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On the first business day of 2008, the new year offers some opportunity to define the finish of your Transition Era. This is the 12-month period in which HP promises to wrap up its patch development for the system. HP hasn't confirmed it, but perhaps this is final year to have an impact on the release of the completed 3000 beta patches still not tested to HP's standards.

Things are changing and HP's role is coming to a close, at least in the cubicles of HP's 3000 labs.

This year also holds the prospect for being a period where HP doesn't change its ending date for servicing the 3000 community. With no changes, this strategy would give the migration companies — some of whom, like MB Foster and Speedware, have been preparing for migration service and offering it since 2002 — a spark to prod some sites into action.

A new year can arrive with resolutions for 3000 community members, where they are leaving the platform in an orderly procession or staying until 2027. Resolutions work best when they are positive statements, rather than negative denials of existing actions. With that in mind, here's a few to consider taking up and practicing during 2008.

You might resolve to

  • Take HP at its word about the exit date of the vendor from the marketplace. While some customers are happier with the chance to call HP a support provider through 2010, the company could move on and give the migration suppliers and third parties a chance to develop business in the market.
  • Beta test a few patches that will benefit your fellow customers during 2008. Dozens of repairs and a score of improvements are locked inside HP's support customer environment. HP still has not announced a program to deal with whatever is still on the test shelf when 2008 wraps up — or 2010, if releasing a beta patch to general release is possible after this year.
  • Establish a detailed migration plan or a sustainability plan for your HP 3000 operations. Planning shows command and confidence, and it's the least costly step of a transition.
  • Vote in this spring's OpenMPE board elections, and join the movement while it's still a cost-free proposition. About a third of the customers are not going to migrate, but the registered membership of OpenMPE is nowhere close to that number of customers.
  • Set up a disaster recovery plan that represents a genuine view of being a 3000 customer in 2008. There are more independent choices than ever, but on the other hand, some application companies simply cannot issue new activation codes for applications which would have to move in the event of a disaster.
  • Learn a new technology skill, preferably something open source. So many HP 3000 experts are crack MPE shots, but haven't taken aim on the wide range of technologies outside of the Windows world. Better still, take a course in something like Application Portfolio Management or ITIL standards, even if it's on your own time — and make an impact in a board room near you.
  • Take a brave step into a new line of business or a new venture of independent service. The rules are changing fast in our community, especially with the advent of falling cost of communication and sinking hardware prices. Instead of looking for that elusive MPE position, put your skills on the market to all comers. Job security can feel a little like privacy, in my opinion: a concept prized by many, but existing mostly in the mind.
  • Keep up with what's still in play or changing in the 3000 community. A lot of the news is out on the Internet, and more can be found in user conferences like the Encompass HP Technology Forum and events such as the e3000 community meet. It's news to us to find so many people who say the 3000 market has frozen up and gone as static as their 3000 environments.
  • Keep a light heart and let wounds from the past be forgotten and forgiven, if possible. It's not easy to say "Somehow, I'll find a way" to solve a problem when the answer doesn't seem to appear along a line of logic. Technical wizards are susceptible to leaning on the magic staff of logic. Find a way to demonstrate faith as a counterbalance to analysis. You never know for sure what will come your way.