It was 30 years ago today… The Fillmore Group “Founder’s Day” @ffillmorejr @KimMayTFG #IBMAnalytics #IBMz

Posted by Frank Fillmore on January 13, 2017 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Federation, HTAP, IBM Champion, IDAA, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), Q-Replication. Tags: , .

On Tuesday, January 13, 1987 I sat in the kitchen of my 11 foot wide rowhouse in the Highlandtown section of Baltimore and typed out on a manual typewriter the Articles of Incorporation for The Fillmore Group.  My son, Nathaniel, was five weeks old.

Some back-of-the-envelope metrics across the past 30 years:

  • approximately 300 clients
  • about 60 consultants have helped train these customers and implement their IBM Analytics software
  • As a consultant, instructor, and/or presenter at technical conferences I have traveled to approximately 20 countries.  Prague is my favorite foreign city; I’ve been there three times and look forward to returning.

I have had two consultants, Ray and Jim, tell me that working for The Fillmore Group “has changed [their] life”.  In the beginning it was a common occurrence that an employment verification form from a mortgage underwriter would arrive shortly after a consultant started with TFG.  I know of several consultants that purchased their first home while working with us.

My favorite work environment was The World Bank.  The cosmopolitan atmosphere – working with colleagues from all over the planet – was delightful.  I helped implement a telephone billing system there using SQL/DS.

My most satisfying project was the Oracle to DB2 migration at JP Morgan Chase.  It was a tough, demanding environment with a timeline that was half of the 18 months originally estimated.  But we got it done with the help of Jim, Joe G., Joe L., John, Rebecca, and Teresa.  The customer had an equally talented, hard-working team.  Our contribution to that project was recognized by IBM SVP Steve Mills at the Insight conference that year.

As a small business owner, my favorite question from an IBMer (Scott): “Since the deadline can’t change, if money were no object what would you do?”  The answer: supply five more consultants to the project.  It was completed on time – if not under budget.

As a technician, my favorite question from an IBMer (Hunter) in the parking lot after a detailed technical presentation to a customer involving replication and federation tools: “We can do that, right?”  The answer: yes we can.  It resulted in a massive data warehouse at a large federal government healthcare agency.

I have had the privilege to learn from and share friendships with some of IBM’s original developers of relational database technology including Pat, Curt, Don and Don, and Hamid.  For IBM’s Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Platform (HTAP) implementations of today I rely on Paul, Tim, Gary, Namik, Knut, Patric, and Udo among many, many others.

I also cherish the friendships I have formed with other DB2 Gold Consultants like David, Ted, Bonnie, Jan, Juergen, Julian, Jackie, Kermit, Sheryl, Susan – and especially Gerry.

IBM has been a maddening company with which to partner, but the vast majority of the time The Fillmore Group has benefited from the technical excellence and basic decency of IBM employees.  In return, TFG consultants like Roger and Ravi have delivered innovative, cost-effective IT solutions to our mutual customers.  After more than two decades I still rely on Roger for his calm, wise counsel.

There have been tough times, too.  The Fillmore Group overcame at least three financial near-death experiences (1993, 2002, 2006).  At the risk of tempting fate: we never missed a payroll or failed to pay a debt on time.

But the best time, by far, was the day Kim May arrived to rent The Fillmore Group’s technical training classroom in downtown Baltimore in 2003.  That was the day my life changed forever.

This is reverie, not valedictory.  I am still too young to retire.  And I am as jazzed about the possibilities of HTAP, data repositories, and data interoperability (aka “plumbing”) in 2017 as I was when I first started working with SQL/DS (maximum storage capacity: 64GB) in the mid 1980s.  We’re currently working on a database rehosting project for a local government targeting DB2 for z/Linux and have an IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) v6 Workshop scheduled next month.

But I wanted to take a moment to jot down a few thoughts on the past three decades.  Of course, I haven’t called out everyone by name who has contributed to our success over the years.  But I truly, sincerely appreciate your hard work, dedication, integrity, smarts, and moxie.  Thank you!

