IBM Data Analytics Accelerator Class Announced

Posted by admin on February 10, 2014 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IDAA, Netezza, TFG Blog. Tags: , , .

DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore will deliver a 2-day, hands-on training class to introduce experienced DB2 for z/OS DBA’s to the IBM Data Analytics Accelerator (IDAA).  Starting with an overview of the unique hybrid technology behind the IDAA, and covering topics including installation, security, and operational management, the class will deliver an understanding of how the IDAA can quickly integrate into existing zEnterprise infrastructure and rapidly deliver value.

Dates:  April 8 and 9, 2014                                                                            Location:  Radisson Cross Keys, Baltimore, Maryland 21210
Course Outline:  Click HERE
Register: HERE

The course is *free* to all IBM z customers currently running DB2 for z/OS and considering an IDAA.  Customers traveling to Baltimore to attend the class will be responsible for their travel and lodging expenses.

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

  • 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 query workloads to a high-performance platform.

If you are interested in the IDAA I hope you will join us!

TFG’s VAP is Re-upped!

Posted by Kim May on July 25, 2013 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, Q-Replication, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , .

We live in a TLA (Three Letter Acronym) happy world, and there’s one very special TLA that very few IBM customers – and even IBM’ers – are aware of – VAP.  We have a VAP that we are very proud of and today received notification from IBM that it was recently revalidated.  I thought I should write about it, because VAP really is the best way for customers to buy IBM solutions.  Even if the VAP you need isn’t one we offer, ask your IBM team or Business Partner if they offer a VAP for the solution you are considering.

VAP stands for Value Advantage Plus.  Not exactly clear, huh?  Well, basically what a VAP does is offers IBM Business Partners a discount on IBM software solutions when they bundle services and training.   This does two things:  1) it offers an incentive to Business Partners to include services and training in a solution proposal, and 2) it reduces the cost of software to the partner.

Most technical solutions require technical assistance to implement; anyone who has been given a redbook and told to figure it out knows how difficult a do-it-yourself implementation is, and we have all unfortunately become accustomed to the software license cost being the only cost discussed when purchasing IBM software.  The second benefit, reduced cost to the Business Partner should, if you are working with an honest and ethical partner (think The Fillmore Group!) result in a lower price for you, the customer.

The Fillmore Group’s VAP is for IBM replication solutions, including Q Replication and ICDC.  We are currently working on both Q Replication and ICDC implementation projects and have historically been the exclusive provider of public IBM education for these products.

If you are considering a replication solution purchase and implementation please let us know – we would be happy to help you take advantage of this little known (terrific!) way to make sure your solution project is a success.


IBM Global Skills Initiative Update

Posted by Kim May on June 5, 2013 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Education, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , .

I was pleased and a bit surprised at the feedback from the blog post and email we sent out about the end of the IBM Authorized Training Program.  I have been gathering information on what the new program means – to IBM customers, training partners and the many independent instructors IBM has worked with over the years – and thought I would post an update.

I apologize if I didn’t respond individually to anyone who contacted me with feedback (it was good to hear from so many people, but wow!)  Overall the response was quite reassuring, as I have often wondered why it seems IBM customers are so reluctant to invest in education and skills.  Maybe they aren’t!

Today, I understand IBM intends to select 3-5 global organizations to take over the management, marketing and delivery of public training classes.  The IBM announcement about the new program is on their website

These vendors will manage the selection of instructors, delivery locations (cities and classrooms), and develop their own class schedules.  I’ve spoken to several of the vendors being considered and they seem to have some specific ideas as to how things will work, although quite honestly, there were some significant differences in their expectations.

For those of you who are instructors, I have been told the Global Training Partners will be able to select instructors based on criteria they establish independent of IBM, within their organizations, which essentially negates the IBM instructor authorization process. 

For those of you concerned with the availability of classes in Q3 and Q4 of 2013, it looks like IBM is working with a few providers vying for the Global Training Provider slots (Arrow, Avnet, TUV Rheinland and Learnquest) to build out a skeleton schedule of classes to be delivered in North America in Q3.  Most will be held in NYC and Colorado.  These classes are listed on the IBM training site by location.

As for private classes, I understand IBM intends to continue to coordinate and deliver private classes for customers. 

I hope this helps keep everyone up to date with the changes.  I am anxious and hope The Fillmore Group is able to continue to deliver training to IBM customers.

IBM Authorized Training is Evaporating Before Our Eyes

Posted by Frank Fillmore on April 21, 2013 under Authorized Training Partner, Big Data, BigInsights, DB2 Connect, DB2 Education, IBM Mid Market Customers, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG). Tags: .

The Fillmore Group’s (TFG) blog ordinarily is focused on technical topics, but when a potentially disruptive business issue impacts our information management software clients I need to give folks a heads-up.  For 20 years TFG has partnered with IBM to deliver IBM-branded technical training to our mutual customers.  The nature of the business relationship between TFG and IBM that enabled us to deliver that education has changed several times over the past two decades and is changing again in 2013.  Unfortunately the new relationship has yet to be defined while the existing terms and conditions are set to expire at the end of June – in just over two months.

So why does any of this matter to you?  Well if you plan to attend an IBM Information Management training class in the second half of 2013, check out the schedule of courses.  Spoiler alert: there isn’t one.  In years past IBM has requested our public training schedule for the two dozen or so courses we offer at least four months before a new half will begin (e.g. early September of 2012 for classes that will be delivered beginning January 2013).  Between now and the end of June all existing Authorized Training Partners have been asked to arrange new relationships with aggregators engaged by IBM.  What are the new terms and conditions?  No idea.  But the only thing scarier than hearing “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you” is “You’re gonna love this new IBM program” – especially when the program’s details haven’t been publicly shared.

