IDUG Philadelphia Early Bird Discount Extended – Register Now!!

Posted by Kim May on March 21, 2018 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, IBM Champion, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

For those of us weathering the Spring snowstorm of 2018 on the East Coast – not in sunny Las Vegas, an incentive to think Spring and plan for warmer weather in Philadelphia during IDUG, scheduled for April 29th – May 3rd.

The Early Bird discount has been extended until March 31st.  There are – now – ten more days to register and take advantage of the reduced price.

As Bill Shipley emailed earlier today:  Remember this is the 35th Anniversary of IBM Db2 for z/OS, 25th Anniversary of IBM Db2 LUW and 30th Anniversary for IDUG.

IDUG 2018 offers new educational opportunities and more training than ever before! Attendees will experience:

•Five days of education sessions

•Half and full-day workshops

•More than 100 one-hour technical sessions

•Two expert panels on z/OS and LUW

And my birthday’s in there, too…hope we can celebrate together in Philly!!

Congratulations Double Champion Frank!

Posted by Kim May on March 5, 2018 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Stars, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, TFG Blog.

Frank’s on a roll – he recently received notification his US Secret clearance was approved and learned this morning he’s been named an IBM Champion in a second category – IBM System Z – making him a “Double Champion” in both System Z and IBM Analytics.  And he recently earned his Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect certification so he can help Db2 for LUW users deploy on the Amazon cloud when, you know, management tells them they must.

Frank is juggling a couple current projects and managing The Fillmore Group’s consultants.  If you are in need of IBM System Z and/or Analytics education, consulting, staff augmentation or purchasing assistance he would be happy to chat with you about how our team can help.  And don’t forget to congratulate him – he is one of four consultants recognized by IBM for the “Double Champion” status!

The Fillmore Group’s capabilities statement listing all the areas where we can help is attached.  Take a look – and to Frank say,

CHEERS!!!!

The Fillmore Group Capabilities Statement 2018

Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group Annual Education Event – Wednesday, March 14th

Posted by Kim May on March 2, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 for z/OS, IBM Champion, SQL Tuning.

I am looking forward to the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group March education meeting – in our new meeting location, the BWI Hilton!!  After months of discussion the board decided this location offers our members convenience, better traffic routes and an improved lunch facility (the Flight Deck; even sounds fun!)

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14th, from 9:00am – 4:00pm.  The cost is $250 in advance and $350 at the door.  Register HERE.

March is of course the group’s annual education session.  This year the group has invited Tony Andrews of Themis to present.  Tony’s full-day session consists of topics selected specifically to assist developers with Db2 SQL programming performance and best practices.

Attendees will gain knowledge of SQL programming, performance and tuning, and the SQL-PL native Stored Procedure language.

The material provided to each attendee will include:
– SQL Standards and Guidelines
– SQL coding best practices
– SQL-PL coding best practices
– Many great SQL examples on rewrites
– SQL and program tuning tips
– SQL and program tuning step by step processes

Session Topics:
? Learn the top reasons for poor performance
? Learn our top SQL rewrites every developer should know
? Learn our top SQL Tuning Tips for developers
? Learn our top reasons why you have to watch out for null columns
? Learn the top reasons why developers need to know their data
? Learn what filter factors are and why they are so important
? Learn our top 10 steps to tuning a query or program
? Learn our top SQL-PL stored procedures best practices

Presenter Tony Andrews, Themis Inc., Consultant and Trainer
Tony Andrews has more than 25 years’ experience in the development of relational database applications. For most of this time he has provided development and consulting services to Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. Tony has written literally thousands of queries and programs and has also served as a database analyst. For the last 10 years Tony has been splitting his time between performance and tuning consulting engagements and training.  His main focus is to teach today’s developers the ways of RDMS application design, development and SQL programming — always with a special emphasis on improving performance.  He is a current IBM Champion, and regular speaker at many regional user groups, IDUG NA, and IDUG EMEA.  He is also the author of a book for developers titled ‘DB2 SQL Tuning Tips for z/OS Developers’.