In closing, when Curt retired from IBM I asked if he was pleased with a career that had reached a pinnacle as an IBM Fellow.  His response: “It turned out better than I ever could have imagined.”  Me too.

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

 

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.

#zIBM #Mainframes for IT Architects and Data Scientists

Posted by Frank Fillmore on March 15, 2016 under .NET, DB2 Connect, DB2 for z/OS, Federation, HTAP, IDAA, InfoSphere, Sidecar. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Our webinar delivered on March 11, 2016 outlining access to mainframe data specifically oriented to non-mainframers such as IT Architects and Data Scientists was a success.  The presentation materials are here: IBM z Systems – Mainframes – for IT Architects and Data Scientists

A recording of the webinar is found here.

Lunch Event March 3rd: #zIBM (Mainframes!) for Data Architects and Data Scientists

Posted by Frank Fillmore on February 2, 2016 under Big Data, DB2 Connect, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Federation, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA, Q-Replication. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Kim has just returned from IBM’s annual “z Bootcamp” where they prepare their System z sellers for the upcoming year with a series of product updates, announcements and education.  Her takeaway message for 2016 was loud and clear:  IBM intends to continue to enhance and extend the capabilities of System z so they can remain relevant and leading the effort to leverage the power of System z data.

Which leads, naturally, to the “how?” question.  At The Fillmore Group, as an IBM Business Partner we believe our ability to connect with Data Scientists and Data Architects and to help them understand the data stored in System z will help us all better align our interests and build a successful data and analytic ecosystem.  To kick start this effort we have planned a lunch event at the award-winning Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore where Frank Fillmore will present an overview of System z.  Read more below – and please join us if you can!

“IBM z Systems (Mainframes!) for IT Architects and Data Scientists”

Abstract
Fifty percent or more of a large enterprise’s data – especially the lifeblood online transaction processing (OLTP) data – likely reside on IBM z Systems (aka mainframe) computers.  In many organizations, mainframes remain a black box inside the “glass house” data center.  Yet 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 lunch session is intended for 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.

DB2 Gold Consultant and IBM Champion Frank Fillmore will explain:

The types of data are found on the mainframe, including:
• DB2 for z/OS (relational database)
• IMS – Information Management System (hierarchical database)
• VSAM – Virtual Storage Access Method (indexed file)

Frank will also explain the four key approaches to unlocking the data:
1. HTAP – Hybrid Transaction and Analytics Platform
2. Replication to heterogeneous data stores
3. Virtualization of heterogeneous data stores
4. ETL – Extract Transform Load

Frank will also discuss the how these approaches apply to the types of data in the context of the application requirements such as service level agreements (SLAs).

The session will be held on Thursday, March 3rd, from 11am-2pm at the Woodberry Kitchen, 2010 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 126, Baltimore, Maryland, 21211.

Registration is required.  Register HERE.

If you are unable to join us in Baltimore, Frank will deliver similar content in a webinar on Friday, March 11, 2016.  Registration for the session, to be held between 11am and noon, EST, is HERE.

Please note:  registration is required for both sessions as space is limited.  If you are a mainframe systems programmer or database administrator this is *not* the session for you (you should already know this stuff!)

Services – Available Help for the “tions”

Posted by Kim May on May 30, 2014 under Authorized Training Partner, Big Data, Data Studio, DB2 Connect, DB2 Education, DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Federation, Frank Fillmore, Hadoop, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Pure Systems, IDAA, InfoSphere, InfoSphere Streams, MQT's, Netezza, Optim, Oracle, pureScale, Q-Replication, SQL Tuning, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

I was on a call this morning with an IBM technical team to discuss our progress filling the seats in one of our upcoming free IDAA classes.  Not surprising, given the number of people on the call (and who they were!) we went a bit off topic and ended up chatting about services and what appears to be – to IBM customers and sellers at least – a shortage of skilled consultants available to help with the “tions” – replication, implementations, migrations and federation.