The tuition for most IBM courses runs between $2,000 and $3,000.  Add an additional $1,500 for travel and lodging expenses.  Most IBM training attendees must travel far from home to attend instructor-led classroom training (unlike Oracle and Microsoft customers who can usually find classes at the local training provider – say, a community college – near their homes and businesses).  Sleep in your own bed and don’t miss you kids’ soccer games.  But that’s a rant for another day.

You probably need to get prior budgetary approval for a nearly $5k expenditure and plan the schedule around project deadlines and vacations.  Right now you can’t plan for any classes beyond the end of June – remember, they don’t exist – and there’s no telling when or *if* you will be able to make those plans.  I say *if* because TFG offers the only public schedule in the US for classes on Information Server and the hot, hot, hot BigData technologies of BigInsights and InfoSphere Streams.  If you expect to deploy these technologies in 2013, you might be reading the manual or engaging scarce (and expensive) consulting resources.

So, if this matters to you what can you do?

  • Post a comment on this blog entry.
  • Send an e-mail to your IBM representative and ask “What the heck is going on?”
  • Drop me a Tweet @ffillmorejr and tell me the impact this is having on you and your team: #IMtraining.

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!

TFG231 DB2 for LUW Database Administration Class

Posted by Kim May on November 18, 2011 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, IBM DB2 Services. Tags: , , , .

DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore will deliver the 3-day DB2 database administration intro class at The Fillmore Group in Baltimore on November 30, December 1 and 2.  TFG instructors built this class to teach DBA’s all the things they should know to support a DB2 database.  Whether you are new to DB2 or have been supporting DB2 without any formal training this class will provide you with a solid understanding of the database and help you prioritize and focus your daily support activities.  The cost of the course is $1500.  For a course outline click TFGE231 Course Outline.  To register email

Informix Experts Come to Baltimore

Posted by Kim May on September 7, 2010 under Informix, Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

Next Tuesday, September 14th, The Fillmore Group is hosting Carlton Doe, Charles Gonsalves and Warren Heising for an Informix celebration day.  The day’s agenda includes sessions on the new pricing options, reasons to upgrade to v11, and how to make Informix service options work for your organization.  Carlton Doe will be on hand to provide a peek into the future with the release of “Panther”.  This is a *free* event with lunch on TFG, so please join us.  Registration is HERE.  Jump for the full agenda.    Read More…

IOD is Here!

Posted by Kim May on October 23, 2009 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, Information on Demand Conference, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , .

I am ready to leave for IOD and had some thoughts on this year’s conference based on what I’ve heard (unconfirmed, ok?)  It’s sad to hear from so many customers that they cannot attend.  IOD and IDUG offer DB2 users the broadest perspective on what’s happening in the world of OUR technology, and it seems the many incentives of attending – great training and lots of discussion about what new features and functionality are being planned, or have already been added (but no one knows about).  One vendor I spoke to estimated IOD attendance will be 80% vendors and IBM’ers, and 20% customers.  Bummer!

I think it’s important that every DB2 user get a sense of the strategy to merge all the acquired products into a comprehensive toolkit.  For those of you who won’t be at the conference, here are some suggestions: Read More…

Tutorial: Optimize existing .NET applications using pureQuery

Posted by Kim May on March 30, 2009 under .NET, Data Studio, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS. Tags: , , .

Hot off the press from Kathy Zeidenstein and the Data Studio team!  Improve the performance and security for your existing .NET applications that access DB2 with pureQuery.

IBM® Data Studio pureQuery Runtime 2.1 includes a new feature, called client optimization, that enables database administrators and developers to take advantage of the performance and security benefits of static SQL execution against IBM DB2® databases without having to modify their existing custom-developed or packaged .NET applications. In this tutorial, learn how to enable this capability for an existing .NET application.

Save Your Budget Bucks!

Posted by Kim May on November 11, 2008 under DB2 Education. Tags: .

I scheduled two classes between now and year end in hopes of alerting customers that 1) there IS still time to get training completed by year end, and 2) if you can’t spare the time away from the office NOW, you can still sock some training budget funds away for next year.  Don’t forget – training is always one of the first budget items that gets cut when the economy slows down.  And it’s definitely sllllooowwwwiiinnnggg down.

Here’s what I’ve sent:

If you have 2008 training budget left to spend please consider joining The Fillmore Group for these two upcoming classes – or contact me about setting up a retainer account to conserve your training budget for use in 2009.  I can be reached at 410-465-6335 or


Accelerated DB2 Database Administration for LINUX/UNIX/Windows

Dates:  November 24, 25, 26

Location:  The Fillmore Group, Towson, Maryland

Cost:  $1600

Summary:  This expert seminar course is intended for experienced DBAs or individuals familiar with relational database concepts.  Students will learn the basics of DB2 database administration including design considerations and performance tuning.  Hands-on, instructor-led.


DB2 for z/OS SQL Optimization and Tuning

Dates:  December 1, 2, 3

Location:  ATPCO, Dulles, Virginia

Cost:  $1600

Summary:  In this class students break down SQL statements to gain an understanding of how the DB2 Optimizer fulfills a request.  Students learn how database design, indexing, and the use of efficient and effective SQL queries impact performance and how to gather accurate statistical information for optimization.  Hands-on, instructor-led.