Futurum Live! From the Show Floor with Broadcom’s Russ Teubner and Peter Wassel at SHARE Columbus
by Steven Dickens | September 8, 2022

In this episode of Futurum Live! From the Show Floor, Futurum Research Senior Analyst and VP of Sales Steven Dickens talks with Broadcom’s Distinguished Engineer Russ Teubner and Peter Wassal, Director, DevOps & Open Mainframe Solutions, during the SHARE Conference in Columbus. Their conversation covered Broadcom’s acquisition of Hostbridge Technology and how it fits into the company’s overall technology roadmap.

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Steven Dickens: Hello and welcome. We are live from the show floor here at SHARE in Columbus for a Futurum Tech webcast and joined by Peter and Russ from Broadcom. Welcome to the show.

Russ Teubner: Thank you.

Peter Wassel: Thank you.

Steven Dickens: So Peter, tell us a little bit about what you do for Broadcom, just get us started.

Peter Wassel: I’ve worked for Broadcom for about two years. I’m obviously in the mainframe space. The work I do is on the business side. So I set the product direction and the strategy for the solutions that we bring to our clients in the DevOps space. And I also do and lead the work that we’re doing in the open mainframe project.

Steven Dickens: Oh, fantastic. There’s going to be lots to come back to there.

Peter Wassel: There you go.

Steven Dickens: I’m going to have to remember that, but Russ, let’s get our listeners and our viewers orientated. What do you do for Broadcom?

Russ Teubner: Well, I am new to Broadcom. The last 20 years, I was the co-founder and CEO of Hostbridge Technology.

Steven Dickens: So there’s a lot to go onto there.

Russ Teubner: Absolutely.

Steven Dickens: Some new fresh news that I saw break recently. So I’ve got a lot to cover with you two. So let’s first go to you, Peter. Tell us a little bit. There’s some fantastic announcements coming here from the show. What are you seeing as those key takeaways? What are the things that you’re talking to customers about?

Peter Wassel: Well, I think the big news this time around is what we’re doing with Hostbridge Technology. First, we’re thrilled…

Steven Dickens: I saw that news break and I think maybe close enough to the show that this is probably the first time that customers are picking it up.

Peter Wassel: It is. That’s exactly correct. We announced the acquisition on August 2nd. I’ll say that we’re thrilled to have brought Hostbridge Technology, Russ, and the team into our mainframe family within Broadcom. I think a lot of folks in the conference are already aware of the extent to which they’ve operated and built solutions in the mainframe space for decades. So we’re thrilled to have them as part of our team.

Steven Dickens: So for those people who don’t know about Hostbridge, just give us the elevator pitch. What do you guys do and where does that fit in the context of the rest of the Broadcom solution?

Russ Teubner: That’s a great question. First of all, what we have focused on…

Steven Dickens: I get paid to do this for a living.

Russ Teubner: I know it. And you’re really great at it. What we have done at Hostbridge for literally the last couple of decades is help large organization to be able to effectively integrate their investments in mainframe technology, those good and valuable application and data assets, with all of the cloud and hybrid and distributed technology, that they also want to create value from. So our job, our obsession, our passion, is helping large organizations achieve effective integration.

Steven Dickens: And that’s been a key theme coming throughout the entire show, that hybrid. I think the mainframes on that transition point no longer is it in a back room, no longer is it a silo. It’s that connectivity to the cloud, to other platforms. Is that what you are seeing? Was that strategic behind the acquisition?

Peter Wassel: Yeah, that’s a big part of it. We prioritize, what we call, modernizing in place. And that’s really taking the assets that are locked up on the mainframe, the applications that are running in kicks, the integrations that Russ has described and making those more efficient, so that clients can derive value from what they already have. That’s a big part of it.

Steven Dickens: And I think that’s the key thing. There’s so much investment in those platforms, those systems of record, and it’s freeing that up and capturing that and being able to connect it. Is that what you see?

Russ Teubner: Yeah, it really is. So many organizations have had difficulties achieving effective integration, a cost effective functional performance integration. And because of that, because the integration has really broken down and been the weak link, it has really put those good and valuable systems, the apps and data, in a very poor light. But the reality is, in many organizations, those apps and data, they are just fine.

Steven Dickens: And it’s unlocking that.

Russ Teubner: That’s right. If only, we can achieve more effective, more modern means of integration to exploit.

Steven Dickens: And I think for me, it’s that, and we’ve talked about it briefly there, just unlocking that there’s so much business logic, there’s so much sort of core value for an enterprise. Unlocking that, exposing it, connecting it to those systems of engagement. So obviously, this is a strategic move by Broadcom. We’re seeing that narrative play out in the market. Tell us what was behind the thinking there.