The Fillmore Group has skilled consultants available to support these efforts, at rates that are typically about half of those being charged by “the competition”.

If your team has a project pending, or one in process, where a skilled consultant, at a reasonable hourly rate, can get things back on track, please contact me.  We are ready to work!  A list of our IBM Information Management capabilities is attached here.

 

Postcard from IBM #BigData Fundamentals Bootcamp

Posted by Frank Fillmore on February 20, 2014 under Authorized Training Partner, Big Data, BigInsights, Federation, IDAA, InfoSphere, InfoSphere Streams, Netezza. Tags: , .

Over the last 10 years I have become deeply immersed in three major (then) new IBM Information Management software technologies:

  • IBM InfoSphere Data Replication (IIDR – Q Replication)
  • InfoSphere Information Server (legacy DataStage, et al)
  • PureData System for Analytics (nee Netezza) and – it’s sibling for System z – IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA)

If there’s a theme it’s data in motion, data transformation, and deep analytics.  In 2014 The Fillmore Group is focusing on BigData which encompasses all three.  As an IBM authorized Training Sales and Delivery Partner we offer IBM’s BigData curriculum.  As such I am gathering all of the resources I can find to dive into

  1. InfoSphere BigInsights – IBM’s distribution of Hadoop (and a whole lot more)
  2. InfoSphere Streams – Real Time Analytical Processing (RTAP) for data in motion like stock trades and social networking feeds
  3. InfoSphere Data Explorer – federated discovery, navigation, and search in the BigData world

This week I am attending an IBM BigData Fundamentals Bootcamp.  I have four free resources that I would like to share with anyone who wants to try to understand BigData.  Two Redbooks:

In addition, there are two free VMWare images of fully-functional software available for download.  Please note: these images are to be used for education and demonstration purposes only; they cannot be used to support production workloads.

More to follow on my return from the Bootcamp.

Data Interoperability Webinar – Recording and Materials

Posted by Frank Fillmore on October 3, 2013 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, Federation, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Mid Market Customers, Informix, InfoSphere, Optim, Oracle, Q-Replication. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Kim and I conducted a webinar on Thursday, October 3, 2013 that focused on IBM Data Interoperability software products and their specific strengths, weaknesses, and use cases.  We highlighted the application of the InfoSphere family of products to other-vendor databases such as Oracle, SQL Server, Sybase, and Teradata.  Kudos to Kim for putting together a presentation of disparate, but complementary technologies.

The recording of the webinar can be found here.  The presentation materials can be downloaded: Data Interoperability Presentation – FINAL 10.3.13

Data Interoperability Webinar Thursday, 10/3

Posted by Kim May on September 30, 2013 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, DB2 Stars, Federation, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, Informix, InfoSphere, Optim, Q-Replication, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , .

Data interoperability is the function of moving data where you need it, when you need it. It is the process of copying data, also called replication, or combining data from two unique databases, also called federation.

Over the past ten years IBM has been developing technologies and acquiring companies whose tools support fast, reliable replication and federation.  DB2 Gold Consultant and Champion Frank Fillmore and I will deliver a presentation on IBM’s data interoperability solutions targeted to an audience of current Oracle customers – but open to anyone – this Thursday at 11am EDT.

Frank has worked with customers of all sizes to implement IBM replication and federation solutions.  We will combine his real world experience with the latest product information shared by our colleagues Dylan Murphy and Steve Tessler from IBM.

These tools, IBM’s replication solutions Q Replication and InfoSphere Change Data Capture, and federation solutions Data Explorer and InfoSphere Federation Server, work with Oracle, as well as most vendor databases (so yes, DB2 fans are welcome to join us!)

Register:  HERE

Date: Thursday, October 3, 2013

Time: 11am – noon EDT