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.”

 

From Florence to IDUG – Thinking Good Thoughts for Charlotte

Posted by Kim May on September 18, 2018 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Stars, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

With Hurricane Florence finally moving north and giving North Carolina a break from the wind and rain, our thoughts are with friends, family and colleagues who live and work in the area.  If you were impacted by the storm I hope the damage was minimal and limited to easily replaceable “stuff”.

I’ve prepared and watched some of these horrible weather events (yes, I foolishly drove TO the beach for Superstorm Sandy) and have seen their damage, but also the amazing post-storm rebound, as communities come together to repair, and in many cases, rebuild newer, stronger buildings and infrastructure.

I am looking forward to seeing post-Florence Charlotte this Spring during the IDUG North America Tech Conference, from June 2 – 6, 2019.  This year’s conference 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

Registration is open and the early bird discount is available.  Please keep the folks in Charlotte (and the surrounding area) impacted by the storm in your thoughts.

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…  🙂

Free Hands-On IDAA V7.1 Training June 19th and 20th

Posted by Kim May on April 23, 2018 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IBM Champion, IDAA, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

I am pre-announcing (if that’s a word) our upcoming free, hands-on IDAA training class scheduled for June 19th and 20th at the Radisson Cross Keys in Baltimore.  This class is being updated to support the IDAA V7.1 (“Sailfish”) and will contain content covering the new architecture, sizing considerations for the new generation of IDAA appliances, and recommendations for organization upgrading from the Mako model IDAA’s 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.  Frank and I will be at IDUG next week promoting the class – if you have any questions and would like to discuss the class content, your IDAA challenges, or anything else IDAA-ish – let us know if you will be there and we will try to meet.

The registration link is here.  My email is kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com – email me with any questions.

IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Training

Dates (2 days):  Tuesday and Wednesday, June 19 and 20, 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

Win a *FREE* Pass to IDUG North America!

Posted by Kim May on April 4, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

All Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group Members are invited to participate in a drawing for a *free* IDUG pass – a $2195 value, thanks to IBM and the World of Db2.

The annual International Db2 Users Group (IDUG) North America conference is scheduled for April 29th – May 3rd in Philadelphia, PA.

To participate in the raffle you must register as a member of the World of Db2  and join the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group on the World of Db2.

You must also agree to be part of an IBM promotion announcing free pass winners.  This will include uploading a photo of yourself on the World of Db2.

To join our group on the World of Db2 click on “All Groups” and select the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group.  Once you’ve completed the process to join us please send an email to the board letting us know you’ve joined:  board@bwdb2ug.org.

The winner will be selected at our board meeting on April 12th.

Please note:  Government and government-owned entity employees are ineligible, as are IBM Business Partners and IBM employees.

I hope to see you on the World of Db2 and at IDUG in Philadelphia!

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!!

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.