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.

Ready, Set, Insight!

Posted by Kim May on October 24, 2014 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, IBM Champion, Insight 2014.

I am all packed and ready to head west tomorrow morning to the IBM Insight Conference in Las Vegas, along with THOUSANDS of DB2 users!  It should be an exciting week, with lots of great sessions.

I am particularly looking forward to seeing IBM’s Jim Reed to thank him for getting IBM Distinguished Engineer Haakon Roberts to come present to the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group meeting December 11th – details will be at www.bwdb2ug.org the week after next.  Jim is working closely with the IDUG Conference Planning Committee, who will host the 2015 North America IDUG Conference in Philadelphia, a short drive for our members.  Thank you!

I will miss seeing the Information Champion’s program “champion” Beth Flood, who isn’t able to join us this year.  We’ll miss you Beth!

I hope I will see you in Vegas!

IBM zEnterprise Technology Summit – May 6th, Washington, DC

Posted by Kim May on March 21, 2014 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 for z/OS, IBM DB2 Services, IDAA, Optim, Q-Replication, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , , .

IBM has scheduled a second presentation of the 2014 zEnterprise Technology Summit due to the snowstorm that hit in January when the event ran originally.  If you are in the area and have time to attend, please do!  Information on the event is below; register on the IBM site here.  There are several other events scheduled across the US in 2014 – view them on the IBM site here.

IBM zEnterprise Technology Summit Tuesday, May 6, Washington, DC

New technology is stretching IT budgets in many directions, forcing IT to find better ways of meeting business demands in increasingly complex data centers. Read More…

Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group News

Posted by Kim May on December 3, 2013 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, IBM Champion, Information on Demand Conference, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG). Tags: , , , .

Fall is the busiest time of year with IOD requiring so much *energy*!  Now that Thanksgiving has passed and it’s December already, it’s time for me to focus on what’s happening here locally.  Which means, of course, the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group meeting, scheduled for December 11th, from 9:00am – 3:30pm, at the Columbia Sheraton.

This year’s December meeting is sponsored by SEGUS.  Next year’s meeting (plug, plug) will be hosted by The Fillmore Group.

This month’s agenda includes a kickoff session to be delivered by DB2 Gold Consultant, IBM Champion and President of the Atlanta DB2 Users Group, Ted Alexander.  We’ve worked with Ted in the past and have long admired his technical expertise and his charm (of course!)  Ted’s presentation will run from 9:00am – 10:15am.  Ted’s session abstract is below.  If you would like to join us, the complete agenda and registration information are here.

Application Developers & DB2 for z/OS

Things are changing with every release of DB2 for z/OS. More features for application developers to exploit, and a few that are going away. In this session we will cover DB2 for z/OS version 9 and DB2 for z/OS version 10 and some new stuff on DB2 for z/OS version 11.

This presentation is geared toward the application developer and the tricks that can make their application run smoothly and upgrade easier to the next release of DB2. Did you ever wonder how DB2 for z/OS new features are chosen?  We’ll have a look at that, too.

Optim Query Capture Replay PoT – Next Week!

Posted by Kim May on September 13, 2013 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, Optim. Tags: , .

If you are in the Baltimore/Washington/NoVA area next week please join the local IBM technical team to learn more about Optim™ Query Capture and Replay (OQCR) for z/OS and LUW.   The presentation is being led by IBM’s Baha Majid, who many local DB2 users know from his volunteer work on the board of the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group, where he helps secure top notch IBM speakers for our meetings.

OQCR is a new product that helps organizations minimize business disruption with the ability to perform realistic workload testing during the quality testing process.

InfoSphere Query Capture Replay enables organizations to:
•    Capture representative production workloads needed for comprehensive real-life test scenarios.
•    Replay the workload to reproduce the original application timing, order of execution, transaction boundaries, isolation levels, and other SQL and application characteristics without the need to setup complex client or middleware environments.
•    Analyze accuracy and performance reports to identify the impact of software, hardware or database changes may have on critical workloads and the environment.

This Proof of Technology describes the key functions of InfoSphere Optim Query Capture Replay and consists of both presentations and hands-on lab exercises for z/OS and LUW platforms.

The PoT will be held at:

IBM McLean TEC
8401 Greensboro Drive
Suite 120
Room EBR
McLean, VA 22102

Agenda
08:30 – 09:00  Breakfast
09:00 – 11:30  Product Presentations and Lab – 1
11:30 – 12:15  Lunch Break
12:15 – 14:00  Lab – 2

To register click here.

Webinar Thursday: IBM Big Data Announcements – What You Should Know

Posted by Kim May on May 6, 2013 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, Big Data, BigInsights, BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, Hadoop, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Pure Systems, Informix, InfoSphere Streams, Netezza, pureScale, TFG Blog. Tags: .

On April 30th IBM announced several significant solution enhancements related to data management and big data.  These announcements reflect IBM’s commitment to leading the next generation of data solutions through improved functionality in their core database and data warehouse solutions, as well as expanding the capabilities of their solutions built to exploit big data, BigInsights and InfoSphere Streams.  For DB2 database customers IBM announced BLU Acceleration, delivering 8 to 25 times faster reporting and analytics on DB2, along with significant compression and space savings.  For customers considering IBM’s Big Data solutions, IBM announced BigSQL, its ANSI SQL interface that makes BigInsights analysis accessible to business users, not just data scientists.    And for organizations looking to simplify administration, a new appliance, the IBM PureData System for Hadoop was announced.

