Futurum Live! From the Show Floor with SHARE’s President, Scott Fagen

Futurum Live! From the Show Floor with SHARE's President, Scott Fagen

On this episode of Futurum Live! From the Show Floor, I am joined by SHARE President, Scott Fagen, during the SHARE conference in New Orleans. We discussed the organization’s efforts to evolve its offerings by introducing individual memberships and an expanded digital platform. Fagen revealed that there is pent-up international demand for SHARE’s content, prompting the creation of a learning management system for year-round access to educational material. He clarified that new features would only be available to individual members, and they’re offering significant registration rate discounts for these members for future conferences.

  • International Reach: SHARE identified a global audience interested in their content, including a substantial number of people from Asia and Australia.
  • Digital Transformation: The organization is developing a learning management system to make educational content and expert interactions accessible year-round.
  • Membership Model: SHARE is shifting towards individual memberships, which will exclusively provide access to the new digital features.
  • Conference Highlights: Fagen mentioned that IBM’s announcement of ZOS 3.1 and the incorporation of AI were key topics at the event, with plans for future conferences in Orlando and Kansas City.

Learn more at share.org.

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Steven Dickens: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast, brought to you live from SHARE, here in New Orleans. I’m joined by Scott Fagen. Welcome to the show.

Scott Fagen: Thanks. Good to see you, Steve.

Steven Dickens: So we’ve got chaos going on around us, so we apologize for the noise and the background noise.

Scott Fagen: They’re in the middle of the load-out.

Steven Dickens: Yeah, they’re literally tearing down the show. So I mean, let’s get straight into it. Explain to the listeners and viewers what you do for SHARE and your role.

Scott Fagen: I am the President of SHARE, and mostly what I do is I get beaten up by customers and vendors. No, it’s really good. We have a great team. We’ve had a great show so far. All the sessions have been great. The receptions have been great. Got great feedback. Even this room, right, it’s a little bit unusual for a SHARE technology exchange. Everybody liked the lower ceiling.

Steven Dickens: I like the lower ceiling. Apart from today when we’ve got loading vans, the noise in here is fantastic.

Scott Fagen: I’m just waiting for the forklift to break through.

Steven Dickens: If they take this away mid-show, it’s going to be nuts, but we’ll get through it.

Scott Fagen: We’ll chase somebody down. They’ll have to pick up the cameras and run with us. But yeah, so this is our second show where we’ve been selling the individual membership.

Steven Dickens: I mean, I’ve heard some reaction from that. That’s been really well-received. Tell me more.

Scott Fagen: So during Covid, what we discovered was that there’s a real pent-up demand for SHARE outside the United States, and we went back and looked at who registered and there was a whole core of people from Asia, a big core of people from Australia, and we spoke to a couple of them and a few of them were like, “It was like a badge of honor to be up at 2:30 in the morning on a session.”

Steven Dickens: Wow.

Scott Fagen: And great feedback from them. So what we’re looking to do is bring SHARE to you more than two times a year. Right? Right Now we’ve got the two, one-week conferences and what we’ve heard from many of our users is that, “While the show is great, sometimes I need the information when I need the information.”

Steven Dickens: You’re doing an upgrade, you’re putting a new subsystem in place, you’re doing something, “Hey, there was a great session I saw on that and it was three months ago. How do I gen up on that upgrade that I’m planning to do? I remember one of the IBM guys did a great session. How do I get involved in that?”

Scott Fagen: Exactly. So one of the customers came to me and said, “We are not your bleeding edge ZOS customer. Right?

Steven Dickens: Yeah.

Scott Fagen: “And we love the presentations that Marna does. So what I really need is Marna 24/7/365.”

Steven Dickens: Marna as a service, there you go.

Scott Fagen: Marna as a service, right?

Steven Dickens: There we go.

Scott Fagen: Because those presentations are great and they’re able to refer them. And rather than looking at a thing a printed out or a PDF from two years ago-

Steven Dickens: It’s the hints and tips and it’s maybe the question that somebody asked.

Scott Fagen: So we’re building out an entire learning management system with all of the shared content, plus additional content that we can’t present here. There’s only a few days and there’s only a few hours in a day. And then there’s the networking. So we are arranging to have way more education than you could ever get at an individual conference. It will go back a few years. As well as-

Steven Dickens: You’re going to go back with content or are you going to start from now?

Scott Fagen: We’re actually going to start with the prior conference. We’ve also uploaded most of the content that we’ve retained from the previous SHARE live, from those sets of content. And the content itself will be hooked into our communities. There’ll be new communities, so you can ask questions about particular presentations and get to the experts in an offline kind of way. We’re also working on ways to get to people online.

Steven Dickens: Okay, so there’s going to be an interactive component to it?

Scott Fagen: Yes, absolutely.

Steven Dickens: Fantastic.

Scott Fagen: Well, that’s key and critical to this, right?

Steven Dickens: Yeah.

