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3000 support includes former HP engineers

HP has spread its expanse of experience all across the 3000 community — perhaps nowhere more obviously than through ex-HP staffers working at third party companies supporting the computer, its operating system and applications. Even though HP has got a 2-3 year exit plan for its 3000 operations, its expertise will work on after the HP support center no longer takes calls.

Many third party support companies use former HP staffers. One example of ex-HP staff still working for the 3000 community comes from Abtech. Although the company endured some rough times seven years ago during HP's pogrom against used 3000 resellers, the firm has maintained its presence in the 3000 space through support of the systems.

"The majority of HP 3000 business that we are doing these days is in regards to support," said Abtech president Bob Russell. "We have the intellectual capital and capability to support customers who chose to stay with the HP 3000 platform, for many years to come

Russell said his company has several CEs in its support network who have HP employment on their resumes.

"We have CEs spread across the US in major cities to deliver hardware support on both HP 3000 and HP 9000 systems, he said. "We have a software support team both on the east coast and west coasts. Some are former HP engineers. Abtech supports both hardware and phone-in MPE operating system support.

MPE/iX updates, of course, must be obtained from HP directly. That's a better prospect now that HP has extended its lab calendar to "at least the end of 2008," according to the vendor.

3000 support requires "feet on the street" to do onsite maintenance. Russell said that Abtech "employs several dozen customer engineers who maintain HP 3000s and other systems. We cover the majority of the major metropolitan areas of North America."

The company is also selling parts for HP 3000s, now that HP claims there's a shortage of some of them.

Russell added that Abtech has a dedication to full compliance with the law. "When Abtech sells or services any HP products, or other manufacturers' products, it is done with full compliance with all copyright laws that HP or the other manufacturers may have. We  employ two IP attorney firms who are fully conversant with HP's copyright laws, and in particular the HP 3000 equipment. We defer to our attorneys if we have questions, and follow their advice fully."