Join us Thursday, May 9th from 11am-12pm Eastern for an overview of the announcement and learn how your organization can benefit from IBM’s continued investment in data management.  Register here.

Presenter:
Warren Heising, Certified Consulting IT Specialist IBM
Warren is a Certified Consulting IT Specialist for IBM working in the Mid-Atlantic region.  He has over 25 years experience in the database field including 9 years at Informix prior to the IBM acquisition. He has a strong background in both OLTP and DSS Informix products and has worked with numerous clients in both Commercial and Federal accounts. Currently, he supports the full family of IBM Informix products along with DB2 and big data products for the Mid-Atlantic region and is actively involved in Proof of Technology and Proof of Concept scheduling and delivery.

Kim May named IBM Champion for 2013

Posted by Frank Fillmore on February 27, 2013 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, IBM Champion, InfoSphere. Tags: .

The Fillmore Group’s Kim May has been named an IBM Champion for the 5th straight year.  Click here for Kim’s developWorks profile.  Kim has been especially active in the IBM Information Management (IM) Regional Users Group (RUG) community.

Kim has recently collaborated with IBM Education to deliver the first public Big Data classes on BigInsights and InfoSphere Streams.  These will be appearing on TFG’s 2H13 training schedule.

Hearty, well-earned congratulations to Kim!

Free Webinar: What Your IBM Competitive Sales Specialist Wants You To Know

Posted by Kim May on February 25, 2013 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, Big Data, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Mid Market Customers, IBM Pure Systems, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), Netezza, Optim, Oracle, Q-Replication, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Join IBM DB2 Competitive Sales Specialist Bill Kincaid and me for The Mid-Atlantic Information Management Virtual Users Group webinar on February 28th.  The Mid-Atlantic Information Management Virtual Users Group is focused on delivering information and education to DB2 users in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Given the topic and the terrific speaker lined up, and since the session will be delivered via webinar, anyone interested in IBM database solutions is welcome to join us.
 
In the session current DB2 customers will learn how IBM has enhanced DB2 administrative tool functionality, added new features, and is offering new product bundles that deliver better value at a lower cost.  Customers considering DB2 will learn how IBM is providing better assessment tools and easier migration processes to simplify the transition to DB2. 
 
Is DB2 the best?  Is moving to DB2 a no-brainer?  Join us, ask questions, and learn more about today’s DB2. 
 
Date:  Thursday, February 28, 2013
Time:  11am – 12:00pm Eastern
Registration is required.  Please register here
 
Bill Kincaid
Bill Kincaid is the IBM DB2 Competitive Sales Specialist for the Mid-Atlantic Region.  Bill has worked for IBM, Microsoft and Oracle, as well as data virtualization solution developer xkoto.  Bill’s specialty is helping database users – customers currently using DB2 and customers considering migrating to DB2 – to fully understand the value of DB2.  Bill earned his BA at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte and his MBA from the University of Georgia.  He lives in Charlotte and works with IBM customers in the Eastern US.
 
I hope you will join us.

IBM Big Data, Integration and Governance Forum

Posted by Kim May on January 23, 2013 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, Big Data, DB2 Education, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Mid Market Customers, IBM Pure Systems, InfoSphere, Netezza, Q-Replication, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , .

The Fillmore Group – and a special guest to-be-announced soon, will be be participating in the IBM Big Data, Integration and Governance Forum at the Sheraton Hotel in Reston, VA on March 5th.  The forum begins at 8am with a complimentary breakfast and sessions end at 1:15pm, followed by lunch provided by IBM.   There is no charge to attend the forum.

Great speakers are lined up to explain how best to leverage innovative techniques and gain a rock-solid understanding of how to:

  • Enhance the quality, availability and integrity of your data
  • Gain real-time insight into performance
  • Optimize and improve critical decision making
  • Reduce data management cost and complexity issues
  • Enforce data quality standards and stewardship policies
  • Effectively manage regulatory compliance demands
  • Leverage support for master data management (MDM) programs

Read More…

Kim May Named IBM Champion in 2012

Posted by Frank Fillmore on March 16, 2012 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Connect, IBM Champion, Information on Demand Conference. Tags: , .

For four consecutive years, my colleague, Kim May – VP of Business Development for The Fillmore Group, has been named an IBM Champion.  Kim has

  • been on the board of the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group since 2005
  • presented at the IBM Information on Demand (IOD) conference in 2010
  • run the DB2 Connect Virtual Users Group since 2010
  • hosted luncheons to help existing IBM customers understand the breadth of the IBM Information Management software portfolio since 2011
  • blogs and tweets on a regular basis

The Virtual Users Group (VUG) approach has been so successful in fostering community in the DB2 Connect domain that three new VUGs will debut in 2012.  Watch this space and, if you get a chance, extend congrats to Kim.