Databases

IDUG at the Crossroads

IDUG is evolving to meet today's DB2 user community needs

The International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), like many other organizations, finds itself at a crossroads. Although DB2 Tech Conference attendance dropped after the financial meltdown in late 2008, registration rates have been recovering 10 to 15 percent each year for the past three years—but it is clear that things have changed. IDUG is adapting to these changes to continue to serve the IBM® DB2® community.

Free online educational content is another significant factor that has contributed to declining event attendance. This is especially true with maturing technologies like DB2. Still, the most compelling reason for attending live events is not the technical content alone, but the invaluable face-to-face networking opportunities. There have been countless situations where I have reached out to the IDUG community—my professional family—for technical support. This interaction is priceless!

Since the inception of DB2, there have been significant advancements in database technology, and new DB2-relevant technologies have emerged. IDUG has led the DB2 user community since 1988 and has grown and matured hand-in-hand with DB2. As developing technologies become relevant to DB2 and the DB2 community, they will also be relevant to IDUG.

For many of us who have attended IDUG DB2 Tech Conferences for a while, 2013 is going to be nostalgic—and for those who have not attended IDUG in a while, this is a good year to do so. It will be a great opportunity to reminisce about the good old days as IDUG celebrates its 25th anniversary, alongside DB2’s 30th birthday. Our three major conferences—the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference in Orlando, the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference in Barcelona, and the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference in Melbourne—are all gearing up to celebrate the past, with an eye to the future.

For those of you not able to attend an IDUG Tech Conference this year, don’t feel left out! We will be celebrating IDUG’s 25th anniversary across all our channels.

So what will be IDUG’s ongoing focus? We will continue to enhance the event experience with emphasis on user experience, customer value, and networking opportunities. The IDUG DB2 Tech Conferences have been the cornerstones of IDUG and will remain so for years to come. Moving forward, there will be a greater emphasis on delivering online technical content and education to the DB2 community at no cost. This past year saw the introduction of the new IDUG DB2 Tech Channel, which delivers the latest in DB2 content. This new channel has been a huge success.

Based on this success, IDUG will increase its efforts to deliver relevant and timely DB2 content via both existing and new delivery channels—and we plan to offer this content more frequently than in the past. At the same time, IDUG will continue to focus on what it does best: looking at DB2 from a user’s point of view.

In addition, IDUG will continue to be a thought leader in its field. Thought leadership has many definitions, but this is my favorite: thought leadership involves establishing a relationship with and delivering something of value to your membership that aligns with your organization’s values. This definition captures the spirit of IDUG.

One great example of IDUG’s thought leadership came up last fall, when IBM announced the DB2 11 for z/OS® Early Support Program. I wanted to understand how DB2 11 for z/OS would benefit the DB2 community, so I reached out to Julian Stuhler, an industry-recognized DB2 expert and an IDUG thought leader. This is what Julian had to say:

“IBM has a tough act to follow with the new release of DB2 for z/OS. DB2 10 reversed the usual trend and delivered significant potential CPU savings for most customers, many of them available out of the box. A series of scalability and new function enhancements rounded off an impressive package that made upgrading to DB2 10 much easier to justify than usual. So, expectations are high for DB2 11. Can it deliver? While the full list of new features hasn’t yet been finalized [the beta starts March 2013], the initial indications are encouraging.”

These comments are just the beginning; Julian will share more of his thoughts on DB2 11 in next month’s article. In addition, IDUG is collaborating with IBM to deliver an in-depth technical white paper on DB2 11 for z/OS from a user experience perspective.

Stay connected to IDUG at IDUG.org for the latest exciting news on all things DB2!

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Joe Borges

Joe has been an IDUG volunteer since 2002. His IDUG responsibilities have included Presentations Team Lead, Co-Chair for IDUG North America on two occasions and the IDUG 2007 - North America Conference Chair. In addition, Joe has presented technical sessions at multiple IDUG conferences, most recently at IDUG Europe 2002, as well as IDUG North America 2003 and 2006. Professionally, Joe is currently a Senior Technical Specialist with BMO Financial Group, one of Canada's top financial companies. Joe has been employed at BMO Financial Group for the last 25 years, the past 22 of which he has worked with DB2 in various capacities. In 1999 Joe architected and implemented BMO's DB2 Data Sharing processing strategy. He is currently BMO's DB2 Strategist/Planner and Performance Specialist.