The Fillmore Group – Another Migration Success!

Posted by Kim May on June 12, 2017 under DB2 Education, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, TFG Blog.

I am pleased to report a team of four consultants from The Fillmore Group, a team with over 100 years of combined DB2 experience, recently completed a successful migration of the courts system database at Lake County, Illinois.

The migration was spurred by an all-too-familiar challenge:  retirement announcements by three long-time, key technical personnel and a recognized need to modernize their database to enable potential use of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) application software.

The entire project, including new DB2 for z/Linux (LUW) DBA training, re-integration of several archived databases and migration of the customer’s extensive library of QMF reports, was estimated at 18 months and completed in 9.  Under Frank Fillmore’s direction, the team utilized resources as needed:  part-time and full-time, remote and at the customer site.  The production cutover Memorial Day weekend went smoothly.

Lake County’s court system database is now running DB2 V11.1 on an Integrated Facility for z/Linux (IFL) on their IBM z Systems BC12.  Their DB2 software license costs were under $10K.  Most importantly, they are now prepared to begin evaluating application modernization options.

Congratulations to Suresh, Roger, Jim and Frank.

If your team is looking for migration support, please contact me.  These DB2 experts like to keep busy!

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.

Webinar: DB2 Server for VSE&VM: Modernization Roadmap

Posted by Kim May on November 10, 2016 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Stars, Frank Fillmore, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, TFG Blog.

If you are one of the remaining DB2 Server for VSE&VM customers you are invited to join us for a free webinar Thursday, December 1st.

DB2 Server for VSE&VM:  Modernization Options

Date and Time: Thursday, December 1, 2017, 11:00am – 12:00pm EST

Register HERE

Abstract
As an organization running DB2 Server for VSE&VM you probably knew it was time to modernize when – five years ago? Maybe ten? But it ran fine and the applications do what you need them to do, so it wasn’t a priority.

Unfortunately, nowadays skilled resources are getting harder to find and the technology is out of date. It’s not going to get easier to change.

It’s time to get started on the path to a modern database. Join us for a free webinar where DB2 Gold Consultant Frank C. Fillmore, Jr., will explain how organizations running legacy VM and VSE applications can protect their investment in custom business applications, while expanding their database technical capabilities with DB2 for z/Linux.

Takeaways:

  • Technical advantages of DB2 for z/Linux
  • Distributed Relational Database Architecture (DRDA) access to DB2 for z/Linux from VSE and VM applications:
    • CICS
    • z/VSE batch
    • z/VM
  • Simplify mid-tier applications currently using DB2 Connect
  • Exploiting Hipersockets
  • VSE VSAM Redirector eBusiness Connector
  • Software cost savings (amazing!!)
  • Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL)

About the Presenter

DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore has been working with IBM z Systems customers throughout his 30 year career in Information Technology. Frank manages a team of consultants at The Fillmore Group who deliver expert DB2 technical services, staff augmentation, and IBM authorized education.  Frank is also an IBM Champion.

#IBMWoW “Help!! My Manager Said We’re Getting Off the Mainframe!” Monday, 10/24, 5-6pm

Posted by Kim May on October 18, 2016 under DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA, TFG Blog. Tags: , .

The IBM System z channels team has just invited The Fillmore Group to present another session at next week’s World of Watson Conference.

The session, titled, “Help!!  My Manager Said We’re Getting Off the Mainframe“, will begin at 5pm in a hospitality suite in the Mandalay Bay.  Following the presentation we invite attendees to stay and network at a champagne reception from 6pm – 8pm.  If the topic strikes a chord, please plan to join us.  Registration is required; register HERE.  The session abstract and details are below.

Abstract:

Technology is all about innovation and everyone knows the mainframe is as old as dirt. Therefore, according to many CIO’s, now’s the time to move to something new, like maybe open source, in the cloud with some of those cute animals.

How can loyal System z users respond to this short-sighted “management by airline magazine” approach? Join us to learn tactics to win the battle of the best platform to trust with your organization’s critical data and applications. We will prepare you to respond to the “modernization” message with a clear and logical action plan that promotes organizational efficiency, cost savings – and sanity (the mainframe!!)

Attendees are invited to join us after the presentation from 6pm – 8pm for happy hour lite fare and champagne.

The 3 critical takeaways:

  1. Locate, gather and excite your IBM z team.
  2. Be smart, be bold. Understand the enemy – where management teams are hearing the mainframe is obsolete message and the specific issues to address.
  3. Gather collateral to *wow* your colleagues. Learn where to get industry white papers, how to complete a System z cost analysis and schedule activities to address management’s concerns.

Facilitators:

Frank Fillmore: DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore has been working with System z customers throughout his 30 year career in IT. Most recently Frank has been working with IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) customers and working with customers to leverage the value of the mainframe. Frank is also an IBM Champion.

Kim May: Kim May is the Vice President Business Development at The Fillmore Group, an IBM Business Partner specializing in IBM data management software and services. Kim is an IBM Champion and serves on the board of the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group.

Steve Mills, #IBM EVP Retires

Posted by Frank Fillmore on January 8, 2016 under BigInsights, BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Smart Analytics System, IDAA, Informix, InfoSphere, InfoSphere Streams, pureScale. Tags: .

