HP Q&A: Hou envisions post-08 support
Telling stories to create an HP 3000 history

Q&A: Visualizing HP's new level of support

New HP e3000 business manager Jennie Hou briefed The 3000 NewsWire on the concepts of HP's continuing 3000 support. We spoke at this summer's HP Technology Forum.

Why is HP visualizing a new custom level of support?
    We believe there may still be customers out there needing help from HP. We will evaluate customer needs based on HP’s local capabilities and on an individual basis. If there are local capabilities, we will still be able to provide troubleshooting and problem isolation services. We can provide existing patches if they would solve these problems, provide workarounds, and/or binary patches whenever possible. What we won’t be doing is to create new General Released patches or enhancements.

So what kind of patches will HP create in this post-Basic Support phase?
    Hypothetically, if the Customized Legacy Support is invoked, only site-specific binary patches and workarounds will be provided. That’s what we’re envisioning, and it’s a natural support evolution for products that are reaching end-of-life.

Does any of this change HP’s overall position about its future with the 3000, or the customer recommendation?
    No, we still strongly recommend that our customers migrate off the 3000 to other HP solutions. Every day they’re still on the 3000 there are more risks involved.

    We do understand that migrations can take longer than planned. We are trying to achieve the right business balance by listening to what our customers are saying and working together with our partners in the e3000 ecosystem.

Will the Customized Legacy stage allow HP to reduce the amount of its resources devoted to the platform? Are there now only a few people in the company who spend all of each day, every workday in a month, dedicated to HP 3000 work?
    As we are reaching the end-of-life for the e3000 platform, it’s normal to have decreased resources over time. However, it’s HP’s policy not to disclose any specific numbers.

Does HP intend to exit the support business for the 3000 at some date?

    Of course. Eventually there will be no HP support of the 3000. HP will exit that support business completely. HP cares about our installed base and wants to help our customers in maintaining a stable e3000 environment while they conduct their migrations. Therefore, the support model evolves based on customer needs and balanced business approach.

So does HP have a date to end its support services for the 3000? Or are you going to let customers tell you when such Customized Legacy support is no longer needed?
    We’ve been describing a conceptual model. There’s no time frame associated with it. Basic Support is being offered at least through 2008, and we’re going to stay with that date for now.

Will the end of all of HP’s 3000 support trigger the licensing of any parts of MPE/iX mentioned in HP’s December 2005 announcement?
    When the end of support date is there, we will be working backward. We will work with any interested parties as well as OpenMPE. HP feels very strongly that 12 months of lead time to prepare third parties is enough. If X is the end date, then X-minus a year will be our timeframe.   

HP has said in the past it will work with third party support companies where HP can’t provide services to its customers. What will HP do to enable these support companies to step in to provide 3000 support that HP is backing away from? What about OpenMPE assuming some of this work?
    There have always been third party support companies in the 3000 community; that’s nothing new. We are working with OpenMPE. That’s why Jeff Bandle is here, as the new liaison to OpenMPE board. We are also talking to third parties, looking at third party options out there.

  When HP leaves the 3000 support business, we’ll update our customers accordingly.

How do you like the new job, here in the first month or so?
    I always enjoy working with customers and partners, this expanded role offers me more opportunity to do that. There are lot of people in our [HP 3000] organization that are very customer-focused, and I get to introduce two new customer/partner representatives: Craig Fairchild and Jeff Bandle.