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Manufacturing new ERP user group links

3000 customers using MANMAN win the prize for fastest replacement of Interex resources. The MANMAN-L list that was hosted on Interex servers has been moved to the CAMUS user group servers successfully. A raft of messages trickled through to the NewsWire's e-mail filters yesterday, including discussion of how to renegotiate support contracts from MANMAN vendor SSA Global Technology. More on that in a minute.

Any ERP customer can sign up for the CAMUS/MANMAN mailing list at the user group's Web site. CAMUS director Jeff Milde wants the Interex refugees to consider its conference Oct. 24 in Chicago, as well as the benefits of joining the SSA combined user group:

We encourage you to explore the benefits and service offerings of the SSA user group. It is our hope that you and your company will continue to appreciate the value of being supported by a community of users and service providers. CAMUS will not compete with this user group.  If your company has not made the commitment to migrate to SSA ERP LN, and you need support for your legacy system, please know that CAMUS will be there to support you. Remember that among the many benefits to our members, the most important is USERS HELPING USERS.

Just about the same time the MANMAN list moved over, we got word of the new elections for the CAMUS user group board of directors. Two longtime HP 3000 veterans are running for the CAMUS board for the first time. Terry Floyd of the Support Group has tossed his hat into the ring, alongside Terry Simpkins of Measurement Specialties. Both men have spent their careers educating and helping HP 3000 customers.

Floyd founded his company to provide third-party support options to ERP customers using MANMAN, or moving to an alternative. IT Director Simpkins has testified to the value of using the HP 3000 for many years, both in MANMAN ads as well as earlier for HP. He's also been  on the cutting edge of SOX compliance, posting helpful reports to the MANMAN mailing list.

The support options from SSA earned some discussion among 3000 customers recently. The vendor has told its 3000 sites they can stay on the application hosted on their 3000s as long as necessary, a sharp contract from suppliers such as Amisys. SSA also wants its ERP customers to consider migration away from apps like MANMAN, but it means to make a business of keeping mature applications like MANMAN viable on servers like the 3000, so long as that doesn't extend to enhancing the apps.

Both Simpkins and Floyd offered advice on negotiating with SSA about support contracts for MANMAN. Simpkins, who's pulled a lot a duty in China recently getting new plants online, converted his 2 cents' worth into Renminbi" (RMB) which means "People's Currency" in China:

I think there are some clauses in the various licenses and support agreements that prohibit the [public] sharing of this [support price] information.

My .16254 RMB ($0.02US) is that  "It depends" on:
   1)  How well you negotiate
   2)  How hungry your sales rep is
   3)  The time of the month/quarter you sign (close to the end = better deal)

Floyd broke down the supportability of the recent MANMAN releases in his reply

My 2 cents (guesses/opinions, not hard numbers): MANMAN/MPE Version 9 is the most stable and easier to modify than later versions.  There are more companies on Release 9 or 11 than any others.  10 was buggy; only a handful have gone to 12.  Many went to 11 for Y2K or Euro Currencies, which turned out to be a mistake from a support standpoint.