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CAMUS show: A 3000 MANMAN event

In about a month the Computer Aided Manufacturing User Society (CAMUS) is hosting its 2005 conference in Chicago, where the O'Hare Hilton will welcome a host of HP 3000 experts as speakers. The conference has a strong focus on making a transition away from the MANMAN ERP system, software that could still be at work on as many as 400 servers across the world. MANMAN, owned now by the SSA Global Technology empire of ERP solutions, has a future as a stable application with little chance for upgrades. SSA has said it will support MANMAN sites who stay on the 3000 beyond 2006. But the vendor is also encouraging sites to shift to SSA's Baan solution. Meanwhile, the MANMAN app is still gaining third-party solutions for the 3000, like the Summit Systems audit tool released this year.

This year's CAMUS lineup is dominated by such vendors, people who have been supplying the 3000 community with solutions for 15 years and more. The Support Group inc., specializing in MANMAN support and migration options for more than a decade, is well represented with founder Terry Floyd, now a member of the CAMUS board, as well as Chuck Combs. But there are a few other unique 3000 speakers on the schedule, too.

Two speakers who don't appear often at 3000-related events will talk at CAMUS. Michael Hornsby, the CTO of support provider Beechglen, is talking about "HP 3000 Homesteading Tips and Traps." And Victoria Shoemaker of Taurus Software, which launched a data mart for MANMAN and now offers the BridgeMan software for cross-platform data sharing, will talk about "Bridging the Gap Between MANMAN and Open Systems."

More familiar speakers at the CAMUS show from the 3000 community include the ubiquitous Birket Foster, talking about how to mitigate the risk of a MANMAN migration, as well as HP's Alvina Nishimoto outlining transition options, and Terri Glendon Lanza talking on MANMAN/3000. A full lineup is at the CAMUS Web site, where you can register online. Early registration ends Oct. 14; the cost is $250 for a CAMUS member and $350 for non-members until then.

Former Interex members can transfer their allegiance to the group, which stepped in quickly to host the MANMAN mailing list in the wake of the Interex bust-out. Board member Terry Simpkins reminded 3000 sites that "CAMUS has extended an offer to all (former) Interex members the opportunity to attend the upcoming conference at CAMUS member rates."

A $450 membership in CAMUS is something to consider for any MANMAN site, whether they are migrating or not, according to Floyd. In his company's latest newsletter, Floyd said, "I don't want the end of CAMUS to be a big surprise, and I want to help forestall that inevitability for as long as possible." While events like the Interex bankruptcy show that everything has an end, a user-run group like CAMUS still has value to supply to ERP companies such as construction materials supplier ED Bullard, which is giving a talk at the CAMUS show.

As Floyd adds in his newsletter, "It's not necessarily your very last chance to attend a nationwide MANMAN and MK user conference, but it might be. C'mon, let's all get together at least one more time and talk about what's best for our companies in an open meeting."