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.

IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) *Free* Hands-On Training Class

Posted by Kim May on January 3, 2017 under Data Studio, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IBM Champion, IDAA, TFG Blog.

idaa-sticker

DB2 Gold Consultant and IBM Champion Frank C. Fillmore, Jr. will deliver a *free*, hands-on IDAA training class in Baltimore on Monday and Tuesday, February 27th and 28th.  IBM System z customers considering a 2017 IDAA purchase are invited to attend.

Frank has delivered similar classes in the past and looks forward to delivering this updated class featuring the recently announced IDAA V6.1.  This class will combine material explaining why you should have an IDAA and how to use it (query acceleration, High Performance Storage Saver, loading non-DB2 data using the Rocket Loader tool), along with new material introducing new ways to extend your System z’s processing capabilities to the cloud and into the new world of HTAP – Hybrid Transaction Analytic Processing – with the latest IDAA release.

Class is free, however attendees are responsible for their travel and lodging expenses.  IBM reps are invited to join us along with their customers.  The Fillmore Group will provide a continental breakfast and lunch each day, and dinner Monday evening for attendees interested in joining us.  Registration is required – please follow the link below to register.

Dates (2 days):    Monday and Tuesday, February 27th and 28th, 2017
Class Times:        9:00am – 4:00pm ( breakfast served at 8:30am)
Cost:                    Class is free; attendees are responsible for their T&L
Instructor:            Frank Fillmore
Location:              The Radisson Cross Keys, 5100 Falls Rd, Baltimore, MD 21210

REGISTER HERE

Topics:
• New in IDAA v6.1 – the architecture, cloud option, R functions support and dashDB
• Assessment tools to support acquisition:  Workload Assessment, Client Value Engagement, PoC
• Positioning IDAA within your organization with the most valuable use case

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
• High Performance Storage Saver (HPSS): store archival data only on IDAA
• Accelerating Static SQL workloads

“Help!! My Manager Said We’re Moving Off the Mainframe!” Materials #zIBM #zAnalytics

Posted by Frank Fillmore on November 17, 2016 under DB2 for z/OS, IDAA.

One of our best attended webinars ever!  Lots of great questions.

The presentation materials are found here: help-my-manager-said-were-moving-off-the-mainframe-slides-11-14-16-final

The recording can be found here.

“Help!! My Manager Said We’re Moving Off the Mainframe!” Webinar Thursday

Posted by Kim May on November 14, 2016 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IDAA, TFG Blog.

Many thanks to the IBM z Systems team – Annette Zawacki and Jim Reed in particular – for supporting and promoting Thursday’s webinar.  We seem to have struck a nerve as the registrations reads like a “who’s who” list of System z customers.

We understand many organizations are facing pressure from management teams who believe “newer” solutions are better, and dealing with operational issues resulting from the aging workforce and accumulated “technology debt” brought on by years of reliable data processing on the mainframe.  Who ever thought THAT would be a problem??

We are polishing the presentation and looking forward to assisting System z customers and colleagues with a proactive response plan.  I hope you will join us – the session will be delivered from 11am-12:00pm EDT, Thursday, November 17th.  Registration is required; register HERE.

Abstract:

Technology is all about innovation and everyone knows the mainframe is as old as dirt. Therefore, according to many CIO’s, now’s the time to move to something new, like maybe open source, in the cloud with some of those cute animals.

How can loyal System z users respond to this short-sighted “management by airline magazine” approach? Join us to learn tactics to win the battle of the best platform to trust with your organization’s critical data and applications. We will prepare you to respond to the “modernization” message with a clear and logical action plan that promotes organizational efficiency, cost savings – and sanity (the mainframe!!)

The 3 critical takeaways:

  1. Locate, gather and excite your IBM z team.
  2. Be smart, be bold. Understand the enemy – where management teams are hearing the mainframe is obsolete message and the specific issues to address.
  3. Gather collateral to *wow* your colleagues. Learn where to get industry white papers, how to complete a System z cost analysis and schedule activities to address management’s concerns.

