Collaboration at Work: Gold Consultants and IBM Data and AI Expert Labs

Posted by Kim May on November 11, 2019 under Data and AI Expert Labs and Learning, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM DB2 Services.

Congratulations and many thanks to the IBM Data and AI Expert Labs team for their willingness to collaborate with the IBM Gold Consultants.

Frank Fillmore and I met in February with Ritika Gunnar, who had just been appointed the new VP leading the IBM Data and AI Expert Labs team.  Frank explained that he is an IBM Gold Consultant and we discussed our frustrations with the IBM’s low utilization of skilled contract talent like the Golds, and Ritika said she would do some research and try to help.

Frank was selected as a Gold Consultant in 1998 and considers it one of (if not THE) highest achievement of his career.  There are approximately 40 Gold Consultants worldwide, all of whom are independent consultants.   Each was selected by IBM and their Gold Consultant peers to participate in the program.  Information on the Golds and their skills is on the IBM website Gold Consultant page.

After our meeting with Ritika we soon met Business Partner Liaison Karla Rooney, who initiated a series of calls to discuss pipeline, pending needs and utilization.  Karla introduced services sellers, Resource Deployment Managers and other colleagues in the Data and AI Expert Labs organization.  Through these discussions we were able to introduce the unique experiences of the Gold Consultants and identify a few pending engagements where the Golds skills were needed – and the momentum began to build.

In August a group of Gold Consultants delivered a webinar to hundreds of Db2 for z/OS customers planning migrations to V12.  Or, to be more exact, Db2 customers NOT at V12.  The migration to V12 has been hyped as the last major migration planned for Db2 for z/OS, not because the database is going away, but due to the continuous delivery model.  However, customers need to get to V12 to take advantage of continuous delivery, and unfortunately many have not begun the work.  The IBM teams overseeing System z are concerned there will be a last minute rush to migrate to V12 and not enough consultants available to help.

Enter the Golds, who delivered an excellent webinar on the V12, and who have been asked to support migration efforts contracted with IBM’s Data and AI Expert Labs.  The webinar was recorded and is available here.

The net of all this is:  thanks to Karla and Ritika and their teams, customers are now able to access the best independent Db2 talent on the planet through Data and AI Expert Labs.  I hope your organization – and everyone in the Db2 community – has the opportunity to benefit from the value of this collaboration.

Thanks Karla and Ritika!!

Join Frank for a Free Webinar: IDAA Afternoon Show

Posted by Kim May on August 12, 2019 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA, Netezza, TFG Blog.

Several people who registered for The Fillmore Group’s Columbus IDAA class in July were unable to attend, so we’ve decided to borrow the “Db2 Night Show” format, with Frank hosting the “IDAA Afternoon Show” Wednesday, August 28th from 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. EDT.

Frank will deliver a fast-paced, content-rich 90-minute webinar covering:

  1. A review of capabilities included in recent IDAA v7.1.x code drops
  2. The return of the High Performance Storage Saver (HPSS)
  3. Integrated Synchronization
  4. The closer-to-real Hybrid Transaction Analytic Processing (HTAP) capability
  5. Disaster Recovery and High Availability considerations

And as an added bonus we will step all registered attendees through The Fillmore Group’s exclusive IDAA form-factor Buying Guide to compare:

  • IBM Integrated Analytics Systems (IIAS)
  • Docker container running on System z
  • Docker container running on LinuxONE

We’ll do this via webinar, so come-one-come-all.  We’ll upload the materials we used in the Columbus class so anyone who did not register for class but attends the webinar can access them.

I hope you will join us if your schedule allows, and invite any colleagues who may be interested in the material.

Registration is required.  Please register HERE.

Free Hands-on IDAA Class Announced – July 18 & 19, Columbus, Ohio

Posted by Kim May on April 9, 2019 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IBM DB2 Services, IDAA, Netezza, TFG Blog.

Join us for this new and improved for 2019 class to be delivered by IBM Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore. Contents include IDAA v7 early experiences, best practices, and v5 to v7 migration tips. Attendees will learn how an IDAA v7 (aka “Sailfish”) can extend System z’s processing capabilities to enable Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing (HTAP).  For IBM System z customers considering an IDAA purchase, this class provides an overview of the architecture, use cases delivering value, and insight into the administration of the accelerator.

