Posted by Kim May on February 9, 2017 under DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IDAA, Mako, Netezza, TFG Blog.
When I started working for The Fillmore Group over ten years ago, the world of DB2 was far different. The State of Maryland had probably over a dozen IBM mainframes running state government agencies. We occasionally delivered training and support, but often struggled with the procurement processes, as we weren’t an approved vendor.
As I learned, the master vendor list for IT vendors to the State of Maryland adds new vendors only once every 8 to 10 years, as the qualification process (we are talking government here!) is onerous and terribly time consuming for all involved. So I waited and finally this past year it was time again for open enrollment. The qualification process WAS onerous and time consuming and required the assistance of Maryland Governor Hogan’s office to make the insurance requirements attainable for small businesses like The Fillmore Group.
Many thanks Governor Hogan! Today The Fillmore Group received the fully executed contract to deliver IT services to the State of Maryland. There aren’t as many mainframes as there were ten years ago and efforts have been underway to consolidate their workloads, but we can help. I think a private cloud running System z with a couple shared IDAA’s would be cost effective, efficient, and modern. Can’t wait to get started!
Posted by Kim May on November 10, 2016 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Stars, Frank Fillmore, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, TFG Blog.
If you are one of the remaining DB2 Server for VSE&VM customers you are invited to join us for a free webinar Thursday, December 1st.
DB2 Server for VSE&VM: Modernization Options
Date and Time: Thursday, December 1, 2017, 11:00am – 12:00pm EST
As an organization running DB2 Server for VSE&VM you probably knew it was time to modernize when – five years ago? Maybe ten? But it ran fine and the applications do what you need them to do, so it wasn’t a priority.
Unfortunately, nowadays skilled resources are getting harder to find and the technology is out of date. It’s not going to get easier to change.
It’s time to get started on the path to a modern database. Join us for a free webinar where DB2 Gold Consultant Frank C. Fillmore, Jr., will explain how organizations running legacy VM and VSE applications can protect their investment in custom business applications, while expanding their database technical capabilities with DB2 for z/Linux.
- Technical advantages of DB2 for z/Linux
- Distributed Relational Database Architecture (DRDA) access to DB2 for z/Linux from VSE and VM applications:
- Simplify mid-tier applications currently using DB2 Connect
- Exploiting Hipersockets
- VSE VSAM Redirector eBusiness Connector
- Software cost savings (amazing!!)
- Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL)
About the Presenter
DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore has been working with IBM z Systems customers throughout his 30 year career in Information Technology. Frank manages a team of consultants at The Fillmore Group who deliver expert DB2 technical services, staff augmentation, and IBM authorized education. Frank is also an IBM Champion.
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.
- Cold Start a Q Replication topology.
- When and why would you need to consider a Cold Start.
- What are the steps?
- Oracle Native Q Apply – replication directly to an Oracle database (including RAC and Exadata).
- Comparison to Federated Apply.
- Co-existence and migration.
- Tooling – what tool do I use when?
- Q Replication Dashboard.
- Replication Center.
- ASNCONSUMER – used to replicate to PureData System for Analytics (Netezza).
- 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.
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 email@example.com. I hope we will see you at Woodberry!
Posted by Kim May on March 7, 2016 under Authorized Training Partner, BigInsights, BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IBM Champion, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IDAA, Mako, pureScale, Q-Replication, TFG Blog.
I am excited to announce two upcoming events The Fillmore Group will deliver in April. Stay tuned for dates and locations!
Woodberry “DB2 101” Luncheon
Join DB2 Gold Consultant Frank C. Fillmore, Jr., for a sprint through IBM Analytics’ 2016 data management solutions portfolio. From today’s hottest topics – HTAP, Hadoop and Cloud – to the specific IBM solutions behind the buzzwords, Frank will deliver an overview of how IBM has built, acquired and integrated data management solutions to enable customers to accomplish their organization’s goals. Is this, “the more things change the more they stay the same”, or an inflection point for data technology? You be the judge!
Free Hands-on IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) April Class
IBM’s 2012 announcement of the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator – the IDAA – the Netezza/mainframe hybrid, delivered IBM’s first Hybrid Transaction/Analytics Processing (HTAP) solution. Now, after 3 years and multiple enhancements, the IDAA continues to promise great things for IBM DB2, VSAM and IMS customers. According to our calculations, 90% of IBM System z customers don’t own an IDAA yet – and we think everyone should have one! Join us for this free, 2-day, hands-on, technical introduction to learn how an IDAA can benefit your System z shop.
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: IBM.
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.