Mainframe Blog

IDUG EMEA, Malta – A highly successful EMEA conference

Phil Grainger
2 minute read
Phil Grainger

Phew – another hectic week is over with, and we say “Goodbye” to Malta. And whoever said having a conference in Malta in November was a terrible gamble with the weather had NO CLUE how nice Malta can be at the end of the year. We were blessed with clear days and pleasant nights – what else could you ask for?

I find myself looking back on all the things that have happened over the past week. As is usual, the organization of the conference belied the fact that it is completely volunteer-run. The fact that the organization can be relied upon to deliver such a professional conference leads to the loyal following that they have. As usual, the agenda was packed full of relevant Db2 topics, delivered by a host of exceptional speakers (including some amazing first timers). It’s also always fascinating to meet our customers on the Expo floor and the evening events definitely add a special note to “after hours at IDUG”.

Over the week, there were many highlights, but I’ll touch on a few of my personal favorites.

The many visitors to the BMC booth talked with us about our Db2 solutions, of course. The discussions were not only what the solutions COULD do but also what they were ACTUALLY doing for our customers’ businesses and how they were delivering value. It really is fascinating to hear how our tools are being used in the real world (and sometimes they’re being used in ways that surprise us). We also spent time demonstrating tools, such as NGT Utility Manager and Workbench for DB2. It’s gratifying that people did not come solely for the free giveaways (although the Db2 12 reference guides and posters are perennially popular – so much so, we fortunately had QR codes on hand so that folks could go directly to our website and order their own).

Some customers continue to be surprised at the innovations delivered by BMC – whether it’s NGT changing the way people think about reorgs forever, or our vision for the self-managing mainframe. It just goes to show that “not everything worth inventing has been invented yet.”

IDUG closed with a thought-provoking keynote from Greg Lotko of CA (“a Broadcom company”) where Greg talked about the criticality of sharing the knowledge across our Db2 world – something that IDUG continues to deliver. There is nothing better than learning from one’s peers and recognized industry experts.

All in all, a fantastic time was had by everyone and we’re already looking forward to IDUG EMEA 2019 in Rotterdam.

If you missed an opportunity to speak to us at our booth, please feel free to reach out or read up on the latest and greatest from BMC at If any of the BMC sessions piqued your interest, but you didn’t have time to follow up with us during the conference, don’t hesitate to drop me a note. Likewise, if you didn’t get chance to have that burning question answered at the booth, please reach out directly. Send any and all messages to – I’ll make sure they get to the right person.

As we all get back to our day jobs, remember to stay in touch with this vibrant group of Db2 practitioners and continue discussions through the various virtual communities. At BMC, we’ll be busy designing topics and submitting sessions for IDUG NA in Charlotte, NC (the first week of June, 2019). Hope to see you all again soon at another fabulous IDUG event. Adieu Malta.

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About the author

Phil Grainger

Phil Grainger

Phil has 30 years experience of Db2, starting work long ago in 1987 with Db2 Version 1.2. Since then he has worked with all versions, including Db2 12.

From his beginnings as a Db2 DBA for one of the largest users of Db2 at that time in the UK, through his time at PLATINUM technology, his almost 10 years as Senior Principal Product Manager at CA and through to his current position with BMC Software, Phil has always been a keen supporter of user groups and is a regular speaker at both vendor sponsored and independent events. His work with IDUG includes being a past member of the European IDUG Planning Committee, an inductee into the IDUG Volunteer Hall of Fame and now Board Liaison for BMC Software

Phil has been honoured by IBM as an Analytics Champion from 2009 to 2017

Phil is now Lead Product Manager at BMC Software working in support of their Db2 tools portfolio

In addition, Phil is a regular contributor to the IDUG sponsored
Db2-L discussion list