Celebrate DB2 in the Baltimore-Washington-NoVA Area!

Posted by Kim May on November 29, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Stars, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

December User Group Meetings

Coming up in December are two (yes 2, TWO!!) Db2 Users Group events in the Baltimore-Washington-NoVA area:  first, the Mid-Atlantic Db2 LUW group is scheduled to meet December 6th in Bethesda.  This meeting is sponsored by IBM, there is no fee to attend, and features two sessions on Data Server Manager with DSM Offering Manager Peter Kohlmann, and a session on the future of Db2 by Dr. Jon Lind, the Db2 Product Offering Manager.  This meeting is being held in conjunction with Washington Area Informix Users Group, and we are looking forward to sharing lunch and networking with their session attendees.  Registration is required; register HERE.

Details on the Mid-Atlantic Db2 sessions and the registration link (registration is required) are below; information on the Washington Informix sessions is HERE.

The following week, the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group will host our quarterly meeting Wednesday, December 12th at the BWI Hilton.  The day’s sessions include presentations by IBM’s Master Inventor Terry Purcell, along with 3 (yes, 3!) user presentations, from Steve Cricchi, and NFCU’s Joe Huang and Joe Watson.  Details on the sessions and agenda are below, and attached.  Registration is required; register HERE.

If you are in the area, please join us.  And if you are going to join us, bring a friend!

Mid-Atlantic Db2 User Group Meeting
Sponsored by IBM

Date:                 December 6, 2018
Time:                10:00am – 3:00pm (registration opens at 9:30am)
Location:           IBM, 6710 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20817
Cost:                 There is no cost but attendees must pre-register HERE

Agenda:

9:30am – 10:00am  Registration and Continental Breakfast
10:00am – 11:15am  Data Server Manager, Part 1. Peter Kohlmann, presenter
11:15am – 11:30am  Break
11:30am – 12:45pm  Data Server Manager, Part 2. Peter Kohlmann, presenter
12:45pm – 1:45pm  Lunch, sponsored by IBM
1:45pm – 3:00pm  What’s New in Db2?   Jon Lind, presenter

Session Abstracts
Data Server Manager, Part 1
Learn about the latest trends, directions and updates to the full line of Data Management Consoles for the Db2 family of offerings from ground to cloud. Where are we today, what is our vision and how are we getting there.

Data Server Manager, Part 2
Go on a deep dive of how to monitor the overall performance of your Db2 family database. Learn how to dive deeply into the three levels of statement monitoring and choose which to use for your specific challenge. And learn how to use Db2 Workloads to surgically decompose your database performance by application and by user to see exactly who is doing what.

What’s New in Db2?
In this session attendees will gain an understanding of IBM’s Db2 product roadmap.  IBM’s current strategy and plans for Db2 include increased functionality and support for a variety of deployment options – on premise, cloud, and several “mix and match” offerings.

Presented by IBM Db2 Product Offering Manager Dr. Jon Lind, you will gain an understanding of IBM’s plans for the future of Db2.  Whether your organization has been running Db2 for LUW for years or weeks, or if you are just beginning to consider Db2, this session will provide an excellent summary of what’s available today and what IBM’s investment in Db2 will deliver in the future.

Presenters

Peter Kohlmann
Peter Kohlmann has been a member of the IBM database and Analytics development and product management teams since Version 2 of Db2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows. He is currently an IBM Offering Manager with a focus on tools for database and data services and IBM Data Server Manager used for the Db2 family. He was one of the original developers and designers of the Db2 Control Center and also created the Technology Explorer for IBM Db2 open source project. As the Db2 Release Manager he oversaw the delivery of Db2 for LUW 10.1 and 10.5 and he also directed the new technology adoption program for Db2 pureScale Version 9.8.

Jon Lind
Jon Lind is the Db2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows Product Manager, supporting one of the largest software products at IBM.  Dr. Lind’s responsibilities include managing, positioning, marketing, and deploying Db2.  He works with customers, internal product teams and key partners to drive product enhancements as well as the IBM marketing, sales and channel teams to determine the various routes to market for successful product launch and go-to-market campaigns.

Prior to this role he held various technical positions in the IBM Toronto Lab and IBM Beaverton Lab, from technical development, project management, technical support, to management. With his solid technical background and broad experience in many areas of enterprise software business, Dr. Lind has assisted customers across all geographic areas at all levels – from development to C-level executives.

