IDAA Education – What Follows the “Presales” Hands-on Workshops?

Posted by Kim May on June 25, 2014 under Authorized Training Partner, Data Studio, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IDAA, TFG Blog. Tags: , , .

Frank, joined by Mike Hood and Saghi Amirsoleymani, is delivering hands-on IDAA training for a group of customers in Columbus today and tomorrow.  Again, amazingly, almost every “student” registered to attend class posted for class, interested in learning about how an IDAA may help support their mainframe workloads.  The photo above is Frank in the classroom this morning in the IBM Advanced Analytics Briefing Center in Columbus.

After delivering three similar IDAA hands-on training classes we have been able to expose and teach over 35 z/technical influencers about the IDAA.  We have also become aware of the need for implementation and post-implementation training and services, as we have learned there are many z/customers who need help getting the IDAA they’ve purchased into production.  Unfortunately there currently aren’t any IBM authorized classes or IDAA classroom training; there seems to be a pre-purchase perception that the IDAA is a “plug and play” device, which it is not.

We hope to be able to help some of the customers we’ve introduced to the IDAA with additional training and services once they purchase the IDAA.  Please check back here for the outline of our new class, “IDAA Implementation and Administration”, and an overview of two new services offerings:  IDAA Implementation Quickstart and IDAA Healthcheck.  Check back here for updates – I am working on the collateral for these offerings.  In the meantime, if you are looking for similar help, please feel free to contact me.

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2013 Recap and DB2 Support Trends to Watch in 2014

Posted by Kim May on January 5, 2014 under DB2 Education, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Training Services Delivery Partner, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog. Tags: , , , .

I spent some time this past week reviewing our 2013 performance, which was terrific, and planning for 2014.  It was a good exercise in looking at what seems to be working for The Fillmore Group, as well as the trends that seem to be changing the way we are engaged and supporting Information Management users.

In terms of trends I am surprised, and quite honestly a bit reassured by, the number of consulting engagements we’ve been authorized to work remotely.  The expense and wear and tear from travel that is frequently associated with working onsite at a client’s location cannot be overestimated.  However, up until about two years ago, we did almost 100% of our billable work at customer locations.  I was shocked at how much this has changed.  I hope this is an indication of more confidence in our consultants, who perform work at a high level regardless of where they sit, but also I understand this also reflects more confidence in the tools and technologies that enable us to work and communicate effectively when we work remotely.  Kudos to all the consultants making their way to the airport tonight, but also many thanks to the customers who trust in our professionalism and communication skills and are allowing many members of our team to sleep in their own beds tonight.

The second trend surprising me is the silence from the DB2 community around the IBM Global Skills Initiative.  By outsourcing training IBM has essentially unraveled the lifeline that keeps technical skills current and enables customers to make use of the wonderful solutions available.  This troubles me – I am not sure if this is an indication of the aging IT workforce (“I learned the basics years ago; nothing has really changed”) or the constriction of education funding available to support skills.  I expected a revolt!  Instead, while I see IDUG flourishing and third party training options increasing (both of which are great for the overall DB2 ecosystem in my opinion), I fear the decline in training will parallel a decline in new product adoption.  I hope, as the Global Training Providers get a better handle on how to deliver IBM education, that offerings and options – and enrollment – will increase.  We view lifelong education as one of the requirements – and pleasures – of life in the world of technology; I hope it isn’t stifled or relegated to slide decks and 30 minute presentations on concepts.

Finally, a trend that I intend to address as best I can in 2014 is Procurement and E-cig Twigg’s popular e-juice guide.  Why, in the world of cost cutting and expecting people to do more with less is the ability to engage with customer organizations becoming so terribly difficult?  We’ve been an IBM Business Partner for decades and have established our organization in many ways.  In the past year we have run into multiple situations where technical managers who are trusted with million dollar budgets are bound by Procurement teams whose job seems to be to make it nearly impossible to engage reasonably priced resources to support business critical projects.  When our consultants are only able to engage as a subcontractor to a subcontractor (this is the case with several of our current customers) and the rate the customer ultimately pays is excessively high, no one wins.  I am not sure how I will overcome this, but I plan to attack it in 2014!

A healthy and prosperous 2014 to everyone in the DB2 community!

 

Cinghiale DB2 101 Thursday

Posted by Kim May on April 9, 2013 under Big Data, BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, Hadoop, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Mid Market Customers, IBM Pure Systems, IDAA, Netezza, pureScale, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , .

Frank is putting the final touches on his DB2 101 presentation for Thursday, incorporating last week’s Big Data announcements from IBM (great stuff; visit the IBM Big Data Hub to learn more) along with his fast-paced presentation on the solutions in the IBM Information Management portfolio.  We are expecting a great turnout but as always, we are happy to make room for more.  If you are in the Baltimore area and interested in joining us, please read my post on the event here, register here and join us.

Q Replication Virtual Users Group August 9th

Posted by Kim May on July 30, 2012 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, Q-Replication, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , .

Join us for the FIRST meeting of the Q Replication Virtual Users Group. 

Date: Thursday, August 9, 2012
Time: 12 pm – 1 pm EDT

Register HERE.

Beyond High Availability – Using Q Replication for Migration Support

What can Q Replication do that goes beyond delivering high availability? How about replicating data to support database migrations, or even platform migrations? Join us for this session showcasing a successful Oracle to DB2 migration as an example. In this session you will learn how a world-wide Top 50 financial institution migrated data from Oracle to DB2 with a minimal application outage using InfoSphere Replication Server’s heterogeneous replication (Q Replication) from Oracle to DB2.

Presenter: Frank Fillmore

DB2 Gold Consultant and IBM Champion Frank C. Fillmore, Jr. is the Founder and President of The Fillmore Group, Inc., specializing in Information Management software sales, consulting, and training. He has been providing IBM Information Management solutions to government, industry, and not-for-profit enterprises as varied as The World Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, Northrop Grumman, USGA, National Institutes of Health, and the FBI for 25 years.

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Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group December Meeting

Posted by Kim May on November 20, 2009 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, InfoSphere, Optim, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , .

I was finally able to confirm all the speakers for the LUW track at the December meeting and – wow! – here’s the lineup summary:  Curt Cotner and Paul Westfall from IBM, and the BWDB2UG board’s own Steve Rosenberger from FEPOC doing a user case study on their archiving implementation.  If you are in the area on Wednesday, December 9th, PLEASE join us – it should be great…the z/OS track includes Rick Weaver from BMC and Roger Miller.  Great presenters and great networking.  Hope to see you!  The full agenda is included after the jump and all the registration and PayPal access is through our (new) website at: www.bwdb2ug.org.

Read More…

DB2 Training – Who Needs It?

Posted by Kim May on October 2, 2008 under Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

One of my responsibilities at TFG is marketing our DB2 training capabilities. Since 1996 TFG has been aligned with IBM to deliver authorized DB2 training. IBM training has gone through a number of programmatic transitions over the past twelve years, moving from a centralized division of the company to a function within each of the brand “pillars”, so DB2 training is now managed and directed by a team within the Information Management brand.

What frustrates me is how little training is being delivered. Who, in the constantly changing technology world, doesn’t need to periodically update their skills? How many DB2 users have lived through a version-to-version upgrade in the two years? Most, I bet. Read More…