Tealeaf Fatigue

Posted by Kim May on July 10, 2017 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, Global Skills Initiative, IBM Information Management Software Sales, TFG Blog.

I have been reviewing our first half of 2017 and trying to get a handle on where our DB2 world is headed in the second half of this confusing year.  Frankly, I’m baffled!  While the year started on a positive note with IBM’s acknowledgement that they needed to re-engage and support their existing DB2 customers, and the positive trend continued with the announcement of the super-aggressive DB2 pricing available via the Oracle Attack, I still find that at mid-year the good outcomes I expected are failing to materialize.  How come?

In my opinion, one reason is a result of IBM’s “re-invention” of their Business Partner program.  As a long-time IBM Business Partner, our team invests an incredible amount of time and energy maintaining our “Premier Partner” status, primarily through certifications that validate our skills.  When IBM rolled out the new partner program in 2017 their messaging indicated a new focus on highly-skilled, knowledgeable partners.  Unfortunately, in reality, the program modifications boiled down to two new criteria:  1) customer references and 2) meeting high volume IBM software sales targets.  To IBM, these make perfect sense: IBM struggles to get customer references, and with rolling sales staff reductions, IBM needs to beef up their sales partners.

However, the “Give it to Mikey, he’ll eat anything” approach may not be working.  Partners like The Fillmore Group are being marginalized (“Skills?  Who needs ’em?”) by the program, while high volume partners (like HP, oh, oops, not any more) are being funneled territories, “uncovered” customers and leads.

In my opinion, the fallout is likely to be similar to the Global Skills Initiative, IBM’s education program “re-invention” from a few years ago that resulted in far fewer DB2 classes and fewer available training options as the program created a layer of 5 large, competing training partners who function independently and whose lack of coordination splintered the IBM training business.

Is this what IBM is – unintentionally/intentionally? – planning for their partner community?  I don’t know, but it’s unsettling.  One bright note:  the new partner levels were scheduled to go into effect June 30th, but have been pushed back to the end of July.  Perhaps sanity prevails??

My final head scratcher is the annual IOD/Insight/World of Watson/no, not this year conference.  I received an email this morning about the LearnQuest-sponsored Analytics conference scheduled for New Orleans in October.  I’ve also heard about a DB2 Conference being planned for Boston in – October, as well.  On one hand I think any conference and opportunity to network is good.  On the other hand, I am wondering if the conflict is quietly announcing the final split between DB2 for z/OS and DB2 for LUW.

Or I suppose that should be (another brilliant re-invention), Db2 for z/OS and Db2 for LUW…!!

 

$5!! – June 14th Balto/Wash DB2 Users Group Meeting

Posted by Kim May on May 31, 2017 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Stars.

The Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group has been supporting the local DB2 community for 25 successful years.  Our quarterly meetings are packed with interesting, relevant information about how to best leverage DB2.  Many of the region’s largest businesses and agencies regularly attend our meetings and benefit from the presentations and networking opportunities as some of the most highly skilled developers and database administrators in the Mid-Atlantic are frequent attendees.

At our April board meeting we decided to do something special for the June meeting.

We agreed to offer a special, discounted $5 registration fee to attendees who pre-register, rather than our usual $30 – $50 (see the information below – details and registration information are included in it).

The $5 includes everything our users expect at our quarterly meetings:  terrific presenters (we have Jeff Josten presenting), a sit down lunch and the opportunity to meet with many of the best DB2 technical people in the region.

We are hoping this *almost free* offer will encourage new DB2 users and people who haven’t been able to attend meetings recently to join us.

If you are in the area June 14th I hope you will join us.  If you can’t be here, please share this invitation with any of your colleagues or customers who may be interested.

Please note:  you must register by Friday, June 9th, on the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group website (www.bwdb2ug.org) to receive the $5 discounted registration.   Don’t forget!!

Date:          Wednesday, June 14th, 2017
Time:         9:00 AM – 3:30 PM (registration at 8:30)
Location:  Sheraton Columbia Hotel, 10207 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, MD 21044

Meeting Schedule:
Registration
8:30 – 9:00  DB2 12 for z/OS and Beyond

Jeff Josten
IBM

This presentation gives a high level overview of DB2 12, and also some other interesting features which have shipped recently on DB2 11 (and sometimes DB2 10) including native DB2 RESTful services, DB2aaS cloud-style provisioning, and IDAA on Cloud. We will also take a peek into the future for what is planned beyond DB2 12.