Washington Area Informix Users Group (WAIUG) Meeting
Sponsored by IBM

Date:       Thursday, December 6, 2018
Time:       9:30am – 2:30pm (registration opens at 9:30am)
Location: IBM, 6710 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20817
Cost:       There is no cost but attendees must pre-register HERE

Session Abstracts

Docker & Informix – What can Docker do for you? 
Presenter:   Darin Tracy
Understand what Docker is, how it works.   How to create an Informix Docker image and best practices. Docker containerization is the first step into using Kubernetes as a fault tolerant clustering service.

Darin began working for Informix in 1994 and continues to work for IBM now. He has worked in the openlink support group, and the Down Systems Group and has been with the APD (RT) group. Darin has presented at many IIUG events as well as many internal classes to IBM support.

Informix roadmap – Where do we go from here?
Presenter:  Karen Qualley
What might we expect from Informix in 5 years? Join IBM to learn about the Informix roadmap and what the team is working on.

Informix HCL Licensing
Presenter:  Karen Qualley
Information about changes and plans for the Informix licensing model from HCL.

Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group – sponsored by IBM

Date:          Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Time:         9:00am – 3:30pm (registration at 8:30am)
Location:    Hilton BWI Airport, 1739 W Nursery Rd, Linthicum Heights, MD  21090
Fees:           $30 Pre-registered and $40 At-the-door
Register:     HERE

Agenda:
9:00am – 10:15am Optimize Db2 for z/OS with Machine Learning using IBM Db2 AI for z/OS
Presenter:  Terry Purcell, IBM
10:15am – 10:30am  Break
10:30am – 11:45am Db2 12 and Continuous Delivery – What’s New from the Optimizer?
Presenter:  Terry Purcell, IBM
11:45am – 12:45pm Lunch Sponsored by IBM
12:45pm – 2:00pm Automating Accelerator Batch Loads in Single Instance Environments
Presenter:  Steve Cricchi
2:00pm – 2:15pm Break
2:15pm – 2:45pm  Using and Implementing the Db2 Profiles
Presenter:  Joe Huang, NFCU
2:45pm – 3:30pm NFCU Db2 12 Migration Experience
Presenter:  Joe Watson, NFCU

Session Abstracts

Optimize Db2 for z/OS with Machine Learning using IBM Db2 AI for z/OS   Terry Purcell, presenter
Machine learning is now prevalent in our day to day activities as it helps us make better data driven decisions. Therefore, it makes sense to extend that same technology to help tune performance for Db2 for z/OS. Db2 AI for z/OS applies machine learning insights from your workload characteristics to empower the Db2 optimizer and find better access paths for SQL queries. This offering enables clients to see out-of-the-box CPU and elapsed time savings. Db2AI for z/OS embeds machine learning and IBM domain expertise to provide customized recommendations for performance tuning. Learn how Db2AI for z/OS applies IBM Machine Learning for z/OS to better optimize Db2 for z/OS performance.

Db2 12 and Continuous Delivery – What’s New from the Optimizer?  Terry Purcell, presenter
DB2 12 for z/OS has been announced and DB2 has embarked on Continuous Delivery for ongoing features. So what’s coming from the optimizer team regarding further performance enhancements? DB2 12 for z/OS had already delivered outstanding performance and scalability improvements from UNION ALL and outer join performance improvements, sort optimizations, improved predicate indexability and tighter integration of the Optimizer and RUNSTATS. This presentation will outline what was delivered and how future optimizer enhancements apply to continuous delivery.

Automating Accelerator Batch Loads in Single Instance Environments    Steve Cricchi, presenter
When concurrency is not needed for warehouse applications it is possible to use standard z/OS tools to load a Db2 Analytics Accelerator without sample programs or 3rd party tools.  See the mechanics of how to do this for a cycle-driven process with a high degree of usability and easy job output management.

Using and Implementing the Db2 Profiles     Joe Huang, presenter
How to implement the Db2 Profiles at your shop with real life use cases. The presentation will show you how to configure and activate a Db2 Profile. The components of PROFILE tables and the relationship between PROFILE and ATTRIBUTE table. The presentation will also introduce the Navy Federal Credit Union use cases such as: to control number of active DBAT threads, to control IDLE THREAD TIMEOUT, bind DISTRIBUTED packages using multiple COLLID and Simulate PROD environment in TEST to trick optimizer.

