Kim May Takes the Reins at Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group @IDUGDB2 @IBMzAnalytics

Posted by Frank Fillmore on February 2, 2017 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, IBM Champion, IDAA, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG). Tags: , , .

My colleague, Kim May – Vice President of Business Development at The Fillmore Group, has been elected Chairperson of the Board of Directors of theMay - Champion Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group.  Kim has served on the board of BWDB2UG since 2005 in many capacities such as programming and membership.  BWDB2UG continues to provide strong technical leadership for DB2 practitioners in the US Mid-Atlantic region.  Kim takes over from long-time board Chair Steve Rosenberger.

Kim is also an IBM Champion and is very active in the DB2 Community.  As an example, she presented at the IBM World of Watson conference in Las Vegas in 2016.  Kim recently returned from the zAnalytics Bootcamp held annually at IBM Silicon Valley Lab.

Kim’s business focus in 2017 is the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) and DB2 running on Linux on System z.  Please join me and the BWDB2UG board in supporting Kim in her new role.

It was 30 years ago today… The Fillmore Group “Founder’s Day” @ffillmorejr @KimMayTFG #IBMAnalytics #IBMz

Posted by Frank Fillmore on January 13, 2017 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Federation, HTAP, IBM Champion, IDAA, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), Q-Replication. Tags: , .

On Tuesday, January 13, 1987 I sat in the kitchen of my 11 foot wide rowhouse in the Highlandtown section of Baltimore and typed out on a manual typewriter the Articles of Incorporation for The Fillmore Group.  My son, Nathaniel, was five weeks old.

Some back-of-the-envelope metrics across the past 30 years:

  • approximately 300 clients
  • about 60 consultants have helped train these customers and implement their IBM Analytics software
  • As a consultant, instructor, and/or presenter at technical conferences I have traveled to approximately 20 countries.  Prague is my favorite foreign city; I’ve been there three times and look forward to returning.

I have had two consultants, Ray and Jim, tell me that working for The Fillmore Group “has changed [their] life”.  In the beginning it was a common occurrence that an employment verification form from a mortgage underwriter would arrive shortly after a consultant started with TFG.  I know of several consultants that purchased their first home while working with us.

My favorite work environment was The World Bank.  The cosmopolitan atmosphere – working with colleagues from all over the planet – was delightful.  I helped implement a telephone billing system there using SQL/DS.

My most satisfying project was the Oracle to DB2 migration at JP Morgan Chase.  It was a tough, demanding environment with a timeline that was half of the 18 months originally estimated.  But we got it done with the help of Jim, Joe G., Joe L., John, Rebecca, and Teresa.  The customer had an equally talented, hard-working team.  Our contribution to that project was recognized by IBM SVP Steve Mills at the Insight conference that year.

As a small business owner, my favorite question from an IBMer (Scott): “Since the deadline can’t change, if money were no object what would you do?”  The answer: supply five more consultants to the project.  It was completed on time – if not under budget.

As a technician, my favorite question from an IBMer (Hunter) in the parking lot after a detailed technical presentation to a customer involving replication and federation tools: “We can do that, right?”  The answer: yes we can.  It resulted in a massive data warehouse at a large federal government healthcare agency.

I have had the privilege to learn from and share friendships with some of IBM’s original developers of relational database technology including Pat, Curt, Don and Don, and Hamid.  For IBM’s Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Platform (HTAP) implementations of today I rely on Paul, Tim, Gary, Namik, Knut, Patric, and Udo among many, many others.

I also cherish the friendships I have formed with other DB2 Gold Consultants like David, Ted, Bonnie, Jan, Juergen, Julian, Jackie, Kermit, Sheryl, Susan – and especially Gerry.

IBM has been a maddening company with which to partner, but the vast majority of the time The Fillmore Group has benefited from the technical excellence and basic decency of IBM employees.  In return, TFG consultants like Roger and Ravi have delivered innovative, cost-effective IT solutions to our mutual customers.  After more than two decades I still rely on Roger for his calm, wise counsel.

There have been tough times, too.  The Fillmore Group overcame at least three financial near-death experiences (1993, 2002, 2006).  At the risk of tempting fate: we never missed a payroll or failed to pay a debt on time.

But the best time, by far, was the day Kim May arrived to rent The Fillmore Group’s technical training classroom in downtown Baltimore in 2003.  That was the day my life changed forever.

This is reverie, not valedictory.  I am still too young to retire.  And I am as jazzed about the possibilities of HTAP, data repositories, and data interoperability (aka “plumbing”) in 2017 as I was when I first started working with SQL/DS (maximum storage capacity: 64GB) in the mid 1980s.  We’re currently working on a database rehosting project for a local government targeting DB2 for z/Linux and have an IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) v6 Workshop scheduled next month.

But I wanted to take a moment to jot down a few thoughts on the past three decades.  Of course, I haven’t called out everyone by name who has contributed to our success over the years.  But I truly, sincerely appreciate your hard work, dedication, integrity, smarts, and moxie.  Thank you!