Peter Wassel: Well, frankly, what it came down to is we had a gap in our overall solution, especially when it comes to modernization. So when you look at the DevOps space and the DevOps solutions that we’ve been delivering, they’re largely focused on the open first approach and applying that to more modern tool sets and modernizing the delivery processes and practices for what it takes to deliver mainframe applications. But when it came to the application itself and modernizing the application and unlocking that value, we had a gap and we chose to fill that gap with an acquisition.

Steven Dickens: And I think that those type of rollups where you can add to an existing portfolio, those unlock value for customers really quickly, because it’s the ability to snap in the Hostbridge Technology straight into a portfolio. So Russ, going to you, obviously a seminal moment for Hostbridge. What can we expect going forward? Obviously, the acquisition closing out. What can we expect on that technology roadmap? Put you on the spot there a little bit, give me maybe just looking ahead, what’s coming next?

Russ Teubner: Well, let’s put it this way. There were a lot of things on our roadmap that frankly, we, as a smaller technology company, could not get to. We just didn’t have the size, the scale, the scope, but our customers, we love our customers. Because they were never bashful about telling us what they needed to be able to take either our integration platform. Or they guided us into developing an analytics platform. And in fact, that became a key part of our culture and our company is listening to our customers, following our customers. And so, I think for us, it means that now we get to play on a much larger stage and we have access to much deeper resources that what we can do is we can accelerate the innovation that we have a passion to do.

Steven Dickens: And that’s what I was taking away there, from what you said in our previous conversations. I think the breadth and the scale and the depth of Broadcom brought to where you were from a product management point of view and wanting to do those things gives you the ability to unlock that some of that innovation.

Russ Teubner: Oh, absolutely.

Peter Wassel: Yeah. And I think as well, building on what Russ was just saying, as we look at bringing the technology into the existing portfolio, there’s some obvious integrations that we see percolating to the top.

Steven Dickens: It’s the connectivity with the 300 plus products you’ve already got in the portfolio.

Peter Wassel: A couple of them come to mind straight away, like integrating into our MRI solution, potentially integrating into Cysview to give greater visibility as to what’s going on inside Hostbridge.

Steven Dickens: And that’s a two plus two equals five equation. So customers maybe got that functionality, they’re adding something to it with Hostbridge. And that unlocks extra capabilities, I’d imagine.

Peter Wassel: Right. We also have in our sights or as part of our extended roadmap, building out the subsystems and the data types. Obviously, the technology today is all around kicks and some of the legacy data formats, but we see ourselves potentially building out additional z/OS subsystem support and additional data types.

Russ Teubner: I think that’s an important point, because what we had focused on was integration technology, with respect to kicks, apps, and data. But there are a wealth of opportunities to go beyond that, in the systems espace.

Steven Dickens: And you can unlock that innovation now as part of Broadcom, I imagine.

Russ Teubner: Oh, absolutely. And because they have deeper skills in all of those others, we were kick specialists. Now, we can take those same principles, those same or similar code bases and move that value prop into other areas.

Steven Dickens: So as we look to wrap up here, what are those key takeaways? Obviously, we’re a day and a half into the show. It’s really packed here on the show floor. There’s probably been some reaction to the Hostbridge stuff. What are you hearing? What are those kind of key takeaways?

Peter Wassel: It’s really positive. We just came from a customer meeting, where we just lit them up with some of the potential. And as we were riding the escalator, we’re talking about POCs…

Steven Dickens: You’re buzzing. I can tell that that was a good meeting, right?

Peter Wassel: Yeah. It was a great meeting. The two of us were talking on the escalator. We’ve got a dozen more of those lined up. So there’s a lot of…

Russ Teubner: Yeah. And for me, a wonderful day is to be able to sit with a customer in a meeting like that and be able to listen and learn about what’s really going on. What are their friction points in creating that hybrid cloud mainframe environment? And then, be able to think with them about how our collective technology platform can really add value. That’s amazing.

Steven Dickens: Well, I think that’s a great way to wrap. Thank you so much for joining us here. Always great to speak to you on the show. My name’s Steven Dickens. You’ve been listening to the Futurum Tech webcast, brought you to live from SHARE in Columbus. Please click and subscribe. And we’ll see you next time. Thank you very much.

About the Author

Steven Dickens is Vice President of Sales and Business Development and Senior Analyst at Futurum Research. 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.  Read Full Bio.