NFCU Db2 12 Migration Experience   Joe Watson, presenter
Navy Federal Credit Union recently migrated DB2 to V12 from V11.  The migration occurred ‘online’ where production workflow continued to process without interruption.  This was a major achievement for increased system availability / less system downtime, and the first major software implementation of this type for NFC.  This implementation also ranks among a very few number of organizations that have done online migration. This presentation will outline the basic concepts pertinent to the NFC DB2 system configuration that enabled online migration to be pursued, along with challenges that existed and the approaches to resolve them.

Presenter Bio’s

Terry Purcell is a Senior Technical Staff Member with the IBM Silicon Valley Lab, where he is lead designer for the Db2 for z/OS Optimizer. Terry has 25 years of experience with Db2 in SQL Performance and optimization as a customer, consultant and Db2 developer. Terry is an IBM Master Inventor with more than 25 U.S. patents for database search Technology.

Steve Cricchi has over 25 years of Db2 DBA experience starting with V1.3. He currently supports Db2 applications on V11 for a major financial organization.

Joe Huang is a Certified Db2 DBA with 30 years of IT experience. During his career, Joe has held several job roles in Application Programming, Db2 z/OS system administration, IBM Mainframe System Architecture and Db2 z/OS Database Administration. Joe is an IBM Certified Db2 V11 Database Administrator and an IBM Certified Db2 V11 System Administrator. Joe plays Classic Guitar and he performs at a local 5 star rated restaurant in Northern Virginia.

Joseph Watson is a Senior DB2 database administrator with Navy Federal Credit Union, with experience as database and system administration since version 1.3. Joe earned Master of Computer Science degree from Howard University; Certificate In Information Systems from George Washington University. Previous duties include DB2 administration, IMS programming, CICS programming, application consulting/training for EDS, Verizon, and consulting/training for IBM including government top secret security assignments. In a past life Joe was a science and math teacher for the MD Montgomery County school district.

Db2 and Informix Users Groups 12.6.18 Agenda

Baltimore Washington Db2 Users Group 12.6.18 Agenda

Starting to Think About Think

Posted by Kim May on October 19, 2018 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

Last year Frank and I chose not to attend Think in Las Vegas.  While I missed the networking (socializing/fun) part of conference, it didn’t feel like a “must attend” event, as the Information on Demand and Insight Conferences had in the past.  And, since we didn’t go to Think, Frank and I instead attended IDUG Europe in Lisbon, which was awesome.  Lisbon was stunningly beautiful, the people at the conference were great fun and the technical discussions were focused on Db2’s future, which is of course important to The Fillmore Group.

So then why am I thinking about attending Think 2019?  I’m curious…

First, my grudging acceptance of the shrinking role data management is playing in IBM’s strategy has me curious about what the future holds.  As I write this Bain Capital has recently acquired Rocket Software, and the rumor mill is churning with theories on what will happen to Db2 for z/OS and the mainframe.  Do I expect a great announcement at Think, or insight into IBM’s strategy that will shape our business plans?  No.  But I think the conversation – with customers and colleagues – will help guide The Fillmore Group’s focus over the next few years.

Second, I find IBM listens to Business Partners less and less each year.  The Partnerworld program has always been a source of frustration to me, as the rules and guidelines seem thinly disguised to hide IBM’s intention to work with a handful of partners, and exclude the rest.  I recognize The Fillmore Group IS a small partner, but one with deep technical skills and a lot of history with some of IBM’s key customers, so I have often attended conferences almost solely for the opportunity to meet with IBM management about ways to improve Partnerworld.  The concepts I pitched – crazy concepts like accountability, transparency, and support for partners teaming – were often given 15 minutes and a, “gee it would be nice if we could”.  However, once in a while I felt my ideas were heard and given consideration.

Read More…

IDUG Call for Speakers Open Until October 19th

Posted by Kim May on September 24, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), Oracle, pureScale, TFG Blog.

 

The Call for Speakers for the 2019 IDUG North America Conference, scheduled for Charlotte, NC, from June 2 – 6, 2019, is open.  For Db2 users this is an excellent opportunity to share your experience with your peers.  IDUG has a well documented presentation submission format and process, detailed on the IDUG North America webpage.

You may submit an unlimited number of abstracts.  However, it is important that you provide all of the information requested when submitting your presentation(s) for review. Failure to provide all requested information may impact whether or not the abstract is accepted.