Class is free to IBM System z customers considering an IDAA purchase.  The Fillmore Group will provide breakfast and lunch each day; attendees are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.

Registration is required – Register HERE

Dates (2 days):            Thursday and Friday, July 18 and 19, 2019

Location:                      IBM, 6060 Britton Parkway, Building 1, Dublin, Ohio, 43016

Time:                           9:00am – 4:00pm EDT

Cost:                            Class is *free* to pre-registered attendees

Instructor:                    Frank Fillmore

Topics:

  • An introduction to the V7.1 architecture and Integrated Analytics System (IAS).
  • The heterogeneous accelerator environment: what works well today.
  • Assessment tools to support acquisition: Workload Assessment, Client Value Engagement, PoC.
  • Positioning IDAA within your organization with the most valuable use case.
  • Migrating from the Netezza-based IDAA to v7.1.

Lab 1: Basic IDAA Activities

  • Data Studio / IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Studio GUI
  • Table acceleration
  • Query processing and analysis

Enhancing Value to the IDAA with the IBM Tools Ecosystem

  • Assessment: What is the workload that would benefit from being accelerated?
  • Optimization: How do I monitor and optimize a workload to take advantage of the Accelerator?
  • Administration: Can I manage the Accelerator more effectively?

Lab 2: Advanced IDAA Exploitation

  • Incremental Update: keeping accelerated data in sync with DB2 for z/OS OLTP
  • Accelerator-only Tables (AoTs): intermediate tables and ETL processing

 

IBM 2019 Replication Updates – 4 in 45 Minutes – Featuring Kafka!

Posted by Kim May on January 8, 2019 under Attunity, DB2 Education, DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, DB2 Stars, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, pureScale, Q-Replication, Replication, TFG Blog, Webinar. Tags: .

Join replication experts Frank Fillmore and Ed Lynch for this information-packed webinar with news and announcements about IBM’s replication solutions. Whether you are a current IBM replication user, investigating replication for a new deployment, or working with a competitor’s solution, this webinar will help you understand what IBM offers today, and the enhancements that will help you succeed with replication in 2019.

At a sprint!

In forty-five minutes Ed and Frank will deliver an overview of IBM’s current offerings, the four most important 2019 enhancement announcements, and 3 special pricing offers that can help your organization realize significant savings. We know you want your data to be available when you need it and where you need it, and fast. We can help.

Registration is required. Please register HERE.

Date: Thursday, 2/7/19

Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm EST

Presenters:

Frank Fillmore is the Founder and President of The Fillmore Group, Inc., an IBM Business Partner specializing in replication solutions in the IBM Analytics portfolio. Frank has been a Db2 Gold Consultant since 1998 and is currently an IBM Champion for both Analytics and System z. Frank frequently presents on cutting-edge topics at regional and international Db2 Users Group meetings and is an IBM authorized instructor for delivery of replication courses including Q Replication, ICDC and pureScale. Frank leads a team of expert consultants delivering presales, implementation and enablement support to IBM customers. Frank is currently supporting a pureScale implementation for a US Federal agency.

Ed Lynch was with IBM for over 25 years as a leader and innovator in Data Analytics and Information Integration.  Leveraging his balanced and diversified knowledge of data and Information Technology with business needs and capabilities, Ed consistently recommends and delivers best of breed technical solutions. A trusted advisor to his customers and colleagues, Ed’s cross-industry knowledge enables him to be an effective go-to resource, particularly for difficult and complex challenges, and his success in many diverse roles at IBM, including development, technical team management, marketing and sales, showcase his flexibility. Ed is currently supporting a complex replication implementation for a large, US-based financial institution.

Frank Fillmore to Present on IDAA V7 (“Sailfish”) at the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group

Posted by Kim May on August 23, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA, TFG Blog.

Following his successful hands-on IDAA class in Columbus, Frank Fillmore will be presenting on the IDAA at the September Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group, scheduled for Wednesday, September 12th.   Frank’s presentation and bio are below – last, per his request – keep reading – !

If you are in the area September 12th please join us.  If you have any questions on the upcoming meeting or are interested in presenting please contact me.

