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Vision from Houston for the 3000

Anne Howard took the newest spot on the OpenMPE board of directors a few weeks ago. Now she's a leading member of a team of IT pros with deep HP experience — including more than 100 years of HP 3000 knowledge — who are creating the latest conference out of Houston, the Greater Houston RUG MPE/iX Conference.

We'll have more details on that HP 3000 training opportunity later this week. (The GHRUG board is adjusting the conference name to secure cost-effective training space. But the conference mission remains 3000-related, including basic and crossover IT skills many 3000 managers need to administer other parts of their enterprises.)

Before that conference news, however, Howard has offered the 3000 community a closer look at her positions on the 3000's transition mission. Appointed to the GHRUG board last fall, this project planning and development expert always believed HP would stay in the 3000 market beyond 2006.

It didn’t surprise me that HP extended its commitment of support for MPE/iX from their original December, 2006 deadline. In fact, I predicted it the day the original announcement was made.  (After I picked myself up off the floor.) 

As many HPe3000 shops are finding out, five years isn’t as long as you think when you are migrating mature, stable enterprise applications and trying to maintain on-going operations. HP was wise to extend its support for MPE/iX to give what has been a very loyal client base time to gracefully transition MPE/iX concentric applications to other platforms.

Howard also believes that even if HP leaves your community at the end of next year — a decision the vendor has not made, yet — there's going to be long-term need for 3000 skills.

I am not a huge proponent of permanent homesteading, but I do believe there will be a continued need for MPE/iX technical expertise and support past HP’s new target end date of December, 2008.  And those people will need the ability to employ faster processors, more memory and larger storage solutions. 

I wholeheartedly support OpenMPE’s effort to negotiate with HP to obtain the use of the MPE source code and to organize our member-users into a sustainable enterprise. People also need to understand that while support is available, HP is providing some of that support, such as support for Java, “without Sustained Engineering.” This means there will no new patches, enhancements, or changes made to the product. This is where OpenMPE can make a difference.   

On other fronts, OpenMPE is already making a difference. When HP expired the MPE/iX certifications, Paul Edwards led OpenMPE’s effort and scored a victory by having HP reinstate the credentials for certified MPE/iX administrators and Pre-Sales Professionals. I would like to see that go one step farther and reinstate the testing for certification for both upgrades to 7.5 and for new administrators. As sites migrate away from the HPe3000, they will need assurance that their migration professionals have a sound technical understanding of the source platform.