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!

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.

The Top Three Reasons DB2 is Best! Webinar, 9/25

Posted by Kim May on September 15, 2014 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Mid Market Customers, Oracle, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , .

Date:  Thursday, September 25, 2014

Time:  12:00pm – 1:00pm EDT

Register:  HERE

Every organization – current DB2 users and others – is under fire to deliver a flexible, reliable database solution to support business requirements.  In sixty minutes you will learn why DB2 10.5 for LUW is the best choice to support critical data management needs.  When someone asks, “Why DB2?” you will have 3 answers!

We will cover:

  1. Functionality: high availability with pureScale, maximum data compression, and query acceleration with DB2 BLU
  2. Success:  learn how current customers are leveraging DB2 to meet their objectives
  3. Pricing:  find the right fit with simplified purchasing options

Whether you are currently using DB2 and looking to better understand its features, or considering a move to DB2, please join us.

The webinar will be presented by IBM DB2 Competitive Sales Specialist Bill Kincaid and IBM Champion Kim May.

About the presenters:

Bill Kincaid is an IBM DB2 Competitive Sales Specialist.  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 and his MBA from the University of Georgia.  He lives in Charlotte and works with IBM customers in the Eastern US.

Kim May is the Vice President of Business Development for The Fillmore Group and an IBM Champion for Information Management.  Kim coordinates The Fillmore Group’s software sales and consulting efforts, including migration support for customers moving workloads to DB2.  Kim’s experience includes several years supporting technical education, and she currently serves on the board of the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group.

 

IDAA Use Cases – Session #IDZ-6691B at Insight

Posted by Kim May on September 9, 2014 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA, Insight 2014, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , .

Frank Fillmore will be delivering a session on IDAA use cases at the IBM Insight Conference in Las Vegas (formerly IOD) on Tuesday, October 28th, from 10am-11am.

The IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) speeds analytic queries that currently run on DB2 for z/OS.

IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator can:

  • Help with operational data store reconsolidation on IBM System z.
  • Reduce extract, transform and load (ETL) costs and latency to make OLTP data available for analysis faster and less expensively.
  • Speed up batch reporting and offload System z processor consumption.
  • Archive original data by using the high performance storage saver (HPSS).
  • Enable analysis of VSAM and Information Management System (IMS) data along with DB2 for z/OS by using the DB2 Analytics Accelerator Loader.

In Frank’s session, attendees will learn about these functions and more, and gain an understanding of possible, interesting, and valuable IDAA use cases.

I hope we will see you there!

IDAA Administration Class September 16th-18th

Posted by Kim May on August 11, 2014 under Authorized Training Partner, Data Studio, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IDAA. Tags: , , .

Based on feedback received from System z customers implementing the IDAA, DB2 Gold Consultant Frank C. Fillmore, Jr., will deliver a new course, IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) Administration, beginning Tuesday, September 16, 2014, in our classroom in Towson, Maryland, just north of Baltimore.  This 3-day, hands-on course will provide an overview of the IDAA along with instruction and examples of best practices for IDAA administration.  This course is intended for System z users supporting the IDAA in production environments and covers query processing, loading data, distribution and clustering within the accelerator, and the IDAA tools ecosystem.  Click HERE for the complete course outline.

The cost of the course is $2100 per student.  Reserve a seat by contacting me, Kim May, to make payment arrangements.  Information on travel to Baltimore is available in our class Welcome Packet.  If you are a baseball fan, let me know if you would like to attend the Baltimore Orioles vs. the Toronto Blue Jays game either Tuesday the 16th or Wednesday the 17th – the O’s are hot!

3 Great Reasons to attend IBM Insight (TCFKAI)

Posted by Kim May on July 29, 2014 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, Frank Fillmore, IDAA, Information on Demand Conference, TFG Blog. Tags: , .

This week seems to be bringing out the marketing forces around InsightThe Conference Formerly Known As IOD – or TCFKAI for short.  I thought I would add to the excitement by compiling my personal list of reasons to attend, along with a reminder that the early bird registration, a $600 discount, ends Thursday, July 31st.

My top 3 reasons to attend Insight:

1.  Frank’s presentation on IDAA use cases.  Shameless plug, I know, but a great topic that seems to get broader with each new prospective customer contributing innovative ideas in our IDAA hands-on workshops and white boarding sessions.  If you are even slightly considering an IDAA acquisition, this session should be great.

