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!!