Articles & Content

Fillmore Group

The Fillmore Group was founded by IBM DB2 Gold Consultant Frank C. Fillmore, Jr.

Note: The content of this blog is the opinion and thoughts of the blogger and does not necessarily represent the opinions of IDUG.

 

 
Thank you Governor Hogan!When I started working for The Fillmore Group over ten years ago, the world of DB2 was far different.  The State of Maryland had probably over a dozen IBM mainframes running state government agencies.  We occasionally delivered training and support, but often struggled with the procurement processes, as we weren't an approved vendor. As I learned, the master vendor list for IT vendors to the State of Maryland adds new vendors only once every 8 to 10 years, as the qualification process (we are talking government here!) is onerous and terribly time consuming for all involved.  So I waited and finally this past year it was time again for open enrollment.  The qualification process WAS onerous and time consuming and required the assistance of Maryland Governor Hogan's office to make the insurance requirements attainable for small businesses like The Fillmore Group. Many thanks Governor Hogan!  Today The Fillmore Group received the fully executed contract to deliver IT services to the State of Maryland.   There aren't as many mainframes as there were ten years ago and efforts have been underway to consolidate their workloads, but we can help.  I think a private cloud running System z with a couple shared IDAA's would be cost effective, efficient, and modern.  Can't wait to get started!
Kim May Takes the Reins at Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group @IDUGDB2 @IBMzAnalyticsMy colleague, Kim May -- Vice President of Business Development at The Fillmore Group, has been elected Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group.  Kim has served on the board of BWDB2UG since 2005 in many capacities such as programming and membership.  BWDB2UG continues to provide strong technical leadership for DB2 practitioners in the US Mid-Atlantic region.  Kim takes over from long-time board Chair Steve Rosenberger. Kim is also an IBM Champion and is very active in the DB2 Community.  As an example, she presented at the IBM World of Watson conference in Las Vegas in 2016.  Kim recently returned from the zAnalytics Bootcamp held annually at IBM Silicon Valley Lab. Kim's business focus in 2017 is the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) and DB2 running on Linux on System z.  Please join me and the BWDB2UG board in supporting Kim in her new role.
It was 30 years ago today… The Fillmore Group “Founder’s Day” @ffillmorejr @KimMayTFG #IBMAnalytics #IBMzOn 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 clientsabout 60 consultants have helped train these customers and implement their IBM Analytics softwareAs 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.
IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) *Free* Hands-On Training Class DB2 Gold Consultant and IBM Champion Frank C. Fillmore, Jr. will deliver a *free*, hands-on IDAA training class in Baltimore on Monday and Tuesday, February 27th and 28th.  IBM System z customers considering a 2017 IDAA purchase are invited to attend. Frank has delivered similar classes in the past and looks forward to delivering this updated class featuring the recently announced IDAA V6.1.  This class will combine material explaining why you should have an IDAA and how to use it (query acceleration, High Performance Storage Saver, loading non-DB2 data using the Rocket Loader tool), along with new material introducing new ways to extend your System z’s processing capabilities to the cloud and into the new world of HTAP – Hybrid Transaction Analytic Processing -- with the latest IDAA release. Class is free, however attendees are responsible for their travel and lodging expenses.  IBM reps are invited to join us along with their customers.  The Fillmore Group will provide a continental breakfast and lunch each day, and dinner Monday evening for attendees interested in joining us.  Registration is required -- please follow the link below to register. Dates (2 days):    Monday and Tuesday, February 27th and 28th, 2017 Class Times:        9:00am – 4:00pm ( breakfast served at 8:30am) Cost:                    Class is free; attendees are responsible for their T&L Instructor:            Frank Fillmore Location:              The Radisson Cross Keys, 5100 Falls Rd, Baltimore, MD 21210 REGISTER HERE Topics: • New in IDAA v6.1 – the architecture, cloud option, R functions support and dashDB • Assessment tools to support acquisition:  Workload Assessment, Client Value Engagement, PoC • Positioning IDAA within your organization with the most valuable use case Lab 1: Basic IDAA Activities • Data Studio / IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator Studio GUI • Table acceleration • Query processing and analysis Enhancing Value to the IDAA with the IBM Tools Ecosystem • Assessment: What is the workload that would benefit from being accelerated? • Optimization: How do I monitor and optimize a workload to take advantage of the Accelerator? • Administration: Can I manage the Accelerator more effectively? Lab 2: Advanced IDAA Exploitation • Incremental Update: keeping accelerated data in sync with DB2 for z/OS OLTP • High Performance Storage Saver (HPSS): store archival data only on IDAA • Accelerating Static SQL workloads
