Vision from Houston for the 3000
Sorting out Sort key strategy

Partners pump Micro Focus to health

COBOL drives most in-house applications on HP 3000s, so the combination of a classic language with a legendary platform now gives software companies opportunities through change. Some vendors like to use the word legacy, but with the 3000's success, legendary seems to fit better.)

Migration means movement, away from HP's COBOL II and onto another compiler. While Acucorp has courted 3000 customers openly, another COBOL vendor also works toward gaining 3000 business — once it's moving.

Micro Focus could be a company several times larger than its COBOL competitor, but the firm was going through a "meltdown" last year, according to an article in Computer Business Review. To help raise the software ship, new CEO Stephen Kelly refocused Micro Focus on legacy captures: the opportunity to replace COBOL on platforms like the 3000, sliding out of the vendor's plans.

A recent press release from Micro Focus announced a Migration and Transformation Consortium (MTC) that includes several HP 3000 migration advisors: MB Foster, Transoft, iMaxsoft and Unicon appear in the Micro Focus matrix. Each of these MTC companies, according to Micro Focus, "focuses on just one or two platforms, with each partner having complete depth of expertise."

The MTC "ecosystem" has performed more than 500 migrations already, so it's not exactly a new alliance. It just might be new to the 3000 customer. What may seem familiar is a software vendor whose business plan is to " ensure the market for legacy modernization software and services is robust." Your move keeps some software companies healthy. But partners with expertise are often needed for your platform. Enter the MTC.

Make no mistake about the novelty of a COBOL vendor's partner network. Acucorp operates one of its own, the Professional Service Partner Network which also includes familiar firms from the 3000 market.

The news from Micro Focus in its release is the vendor now has an "extension of its Application Migration and Modernization offering to support an expanded array of platforms and languages." Platforms like yours (mentioned specifically, along with aging warhorses like VAX, Data General and Wang systems) using COBOL II.

Micro Focus has had some migration success in the 3000 market up to now; a large matrix of projects that includes 16 3000 customers, including Long's Drug, Amisys, undisclosed banks and even Canadian manufacturer Vogue Bra. QVC looks to be the latest Micro Focus story, with a migration that went live in 2006.