Congratulation to the 2018 IBM Champions!

Posted by Kim May on February 12, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, TFG Blog.

My post is a bit late – and a bit self-referential. But sincere!

Congratulations to all the 2018 IBM Champions!!!

According to the IBM “Champion of Champions” Libby Ingrassia, IBM reviewed more than 1400 nominations, and selected 650 Champions for 2018.

The Champions program recognizes and rewards independent IT professionals, business leaders, developers, and educators who influence and mentor others to help them innovate and transform digitally with IBM software, solutions, and services. Champions invest time supporting community efforts – coordinating users groups, writing articles and blog posts, presenting at conferences – and in a variety of ways that enable users to connect with the IBM community and succeed with IBM solutions.

I am extremely proud to recognize so many names on the list who have worked with The Fillmore Group over the years, and who not only succeed in some of the most challenging customer environments, but take the time to share what they’ve learned with others and continue to support and promote the community.

Libby has the names of all the 2018 IBM Champions in her January 31st blog post, and more interesting information on the program as well.

Congrats!!!

2018 Events – So Much To Do!

Posted by Kim May on January 22, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Stars, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM Mid Market Customers, IBM Think Conference, IDAA, TFG Blog.

With IBM’s consolidation of conferences resulting in the cancellation of last Fall’s World of Watson/Insight/IOD Conference, and the merge into March’s upcoming Think conference, Db2 users have several educational event options to consider.  With training and education budgets continuing to shrink, and the use of contractors (who need to be billable, and know everything already, right?) growing, getting funding and approval to attend events is more challenging than ever.

However, with so many choices, I hope you will find something that’s a good fit, and have the opportunity to network with the Db2 community.   Here’s a short list of the events I am hoping to attend – and why:

Hands-on IDAA/IIAS Training, Date TBD (February or March), Baltimore, Maryland

Frank Fillmore is developing a new 2-day hands-on training class to introduce the IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) and it’s new version, the IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS), featuring BLU Acceleration and available as an appliance or a z/Linux software solution.  Class will focus on use case development, determining the right fit deployment option for your organization, implementation and administration.  Frank has been delivering similar classes since the release of the IDAA and has helped many System z customers understand the accelerator value.

Why attend?  The IDAA/IIAS solution is an incredible addition to the System z environment, Frank is an excellent presenter, and class is *FREE*

To register:  keep an eye on our blog or email me if you would like me to notify you when class is scheduled.

 

Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group Education Session with Themis, Wednesday, March 14th, BWI Hilton, Linthicum Heights, MD

Every March the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group offers a full-day education session.  These sessions are evaluated by our board and intended to provide the best local full-day of training available in the area each year.  The March session will be delivered by IBM Champion and author Tony Andrews from Themis, and will focus on SQL programming, performance, and tuning, as well as the SQL-PL native Stored Procedures language.

Why attend?  The annual education day presenters reads like “Who’s Who in Db2” and the sessions are consistently terrific.  Tony is an excellent presenter, the event is local for Baltimore/Washington area Db2 users, and it’s our group’s first meeting at our new BWI Hilton location.

To register:  visit the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group webpage.

Cost:  $250 in advance and $300 at the door.  The fee includes materials and a sit-down lunch.

 

Think 2018, March 19 – March 22, Las Vegas, NV

IBM has consolidated several technical conferences into Think, with the conference topics covering AI, Cloud, Data, Security, and Systems.  As last year’s World of Watson/Insight/IOD annual data-centric conference was cancelled, Db2 users are interested in better understanding IBM’s direction and how the continued IBM transformation will impact their organizations.

Why attend?  This is usually the largest annual gathering of Db2 users.  Great networking, excellent presenters, superb people watching.  Maybe some answers to those nagging “what’s next?” questions??

To register:  visit the Think registration page.