Facilitators:

Frank Fillmore: DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore has been working with System z customers throughout his 30 year career in IT. Most recently Frank has been working with IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) customers and working with customers to leverage the value of the mainframe. Frank is also an IBM Champion.

Kim May: Kim May is the Vice President Business Development at The Fillmore Group, an IBM Business Partner specializing in IBM data management software and services. Kim is an IBM Champion and serves on the board of the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group.

Webinar: “Help!! My Manager Said We’re Moving Off the Mainframe!”

Posted by Kim May on October 28, 2016 under DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA, TFG Blog.

Please join DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore for a strategy-filled webinar Thursday, November 17th, from 11:00am-12:00pm EST, where he will reprise his World of Watson session.  We were fortunate to have IBM sales superstars Lori Bucciarelli and Fiona Gleeson join us for the conference session, and with the assistance of IBM’s Jim Reed look forward to continuing to spread the word – the mainframe is most sincerely NOT dead!  Join us and learn about the options in-place and ready to help you respond.

Date:  Thursday, November 17, 2016

Time:  11:00am – 12:00pm EST

Registration is required.  Register HERE.

Abstract:
Technology is all about innovation and everyone knows the mainframe is as old as dirt. Therefore, according to many CIO’s, now’s the time to move to something new, like maybe open source, in the cloud with some of those cute animals.

How can loyal System z users respond to this short-sighted “management by airline magazine” approach?  Join us to learn tactics to win the battle of the best platform to trust with your organization’s critical data and applications.  We will prepare you to respond to the “modernization” message with a clear and logical action plan that promotes organizational efficiency, cost savings – and sanity (the mainframe!!)

The 3 critical takeaways:

1. Locate, gather and excite your IBM z team.
2. Be smart, be bold.  Understand the enemy – where management teams are hearing the mainframe is obsolete message and the specific issues to address.
3. Gather collateral to *wow* your colleagues.  Learn where to get industry white papers, how to complete a System z cost analysis and schedule activities to address management’s concerns.

Facilitators:

Frank Fillmore:  DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore has been working with System z customers throughout his 30 year career in IT.  Most recently Frank has been working with IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) customers and working with customers to leverage the value of the mainframe.  Frank is also an IBM Champion.

Kim May:  Kim May is the Vice President Business Development at The Fillmore Group, an IBM Business Partner specializing in IBM data management software and services.  Kim is an IBM Champion and serves on the board of the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group.

#IBMWoW “Help!! My Manager Said We’re Getting Off the Mainframe!” Monday, 10/24, 5-6pm

Posted by Kim May on October 18, 2016 under DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA, TFG Blog. Tags: , .

The IBM System z channels team has just invited The Fillmore Group to present another session at next week’s World of Watson Conference.

The session, titled, “Help!!  My Manager Said We’re Getting Off the Mainframe“, will begin at 5pm in a hospitality suite in the Mandalay Bay.  Following the presentation we invite attendees to stay and network at a champagne reception from 6pm – 8pm.  If the topic strikes a chord, please plan to join us.  Registration is required; register HERE.  The session abstract and details are below.

Abstract:

Technology is all about innovation and everyone knows the mainframe is as old as dirt. Therefore, according to many CIO’s, now’s the time to move to something new, like maybe open source, in the cloud with some of those cute animals.

How can loyal System z users respond to this short-sighted “management by airline magazine” approach? Join us to learn tactics to win the battle of the best platform to trust with your organization’s critical data and applications. We will prepare you to respond to the “modernization” message with a clear and logical action plan that promotes organizational efficiency, cost savings – and sanity (the mainframe!!)

Attendees are invited to join us after the presentation from 6pm – 8pm for happy hour lite fare and champagne.

The 3 critical takeaways:

  1. Locate, gather and excite your IBM z team.
  2. Be smart, be bold. Understand the enemy – where management teams are hearing the mainframe is obsolete message and the specific issues to address.
  3. Gather collateral to *wow* your colleagues. Learn where to get industry white papers, how to complete a System z cost analysis and schedule activities to address management’s concerns.