One last note:  given the timing, don’t forget to reach out to your local Db2 RUG and offer to deliver your presentation at one of their meetings prior to the conference.  It’s a great opportunity to do a practice run, and also allow your local peers – some of whom may not be attending the conference – to appreciate your work.

From the IDUG webpage:

IDUG is soliciting presentation abstracts that explore into details of implementation, migrating to a new release, or maximizing performance from any member of the DB2 product family. In recognition of the complex requirements of today’s database implementations, presentation abstracts relating to migration from Oracle to DB2, upgrading within versions of DB2, and new hardware implementations are also being requested. Presentations may cover details of DB2 tools, Big Data and other ancillary DB2 products.

All presentations must be strongly technical in nature, cannot contain marketing themes, and must support and strengthen the information services community by providing the highest quality education and services designed to promote the effective utilization of the DB2 and its family of products.”

 

Frank Fillmore to Present on IDAA V7 (“Sailfish”) at the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group

Posted by Kim May on August 23, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA, TFG Blog.

Following his successful hands-on IDAA class in Columbus, Frank Fillmore will be presenting on the IDAA at the September Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group, scheduled for Wednesday, September 12th.   Frank’s presentation and bio are below – last, per his request – keep reading – !

If you are in the area September 12th please join us.  If you have any questions on the upcoming meeting or are interested in presenting please contact me.

Date:                Wednesday, September 12th, 2018
Time:                9:00 AM – 3:30 PM (registration at 8:30)
Location:          Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport, 1739 W Nursery Road, 21090
Fees:                Pre-registered members: $30,  Pre-registered non-members: $40
At-the-door:    Members: $40, non-members: $50

Schedule:
Registration
8:30 – 9:00

9:00 – 10:15:  Copy Smarter – Unload/Load, DSN1COPY and Beyond

Kai Stroh, UBS Hainer

When you get tasked with setting up a refresh process for thousands of Db2 z/OS tables you probably have a few thoughts running through your head: How long does it take to create all the required jobs? How long for all the control cards? Do all the target tables exist, or are there any new tables in production? Have tables been changed? Better double check if the tables have grown or if Db2 has added more VSAMs so that you don’t run out of space halfway through like last time. Don’t forget catalog statistics and RTS. And those identity columns and sequences – they’re always trouble. What seems like little bits and pieces at first can really stretch your staff thin, which is why automation is key if you want to save time and energy. This presentation discusses advantages and disadvantages of different utilities that copy Db2 data, but the main focus is automating all the side tasks that DBAs usually need to do in addition to copying the data itself.

10:15 – 10:30:  Break

10:30 – 11:45:  Log Enhanced Copies for 24×7 DB2 Refresh/Migration

Kai Stroh,  UBS Hainer

LOB compression is one of the more interesting features of Db2 12. It promises performance gains for your application that use LOB’s, coupled with disk savings! This presentation provides an overview of the feature, and discusses some of the performance characteristics. Then we move on to pros and cons, and a process for taking advantage of the feature.

11:45 – 12:45:  Lunch

12:45 – 2:00:  Machine Learning

Jonathan Sloan, IBM

Gain an overall understanding of Machine Learning for z/OS and its role in enabling advanced analytics on IBM Z. You will learn how this machine learning technology integrates with Db2 Analytics Accelerator and Db2 for z/OS to drive real-time insight on an enterprise scale.

2:00 – 2:15:  Break

2:15 – 3:30: IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) V7 had a Brain and Heart Transplant

Frank Fillmore, The Fillmore Group

IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) v7 has been completely re-engineered. Previous IDAA versions were based on legacy Netezza technology including PostgreSQL (the “brain”) and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA – the “heart”). IDAA v7 – aka “Sailfish” – uses Db2 with BLU Acceleration and POWER processors. The benefits are greater compatibility between Db2 for z/OS and the IDAA, fewer hardware problems, improved Incremental Update latency, and lots more.  If you are an existing IDAA shop considering migrating to v7 or have not previously considered IDAA, this presentation will cover what you need to know.

Speaker:

Kai Stroh earned a Computer Science degree from the University of Darmstadt and is a mainframe software developer specializing in Db2 utilities for z/OS. He designs and builds innovative Db2 applications and utilities often working onsite or remotely with UBS’ international clients. He easily navigates his way around Db2 dumps and knows how to move data and definitions across Db2 versions, and this includes the unique in-house Db2 subsystems which each have their own little technical adaptations.

