It’s Back to School Season – Register for a TFG Class

Posted by Kim May on September 11, 2017 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, Global Skills Initiative, IBM Training Services Delivery Partner, pureScale, Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

With school back in session it feels like a good time to learn something new.  Why not consider taking a class?  IBM Analytics classroom training continues to deliver value to individuals and their organizations.  The top 3 reasons to take a class (in my opinion!) are:

1. Achieve your project goals more quickly by supporting faster solution adoption and integrating new technologies into your current projects.
2. Stay on top of rapidly changing technologies; compete in the digital world by understanding how and where new tools and solutions fit best.  Avoid the “flavor of the week” solution if modifying a technology you already own will deliver the same results.
3. Provide opportunities for internal mobility.  Finding skilled technical resources has never been more difficult.  Current staff members understand their organizations.  Providing training keeps employees engaged, motivated, and moving up!

Our classes scheduled for September through December are attached.  All are available in the classroom and remotely, via distance learning.  If you can’t find what you are looking for, please contact me at kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com.

TFG-Schedule-9.2017-thru-12.2017-3

IBM Reinvents Partnerworld – Ravages the Partner Ecosystem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

IBM Authorized Training – 2016 Public Class Schedule

Posted by Kim May on November 23, 2015 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, Global Skills Initiative, IBM Training Services Delivery Partner, Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

The Fillmore Group’s public class schedule for the first half of 2016 is complete and in the process of being uploaded to the IBM training website at:    www.ibm.com/training.

The schedule is here:   The Fillmore Group Training Schedule First Half 2016

The classes scheduled include DB2 for LUW, DB2 for z/OS, replication (Q Rep and ICDC) and Big Data.   All classes scheduled may be attended in our Towson, Maryland, classroom, or via distance learning.

If you have remaining 2015 training budget and wish to “pre-purchase” 2016 training, please contact me.  Or, if your team would like a private class at your location or via distance learning, please contact me.  I can work with you to customize a class to meet your team’s specific content, scheduling and location requirements.

How to Find TFG’s IBM Analytics Course Schedule

Posted by admin on August 18, 2015 under Arrow ECS, Authorized Training Partner, Big Data, BigInsights, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, Global Skills Initiative, IBM Training Services Delivery Partner, InfoSphere, InfoSphere Streams, Optim, pureScale, Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

One result of the IBM Global Skills Initiative is the complexity around course scheduling and registration as there are now five Global Training Partners managing these processes.

The Fillmore Group is aligned with our software distributor, Arrow ECS, for IBM Analytics training delivery.  Through our relationship with Arrow we deliver public, open enrollment IBM Analytics classes in our Towson, Maryland, classroom, as well as distance learning, remote classes, and private classes.

Finding our classes on the Arrow website can be a challenge, but there are two ways to do this.

#1   Click here for classes scheduled for the next 60 days

This link will take you to the pre-sorted courses scheduled to run at The Fillmore Group in the next 60 days.

#2   Visit the Arrow ECS website and sort courses

If you would like to review the courses delivered by The Fillmore Group in Towson as well as courses delivered by other Arrow affiliated vendors in other locations, follow these instructions:

  1. Click on https://ecsedu.arrow.com/ibm/us
  2. At the top of the screen hover over or pull down “Scheduled and Distance Classes”
  3. Click on “Training schedules”
  4. Select “United States”
  5.  In the list of locations, De-select “All”, then check “Towson”
  6. Select “6 months” for the time period to display
  7. Answer “No” to the “Show Only Guaranteed to Run” question
  8. Select “All” for topics, hardware and software
  9. Click the “See” button to display the classes

You should see a list of classes scheduled displayed like this.  The schedule contains dates and hyperlinks to register for individual sessions.

Arrow webpage

I hope this helps!  If can answer any questions on locating classes or navigating through to fjnd what you need, don’t hesitate to email (kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com) or call (443-956-0288) me.

2015 January – June Training Schedule Finalized

Posted by Kim May on December 15, 2014 under Arrow ECS, Authorized Training Partner, Big Data, BigInsights, Data Studio, DB2 Connect, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Global Skills Initiative, Hadoop, IBM Training Services Delivery Partner, InfoSphere, Optim, Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with IBM Global Training Partner Arrow ECS is 2015.  Our schedule is up on the IBM training website, with the specific Arrow/The Fillmore Group classes listed and available for registration at:  https://ecsedu.arrow.com/ibm/us/index.html.

If you plan on taking a class early next year, I hope you will consider attending one of our classes, delivered in Towson, Maryland, just north of Baltimore.  We have great instructors, a comfortable classroom, and Baltimore offers some the best seafood in the world.

The complete list of classes is here.  I hope to see you in 2015!

Win Some, Lose Some – Go O’s!

