 10.5 for LUW is the best choice to support critical data management needs.  When someone asks, “Why DB2?” you will have 3 answers!

We will cover:

  1. Functionality: high availability with pureScale, maximum data compression, and query acceleration with DB2 BLU
  2. Success:  learn how current customers are leveraging DB2 to meet their objectives
  3. Pricing:  find the right fit with simplified purchasing options

Whether you are currently using DB2 and looking to better understand its features, or considering a move to DB2, please join us.

The webinar will be presented by IBM DB2 Competitive Sales Specialist Bill Kincaid and IBM Champion Kim May.

About the presenters:

Bill Kincaid is an IBM DB2 Competitive Sales Specialist.  Bill has worked for IBM, Microsoft and Oracle, as well as data virtualization solution developer xkoto.  Bill’s specialty is helping database users – customers currently using DB2 and customers considering migrating to DB2 – to fully understand the value of DB2.  Bill earned his BA at the University of North Carolina and his MBA from the University of Georgia.  He lives in Charlotte and works with IBM customers in the Eastern US.

Kim May is the Vice President of Business Development for The Fillmore Group and an IBM Champion for Information Management.  Kim coordinates The Fillmore Group’s software sales and consulting efforts, including migration support for customers moving workloads to DB2.  Kim’s experience includes several years supporting technical education, and she currently serves on the board of the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group.

 

IDAA Education – What Follows the “Presales” Hands-on Workshops?

Posted by Kim May on June 25, 2014 under Authorized Training Partner, Data Studio, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IDAA, TFG Blog. Tags: , , .

Frank, joined by Mike Hood and Saghi Amirsoleymani, is delivering hands-on IDAA training for a group of customers in Columbus today and tomorrow.  Again, amazingly, almost every “student” registered to attend class posted for class, interested in learning about how an IDAA may help support their mainframe workloads.  The photo above is Frank in the classroom this morning in the IBM Advanced Analytics Briefing Center in Columbus.

After delivering three similar IDAA hands-on training classes we have been able to expose and teach over 35 z/technical influencers about the IDAA.  We have also become aware of the need for implementation and post-implementation training and services, as we have learned there are many z/customers who need help getting the IDAA they’ve purchased into production.  Unfortunately there currently aren’t any IBM authorized classes or IDAA classroom training; there seems to be a pre-purchase perception that the IDAA is a “plug and play” device, which it is not.

We hope to be able to help some of the customers we’ve introduced to the IDAA with additional training and services once they purchase the IDAA.  Please check back here for the outline of our new class, “IDAA Implementation and Administration”, and an overview of two new services offerings:  IDAA Implementation Quickstart and IDAA Healthcheck.  Check back here for updates – I am working on the collateral for these offerings.  In the meantime, if you are looking for similar help, please feel free to contact me.

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