Setting hooks for migration via replacement
Software supplier extends new service

Familiar resource extends app support

    A lot of HP 3000 customers need more time in the Transition Era. Besides preparing to migrate, or step away from HP as homesteaders, their duties include application maintenance and support. Speedware wants to help.

    The company that was one of the charter Platinum Migration Partners and still counts many customers for the Speedware development language has started a stronger focus on a new service this quarter. It’s aimed at a broad range of the 3000 community, according to Speedware’s marketing director Chris Koppe.

    “We’re considering the installed base and what’s happened to it over the years,” he said in outlining who could use independent support of their applications. “Some are actively enhancing systems, others that are business-as-usual kind of operations with no enhancements.”

   Koppe said that through retirement there are 3000 shops which no longer have 3000 experts on staff today. “There’s not a huge surplus of 3000 programmers out there, and certainly they’re often not in the same city as the customer.”

    Koppe described his company as “loaded with 3000 support experts” working at 24x7 pace, as well as combining off-site management with on-site presence. “We can give these sites what they need to keep the 3000s running as long as they intend to run them,” Koppe said.

   Other target customers for the service include companies who are rightsizing staff, investigating packaged applications to replace HP 3000 apps. “Along comes the business with critical enhancements that will get them into new technologies, and in the meantime, who’s going to do the HP 3000 maintenance? Who’s going to keep the business running for two three years while those projects go on?”

   Outsourcing applications support will be a growth business during 2008, with Speedware among several companies that want to step forward with the service. Pivital Solutions, which made the transition from authorized HP reseller to independent support provider, counted on supporting ERP sites which used the PowerBuilder application.

The Support Group, founded on the MRP and ERP expertise of Terry Floyd, has been supporting MANMAN applications since the 1990s for customer sites. Speedware offers a support service that broadens its scope to include nearly any application.

   Data warehousing projects, analytics or a new Web presence can keep even a homesteading 3000 site busy, Koppe said, creating a need to outsource application support.

    “One of the problems we see,” he said “is that the people who are currently maintaining the HP 3000 applications have been there a long time. They really know how the business works and how it interacts with the applications. Those are the knowledge workers have a critical strain on them. They are key resources for other projects, and [our app support] is a way to backfill the more mundane parts of their jobs.”