Coffee Break
10:15 – 10:30  DB2 for z/OS Continuous Delivery

Jeff Josten
IBM
DB2 for z/OS is moving to a continuous delivery model for shipping new features. The main objectives are to speed up delivery of important new functions and to make it easier for customers to manage DB2 upgrades. This presentation will give an overview of the continuous delivery mechanisms and suggested best practices for managing DB2 in this continuous delivery world.

Lunch
11:45 – 12:45  DB2 Autonomics

Sowmya Kameswara
IBM
An overview of the no-charge product the Data Server Manager (DSM) and the new IBM DB2 Autonomics for z/OS. The DB2 Autonomics can help you in closing the gap between yesterday’s IT implementation and tomorrow’s IT demands while eliminating the mundane repetition of manual day-to-day tasks. DSM in a web browser is the weapon that can help your organization to fight the constant skills and resource gaps.

Break
2:00 – 2:15  API Economy

Jeff Bisti
IBM

Microservices are a take on API Enablement that are quickly becoming a new standard in many customer shops. The goal is to avoid building the next generation of “monolithic” applications, and instead build functionality with modular web services, which can be repurposed by a wider variety of developers. Microservices can excel on the mainframe System of Record when they take advantage of where the platform itself excels. In this session, Jeff Bisti will present the benefits of thinking in terms of microservices, introduce some of the tools that are available to developers and architects, as well as the importance of an overall API strategy.

Calling All IDAA Users!

Posted by Kim May on April 18, 2017 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IDAA, TFG Blog.

The next IBM-sponsored DB2 Analytics Accelerator Users’ Group meeting was announced this week.  The Fillmore Group’s Frank Fillmore will be presenting one of the sessions, along with BNY/Mellon Pershing’s Al DiGiovanni, whose support and promotion of the IDAA enabled Pershing to acquire their first IDAA.

Al and Frank will be presenting the meeting’s final session titled, “Increasing Utilization of the Accelerator by your Lines of Business”, a session whose topic has been a core issue for System z customers trying to persuade their colleagues to consider investing in the IDAA.

As many technical teams promoting IDAA adoption have learned (the hard way!), most organizations adopted the circa-Y2K best practice of running OLTP and analytic workloads separately, and are therefore reluctant to re-integrate the two, in spite of the cost, latency and simplicity advantages.  This session is designed to surface the issue and discuss options to address and overcome it.

Information on the DAAUG meeting is below.  Please be advised that membership in this group is limited to current IDAA customers and registration to attend is managed by IBM.  If you own an IDAA and would like to attend, and have not received an email invitation from IBM, please email me (kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com) and I will connect you to the IBM team coordinating the meeting.

I hope you will join us May 9th.

Session Details
Increasing Utilization of the Accelerator by your Lines of Business
Frank Fillmore and Al DiGiovanni, BNY/Mellon Pershing

The IDAA is a powerful tool for performing real-time analytics on z/OS transactional data.  In many cases it is left to the managers of an enterprise’s mainframe to “sell” an IDAA to lines of business (LOBs).

  • The audience for the sales pitch: CFOs, CTOs, Enterprise IT Architects, Data Scientists
  • The objections:
    o existing infrastructure (ETL processes, enterprise data warehouses)
    o mainframe marginalization (“The mainframe is too expensive”; “The mainframe is not a strategic platform”)
  • The advantages:
    o reduced complexity
    o reduced latency
    o cost savings (e.g. inexpensive data archiving of all System z data)
  • New opportunities:
    o in-database transformation (i.e. AOTs for MicroStrategy)
    o in-database analytics (i.e. INZA-IDAA 3.2.2.1)
    o cloud deployment (Public/Private/Hybrid)
    o Machine Learning
    o R support

DB2 Analytics Accelerator Users’ Group (DAAUG) Meeting

Date:           Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Location:     IBM Offices, NYC or via web conference
Time:           9:30am – 2:00pm EDT