The Fillmore Group IBM Analytics Class Schedule – First Half, 2017Although the Global Skills Initiative hasn't delivered on its promise IBM continues to schedule and deliver classes with the Global Training Partners.  It's just more difficult for customers to find classes and register...and then wait for the all-too-frequent "sorry, cancelled" call. But, as we have been delivering IBM Authorized DB2 and data management tools classes for this long, we're hanging in.  Why not?  Our classroom sits waiting for students and our consultants who train always look forward to delivering classes. Our scheduled classes are in the document attached below.  These are the classes we are scheduled to deliver.  Please remember we have access to other courses and curriculum, and can deliver many more courses (along with our regularly scheduled classes) in private sessions at your location, and/or via distance learning. Please call (443-956-0288) or email me (kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com) if I can help! 1h-2017-the-fillmore-group-classes
“Help!! My Manager Said We’re Moving Off the Mainframe!” Materials #zIBM #zAnalyticsOne of our best attended webinars ever!  Lots of great questions. The presentation materials are found here: help-my-manager-said-were-moving-off-the-mainframe-slides-11-14-16-final The recording can be found here.
“Help!! My Manager Said We’re Moving Off the Mainframe!” Webinar ThursdayMany thanks to the IBM z Systems team -- Annette Zawacki and Jim Reed in particular -- for supporting and promoting Thursday's webinar.  We seem to have struck a nerve as the registrations reads like a "who's who" list of System z customers. We understand many organizations are facing pressure from management teams who believe "newer" solutions are better, and dealing with operational issues resulting from the aging workforce and accumulated "technology debt" brought on by years of reliable data processing on the mainframe.  Who ever thought THAT would be a problem?? We are polishing the presentation and looking forward to assisting System z customers and colleagues with a proactive response plan.  I hope you will join us -- the session will be delivered from 11am-12:00pm EDT, Thursday, November 17th.  Registration is required; register HERE. 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!!) The 3 critical takeaways: Locate, gather and excite your IBM z team.Be smart, be bold. Understand the enemy -- where management teams are hearing the mainframe is obsolete message and the specific issues to address.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.
Webinar: DB2 Server for VSE&VM: Modernization RoadmapIf 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/LinuxDistributed Relational Database Architecture (DRDA) access to DB2 for z/Linux from VSE and VM applications:CICSz/VSE batchz/VMSimplify mid-tier applications currently using DB2 ConnectExploiting HipersocketsVSE VSAM Redirector eBusiness ConnectorSoftware 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.
Webinar: “Help!! My Manager Said We’re Moving Off the Mainframe!”Please join DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore for a strategy-filled webinar Thursday, November 17th, from 11:00am-12:00pm EST, where he will reprise his World of Watson session.  We were fortunate to have IBM sales superstars Lori Bucciarelli and Fiona Gleeson join us for the conference session, and with the assistance of IBM's Jim Reed look forward to continuing to spread the word -- the mainframe is most sincerely NOT dead!  Join us and learn about the options in-place and ready to help you respond. Date:  Thursday, November 17, 2016 Time:  11:00am -- 12:00pm EST Registration is required.  Register HERE. 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!!) 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.
#IBMWoW Yes There ARE Sessions Thursday #1135 9amThe actual end of the conference differs for many attendees due to travel and work obligations.  Many people are heading home today or have already left.  The conference already has that day-after-Christmas feel...but there's still more good stuff! Frank has a presentation scheduled for tomorrow, one which I believe is critical if we are to help Data Scientists effectively analyze mainframe data.  Frank's presentation, #1135, will run at 9:00am in Mandalay Bay Jasmine A, and is titled, "IBM z Systems (Mainframes!) for Architects and Data Scientists". I think this session is incredibly important to anyone in a System z shop.  If you aren't heading to the airport please try to join us.  I really believe if you are a z/DBA this material could make YOU the most sought-after person in your shop.  Hope to see you there!