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Making a case for change, sooner or later

RUG meet to connect ERP sites

Mark off the first Friday in April for a meeting of ERP customers, including those who want to remain on their HP 3000s as well as migrating sites. The Computer Aided Manufacturing User Society (CAMUS) will host regional meetings April 7 in Austin, Boston, Frankfort, Ind., Fremont, Calif. and Irvine, Calif. These locations will hook up with a five-way conference call at 11 AM PST to discuss the state of migrating off HP 3000 ERP applications, as well as options for staying put with a working application.

The two choices mirror the theme for this year's CAMUS annual user group meeting, now coming to San Francisco in July. Terry Floyd, the founder of ERP support and integration company the Support Group, said CAMUS wants to talk with 3000 ERP users, no matter which direction they're headed.

"If you want to homestead, we want to help you talk to the right people," said Floyd, who became a CAMUS board director last year. "If you want to migrate, we can help you, too." RUG meeting registration details, along with a form to sign up, are online at the CAMUS site.

Next month's RUG meeting will include discussion from the CAMUS board about the July conference. Floyd said that vendors of MANMAN alternatives might be helping to fund that summertime conference. "I wouldn't be surprised if there was a big banner over the conference that says, 'Sponsored by SAP.' People are going to that conference to talk about leaving MANMAN. There will be a lot of emphasis on migration."

On the other hand, Floyd says, an application like MANMAN represents the genuine value to a company using it, not the vendor's support of the hardware. "The application and its usefulness for your company is what determines value, not the hardware," he said. "Nobody can come up with a good reason why the application won't be running in 2012."

Floyd's business in the 3000 marketplace these days looks like that of many long-time vendors: Helping along customers who can't leave the platform, as well as serving up integration and consulting to enable migrations through his allied company ENTSGO. HP's extension of its support services through 2008 gives a 3000 MANMAN customer ample time to migrate, he said. "24 months is plenty of time," he said. "Almost anyone can get off MANMAN in 12 to 18 months."

With a little help, he added, a well-versed company could manage their own migration project. "It's nice to be self-sufficient," he said. "You should get some help, but if you're up to speed and reading what out there, you can do it yourself."

The Support Group will be assisting Lowrance Electronics in moving off of MANMAN, Floyd announced, and long-time MANMAN site Korry Electronics, a Top 10 MANMAN user, will also be leaving the application behind. "The other apps have finally caught up with MANMAN," Floyd said, "and now all the stuff the alternatives do is better."

CAMUS could be on its way to electronic-only status as a user group after this year, he added. Making a case for a CAMUS show in 2007 will depend on the attendence for this summer's conference. "There really isn't going to be a MANMAN conference in 2007, if people don't come this year," he said.