HP 3000 sites juggle two kinds of migrations when they leave their MPE applications behind. The first is the choice of a new platform. After all, that's the reason many sites who have decided to migrate do so: their view of the 3000's future agrees with HP's.
Then there's the application migration. In many cases, the MPE/iX apps are just too complex to migrate. IT pros, or their management, choose a new application, one which will expand and improve on the 3000's functionality. They hope. But first there's the work, to bring the new app into production.
At gm2 Logistics in the UK, platform promise has been delivered, according to John Boyd. IBM's i5 — known as the iSeries and AS/400 in its earlier generations — is stepping up nicely to improve on the 3000's ability there. The application migration has been a different story, so far.
"The IBM (i5) has been a revelation," Boyd reports. "The operators say it is where the HP 3000 should have been, if HP hadn’t given up 12 years ago."
He explains the more knotty details of bringing a new app on board:
As ever in migrating to a system with a three letter acronym whether it be IBM, SAP, IBS or ASW, things are never quite what they seem. We are not moving to SAP but ABM, IBS, and ASW are now firmly embedded in our souls. What was to be a move to a new all powerful, all singing, all dancing, no modifications either needed or allowed [application] has resulted in a project where we are now looking at hundreds of man-day’s of development, missed delivery dates (software) , wrong assumptions, and total misunderstandings by all parties.
We have a very aggressive project go-live of December 31, 2006, with a smaller go-live scheduled for a smaller part of the system this coming June.
We are also involved with an American company 3MHighJump (Minnesota), who are providing a warehouse management system. This is going very well and set to go live on our two big warehouses in May and June this year. This is a Windows product.
As for HP, well I think they have forgotten about us — and would probably be overwhelmed by the IBM sales people who do come to site, who do offer suggestions and do make a difference.
Sorry it’s not better news on the HP front, Their only saving grace is that they still seem to be cheaper than IBM on Wintel boxes!