Re-connect with Connect renewal
Visa's practices nudge commerce off 3000s

Time for inauguration, independence and changes

In the US we're making history today by inaugurating a black President. History has become a major part of your community by now — HP has shuffled all non-support 3000 operations to its history books, customers manage 3000s used only for historic look ups, and volunteers work on a historic transfer of information.

Today might be a good day to rededicate your strategy for HP 3000 ownership. The companies who have migrated still face the enhancement phase of their transition. Moving away from a working, stable platform was sparked by HP and its exit from the market. Asset mangement firm ING Australia moved off its two HP 3000s because of HP's termination of support. ING wants to get more from its suite of applications than a new platform, though.

Homesteaders can be working on aging infrastructure, just as the US needs to do starting today. There are more companies still running HP 3000s than you might imagine. "Many dozens if not hundreds of clients are still on the platform seven years later," reports James Mulcahy, formerly of Ecometry/Escalate, suppliers of e-commerce and retail apps. "They have not made the migration to Windows-based systems."

Meanwhile, the thousands of files of programs, reports and instruction that were hosted on HP's Jazz server are working their way to an independent home at OpenMPE. The free public development server Invent3k is making a transition, too. "OpenMPE is working on making our own Invent3k available," said director Donna Hofmeister this morning.  "Much of Jazz's contents will be available via this system."

Independence is easy to spot in your community. One consultant reported that he downloaded 1.3 GB of programs and information on his own from Jazz before HP switched off its server Dec. 31. HP advised customers to take this kind of independent action when it announced Jazz was going dark.

It's a bright day this morning in Washington, DC, but it's a cold one, too. If it feels chilling to wake up today in the minority of 3000 owners — HP claimed in 2008 that most customers are already migrated — you might take some warmth from the close shoulders of remaining Ecometry customers using 3000s.

"Examples of clients still on the HP 3000 are Northern Safety, American Musical Supply, Galls, Casual Male, and Overton's," said Mulcahy. Some clients that have migrated to Windows, both using Fujitsu NetCOBOL, are Brookstone (using Oracle) and Suresource (using SQL Server).

HP seems to be offering a more stable target for these migrating customers, Mulcahy observes. But Windows still dominates as the destination for new system administration.

"Among the clients that migrated to other platforms while I was still at Ecometry (through 2005), most were moving to Windows," he said. "I can only think of one that went the HP-UX route, Ross-Simons. In fact, [leather goods retailer] Coach was moving to Windows at the same time as Ross-Simons was moving to HP-UX. I was in R&D at the time and specialized in porting between the platforms. Windows systems were the nightmares. The HP-UX rendition [of Ecometry] was remarkably more stable."

We'll have more tomorrow on the latest motivations to migrate away from 3000-based Ecometry, even as these dozens-to-hundreds of companies remain tight and stable running MPE/iX. 2009 is a year for serious, crucial and critical work for your community. Changes have already arrived, and more are on the way. Inaugurate a year of sustaining or migrating action, if you have not already, starting today.