Date:                Wednesday, September 12th, 2018
Time:                9:00 AM – 3:30 PM (registration at 8:30)
Location:          Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport, 1739 W Nursery Road, 21090
Fees:                Pre-registered members: $30,  Pre-registered non-members: $40
At-the-door:    Members: $40, non-members: $50

Schedule:
Registration
8:30 – 9:00

9:00 – 10:15:  Copy Smarter – Unload/Load, DSN1COPY and Beyond

Kai Stroh, UBS Hainer

When you get tasked with setting up a refresh process for thousands of Db2 z/OS tables you probably have a few thoughts running through your head: How long does it take to create all the required jobs? How long for all the control cards? Do all the target tables exist, or are there any new tables in production? Have tables been changed? Better double check if the tables have grown or if Db2 has added more VSAMs so that you don’t run out of space halfway through like last time. Don’t forget catalog statistics and RTS. And those identity columns and sequences – they’re always trouble. What seems like little bits and pieces at first can really stretch your staff thin, which is why automation is key if you want to save time and energy. This presentation discusses advantages and disadvantages of different utilities that copy Db2 data, but the main focus is automating all the side tasks that DBAs usually need to do in addition to copying the data itself.

10:15 – 10:30:  Break

10:30 – 11:45:  Log Enhanced Copies for 24×7 DB2 Refresh/Migration

Kai Stroh,  UBS Hainer

LOB compression is one of the more interesting features of Db2 12. It promises performance gains for your application that use LOB’s, coupled with disk savings! This presentation provides an overview of the feature, and discusses some of the performance characteristics. Then we move on to pros and cons, and a process for taking advantage of the feature.

11:45 – 12:45:  Lunch

12:45 – 2:00:  Machine Learning

Jonathan Sloan, IBM

Gain an overall understanding of Machine Learning for z/OS and its role in enabling advanced analytics on IBM Z. You will learn how this machine learning technology integrates with Db2 Analytics Accelerator and Db2 for z/OS to drive real-time insight on an enterprise scale.

2:00 – 2:15:  Break

2:15 – 3:30: IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) V7 had a Brain and Heart Transplant

Frank Fillmore, The Fillmore Group

IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) v7 has been completely re-engineered. Previous IDAA versions were based on legacy Netezza technology including PostgreSQL (the “brain”) and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA – the “heart”). IDAA v7 – aka “Sailfish” – uses Db2 with BLU Acceleration and POWER processors. The benefits are greater compatibility between Db2 for z/OS and the IDAA, fewer hardware problems, improved Incremental Update latency, and lots more.  If you are an existing IDAA shop considering migrating to v7 or have not previously considered IDAA, this presentation will cover what you need to know.

Speaker:

Kai Stroh earned a Computer Science degree from the University of Darmstadt and is a mainframe software developer specializing in Db2 utilities for z/OS. He designs and builds innovative Db2 applications and utilities often working onsite or remotely with UBS’ international clients. He easily navigates his way around Db2 dumps and knows how to move data and definitions across Db2 versions, and this includes the unique in-house Db2 subsystems which each have their own little technical adaptations.

Jonathan Sloan is a Senior Certified Executive Software IT Specialist, with more than two decades experience successfully leading, selling and implementing business analytic and data warehouse applications as a vendor as well as an implementer. He joined IBM in 2000 and specializes in helping customers understand the application of IBM Information management technology to business problems.

Frank C. Fillmore, Jr. is the Founder and President of The Fillmore Group, Inc., a Premier IBM Business Partner specializing in Hybrid Cloud and Analytics. Frank has been a Db2 Gold Consultant since 1998 and currently is an IBM Champion for both Analytics and System z. Frank has frequently presented on cutting-edge topics at regional and international Db2 Users Group meetings and the IBM Insight conference.

*FREE* Hands-on IDAA Training – Columbus Class Announced for July

Posted by Kim May on June 14, 2018 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA, Mako, Netezza, TFG Blog.

Gold Consultant and Z Systems Champion Frank Fillmore will deliver a free, hands-on IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator/IDAA class on Monday and Tuesday, July 23rd and 24th, at the IBM Dublin Campus near Columbus, Ohio.

Class has been updated to showcase the new IDAA V7.1 (“Sailfish”) and covers the new architecture, sizing considerations for the new generation of IDAA appliances, and recommendations for organizations upgrading from the Mako (V5) to Sailfish.

