The Journey to AI with Db2

Monday, June 3, 8:00 AM

Organizations recognize that data is what fuels digital transformation, and they are looking for new ways to unlock the value of their data and accelerate their journeys to AI. That is why 80% of them view AI as a strategic opportunity. Successful organizations apply a prescriptive approach to climbing the ladder to AI. In this session, Rob Thomas will talk about the importance of Db2 in the ladder to AI and Al Martin will unveil Db2 as the AI database, along with many key announcements.


Rob Thomas, General Manager, IBM Data and AI, IBM

Robert D. Thomas is the general manager of IBM Data and Artificial Intelligence. He directs IBM’s product  investment strategy, sales and marketing, expert labs, and global software product development. With a portfolio of over 1,000 products, IBM has emerged as a leader in data and AI, spanning databases, data integration and governance, business intelligence, planning, data science and AI tools, and AI applications. Major product brands under Rob’s leadership include Watson, Db2, Netezza, Cognos, SPSS, and InfoSphere. Since joining IBM’s software unit, Mr. Thomas has held roles of increasing responsibility including business development, product engineering, sales & marketing, and general management. He has overseen four acquisitions by the firm representing over $2.5 billion in transaction value.
Born in Florida, Mr. Thomas trained in economics at Vanderbilt University, earning his BA in economics. During his MBA at the University of Florida, Mr. Thomas worked in equity research, learning applied economics, finance, and financial analysis.
In 1999, he joined IBM in technology and strategy consulting, first in Atlanta and then in New York. As a founder of IBM’s practice to advise companies moving onto the internet, he executed and advised on strategy and operations at a variety of companies including Motorola, Axa Financial, and Sanmina Corporation.
In 2004, Mr. Thomas joined IBM’s high technology business to build an engineering services organization focused on semiconductor design, embedded software, and systems development. He held roles of increasing responsibility and eventually led the business and manufacturing operations in Asia Pacific, living in Tokyo, Japan.
In 2007, Mr. Thomas joined IBM’s software business, focused on data and analytics. He held a variety of roles, leading IBM’s transition from core databases to delivering broader analytical capabilities and eventually artificial intelligence.
In 2015, John Wiley & Sons published Mr. Thomas’s first book, titled Big Data Revolution: What Farmers, Doctors, and Insurance Agents Can Teach Us About Patterns in Big Data. The Financial Times called the book “interesting as a case study of the philosophical assumptions that underpin the growing obsession with data.”  In December 2016, Mr. Thomas published his second book, The End of Tech Companies, educating business leaders on how to navigate digital disruption in every industry. Today, he writes extensively on his blog
Mr. Thomas serves on the board of Domus (Stamford, CT), which assists underprivileged children in Fairfield County. He lives in New Canaan, CT with his wife and three children.

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Al Martin, VP, Hybrid Platform Development, IBM

Al leads the team that makes data simple and accessible. His solutions and products include databases, warehousing, Watson Machine Learning, appliances, Watson Studio, and more. Connect with Al on Twitter @amartin_v and listen to his popular podcast, Making Data Simple.

Building Next-Gen Applications with IBM Db2 and Zowe

Thursday, June 6, 8:00 AM

The enduring strengths of IBM Z remain centered on security, performance, scalability, availability, and data integrity. To improve on these strengths, new industry initiatives are changing the experience of working with, integrating with and developing applications for the mainframe. Three companies—IBM, Broadcom, and Rocket—have given shape to a shared vision to open up the mainframe in order to narrow the skills gap and enable application developers to use the tools of their choice. Zowe™ is an open-source framework from the Open Mainframe Project which allows developers to respond quickly to customer demands, and to be more efficient, productive, and agile on z/OS, whether extending existing business-critical applications, or developing new cloud-native applications that connect to their Z assets.

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Anjali Arora, SVP, Chief Product Officer, Rocket Software

Anjali Arora joined Rocket in 2017 as the company’s SVP, chief product officer, responsible for driving Rocket’s R&D and product strategy. Prior to joining Rocket, she spent three years at Oracle as global vice president of software engineering. While at Oracle, Anjali managed R&D for the company’s Health Sciences Global Business Unit (HSGBU), with responsibility for a portfolio of 40+ products and 600+ people in locations around the world. She led a transformation of the organization by bringing new talent focused on end user experience, simplifying interactive design, native cloud, and micro-services based architecture, modern open source technology uptake, agile and quality, and performance at all levels.

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John Mertic, Director of Program Management for the Linux Foundation

In leadership roles, John has helped AWSF, ODPi, Open Mainframe Project, and R Consortium accelerate open source innovation and transform industries. John has an open source career spanning two decades, both as a contributor to projects such as SugarCRM and PHP, and in open source leadership roles at SugarCRM, OW2, and the OpenSocial. With an extensive open source background, he is a regular speaker at various Linux Foundation and other industry trade shows each year. John is also an avid writer and has authored two books, The Definitive Guide to SugarCRM: Better Business Applications and Building on SugarCRM. He has also published articles on IBM DeveloperWorks, Apple Developer Connection, and PHP Architect.

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David Stokes, Senior Director, R&D Broadcom

David, as senior director for Broadcom’s Mainframe business unit, leads R&D for the Core Products Portfolio with $1.2B in annual revenue. His team is focused on developing Broadcom’s mission critical mainframe offerings. These include CA databases, systems management, workload automation, storage, and application development products. David is a technology executive with 20 years of experience in enterprise software, building, managing, and leading agile teams. He is an execution-focused executive who leads large-scale transformation efforts through effective collaboration with cross-functional teams. A native of New York, David is currently living in Charlotte, NC with his beautiful wife, three children, and their dog (he's a good boy).

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Per Kroll, Director of IBM Z Management and Ops Analytics Solutions

Per has experience managing product marketing, product management, development, and support teams, as well as merger acquisitions. Per is passionate about helping organizations improve how they develop and manage software, and he leads IBM's effort related to the Zowe™ open source framework, aimed at improving the user experience of all developers, operators, and administrators on IBM Z. Per has authored more than 30 articles and two books, which have sold more than 30,000 copies and been translated into six languages.