Six years, five months, and forecasts for futures
April 14, 2008
This week the 3000 community will move into the month that signals six-and-a-half years of the 3000's Transition Era. It has been a period filled with dread, hope, opportunity and change. A good deal of all that was predicted from the very first day of Transition, but some events were not. 3000 owners who need to forecast events for the next 77 months, now that the first 77 have passed, can start by reviewing what's come to pass from predictions and what has not, and why.
On November 14, 2001, the day of HP's announcement of ending its 3000 operations, ERP and MANMAN advisor Cortlandt Wilson looked into his crystal ball and saw these events:
Up until Jan 1, 2007 service parts should be available from HP just as they are now. After that I expect that HP will continue it’s policy of selling service parts on a “best, available” basis.
Not only accurate, but accurate-plus: HP still offers parts and service on its support throughout this year, two more than HP figured. Also as predicted, the third party market and the vast field of identical HP 9000 hardware has made parts a non-issue to go forward with a 3000.
Q: Is it possible that someone will take over support of MPE/iX after HP stops support in 2006?
A. Yes. In fact the conversations are already well underway. I was in on a phone call between HP and members of Interex’s MPE Forum just yesterday where that topic was discussed at some length.
We wish we could say this one was forecast accurately, but that swap-over front has moved slower than forecast. HP's decision on support for MPE/iX, tied to licensing source for some, outlasted Interex and that MPE Forum. The timing still seems to be tied to end of HP support. It's important to remember that HP made its discontinuance announcement from two spokesmen: Then-GM Winston Prather, and Jim Murphy, the latter notably of HP Support.
But HP did follow through on what it did promise for improving system, as predicted.
Wilson took a look forward on the dark November day for the 3000 and saw more HP work in the future.
It looks to me like HP is planning to go ahead and roll out the hardware and software improvements that they already had in the R&D pipeline. Furthermore, MPE/iX ombudsman Jeff Vance indicated to the Interex volunteers yesterday that "if anything, the next SIB (System Improvement Ballot) will be more important than last year.
Also predicted well, since HP has more than three-score beta test patches created after 2001, all waiting for general release.
Systems have flowed through the marketplace, more than four years after HP stopped selling the 3000.
I expect the already flourishing used systems market to continue to be there for many years. I
would add a caveat here. I would expect the used systems to be available after 2003, but perhaps not at the current prices.
Those prices are better than ever, and supply meets demand even for the latest class of 3000.
Most important to today's forecasters, Wilson's prediction of the 3000's utility have come true and continue well beyond the date everyone worked toward more than six years ago.
I don’t believe that saying that the HP e3000 is “dead” is an accurate description of the situation. For some users today’s announcement may be one more reason to leave the HP e3000. But many of you have looked at the options and have decided to stick with MANMAN and the HP e3000. If that decision made sound business sense yesterday, I suggest that it probably still does today. And it may still make sense come January 1, 2007.
Or on April 14, 2008, too. Each company can migrate in its own time.