The fine print:  attendees must be IBM customers considering an IDAA purchase in 2018.  While class is free (and we will treat attendees to breakfast and lunch both days), attendees are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.

We have 20 available class seats, available on a first-come-first-served basis.  The registration link is here and the course outline is below. I will send travel information and recommendations to everyone registering (I’m working on them now!)

Finally, if there is any additional information needed please feel free to email me at kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com.

IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Training

Dates (2 days):  Monday and Tuesday, July 23rd and 24th, 2018

Class Times:  9:00am – 4:00pm

Cost:  Class is *free* to pre-registered attendees

Instructor:  Frank Fillmore

Join us for this refreshed class that includes material specific to the latest IDAA “Sailfish” releases, including V7.1, and the M4002, aka “Maverick”. Attendees will learn how and why an IDAA can extend your System z’s processing capabilities to enable Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing (HTAP).

Topics:

  • An introduction to the new V7.1 architecture and IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS).
  • The heterogeneous accelerator environment:  what works well today.
  • Assessment tools to support acquisition:  Workload Assessment, CVE, PoC.
  • Positioning IDAA within your organization with the most valuable use case.
  • Migrating from the Netezza-based IDAA to V7.1.

Lab 1: Basic IDAA Activities
– Data Studio / IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Studio GUI
– Table acceleration
– Query processing and analysis

Enhancing Value to the IDAA with the IBM Tools Ecosystem
– Assessment: What is the workload that would benefit from being accelerated?
– Optimization: How do I monitor and optimize a workload to take advantage of the Accelerator?
– Administration: Can I manage the Accelerator more effectively?

Lab 2: Advanced IDAA Exploitation
– Incremental Update: keeping accelerated data in sync with DB2 for z/OS OLTP
– Accelerator-only Tables (AoTs): intermediate tables and ETL processing

 

Free Hands-On IDAA V7.1 Training June 19th and 20th

Posted by Kim May on April 23, 2018 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IBM Champion, IDAA, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

I am pre-announcing (if that’s a word) our upcoming free, hands-on IDAA training class scheduled for June 19th and 20th at the Radisson Cross Keys in Baltimore.  This class is being updated to support the IDAA V7.1 (“Sailfish”) and will contain content covering the new architecture, sizing considerations for the new generation of IDAA appliances, and recommendations for organization upgrading from the Mako model IDAA’s to Sailfish.

The fine print:  attendees must be IBM customers considering an IDAA purchase in 2018.  While class is free (and we will treat attendees to breakfast and lunch both days), attendees are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.

We have 20 available class seats, available on a first-come-first-served basis.  Frank and I will be at IDUG next week promoting the class – if you have any questions and would like to discuss the class content, your IDAA challenges, or anything else IDAA-ish – let us know if you will be there and we will try to meet.

The registration link is here.  My email is kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com – email me with any questions.

IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Training

Dates (2 days):  Tuesday and Wednesday, June 19 and 20, 2018

Class Times:  9:00am – 4:00pm

Cost:  Class is *free* to pre-registered attendees

Instructor:  Frank Fillmore

 

Join us for this refreshed class that includes material specific to the latest IDAA “Sailfish” releases, including V7.1, and the M4002, aka “Maverick”. Attendees will learn how and why an IDAA can extend your System z’s processing capabilities to enable Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing (HTAP).

Topics:

  • An introduction to the new V7.1 architecture and IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS).
  • The heterogeneous accelerator environment:  what works well today.
  • Assessment tools to support acquisition:  Workload Assessment, CVE, PoC.
  • Positioning IDAA within your organization with the most valuable use case.
  • Migrating from the Netezza-based IDAA to V7.1.

Lab 1: Basic IDAA Activities
– Data Studio / IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Studio GUI
– Table acceleration
– Query processing and analysis

Enhancing Value to the IDAA with the IBM Tools Ecosystem
– Assessment: What is the workload that would benefit from being accelerated?
– Optimization: How do I monitor and optimize a workload to take advantage of the Accelerator?
– Administration: Can I manage the Accelerator more effectively?

Lab 2: Advanced IDAA Exploitation
– Incremental Update: keeping accelerated data in sync with DB2 for z/OS OLTP
– Accelerator-only Tables (AoTs): intermediate tables and ETL processing

Skipping Think

Posted by Kim May on March 7, 2018 under #IBMInsight, DB2 Education, Frank Fillmore, IBM Think Conference, Information on Demand Conference, Insight 2014, Insight 2015, TFG Blog.

