The community of HP 3000 user group members can turn toward a new organization this fall, pretty much for free at first. Encompass, the user group founded by Digital's enterprise computer customers which now embraces all of HP's enterprise lines, wants Interex members to join up. Until December 31, the membership for the first year is free to former Interex members.
Kristi Browder, the president of Encompass who's running for another term, said "We hope that Interex members will be able to find a new home and join in the valuable exchange of user knowledge that is the foundation of all user groups." While at the moment there's not a lot of HP 3000 expertise in Encompass, the group has built a significant experience base for the 3000 migration targets of HP's Unix, Windows enterprise servers, storage solutions and the OpenVMS environment.
The first-year-free offer also goes for the OpenView Forum International (OVFI), a user group built around the experience of using HP's network management environment. Encompass and OVFI partnered along with HP to produce last month's HP Technology Forum. Encompass counts about 10,000 active members, and OVFI has about 8,000 on its membership rolls. As of the week of the Technology Forum, Encompass is extending its membership discounts to another group of HP 3000 pros: HP Certified Professionals.
Encompass is offering a special HP Certified Professionals rate. It's also got a $75 individual membership which includes the proceedings DVD from this year's Tech Forum presentations. Interestingly enough, Encompass membership also includes proceedings from final two HP World conferences, 2003 and 2004. These are documents that users can't get any longer from Interex, since that group closed down its Web servers. For complete details on the $75 deal, check out the Encompass Web site at www.encompassus.org/membership/Discountmembership.htm.
The user group is running Special Interest Groups, too. It would seem that a Migration user group could be a useful addition to its SIG lineup — and since Platinum solutions provider Speedware now has its marketing director Chris Koppe on the Encompass board, we expect this kind of addition is only a matter of time. Platinum solutions provider MB Foster's founder Birket Foster also made a presentation on migration planning at the Tech Forum, a detailed set of slides that's included on the Tech Forum DVD.
Homesteading advice from the user group might be a more nascent resource, for the moment. But Encompass membership includes a hobbyist license for OpenVMS, the kind of license that MPE/iX expert developers want for the 3000 from HP. If the specific content for working with a discontinued line of 3000s isn't in the Encompass resource list yet, at least the spirit and experience of VAX users is already in place at Encompass. The OpenVMS SIG was the best-attended special interest group I visited at the Tech Forum — and the comments at the meeting sounded a good deal like those from SIG MPE.