Vendor shivvers timbers of user conferences
In HP's lee, solo experts keep up 3000s

Small supporters sprout up

    The 3000 community has developed a preference for non-HP support of its systems. But in recent years, even single-manned support companies are keeping HP 3000s in production. The lightly-manned support firms are serving both homesteaders and customers who are working on migrations.

    John Stephens, who founded Take Care of IT at the start of the decade, says his company not only takes up HP’s 3000 support work — he rarely sees HP support in a client’s picture.

    “I think it was about four years ago,” Stephens said of his contact. “I can’t say I got a lot of help from them.” He counts all sizes of customers among his clientele, including Fujitsu and Schlumberger.

Large or small company size doesn’t matter to a solo supporter like Stephens. “In the actual work, it’s still a 3000, it still has interaction with other boxes and applications. The scale of the company doesn’t really change the scale of the project.”

    Smaller vendors have been a big part of the 3000’s success. The most experienced software companies in the community are run at under 20 employees, for the most part. But support in the one-man range has been rare up to now. Gilles Schipper of GSA Associates stood for decades as a low-staff support shop with large clients.

    The size of the newer support companies is giving rise to the number of choices for 3000 service. “In addition to the traditional experts,” said Adager’s CEO Rene Woc, “we’ve been seeing some new individuals doing most of the facilities management at some of our customer sites.”