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.