Cost:  $2,295 for the week; $895 for a single day pass.  *Before registering ask your IBM rep for help with the cost of the pass.*  😉

 

IDUG Philadelphia, April 29 – May 3, Philadelphia, PA

The annual North America Db2 conference will be held in downtown Philadelphia this year, an easy and inexpensive commute for Mid-Atlantic organizations like The Fillmore Group.  The IDUG conference is where the Db2 community and IBM are focusing on the delivery of hard-core technical content.  With 5 days of education sessions, workshops, over 100 technical briefings and an experts’ panel, this year’s IDUG conference, while smaller than Think, will likely offer the best technical education value for Db2 users.

Why attend?  IDUG will deliver top-notch Db2 technical presenters and presentations.  Great networking and friendly – very community focused.

To register:  visit the IDUG North America 2018 conference webpage. 

Cost:  $1,865 through March 16 (early bird).  Need help funding a conference pass?  There are many discounts and community offers – contact the IDUG Conference Planning Committee (CPC) for help.

QMF Analytics for Multiplatforms – September Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group

Posted by Kim May on August 16, 2017 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, TFG Blog.

Frank Fillmore just finished delivering a webcast with IBM’s Steve Mink and Doug Anderson, hosted by Blanca Borden, on the just-released QMF Analytics for Multiplatforms solution.  For the many QMF for z users, this new GUI-based solution offers the opportunity to extend the use of the objects, forms, queries, etc., an organization has developed over the years.  The session was recorded and I will post the recording link as soon as it’s available to view.

For the September 13th Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group Frank will reprise his presentation and deliver a demo on QMF Analytics for Multiplatforms.  The meeting is being sponsored by SEGUS and will include 4 presentations – 2 from SEGUS’s Ulf Heinrich and 1 from IBM’s John Iczkovits in addition to Frank’s.  Summary session abstracts are below.   Complete abstracts, speaker bio’s and registration information will be available later this week on the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group website (www.bwdb2ug.org).  I hope you will join us if you are in the area!

Session 1:  Ulf Heinrich – Compliance with Compliments!  Viable Db2 Workload Tracking

Audit and Compliance is one of the big challenges companies are facing these days. This presentation shows how the entire DB2 workload can be tracked without the overhead of a trace, or monitor, enabling to answer Who did What When ? whenever needed.

Session 2:  Ulf Heinrich – Db2 12 Continuous Delivery

Starting with version 12  Db2 goes agile and code fixes, as well as new features and functions, will be delivered in a continuous stream, so called Continuous Delivery. While this change intends to make new technology available faster than in a three-year cycle it will also differ from how we did DB2 migration and testing before.  This presentation provides an overview about Db2 Levels and how they affect the Db2 subsystem, the
Catalog/Directory, SQL and DDL. More importantly, you will see how changes can be applied safely and what levels of quality assurance and testing can be passed to assure Continuous Delivery goes well with Continuous Availability.

Session 3:  John Iczkovits – DB2 for z/OS is in The Cloud! Using z/OSMF to Install, Migrate, and Provision DB2

These are exciting times and you may not realize it, but Db2 for z/OS is in the cloud! You may be thinking, what exactly does that mean? Many of your z/OS colleagues are already using z/OSMF for all sorts of functions. Come learn how to use z/OSMF to manage Db2 software, install, migrate, and provision data for Db2 and what the cloud means to us.

Session 4:  Frank Fillmore – QMF Analytics for Multiplatforms

In July, QMF Analytics for Multiplatforms became generally available.  Like QMF for z/OS, this solution delivers QMF’s visualization, dash boarding and graphical ad-hoc query capabilities, and enables users to leverage their existing QMF assets – queries, forms, procs from legacy QMF.  In this session Frank Fillmore will provide an overview of the features of QMF Analytics for Multiplatforms and perform a demonstration that includes new updates to QMF’s data visualization interface.

IBM Reinvents Partnerworld – Ravages the Partner Ecosystem

Posted by Kim May on August 2, 2017 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Training Services Delivery Partner, TFG Blog.

I just received an email from IBM’s Partnerworld program notifying me that as of August 1, 2017, The Fillmore Group, after ten years as a Premier IBM Business Partner (the highest program level), is now officially a Registered Business Partner, the lowest level in the program.