I only spoke with Steve Mills a couple of times and attended presentations he delivered at conferences a few others, but he has had an enormous impact on my career.  Steve was the executive sponsor of the DB2 Gold Consultants program, of which I have been a member since 1998.  Steve recognized that specialized, deep technical skills were imperative to enabling the adoption and successful deployment of IBM’s world-class, function-rich – but let’s face it: enormously complex – information technologies.  Through the DB2 Gold Consultants program, Steve cultivated a cadre that were not only among the best DB2 practitioners, but foremost in the world in relational database technology in general.  Folks like Richard Yevich, Bonnie Baker, Frank Ingrassia, Terry Purcell, Jan Henderyckx, and Gerry Hodge.  I am humbled to be numbered among them.

For years IBM would sponsor a week-long DB2 Gold Consultants conference, usually at Silicon Valley or Toronto Lab.  Dozens of presenters including IBM Fellows like Pat Selinger, Don Haderle, Don Chamberlin, Hamid Pirahesh, and Curt Cotner would tell us about broad industry trends and specifics regarding features and functions in vNext, vNext+, and vNext++.  It was an amazing feast of insight which enabled me to better serve my clients.  None of that would have happened without Steve’s leadership.

An even more critical and direct aspect of Steve’s support was his sponsorship of contracting vehicles for DB2 Gold Consultants which enabled us to engage directly with IBM without having to add additional layers of third-part procurement.  He understood the practical problem of small businesses and sole practitioners trying to navigate a large, cumbersome bureaucracy.  One time I explained to Steve that even with the contracting vehicle in place, IBM buyers occasionally refused to use it.  His response was “Sometimes the inmates are running the asylum”.  I didn’t hear anything for a couple of weeks and then I received a call from a senior IBM procurement officer who introduced himself by saying: “Hi, I’m one of the ‘inmates'”.  Of course, the problem was resolved.

Steve Mills, the quintessential old-school “wild duck” IBMer, will be missed.

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!

 

Services – Available Help for the “tions”

Posted by Kim May on May 30, 2014 under Authorized Training Partner, Big Data, Data Studio, DB2 Connect, DB2 Education, DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Federation, Frank Fillmore, Hadoop, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Pure Systems, IDAA, InfoSphere, InfoSphere Streams, MQT's, Netezza, Optim, Oracle, pureScale, Q-Replication, SQL Tuning, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

I was on a call this morning with an IBM technical team to discuss our progress filling the seats in one of our upcoming free IDAA classes.  Not surprising, given the number of people on the call (and who they were!) we went a bit off topic and ended up chatting about services and what appears to be – to IBM customers and sellers at least – a shortage of skilled consultants available to help with the “tions” – replication, implementations, migrations and federation.

The Fillmore Group has skilled consultants available to support these efforts, at rates that are typically about half of those being charged by “the competition”.

If your team has a project pending, or one in process, where a skilled consultant, at a reasonable hourly rate, can get things back on track, please contact me.  We are ready to work!  A list of our IBM Information Management capabilities is attached here.

 

DB2 101 Luncheon at Cinghiale April 11th

Posted by Kim May on February 28, 2013 under Big Data, DB2 Education, DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Mid Market Customers, IBM Pure Systems, InfoSphere, Netezza, Optim, Oracle. Tags: , , , , , .

As volumes of data explode and organizations look for unique ways to leverage the quantities of data – often in real-time – it’s easy to become confused.  We can help – join us for lunch at Cinghiale for an overview of the data management products in the IBM portfolio and gain an understanding of today’s top solutions.

Frank Fillmore will deliver an overview of hot topics in IBM data management:  Big Data, Information Governance, and appliances, and explain how new solutions are changing database and warehousing technologies.  Gain an understanding of how IBM’s acquisitions and integrated solutions have them positioned as today’s thought leader in data management.

DB2101 at Cinghiale (the “Boar”), 822 Lancaster Street, Baltimore, MD, 21202
April 11, 2013, 11am – 1pm

To register, click here.  

Satisfy your appetite and your curiosity with a tasty Italian lunch at local favorites Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf’s Cinghiale. Whether you already use IBM data products or are interested in learning what IBM has to offer, the presentation will provide a dose of nutritious food for thought.

I will send you a confirmation with directions to the award winning Cinghiale.  Valet parking will be provided.

First Half 2013 Classes Scheduled

Posted by Kim May on December 19, 2012 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Connect, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, InfoSphere, Q-Replication, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , .

The Fillmore Group has been delivering IBM Authorized Training classes in our Towson, Maryland classroom for the past several years and believe we offer some of the best DB2 training around – in a comfortable facility at an affordable travel location.  Our first half of 2013 schedule has recently been posted on the IBM website and a complete list of classes is available here.

In addition to the public, open enrollment classes we host on IBM’s behalf, we deliver an extended group of IBM classes directly to organizations as private classes.  The complete list of private classes available is attached here

If you or anyone on your team is looking to upgrade your DB2 skills in 2013 please let me know how I can assist.   Email me directly and I will help!

IBM Information Management Software Portfolio Overview

Posted by Frank Fillmore on April 5, 2012 under DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, IBM Smart Analytics System, Informix, InfoSphere, Netezza, Optim, Q-Replication. Tags: , , , .

The recording of April 5, 2012 webinar “IBM 2012 Information Management Product Strategy and Portfolio Overview” is located here.

The presentation materials: DB2 101 – IBM Information Management Software Portfolio Overview