Informing the IBM Community

News from Common Europe


2018 Common Europe Congress Concludes; 2019 Congress 16-19 June in Berlin, Germany announced; Common Europe President Re-elected.

Luxembourg, Europe; 21 June, 2018.  The Common Europe Congress (CEC), a technical association event centered around IBM i technology, concludes its 2018 Congress resulting in participants leaving the event with a high regard of community and enthusiasm.  The CEC event, which has become known for offering high quality technical education and networking opportunities, was held in Warsaw, Poland 17-20 June.

The Congress hosted around 200 participants from 20 different countries, 14 exhibitors, and sponsors from Europe as well as the United States. It offered 6 deep-dive sessions and over 80 other technical sessions. The congress provided a well-balanced mix of traditional subject matter like databases, application development, system management, security, and first-hand customer cases. High availability was on the minds of many participants and this content received its due share. There were also forward-looking subjects like cloud computing presented by vendors like IBM and MSPs, seamless integration, and offerings on the latest open source and cognitive computing technologies such as AI, visual recognition and other IBM Watson initiatives. GDPR compliance and best practices in cybersecurity was also eagerly sought out by participants and they were not disappointed.

“With Congress attendees from 20 different countries, this Congress truly represents a vibrant European IT community.  It’s clear this gathering has gained momentum and has business needs on its radar. I look forward to new successes in the coming years”, said Ranga Deshpande, Common Europe’s President.

2019 Congress Announced – 16-19 June in Berlin, Germany. 

Common Europe, in collaboration with Common Germany, announced the 2019 Congress will be held in Berlin, Germany, 16-19 June 2019.  The 2019 event will also include a full CIO day.  More detailed information will be provided in the coming months.

Common Europe President Re-elected

At a meeting that took place prior to the Congress, the Common Europe Board re-elected its president, Shrirang “Ranga” DeshpandeMr. Deshpande will serve a second 2-year term. In view of the next Common Europe Congress in Germany, the Board also co-opted Ms. Heidi Schmidt, Common Germany President as Local Marketing Director. Both of them join the Executive Committee who is charged with moving the organization forward in 2018 and 2019.

The 2018-2019 Executive Committee is as follows:

President, Shrirang “Ranga” Deshpande, Common Belgium

Vice-President, Thomas Schweizer, Common Switzerland

Treasurer, Piotr Tkaczyk, Common Poland

Marketing Director, Torbjörn Appehl, Common Sweden (Data 3)

Technical Director, Christoph Cuscoleca, Common Austria

Co-opted Local Marketing Director, Heidi Schmidt, Common Germany


About Common Europe (CE)

Common Europe, an IT user community of IBM based solutions, is an umbrella organization of European national IBM Power Systems™, IBM i™, AIX™, and Linux™ user groups.  It aims to “boost networking, share experiences, provide advanced education and training, influence IBM products and solution strategy, offer savings and efficiencies to its members and accelerate an on‐going open dialogue with IBM and other vendors”.  It is a European non‐profit community of organizations and individuals using IBM solutions.  For more information, please visit or contact Ranga Deshpande, CE President, at or Ralph Gervasi, CE, at


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