In closing, when Curt retired from IBM I asked if he was pleased with a career that had reached a pinnacle as an IBM Fellow.  His response: “It turned out better than I ever could have imagined.”  Me too.

Frank to Present at the Heart of America DB2 Users Group March 14th

Posted by Kim May on March 4, 2016 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IBM Champion, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

Stefan Kolev and the Heart of America DB2 Users Group in Overland Park, Kansas, have invited Frank to present on March 14th, along with Susan Lawson and Kevin Harrison from the IBM Silicon Valley Lab.

The morning sessions will be dedicated to Susan’s delivery of, “DB2 11 Performance and Availability Features: What Can I Take Advantage Of?” parts 1 and 2.  Frank will present on HTAP in the afternoon, followed by Kevin’s presentation, “DB2 Version 11 Migration Experiences from the Field“.

Complete session abstracts, speaker bios, registration information and directions are all on the Heart of America DB2 Users Group’s website.

 

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!!

Insight Conference Discounts – Hurry!!!

Posted by admin on September 1, 2015 under DB2 Education, Insight 2015, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog. Tags: .

As everyone knows, when school starts, it’s time to begin planning for the annual IBM Insight Conference.  For those of us (like me) whose presentations were not selected there’s no free pass…just a ticking clock with the conference fee going up, up, up until it reaches the final $2,295 full price.  Yes, that’s the cost if you don’t act early and snag a discount.

The first round of discounts expired in early August, so if you haven’t registered yet, you missed the really good one, the Early Bird $700 discount.    But…my procrastinator friends…there is still a $300 discount available through September 18th.

One more thing:  before you start punching in that credit card number, check with your local users group to see if they have any passes or discounts available, and check with your friendly IBM rep to see if he or she has any education packs or discount options available.  IBM Education Packs, the coupons you buy to pay for training classes, can be applied to the conference fee.

Do your best to keep the cost down, because even if you know the conference is an invaluable part of your efforts to keep your skills current, your manager may raise an eyebrow when you give him the MasterCard commercial “Priceless!” pitch.  Cause this is all before the airfare and hotel and food and…

See ya there!

IDUG North America 2015 – Heading East to Philadelphia!

Posted by Kim May on November 21, 2014 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, Insight 2014, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG). Tags: .

The International DB2 Users Group (IDUG) has announced the 2015 North America Conference will be held in Philadelphia May 4-8, 2015.  As the conference has been held west of the Mississippi for the past few years, we are excited about having a “local” conference for the DB2 community in the East.

The Conference Planning Committee has begun efforts to invite DB2 users to attend.  Having just returned from the IDUG Europe Conference, and shortly before having attended Insight, the two events are quite different.  While Insight has a vast array of events and something for everyone (and a lot of everyone’s!) the IDUG Conferences are smaller, more focused on DB2, and definitely are the better events for technical networking and getting to know the DB2 community.

If you are making plans for 2015, please consider attending.  Information on the conference is available at www.idug.org.  And remember, although there is a fee to attend the conference, IDUG membership is free!

“IBM Data Retrieval Technologies : RDBMS, BLU, IBM Netezza and Hadoop” #IDUG Presentation

Posted by Frank Fillmore on November 18, 2014 under BigInsights, BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, Hadoop, IDAA, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), Netezza. Tags: , , , , .

The trip to Prague, CZ last week for the International DB2 Users Group meeting was fabulous.  The city certainly has changed since I’ve been there – all for the better.  It seems more cosmopolitan, the people seem younger, more vibrant than I remember from 2004.  And the dining and music – Kim and I attended jazz and classical music concerts and enjoyed Madame Butterfly at the Prague State Opera – were amazing CutterWelderMaestro.

Here’s my pitch on “IBM Data Retrieval Technologies” if you weren’t able to attend.  IDUG EMEA 2014 E7 – IBM Data Retrieval Technologies – RDBMS BLU IBM Netezza and Hadoop

Next year IDUG EMEA will be in Dublin.  Hope you can join us for a Guinness by the River Liffey.

Countdown to: “IBM Data Retrieval Technologies : RDBMS, BLU, IBM Netezza and Hadoop” #IDUG Europe

Posted by Kim May on November 11, 2014 under Big Data, BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, Hadoop, IBM Champion, IBM Pure Systems, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), Netezza.

Frank is doing his final preparation for today’s presentation at IDUG Europe – if you are lucky enough to be in beautiful Prague at the conference I hope you will stop by!

Session E7 on Tuesday, November 11 from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m.

Abstract:  IBM offers four distinct data retrieval technologies: the traditional RDBMS, which primarily relies on indexes to speed access; the new BLU Acceleration columnar compression database; IBM PureData System for Analytics (IBM Netezza), which deploys racks of Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) processors to parse the data; and IBM InfoSphere BigInsights, which is the IBM distribution of Hadoop. Choices are good to have, but how do you choose which technology to apply to a particular business use case? In this session, you learn how these techniques differ, including their relative strengths and weaknesses, to help you make an informed choice.

 

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!

 

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.