Paul Edwards and Frank Alden Smith, two consultants and MPE experts who've made careers out of training 3000 customers, have taken a non-exclusive license to use HP's MPE and 3000 class materials to expand their training enterprise. More importantly, these experts have taken up the mission of training the 3000 community as HP exits the 3000 education business.
The 3000 NewsWire has done Q&A interviews with both Edwards and Smith, a pair of dedicated advocates for the 3000 platform. (We interviewed Edwards the month before HP's announcement it was leaving the 3000 market; Smith spoke with us in 2004. Both maintain faith in the value proposition of the 3000 as well as its useful future.)
Smith's Alden Research and Paul Edwards & Associates announced the license of the HP materials yesterday. The two companies had worked for four years to convince HP to release its class cirriculum and slide sets while HP continued to reduce its 3000 training options. The two men have been HP contract instructors for nearly a decade and are long time solution and training partners of HP. Their press release issued yesterday reports they "will provide ongoing course material updates, creation of new courses, and delivery of high quality MPE training at specific training facilities or customer sites."
Their companies are maintaining a new Web site www.mpe-education.com, a Web resource where HP will steer all HP education web site visitors searching for MPE training classes.
“By entering into this agreement, HP is showing that they are forward thinking and quick to react to their customer needs by providing the best quality, lowest cost, and most responsive training environment for the user community,” said Smith of Alden Research.
The joint enterprise will offer classes in MPE Fundamentals, MPE System Management, TurboImage and Query, MPE Network Administration, MPE Performance and Tuning, MPE Programming, and VPlus. Some of the class materials are vintage files, delivered on a tape in a format HP once used to make acetate slides, Edwards said. But the slides outline training classes in products which are still in use at 3000 sites — software for which the customer's expertise might have retired or moved on. These sites could need re-training to extend their future using the 3000, training that HP is curtailing.
Edwards, who's also on the OpenMPE board of directors, said the effort to get HP's license for training materials reminds him of OpenMPE's efforts to secure a license to MPE/iX source. "There's a lot of parallels there that I see as a prevalent thing in HP," he said, referring the apparent delays and deliberations from inside the vendor's staff. "This whole four-year process, which is what it took to get this, has a lot of parallels with OpenMPE's acquistion of MPE we've been trying to accomplish with HP."
We reported last week that Edwards has also started an investigation along with HP on re-starting the MPE/iX Certification program — which proves that a 3000 manager has learned the key MPE/iX skills.