Jonathan Sloan is a Senior Certified Executive Software IT Specialist, with more than two decades experience successfully leading, selling and implementing business analytic and data warehouse applications as a vendor as well as an implementer. He joined IBM in 2000 and specializes in helping customers understand the application of IBM Information management technology to business problems.

Frank C. Fillmore, Jr. is the Founder and President of The Fillmore Group, Inc., a Premier IBM Business Partner specializing in Hybrid Cloud and Analytics. Frank has been a Db2 Gold Consultant since 1998 and currently is an IBM Champion for both Analytics and System z. Frank has frequently presented on cutting-edge topics at regional and international Db2 Users Group meetings and the IBM Insight conference.

IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) v7 Workshop a Success! #IBMz #IBMAnalytics

Posted by Frank Fillmore on July 29, 2018 under BLU Acceleration, Data Studio, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, HTAP, IBM Smart Analytics System, IDAA, Mako, Netezza, PostgreSQL, Sidecar. Tags: , , .

On July 23 and 24, 2018 The Fillmore Group delivered a hands-on IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) v7 Workshop to 12 students across 5 different enterprises at the IBM Dublin, Ohio (USA) Technical Education Center.  This was the first IDAA v7 hands-on Workshop delivered to customers anywhere.  Many thanks to Atlee, Bill, Bob, Dom, Emmi, Larry, Marshall, Mohammed, Naga, Ruth, Shawn, and Toby for all of the great questions.  Kudos to the IBM Poughkeepsie Benchmark Center for standing up the IDAA v7 environment in record time with just-released functionality like Incremental Update.  And thanks to IBMers Rich Gast, Mike Hood, Sandro Ramirez (aka “Nicky’s Dad”), Julie Efthymiou, and Rudy Benvenuto for all of their support.

Finally – and most importantly – the Workshop’s flawless execution from scheduling, invitations and outreach to customers, to welcome packets for travelers, to food service, and overall logistics was the direct result of many months of hard work on the part of my colleague, Kim May.  I really appreciate it!

The presentation materials are here:IDAA Workshop 2018-07

Since IDAA v7 is so radically different from it’s predecessors, the Workshop generated lots of questions which will be incorporated into future sessions.  Watch this space.

IBM Think Conference Call for Speakers is **OPEN**

Posted by Kim May on June 28, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, IBM Think Conference, TFG Blog.

The IBM Think 2019 Conference will be held in San Francisco, on February 12 – 15.  For those like me, who felt the Las Vegas conferences were becoming one exhausted blur, San Francisco is a welcome change.

I hope this year’s Think Conference will offer excellent networking (why I go!), along with the opportunity to learn about new and “coming soon” solutions.  For technical folks there should be plenty of opportunities to learn and improve your skills.

As with past IBM conferences, presenters get a free pass. The conference fee is set at $2,295 – and we all know getting a free pass makes asking your boss to fund a week in San Francisco much easier.  And the Call for Speakers is now open.

I suggest anyone interested in presenting, particularly if it’s your first time submitting a presentation, share your presentation idea with your local users group and ask for their feedback. Users groups – like the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group – review presentations throughout the year as part of the process of selecting meeting sessions.  Our board members can provide feedback to make your session abstract stand out (in a good way!)  Many of our board members have also delivered presentations, and welcome the opportunity to share their experiences with “newbie” presenters.

From IBM’s Call for Speakers announcement – “If you or your client have faced a challenge that led to a breakthrough in your industry, reinvented your processes, or resulted in success worth sharing, submit your proposal to become a speaker at Think 2019. All formats are welcome: lectures, labs, panels, breakout sessions, etc.”

The submission link is hereDon’t lollygag – submissions must be submitted by July 16, 2018.

Other dates to note: speakers selected will be notified in September; final presentations are due to IBM in December.

I hope to see you at Think!

*FREE* Hands-on IDAA Training – Columbus Class Announced for July

Posted by Kim May on June 14, 2018 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA, Mako, Netezza, TFG Blog.

Gold Consultant and Z Systems Champion Frank Fillmore will deliver a free, hands-on IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator/IDAA class on Monday and Tuesday, July 23rd and 24th, at the IBM Dublin Campus near Columbus, Ohio.

Class has been updated to showcase the new IDAA V7.1 (“Sailfish”) and covers the new architecture, sizing considerations for the new generation of IDAA appliances, and recommendations for organizations upgrading from the Mako (V5) to Sailfish.