We still have a team of expert consultants.  We are still authorized to deliver most IBM courses in the Analytics brand family curriculum.  We are still actively promoting, influencing and reselling IBM Analytics solutions.  I am still Chair of the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group and an IBM Champion.  Frank is still a Gold Consultant.  Several of our consultants are IBM Champions and Golds.  IBM simply won’t programmatically acknowledge that our skills have value any longer.

IBM claims to value partners with skills, but by they are lying.  The truth is the two factors determining partner level in the new Partnerworld system are software sales and customer references. 

Is it a coincidence that IBM is struggling with sales (21 straight quarters of declining revenues) and the company has historically been terrible at getting customer references?  Sadly, great technology followed by poor quality and expensive implementations and enablement support don’t add up to gushy customer success stories.

In the new program, without sales of $1,000,000 or more in a single product family a Business Partner cannot be granted a product “Competency” designation – no matter how many times they have implemented a solution, how many customers they have trained, and/or how many presentations and webinars they have delivered to help current and prospective customers understand the value of IBM’s solutions.

In the new IBM world, that’s not “competency”.

So like many of IBM’s “reinvention” efforts over the past five years, the “new” Partnerworld program is essentially the same old program, with new, onerous requirements designed to eliminate specialty partners (like The Fillmore Group) and I suppose reduce IBM’s burden of managing their partner network.

Because like who needs an extensive network of partners promoting an incredibly complex portfolio of products and solutions??  Heck, why not just funnel business to a handful of partner organizations and keep things simple.  Maybe reduce channel support headcount by 10 or 15 people.  Woohoo.  Think small.

After I received the email notifying me of our program level demotion I tried to log in to Partnerworld to review the program offerings for our new, low level.  And like so many things in today’s IBM world, the response was sad, heartbreaking and terribly frustrating – apparently they can’t keep the program website up.  Need a high availability solution???

 

 

Webinar: Oracle Renewal Looming? Consider DB2!

Posted by Kim May on March 13, 2017 under BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, Oracle, pureScale, TFG Blog.

The Fillmore Group is inviting organizations frustrated with rising Oracle costs to join us for a webinar focusing on the two primary motivations behind DB2 migrations: cost and functionality. Session attendees will perform a self-analysis to compare similar version license costs, and gain an understanding of the technical features included in DB2 for on-premise use – BLU, pureScale, and the Data Partitioning Feature – as well as a brief overview of cloud deployment and SaaS options.

Date:   Thursday, April 6th

Time:  11:00am – 12:00pm EDT

The session also includes an overview of the migration process, as anyone considering a move needs to understand the time and effort involved.

Sound boring? It won’t be! The session will be delivered by IBM Champions Frank Fillmore and Kim May. Frank has participated in IBM’s annual “Break Free Forum” and Kim has worked with several Oracle customers exploring migrations to DB2. We understand this is a complicated comparison but will do our best to make the session entertaining without including too much Oracle bashing. But maybe a bit.

Registration is required to attend. Register HERE.

Kim May Takes the Reins at Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group @IDUGDB2 @IBMzAnalytics

Posted by Frank Fillmore on February 2, 2017 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, IBM Champion, IDAA, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG). Tags: , , .

My colleague, Kim May – Vice President of Business Development at The Fillmore Group, has been elected Chairperson of the Board of Directors of theMay - Champion Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group.  Kim has served on the board of BWDB2UG since 2005 in many capacities such as programming and membership.  BWDB2UG continues to provide strong technical leadership for DB2 practitioners in the US Mid-Atlantic region.  Kim takes over from long-time board Chair Steve Rosenberger.

Kim is also an IBM Champion and is very active in the DB2 Community.  As an example, she presented at the IBM World of Watson conference in Las Vegas in 2016.  Kim recently returned from the zAnalytics Bootcamp held annually at IBM Silicon Valley Lab.

Kim’s business focus in 2017 is the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) and DB2 running on Linux on System z.  Please join me and the BWDB2UG board in supporting Kim in her new role.

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.