2.  Kevin Spacey is the keynote speaker!  The Fillmore Group is based in Baltimore where House of Cards is filmed and one of our close friends, the “other Kevin”, Kevin Johnson, amuses us with lots of Kevin Spacey stories.  I can’t wait to hear Kevin Spacey tackle data as a topic…!

3.  Gwen Stefani and No Doubt as the entertainment.  If this is a Rob Thomas selection I have to give him kudos for actually selecting a band most of the conference attendees have heard of!  That boy band he picked a couple years back is doing OK, but hey, most of us prefer music we actually recognize.   Not to be missed!

See ya in Vegas!

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.

 

Finding System z Talent

Posted by Kim May on May 16, 2014 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, TFG Blog. Tags: , , .

The Fillmore Group has, at least in our opinion, access to some of the best DB2 for z/OS consulting and staff augmentation talent in the world.  Need help?  Email me!

However, as we heard recently from two successful mainframe customers at a class in Baltimore, finding young IT professionals interested in mainframe-centric careers is really tough.  Add to this the challenges in the world of IBM training, and the convergence of the aging z technical teams with the lack of young, skilled talent, and this becomes another factor jeopardizing long-term prospects for the IBM mainframe.

IBM has been trying to address the problem by enabling colleges and universities around the world to use IBM curriculum and remote labs to teach mainframe technology courses.

I spoke recently with IBM’s Don Resnik, who runs the IBM Academic Initiative, and Don re-introduced me to the program and shared some terrific resources.  As it turns out, there are three schools on the East Coast offering a mainframe track:  Radford in Virginia, and Syracuse and Marist in NY.

This week many colleges are holding graduation ceremonies.  If your organization would like to invest in the future of the mainframe, I recommend you spend a few minutes reviewing the information in the Academic Initiative website as well as the website where many students have posted their resumes, and where you can post job openings, www.systemzjobs.com.

As the parent of a college student anxious about his post graduation job prospects, I encourage everyone working with the mainframe to consider hiring a recent grad.  It’s a win-win.

 

Free Hands-on IDAA Classes for Columbus and New York Announced!

Posted by Kim May on May 5, 2014 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IDAA, Netezza, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , .

We were so pleased with the response to the *free* hands-on IDAA class delivered in Baltimore in April that we’ve decided to do two more in June!  Back again, to repeat their successful presentations will be Frank Fillmore and IBM IDAA experts Saghi Amirsoleymani and Mike Hood.

Class is open to any current DB2 for z/OS customer considering an IDAA acquisition, and will provide attendees with the opportunity to test drive an IDAA.

IBM® DB2® Analytics Accelerator for z/OS is a high-performance appliance that integrates IBM Netezza and zEnterprise technologies. The solution delivers extremely fast results for complex and data-intensive DB2 queries on data warehousing, business intelligence and analytic workloads.

IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator for z/OS helps you:

  • Query data at high speeds—to significantly improve response times for unpredictable, complex and long-running query workloads.
  • Extend the capabilities of DB2 for z/OS—to support a cost-effective analytics solution for data warehousing, business intelligence and predictive analytics.
  • Lower operating costs—by reducing System z disk requirements and offloading workloads and archiving infrequently used data using the High Performance Storage Saver (HPSS) technology.

DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore will present these 2-day, hands-on training classes to introduce experienced DB2 for z/OS DBA’s to the IDAA.  Starting with an overview of the unique hybrid technology behind the IDAA, and covering topics including installation, security, and operational management, the classes will deliver an understanding of how the IDAA can quickly integrate into your existing zEnterprise infrastructure and rapidly provide value.  Frank will be joined by IBM’s Saghi Amirsoleymani and Mike Hood for sessions focused on the IDAA tools.

There is no charge for these classes, however attendees are responsible for their own travel and lodging.  Please note that due to the technical nature of the hands-on labs, there is no distance learning/remote option available for these classes.

A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided each day.

Dates and locations scheduled are below.  Click on either session to register.  We hope you will join us!

IDAA Hands On Training NYC June 11 and 12 Terrace Club

IDAA Hands On Training Columbus June 25 and 26

 

 

 

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.