The fine print:  attendees must be IBM customers considering an IDAA purchase in 2018.  While class is free (and we will treat attendees to breakfast and lunch both days), attendees are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.

We have 20 available class seats, available on a first-come-first-served basis.  The registration link is here and the course outline is below. I will send travel information and recommendations to everyone registering (I’m working on them now!)

Finally, if there is any additional information needed please feel free to email me at kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com.

IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Training

Dates (2 days):  Monday and Tuesday, July 23rd and 24th, 2018

Class Times:  9:00am – 4:00pm

Cost:  Class is *free* to pre-registered attendees

Instructor:  Frank Fillmore

Join us for this refreshed class that includes material specific to the latest IDAA “Sailfish” releases, including V7.1, and the M4002, aka “Maverick”. Attendees will learn how and why an IDAA can extend your System z’s processing capabilities to enable Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing (HTAP).

Topics:

  • An introduction to the new V7.1 architecture and IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS).
  • The heterogeneous accelerator environment:  what works well today.
  • Assessment tools to support acquisition:  Workload Assessment, CVE, PoC.
  • Positioning IDAA within your organization with the most valuable use case.
  • Migrating from the Netezza-based IDAA to V7.1.

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
– Accelerator-only Tables (AoTs): intermediate tables and ETL processing

 

IDUG 2018 Thoughts and Notes

Posted by Kim May on May 7, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, IDAA, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

Last week’s annual International Db2 Users Group (IDUG) Conference in Philadelphia was interesting and – as always – a great time to reconnect with friends and colleagues.  With IBM in what feels like perpetual transformation mode, I was curious to compare this conference with others I’ve attended in the past, to get a sense of how Db2 customers are perceiving the state of Db2 in these uncertain times.  My impressions:

  1. Db2 for z/OS customers, while not excited about growing workloads on System z, appear to be more confident their organizations will maintain what’s in place and invest in mainframe infrastructure when and where it makes sense.  I expected to hear the “we’re getting off the mainframe in 3 years” comment and did not; instead I was encouraged to see existing IDAA customers expressing interest in the new “Sailfish” model (V7.1).  Shameless plug:  if you were one of these people, please join us for our free IDAA class in June.
  2. For Db2 for LUW, the times are changing, and hopefully for the better.  Jon Lind’s Technical Advisory Board meeting offered participants a chance to express their concerns with the ecosystem, marketing, competitiveness, enablement, and I could go on, list of challenges around keeping Db2 for LUW relevant in the RDBMS market.  Jon Lind’s team has a refreshing willingness to listen, and the opportunity to revive Db2 for LUW.  Keep an eye on this team:  they have a long list of requests, and spent much of the conference talking with end users and partners about what they can do to help.  I wish them great success!!
  3. Kudos to the IDUG team for a fabulous location and super well organized event.  I wish we could have had some competitors join us for the community dinner to check out the enthusiasm (and noise level!) in the dining room.  There was ENERGY to spare!  And special thanks to IBM’s Surekha Parekh and Jim Reed for hosting such a great event at the conference and for all their support.
  4. One-name Rocket woman Saghi also deserves a shout out for gathering the local user group leaders for lunch and extending IDUG’s support to our Db2 communities.  The Db2 for z/OS RUGs are incredibly strong and doing their best to ensure LUW users have access to similar community resources.

So, I will end this post on my experience at IDUG with one final thank you, to Steve Cricchi, from T. Rowe Price, whose presentation on loading data into the IDAA was very well done and will be shared with the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group at an upcoming meeting.  Well done!  Frank’s waiting for his beer…  🙂

IDUG Philadelphia Early Bird Discount Extended – Register Now!!

Posted by Kim May on March 21, 2018 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, IBM Champion, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

For those of us weathering the Spring snowstorm of 2018 on the East Coast – not in sunny Las Vegas, an incentive to think Spring and plan for warmer weather in Philadelphia during IDUG, scheduled for April 29th – May 3rd.

The Early Bird discount has been extended until March 31st.  There are – now – ten more days to register and take advantage of the reduced price.

As Bill Shipley emailed earlier today:  Remember this is the 35th Anniversary of IBM Db2 for z/OS, 25th Anniversary of IBM Db2 LUW and 30th Anniversary for IDUG.

IDUG 2018 offers new educational opportunities and more training than ever before! Attendees will experience:

•Five days of education sessions

•Half and full-day workshops

•More than 100 one-hour technical sessions

•Two expert panels on z/OS and LUW

And my birthday’s in there, too…hope we can celebrate together in Philly!!