During this meeting, Ute Baumbach, subject matter expert from the Analytics on z Systems Center of Excellence out of Boeblingen, Germany, will cover the most recently introduced Accelerator features, functions and fixes. Tim Willging, Distinguished Engineer, will discuss how you can expand your Accelerator use cases with new functionality in the Accelerator Loader Tool. Jonathan Sloan, Business Analytics Executive Consultant, will present ways the Accelerator complements IBM Machine Learning. Frank Fillmore, DB2 Gold Consultant of the Fillmore Group, and a customer presenter will share their successful experiences to help you promote the value of the Accelerator to your Lines of Business.

We encourage you to join the meeting in person if you are local. Web Meeting details will be provided for remote attendees.

Agenda:

09:30 – 10:00       Registration
10:00 – 10:15        Welcome
10:15 – 10:45         Developer’s Update: DB2 Analytics Accelerator Features, Functions and Fixes
10:45 – 11:30         Expanding Accelerator use cases with new DB2 Analytics Accelerator Loader
functionality
11:30 – 12:00         Lunch Break
12:00 – 01:00        Complementing IBM Machine Learning with the DB2 Analytics Accelerator
01:00 – 02:00       Increasing Utilization of the Accelerator by your Lines of Business

Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group – March Education Session with Susan Lawson

Posted by Kim May on February 27, 2017 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, TFG Blog.

I invite all DB2 for z/OS users in the Mid-Atlantic region to join the Baltimore/ Washington DB2 Users Group (www.bwdb2ug.org) for our annual March education session next Wednesday, March 8th, at the Sheraton Hotel in Columbia, Maryland.  The session cost is $250 in advance and $350 at the door.  Logistics and registration are on the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group website HERE.

The session will be delivered by DB2 Gold Consultant (and terrific presenter) Susan Lawson of YLA and is titled, “DB2 11 and 12 Performance and Availability: What Can I Take Advantage Of?”

The session abstract, Susan’s bio and the complete outline link are below.   If you are using DB2 v11 or V12 I hope you will join us!

Abstract

With every new release of DB2 we look to see what features will allow us to improve the capabilities and performance of our existing applications as well as the availability of our data. We also have to plan to utilize new features in our development efforts. This presentation takes a look at the features in DB2 11 and 12 that will improve our performance and provide us with maximum data availability as well as advanced application development. We will be focusing on features that can be utilized by DBAs and application programmers.

Speaker Bio – Susan Lawson

Susan Lawson is an internationally recognized consultant and lecturer with a background in system and database administration. She currently works with several large clients to help develop, implement and tune some of the worlds’ largest and most complex DB2 databases and applications. She also performs performance and availability audits for many clients to help reduce costs through proper performance tuning and to help ensure availability. Her other activities include authoring books, articles and white papers, presenting at user group meetings, and teaching a variety of DB2 courses. She is an IBM Gold Consultant and an IBM Analytics Champion and is the author of the IBM DB2 11 for z/OS Database Certification Review Guide.

BWDB2UG March 8 2017 DB2 11 and 12 Performance and Availability

Thank you Governor Hogan!

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!

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.

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

The Fillmore Group IBM Analytics Class Schedule – First Half, 2017

Posted by Kim May on December 1, 2016 under Arrow ECS, Authorized Training Partner, BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Global Skills Initiative, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Training Services Delivery Partner, Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

Although the Global Skills Initiative hasn’t delivered on its promise IBM continues to schedule and deliver classes with the Global Training Partners.  It’s just more difficult for customers to find classes and register…and then wait for the all-too-frequent “sorry, cancelled” call.

But, as we have been delivering IBM Authorized DB2 and data management tools classes for this long, we’re hanging in.  Why not?  Our classroom sits waiting for students and our consultants who train always look forward to delivering classes.

Our scheduled classes are in the document attached below.  These are the classes we are scheduled to deliver.  Please remember we have access to other courses and curriculum, and can deliver many more courses (along with our regularly scheduled classes) in private sessions at your location, and/or via distance learning.

Please call (443-956-0288) or email me (kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com) if I can help!

1h-2017-the-fillmore-group-classes

“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.