Posted by Kim May on September 17, 2014 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Education, Frank Fillmore, Global Skills Initiative, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Training Services Delivery Partner. Tags: , .

Frank and I attended the Baltimore Orioles game last night.  With the Orioles win (8-2!) the O’s clinched the American League East.  The energy at the game was amazing!  The O’s 2014 season story highlights the importance of a shared team effort, as they overcame the loss of three All-Stars during the season, and consistent leadership, as Manager Buck Showalter calmly rolled through the season focusing on one game at a time.

Sadly for Frank and me, this is the first year we haven’t been able to share Baltimore baseball with any students attending classes at The Fillmore Group.  Unlike the Orioles and their stellar 2014 season, the Global Skills Initiative team continues to talk a good game, while delivering very little.  The losers?  IBM customers needing skills to be successful.

And, unlike baseball, there isn’t necessarily a next year for many IBM customers, as there is growing pressure on IT teams to rapidly implement and support best of breed technologies.  IBM’s products may be the best, but training is the glue needed to make them stick.

Today I am focused on being happy for the O’s and sending greetings to our former students who attended games while in Baltimore for class.  I hope we will have a chance to send you to more games in the future.

2013 Recap and DB2 Support Trends to Watch in 2014

Posted by Kim May on January 5, 2014 under DB2 Education, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Training Services Delivery Partner, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog. Tags: , , , .

I spent some time this past week reviewing our 2013 performance, which was terrific, and planning for 2014.  It was a good exercise in looking at what seems to be working for The Fillmore Group, as well as the trends that seem to be changing the way we are engaged and supporting Information Management users.

In terms of trends I am surprised, and quite honestly a bit reassured by, the number of consulting engagements we’ve been authorized to work remotely.  The expense and wear and tear from travel that is frequently associated with working onsite at a client’s location cannot be overestimated.  However, up until about two years ago, we did almost 100% of our billable work at customer locations.  I was shocked at how much this has changed.  I hope this is an indication of more confidence in our consultants, who perform work at a high level regardless of where they sit, but also I understand this also reflects more confidence in the tools and technologies that enable us to work and communicate effectively when we work remotely.  Kudos to all the consultants making their way to the airport tonight, but also many thanks to the customers who trust in our professionalism and communication skills and are allowing many members of our team to sleep in their own beds tonight.

The second trend surprising me is the silence from the DB2 community around the IBM Global Skills Initiative.  By outsourcing training IBM has essentially unraveled the lifeline that keeps technical skills current and enables customers to make use of the wonderful solutions available.  This troubles me – I am not sure if this is an indication of the aging IT workforce (“I learned the basics years ago; nothing has really changed”) or the constriction of education funding available to support skills.  I expected a revolt!  Instead, while I see IDUG flourishing and third party training options increasing (both of which are great for the overall DB2 ecosystem in my opinion), I fear the decline in training will parallel a decline in new product adoption.  I hope, as the Global Training Providers get a better handle on how to deliver IBM education, that offerings and options – and enrollment – will increase.  We view lifelong education as one of the requirements – and pleasures – of life in the world of technology; I hope it isn’t stifled or relegated to slide decks and 30 minute presentations on concepts.

Finally, a trend that I intend to address as best I can in 2014 is Procurement and E-cig Twigg’s popular e-juice guide.  Why, in the world of cost cutting and expecting people to do more with less is the ability to engage with customer organizations becoming so terribly difficult?  We’ve been an IBM Business Partner for decades and have established our organization in many ways.  In the past year we have run into multiple situations where technical managers who are trusted with million dollar budgets are bound by Procurement teams whose job seems to be to make it nearly impossible to engage reasonably priced resources to support business critical projects.  When our consultants are only able to engage as a subcontractor to a subcontractor (this is the case with several of our current customers) and the rate the customer ultimately pays is excessively high, no one wins.  I am not sure how I will overcome this, but I plan to attack it in 2014!

A healthy and prosperous 2014 to everyone in the DB2 community!

 

TFG and Arrow Bring Back Training with a BANG! #ibmiod

Posted by Kim May on November 2, 2013 under Arrow ECS, Authorized Training Partner, BigInsights, BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, IBM Training Services Delivery Partner, InfoSphere, Q-Replication. Tags: , , , , .

To everyone joining us at IOD, I invite you to stop by Arrow ECS’s booth in the Expo, #1309, to pop a balloon and possibly win a valuable training class prize – or an iPad!  Arrow ECS is one of the four new IBM-selected Global Training Partners, and in addition to being The Fillmore Group’s software distributor, Arrow is the partner TFG has aligned with to continue to deliver IBM Authorized Information Management classes.

To qualify to win you must stop by the booth and pop a balloon.  Special prizes are in *some* balloons.  Good luck!  Let’s get IBM IM training restarted with a BANG!