Skipping Think

Posted by Kim May on March 7, 2018 under #IBMInsight, DB2 Education, Frank Fillmore, IBM Think Conference, Information on Demand Conference, Insight 2014, Insight 2015, TFG Blog.

Frank asked me to respond to an email from an IBM’er asking whether we will be at the Think Conference in Las Vegas. I started the reply and then decided – in the interest of efficiency – to post my response on our blog so that I can direct inquiries here. Apparently there’s a bit of pressure on to boost attendance.

After attending every IOD, Insight and World of Watson conference, Frank and I have decided to skip Think. The arc of the annual IBM data-centric conferences has in many ways paralleled the arc of The Fillmore Group over the past 10 years. I haven’t given up on achieving success in the future, but the status quo is unsettling.

Some history: when IBM announced the first Information on Demand/IOD Conference, I was fairly new to The Fillmore Group. I sold and coordinated technical training for companies in the Mid-Atlantic prior to joining TFG and was involved in the Greater Baltimore Tech Council, whose quarterly wine tastings were legendary – fun, great for business, and fabulous networking. Frank loved the idea, and we hosted our first wine tasting at the first IOD annual conference in Anaheim. At this event I was introduced to the IBM Lab Services Data Management team, who became our largest customer for the next three years.

After the first year the conference was moved to Las Vegas, where each year we have rented a suite and hosted a champagne tasting. One year we couldn’t get a large enough suite and had to put the champagne in the bathtub (see the picture below – only in Vegas!) I recall that year particularly vividly as Frank gushed afterward at the number of IBM Data Management VP’s in attendance (6 – and my guess is he can still name them!) We had a great time introducing IBM’ers to their colleagues and wow’ing our customers by introducing them to the stars of the Db2 world.

At one of the conferences Steve Mills attended our event as well as the IBM Data Champions luncheon where he gave Frank an award for our consulting team’s support of the JP Morgan Chase Oracle to Db2 migration effort. Frank is rarely speechless; on this occasion he was.

So why aren’t we looking forward to another conference?

First, we want to be where our customers are. I am the chairman of the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group and I only know of one of my member organizations sending people to Think. We have a lot of Federal agency members, and they stopped attending years ago, but even the commercial customers don’t seem to be interested.

I believe the Db2 technical people, if attending any conference at all in 2018, will be at IDUG. The IDUG session abstracts explain what will be presented in a font that allows for the use of multiple words, and the topics are of interest to the audience. I understand a few will be at SHARE next week…along with most of the IBM z technical team. Who can afford 3 weeks out of the field attending conferences before the end of the first half?

Second, IBM’s often contradictory messaging regarding the role of Business Partners is particularly confusing this year. What is the value of this partnership and what do partners provide to IBM and its customers? What is IBM doing to support us in return?

In the past there was recognition for our product promotion and outreach. For these efforts, primarily related to marketing and reselling IBM software, partners like The Fillmore Group were provided with sales leads and co-marketing funding to offset event costs.

Over the past year IBM has “transformed” the Business Partner program. They claim the new program recognizes skilled partners, and claim partners will be allocated sales leads and co-marketing funding based on the achievement of technical competencies. Competencies – according to IBM – are determined by the certifications earned in a particular category, demonstrating technical skills, and reselling a minimum of one million dollars’ worth of software in each category. I giggle as I type. Our team has historically supported customers running IBM replication solutions. Has anyone paid (channeling Mike Myers’ Austin Powers as Dr. Evil) ONE MILLION DOLLARS for replication?

Meanwhile IBM is trying to transform (oh that word!) their software licensing to a cloud-based, SaaS model, and encouraging Business Partners to develop the ability to collect monthly software license fees from customers. Will the new partners ever achieve the one million dollars of sales within one Analytics sub-category and qualify as “competent”? If not, will the top partners grow IBM’s software business or simply continue to slow revenue slide along with IBM?

On the 2018 IBM Business Partner kickoff call, IBM’s General Manager for Global Business Partners listed his 5 top initiatives for 2018. One is to better support IBM’s top 300 resellers, of which The Fillmore Group is not one, and another is to attract new Business Partners.  IBM has 19,000 Business Partners. As one of the 18,700 IBM Business Partners IBM has abandoned, we plan to attend IDUG with some technical folks and customers and hope maybe someday IBM finds us of value again in the future.