Scott Fagen: Watching, it’s like watching a movie, but sometimes you need to stop the movie and ask the star a question. So we’re going to try to make that available too.

Steven Dickens: So obviously SHARE’s got a lot of corporate members and all of that’s going to be available to those guys, I’m assuming?

Scott Fagen: No, that is not going to use, the new features and functions are only going to be available through the individual membership.

Steven Dickens: Okay, that’s good clarification.

Scott Fagen: And while supplies last, we have a few of these left. For anybody who signs up for the,–

Steve Dickens: I’ve got my eyes on that, I’m taking that with me.

Scott Fagen: Well, you got 149 bucks? You could be a member until the end of next year.

Steven Dickens: Fantastic. So what’s been the reaction to that? This week has been lots of signups already?

Scott Fagen: There’s been a bunch of signups this week. That’s why we don’t have very many of these left. I mean, this is worth probably almost as much as, from a retail perspective, as much as the actual membership. But we’ve got a number of those. We’ve got, interestingly enough, we’ve got folks from IBM and from Broadcom as well, our strategic partners signing up. And a lot of… It’s new so we’re thinking about ways to maybe reduce the cost of the membership by providing content. So sort of a trade. So instead of paying-

Steven Dickens: So if you’re involved in the community, then you maybe get a different rate.

Scott Fagen: Right, exactly.

Steven Dickens: Then somebody that’s just purely a consumer.

Scott Fagen: Right, and also for the full conferences, we’re going to give a larger discount on the registration rate to individual members as corporate members.

Steven Dickens: That makes sense. So basically you can start to get that back. As I say, the delta’s not going to be too big. What else has been the highlights of this week?

Scott Fagen: For this week? A number of really good highlights. Obviously IBM just released, or just announced ZOS 3.1. Lots of great sessions and topicality about that. We had a really interesting AI panel at the kickoff.

Steven Dickens: I saw Elle Peter here, fantastic for her to be sort of highlighting what’s going on. I think some of the stuff we’re seeing on the Telem Processor and the ability, I mean, I think that’s going to be really interesting to watch that pan out.

Scott Fagen: Right? Yeah, certainly a few years ago with the Z 15 and now the Z 16, a lot of people are asking, “So what are we going to do with this?” And they’re finally beginning to bring out the software that takes advantage of it and makes it easier for people to use. So I’m not having to sort of build it from scratch. The foundational stuff, a lot of the open source has been moved over to the products and as partners in the ecosystem, Broadcom has done a lot to bring AI into their products as well. So we need a little AI in here.

Steven Dickens: Maybe the sound guy’s going to be able to find these background noises and engineer them out in the post edit, we can hope.

Scott Fagen: No, I’m just worried that something’s going to fall on my head while we’re talking here. There’s a lot, we’re not working, but these guys are.

Steven Dickens: There’s some serious guys working in the background. So as we literally wrap up and we wrap up our time here at SHARE, what were the key takeaways? Obviously we talked about the individual membership. What other couple of points would you hear?

Scott Fagen: The key takeaways? Well, we are scheduled for two more conferences next year in Orlando and Kansas City.

Steven Dickens: Fantastic.

Scott Fagen: So Orlando’s been a frequent stop for SHARE, Kansas City’s a little new and different. We are looking to expand some of the horizons on where we go and make-

Steven Dickens: Can’t be hotter and more humid than New Orleans.

Scott Fagen: No, certainly not, no. Kansas City’s a little bit more temperate than New Orleans in the summertime. And we would like people to come. We would certainly like to have more vendors show up and show their wares. I think that this is a pretty vibrant community. IBM is here for us, Broadcom’s here for us, we have I think 45. There were 45 folks in here. We-

Steven Dickens: We knew where that booth is, so we’ll see you next time for sure.

Scott Fagen: Awesome. So thank you very much. This was good.

Steven Dickens: Perfect. Scott, always a pleasure.

Scott Fagen: Oh, thank you Steve.

Steven Dickens: You’ve been watching the Futurum Tech webcast. Please click subscribe and we’ll see you next time. Thank you very much for watching.

Author Information

Steven is Vice President and Practice Leader at The Futurum Group, responsible for the Hybrid Cloud, Infrastructure and Operations Practice. Operating at the crossroads of technology and disruption, Steven engages with the world’s largest technology brands exploring new operating models and how they drive innovation and competitive edge for the enterprise.

With experience in Open Source, Hybrid Cloud, Mission Critical Infrastructure, Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, and FinTech innovation, Steven makes the connections between the C-Suite executives, end users, and tech practitioners that are required for companies to drive maximum advantage from their technology deployments.

Steven is an alumnus of industry titans such as HPE and IBM and has led multi-hundred-million-dollar global sales teams Steven was a founding board member, former Chairperson, and now Board Advisor for the Open Mainframe Project, a Linux Foundation Project promoting Open Source on the mainframe.

As a Birmingham, UK native, his speaking engagements take him around the world each year enabling him to share his insights on the role of technology and how it can transform our lives going forward.


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