More customer commentary has trickled in over HP's decision to extend the vendor's support lifespan of the HP 3000. While the skepticism is rife among partners and customers, many see a silver lining in the moving cloud bank covering the 3000's future.
Duane Percox of K-12 solution provider QSS chimed in quickly to note that HP might be viewed differently as a partner by some in the 3000 community. "While the information is ‘the story’ I can’t keep from thinking the real story is that HP was willing to adjust the date after careful review. It shouldn’t change anyone’s migration plan, but it should give everyone something to think about when they consider how they view HP as a partner today and into the future."
For others, the move lessens the sting, but doesn't make the poison less lethal.
Mark Landin, a systems manager at a manufacturer based in Tulsa, Okla., said, "HP's extension of the drop-dead date is very welcome indeed. It's not a cause to celebrate, because it's just postponing the inevitable, but it does lessen the sting somewhat. We're grateful HP has thrown us this bone. We
still loathe them for killing the platform in the first place." MANMAN is still working on a pair of HP 3000 systems at Landin's shop.
"Our first challenge is to figure out if there is one manufacturing platform that can service all our businesses, and then determine how to migrate to it and when. It's just nice to know that the HP safety net's going to be in place for another two years as we go through the process of making those choices." Just the same, third party support is filling the bill at Landin's company.
One HP insider suggested that HP extended support of the 3000 because inside HP's own IT operations "it couldn't even get it's own systems migrated off the platform in the 5 years. In fact, billions of dollars of HP revenue still flow through HP's HEART and OMS systems." After we'd profiled HEART in our July 1996 issue, the HP HEART system got a update from us in late 2003, when HP stopped selling the 3000 but continued to use 3000s in its financial operations. It's good to hear that a sound enterprise platform like the 3000 is still serving the accounts receivable needs of the world's second-biggest IT and services company. It's a pretty good bet that's one HP 3000 that easily qualifies for mission-critical HP support.