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IBM User Groups in Europe

This section was not part of the original White Paper issued 1992.

For IBM user groups world wide see the International User Group Council.

Guide Share Europe
Common Europe
White Paper, a product of user groups.


SHARE Europe was an international (voluntary) association of users of IBM equipment, primarily main frames. The purpose was to exchange information and knowledge by conferences and publications. The scope was scientific technical at the beginning and extended to commercial and administrative data processing.

SHARE Europe was founded 1963 with the name SEAS (Share Europe Association) as an offspring from the SHARE association in the USA. Membership reached about 500 scientific and commercial institutions.

The organisation was clearly International (European), with very little regional work. At the Anniversary Meeting fall 1994 in Vienna it was decided to merge with G.U.I.D.E. to form the new association GSE (Guide Share Europe).


G.U.I.D.E. was an international, non-profit-making association of IBM mainframe users. Its name is derived from Guidance for Users of Integrated Data Processing Equipment which summarises the objectives of the association.

G.U.I.D.E. was founded in 1959 from its origins as a division of the GUIDE International Corporation (USA). Until the merger with SHARE Europe, membership of G.U.I.D.E. reached about 2000 companies and institutions. The organisation was based on vivid regional work carried out in local language. Twice a year international conferences were held in English.

At the Anniversary Meeting fall 1994 in Vienna it was decided to merge with SHARE Europe to form the new association GSE (Guide Share Europe).

Common Europe

This users group committed to providing high quality, comprehensive technical education and management training for IT professional involved with the programming, operation and connection of AS/400, RISC System/6000, System/36, Advanced 36 and Personal Computers. In the past also the 'lower' systems /3x were covered.

1999 more than 10.000 IBM customers were members of COMMON Europe, an international non-profit organisation regrouping the national IBM user associations in Europe and the Middle-East.

Objectives : To engage in permanent dialogue with IBM, to exchange information with IBM developers and with other users to achieve more effective use of Information Technology and to provide a forum for regular consultation with other associations within Europe and worldwide.

Guide Share Europe

GSE is a non-profit association of companies, organisations and individuals who are involved in information and communication technology (ICT) solutions based on IBM architectures. Its aim and purpose is to:

GSE was founded at the joint fall conference of G.U.I.D.E. and SHARE Europe, October 1994 in Vienna, Austria. Both organisations decided to merge and to continue activity both regionally and international.

GSE is an independent, volunteer led organisation.

White Paper

The definition of White Paper does not deviate much among the IBM user groups.

A SHARE Europe White Paper addresses general issues of strategic importance for IBM customers.

A SHARE Europe White Paper is the result of the work of a Special Technical Working Group (STWG), which works in close collaboration with IBM experts.

The White Paper is fully endorsed by the Exutive Board of SHARE Europe. Hence it represents not only the opinion of the members of the STWG, but of SHARE Europe as a whole.


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