Facilitators:

Frank Fillmore: DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore has been working with System z customers throughout his 30 year career in IT. Most recently Frank has been working with IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) customers and working with customers to leverage the value of the mainframe. Frank is also an IBM Champion.

Kim May: Kim May is the Vice President Business Development at The Fillmore Group, an IBM Business Partner specializing in IBM data management software and services. Kim is an IBM Champion and serves on the board of the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group.

TFG @ World of Watson #IBMWoW

Posted by Kim May on October 3, 2016 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA. Tags: .

Just three weeks from today IBM’s World of Watson conference begins!  I am looking forward to attending and presenting, along with Frank Fillmore.  If you’ve never attended World of Watson (aka WoW) there are hundreds of sessions and events and chaos spread around the Mandalay Bay Conference Center area in Las Vegas.

In reality no one has ever attended the actual WoW conference before – IBM previously hosted the more data-centric Information on Demand and IBM Insight conferences in past years at this location, during this time slot.  And before that the DB2 Technical Conference and before that a gathering of clans.

I guess we are all sort of new to the conference.  However, for The Fillmore Group, pre-conference means preparation for sessions and events.  We are looking forward to attending the Break Free Forum, IBM’s session highlighting the competitive advantages of DB2 (vs. Oracle), the IDAA luncheon, and meetings with colleagues and customers.

Most importantly we are preparing for presentations.  Our sessions and locations are below.  Please join us if you can!  And…more on WoW soon!

DMT-2435, Kim May and Frank Fillmore
DB2 Cloud Deployment Options for On-Premise DBAs
Mandalay Bay, Palm D
Tuesday, 10/25  4:00-4:45

Back in the day, when you wanted DB2 you installed DB2. That’s so last year. From the various “as-a-Service” (XaaS) options to pricing and other considerations, this overview is designed to help you ask the right questions and provide meaningful feedback when your CFO asks, “Are we cloud-ready?” This session covers both DB2 for z/OS and DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows, and addresses data loading and interoperability across data repositories, wherever they reside.

Kim May
Run Your Organization’s Database for the Cost of a 2008 Toyota Matrix!
Expo Center Theater
Wednesday, 10/26  9:00 – 9:30

An Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) processor is used to run Linux workloads on IBM z Systems. IFL’s support Linux; they cannot run other IBM operating systems. The attractively priced IFL processor enables you to add processing capacity exclusively for Linux workloads. What does this mean to your average cost-conscious shop dealing with the “do more with less” message from management?  You save – big money – on database software licenses.  DB2 for z/Linux is not only priced competitively, it’s downright cheap.  In fact, if you purchase an IFL, the DB2 Workgroup Edition for z/Linux license cost will be comparable to the price of a 2008 Toyota Matrix.  Really!!  Join me for a lesson in DB2 shopping at the World of Watson.

DMT-1153, Frank Fillmore
Mandalay Bay – Jasmine A
Thursday, 10/27  9:00 – 9:45
IBM z Systems (Mainframes!) for IT Architects and Data Scientists
Fifty percent or more of a large enterprise’s data—especially the lifeblood online transaction processing (OLTP) data—likely reside on IBM z Systems computers. 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 session is intended for IT 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.

IBM Q Replication: Frank’s Field Notes, Summer ‘16

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.

  1. Cold Start a Q Replication topology.
    1. When and why would you need to consider a Cold Start.
    2. What are the steps?
  2. Oracle Native Q Apply – replication directly to an Oracle database (including RAC and Exadata).
    1. Comparison to Federated Apply.
    2. Co-existence and migration.
  3. Tooling – what tool do I use when?
    1. Q Replication Dashboard.
    2. ASNMON.
    3. Replication Center.
    4. ASNCLP.
  4. ASNCONSUMER – used to replicate to PureData System for Analytics (Netezza).
  5. 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.

 

 

How Succeed with #IBM in 2016 – Ideas???

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.

Chicago IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) Class – Seats Still Available!

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!