Looking Toward 2016 – TFG Events Schedule

Posted by Kim May on December 18, 2015 under #IBMInsight, Authorized Training Partner, Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IDAA, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

Fillmore 2016 Scheduled Marketing Events

The Fillmore Group had a terrific 2015 thanks to our great customers and terrific consulting team.  We are looking forward to an exciting 2016, with some key focus areas already “in the works” and of course plans to remain as competitive and flexible as possible so that we can continue offering top quality technical education and consulting at competitive prices, along with helpful, knowledgeable IBM Analytics software purchase assistance.

Our 2016 schedule contains some annual highlights:  IDUG (in Austin this year; should be great!), the IBM Insight Conference in October and four quarterly meetings of the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group, our local RUG.

In addition we are planning a 4-part webinar series to support customers working to keep System z thriving and growing in their organizations, another free, hands-on IDAA class, and assistance with getting a college or university in the Baltimore/Washington area to work with the IBM Academic Initiative team.

Happy Holidays!  2016 is coming up fast!!

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.

IBM’s OLTP and Analytic Data Strategies Webinar Series

Posted by admin on May 20, 2015 under Authorized Training Partner, Big Data, BigInsights, BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, Hadoop, IBM DB2 Services, IDAA, Netezza, TFG Blog.

I am excited to invite IBM data management users to join DB2 Gold Consultant Frank C. Fillmore for a series of three webinars covering the latest IBM database strategies.  Each session highlights a topic critical to IBM data management customers’ knowledge of the many, sometimes competing, often confusing, options available from IBM.

The content will help data architects better understand the latest solutions available to support analytic and OLTP workloads, as well as IBM’s data strategy direction and where today’s solutions – relational databases, Netezza and Hadoop – are best applied.

Attend one webinar or join us for all three.  Each one hour session will provide a wealth of clear, useful information.  Click on the links below to register.

#1  IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator v4 PTF 5 Enhancements
Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 1pm-2pm EDT  Register here:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5384878354738776577
Frank will present an update on the latest IBM DB2 Analytic Accelerator (IDAA) PTF released in April, 2015. This PTF delivers new functionality to extend IDAA utilization for DB2 for z/OS users including:
– Improved Incremental Update reliability and performance
– Accelerated dynamic query statement caching
– Additional scalar function support
– In-database transformation with Accelerator Only Tables

#2 IBM Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing (HTAP)
Tuesday, June 20, 2015, 1pm-2pm EDT  Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5118968064636087810
Learn how customers are using HTAP to eliminate analytic latency and data synchronization issues to transform and simplify information management infrastructure. For years IT customers have been told that online transaction processing (OLTP) and analytics couldn’t co-exist on the same platform. This led to costly and complex regimes to move OLTP data to a different platform for analytics. With HTAP, the barriers to near real-time analytics are removed amid significant reductions in IT expenses and complexity risk.

The concept of Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing was coined by Gartner. IBM implements HTAP in two ways:
– IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) for DB2 for z/OS data (using Netezza hardware)
– DB2 BLU Acceleration – DB2 for Linux, Unix, Windows (a software-only implementation)

#3  IBM Data Retrieval Technologies:  RDBMS, BLU, Netezza and Hadoop
Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 1pm-2pm EDT, Registration here:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1762449336105853441
In this session Frank will describe and compare the four distinct data retrieval technologies available from IBM.  Choices are good to have, but how do you choose which technology to apply to a particular business use case? Learn how these techniques differ, including their relative strengths and weaknesses.
– The traditional RDBMS, relying primarily on indexes to speed access
– The new BLU Acceleration columnar compression and memory-optimized database
– IBM PureData System for Analytics (Netezza), which deploys racks of Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) processors to parse data
– IBM InfoSphere BigInsights,  the IBM distribution of Hadoop

Registration for each webinar is required.  To register, click on the session registration links above.  I hope you will join us!

Training Anyone?

Posted by Kim May on May 14, 2015 under Arrow ECS, Authorized Training Partner, Big Data, BigInsights, BLU Acceleration, Data Studio, DB2 Connect, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, Global Skills Initiative, Hadoop, InfoSphere, Optim, pureScale, Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

The Fillmore Group 2H 2015 Class Schedule

With all the challenges IBM’s move to the Global Skills Initiative (aka outsourcing education) has created for DB2 users, please remember IBM classes do still exist and are available for the patient and persistent.  Fear not!  If you need training, we are prepared to help.

After seeing public training nosedive over the past two years we are now seeing a bit of a resurgence.  Are classes really running?  Well, in all honesty, not often.  However, we are seeing a few run here and there, and when they don’t, with our relationship with Arrow ECS (one of the five Global Training Partners) intact, we are learning to “collect” students interested in training, and either gather them together for classes, or provide private training at affordable rates.

I’ve just submitted our second half of 2015 public training class schedule to Arrow (see the attachment above) and expect to see the classes posted on the IBM training site (IBM.com/training) within the next couple weeks.  I welcome anyone looking for a class – whether it’s on my schedule or not – to contact me at kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com so that I can work some coordination magic for you.