Frank asked me to respond to an email from an IBM’er asking whether we will be at the Think Conference in Las Vegas. I started the reply and then decided – in the interest of efficiency – to post my response on our blog so that I can direct inquiries here. Apparently there’s a bit of pressure on to boost attendance.

After attending every IOD, Insight and World of Watson conference, Frank and I have decided to skip Think. The arc of the annual IBM data-centric conferences has in many ways paralleled the arc of The Fillmore Group over the past 10 years. I haven’t given up on achieving success in the future, but the status quo is unsettling.

Some history: when IBM announced the first Information on Demand/IOD Conference, I was fairly new to The Fillmore Group. I sold and coordinated technical training for companies in the Mid-Atlantic prior to joining TFG and was involved in the Greater Baltimore Tech Council, whose quarterly wine tastings were legendary – fun, great for business, and fabulous networking. Frank loved the idea, and we hosted our first wine tasting at the first IOD annual conference in Anaheim. At this event I was introduced to the IBM Lab Services Data Management team, who became our largest customer for the next three years.

After the first year the conference was moved to Las Vegas, where each year we have rented a suite and hosted a champagne tasting. One year we couldn’t get a large enough suite and had to put the champagne in the bathtub (see the picture below – only in Vegas!) I recall that year particularly vividly as Frank gushed afterward at the number of IBM Data Management VP’s in attendance (6 – and my guess is he can still name them!) We had a great time introducing IBM’ers to their colleagues and wow’ing our customers by introducing them to the stars of the Db2 world.

At one of the conferences Steve Mills attended our event as well as the IBM Data Champions luncheon where he gave Frank an award for our consulting team’s support of the JP Morgan Chase Oracle to Db2 migration effort. Frank is rarely speechless; on this occasion he was.

So why aren’t we looking forward to another conference?

First, we want to be where our customers are. I am the chairman of the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group and I only know of one of my member organizations sending people to Think. We have a lot of Federal agency members, and they stopped attending years ago, but even the commercial customers don’t seem to be interested.

I believe the Db2 technical people, if attending any conference at all in 2018, will be at IDUG. The IDUG session abstracts explain what will be presented in a font that allows for the use of multiple words, and the topics are of interest to the audience. I understand a few will be at SHARE next week…along with most of the IBM z technical team. Who can afford 3 weeks out of the field attending conferences before the end of the first half?

Second, IBM’s often contradictory messaging regarding the role of Business Partners is particularly confusing this year. What is the value of this partnership and what do partners provide to IBM and its customers? What is IBM doing to support us in return?

In the past there was recognition for our product promotion and outreach. For these efforts, primarily related to marketing and reselling IBM software, partners like The Fillmore Group were provided with sales leads and co-marketing funding to offset event costs.

Over the past year IBM has “transformed” the Business Partner program. They claim the new program recognizes skilled partners, and claim partners will be allocated sales leads and co-marketing funding based on the achievement of technical competencies. Competencies – according to IBM – are determined by the certifications earned in a particular category, demonstrating technical skills, and reselling a minimum of one million dollars’ worth of software in each category. I giggle as I type. Our team has historically supported customers running IBM replication solutions. Has anyone paid (channeling Mike Myers’ Austin Powers as Dr. Evil) ONE MILLION DOLLARS for replication?

Meanwhile IBM is trying to transform (oh that word!) their software licensing to a cloud-based, SaaS model, and encouraging Business Partners to develop the ability to collect monthly software license fees from customers. Will the new partners ever achieve the one million dollars of sales within one Analytics sub-category and qualify as “competent”? If not, will the top partners grow IBM’s software business or simply continue to slow revenue slide along with IBM?

On the 2018 IBM Business Partner kickoff call, IBM’s General Manager for Global Business Partners listed his 5 top initiatives for 2018. One is to better support IBM’s top 300 resellers, of which The Fillmore Group is not one, and another is to attract new Business Partners.  IBM has 19,000 Business Partners. As one of the 18,700 IBM Business Partners IBM has abandoned, we plan to attend IDUG with some technical folks and customers and hope maybe someday IBM finds us of value again in the future.

 

 

 

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

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!!!