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Big Data Boot Camp

On March 10th, IBM launched a Big Data skills initiative, which provides IT professionals and students no-charge access to 1,200 on-site skills boot camps.  These boot camps are held at: clients, partner, and university locations worldwide.  In addition, these boot camps will be held at the 38 IBM Innovation Centers, as well as on-line at

Big Data is a catch phrase that typically refers to the tools, processes, and procedures allowing an organization to create, manipulate, and manage datasets that have grown so large that they become difficult to work with.  The sizes of these datasets are normally in the Tera/Petabyte + range.

While this may seem as a very altruistic gesture by Big Blue on the surface, one has to look past the word ‘free’ to see the pure marketing genius contained within.

In an increasingly heated battle between software and hardware behemoths (re: HP, Oracle), IBM astutely follows up its very successful nationally televised Watson project with an initiative which, per their press release, allows IT professionals and students to receive hands on training to learn:

  • How to use InfoSphere, DB2, Informix, Optim, and Guardium software to manage and integratedata flowing across and into their organization


  •  “Big Data” management and analysis skills including data federation, integration, and warehousing techniques using InfoSphere BigInsights, Streams, Warehouse and Information Server software


  •  Advanced skills such as data management planning, and data governance, quality and security strategies


  • Where to take advantage of free exams and testing to become certified on IBM Software in support of career advancement


Notice the plethora of IBM product names and certification path…..  

It would be a safe assumption that this free training will be utilized by far more individuals than it would have if it had an associated cost (no matter what the price-point would have been); this fact, in essence, allows this initiative to provide a new and immediate distribution channel for IBM, for a relatively small amount of expense/$$.

What a smart and innovative idea.  Kudos to the IBM Marketing team; I hope they are tracking this campaign as I am sure it will beat their forecasts.

Until next time,