Can We Reverse This Trend?

Posted by admin on April 24, 2015 under Authorized Training Partner, Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, Global Skills Initiative, IBM DB2 Services, IDAA, TFG Blog.

Just this week, while working to support a new customer consulting requirement, collaborating with IBM on a handful of IDAA sales opportunities, and following up on a Baltimore/Washington DB2 User Group initiative I ran into varying responses based on one similar theme:  customers are losing confidence in the long-term viability of the mainframe.

My consulting customer is looking for a skilled resources to support a DB2 for z/OS environment.  Due to the “downward pressure on rates” they want the hourly rate to be 20-25% less than they paid for a similar resource in 2012.  Of course, they tell me, they will accept someone with fewer years of experience – 3 to 5, rather than 5 to 10.  Where does one find a US citizen (a requirement) with 3 to 5 years of DB2 for z/OS experience?  With the Global Skills Initiative IBM education has dropped off dramatically.   The IBM Academic Initiative seems to have proven successful for one financial institution in the Southeast (but for no one else), and the skills shortage we’ve all been hearing about for years is being compounded by the drumbeat of Procurement teams requiring cheaper and cheaper personnel.

Our strategy sessions around IDAA prospects invariably begin with someone saying, “well, you know, XYZ Company is planning to be off the mainframe by 2017.”  Or some other year…but it’s always part of the discussion.  Apparently while people with moderate arithmetic skills can demonstrate the overall cost savings of System z, the “modernization” folks are beating us up with their messaging.  It’s tough to address the TCO challenge when the second question is, “and who will do the work?”

My local RUG agreed to sponsor college students at our meetings so that we can try to get some future graduates interested in the mainframe.  Baltimore, where I live, has many colleges and universities but thus far, in spite of my outreach, I’ve only gotten a response from one school willing to tell their students about our offer.  I can’t help but wonder if the career counselling centers haven’t been told to avoid the mainframe, too.

I am frustrated.

*Free* Hands-on IDAA Class Announced – Baltimore – February 24 & 25

Posted by Kim May on January 16, 2015 under Authorized Training Partner, Data Studio, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IDAA, Mako, Netezza, TFG Blog.

DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore will deliver a 2-day, hands-on IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) class at the Radisson Cross Keys in Baltimore, Maryland, on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 24th and 25th.  IBM z Systems customers considering an IDAA acquisition are invited to attend free of charge.

The class will be provide an overview of the System z + Netezza IDAA hybrid technology, along with an introduction to the many (and ever expanding) array of deployment options being used to leverage this unique, powerful, and cost-saving technology.  Originally introduced as a means to accelerate analytic queries on System z, the IDAA is now being used to address a variety of challenges, including archiving data with the option for fast retrieval, via the High Performance Storage Saver (HPSS).

With 2015’s introduction of V5, and the integration of the recently upgraded Netezza Mako line of appliances, the IDAA is a “must see” for all System z customers.

If you are interested in joining us, please review the course outline and registration.  Registration is limited to 20 students, on a first-come-first-served basis.

Please note:  Seats are reserved for current IBM z Systems customers considering an IDAA acquisition.  Attendees are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses; The Fillmore Group’s Welcome Packet with travel recommendations will provide assistance.

I hope we will see you in Baltimore next month!

Fixed Price Private Classes – Do I Need to Add Pizza?

Posted by Kim May on January 5, 2015 under Arrow ECS, Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Education, DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, Global Skills Initiative, pureScale, TFG Blog.

Beginning this month The Fillmore Group will be offering fixed price private IBM Information Management training classes to customers located in the US and Canada, making it easier for customers to budget for critical IM education.  Our team recognizes the value of technical training – and we understand the challenges IBM Information Management customers are facing with the array of offerings generated by the Global Skills Initiative.  I am hoping that by offering fixed priced IM education and simplifying the pricing aspect of training procurement, customers will be encouraged to pursue training to support new and existing IM solution implementations.

The fixed prices below include IBM authorized curriculum, IBM remote eLab access, travel and lodging for the instructor, and course delivery by one of our experienced instructors.  Do I need to add pizza to get you to bite??

There IS of course some “fine print”:  1) the prices below are for IBM Information Management courses only (320 current courses are available; you can sort through them at http://tinyurl.com/IM2015courses or contact me for assistance identifying the appropriate course based on your needs), 2) courses must be delivered in the US or Canada, in English, within one mutually agreed upon, contiguous calendar week.  3) The purchasing customer must provide a training facility equipped with one computer for each student, and high-speed Internet access.

The fixed prices are:

Course Length                 1-3 Students                    4-6 Students

3 days                                  $9,900                             $11,900

4 days                                 $13,900                            $15,900

Please let me know (email me at kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com) if I can help you with any questions or private class coordination.  Thanks!

 

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.