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Speedware illuminates endings for 3000s

Hewlett-Packard calls 2010's last month the "end of life" for the HP 3000, and community partner Speedware is carrying the term forward to 3000 customers, too. The vendor that supports HP 3000 migrations also supports 3000 applications for homesteaders, but 2010 is sparking a discount in the cost of both its migration and support services.

Marketing VP Chris Koppe says there's more than one way to view what will happen at the close of 2010, but end-of-life (EOL) is a valid definition for some customers. He adds that community members are counting on another HP support extension.

"It's time to raise some of the alarm bells for those who haven't acted yet," he says, "and say there's no more extensions." Speedware believes the hardware still working at 3000 sites is physically aging — because HP hasn't updated servers since 2003 -- and it puts a lot of weight behind the end of HP's support services in December, 2010. A discount off future migration or app support engagements with Speedware is underway through the end of 2009.

Like others who are serving customers in the community, Speedware knows of large companies still working with their 3000s, despite business continuity and risk management issues. "Some are just slower to act than others," he said.

The exit of an HP support option at the end of 2010 means more to larger customers, Koppe admits, than smaller sites. Companies that homestead don't rely on HP as a central IT resource the way these larger, brand-name organizations do. Homesteaders are moving to third party support firms now, he says, "since it's wiser not to do that at the last minute."

For the migration-bound site, time is growing very short to meet an end of 2010 deadline. Although migrations can be accomplished in under one year, 15 to 18 months is more of an average. Testing of migrations -- either the lift-and-shift of proven apps, or kick-starting replacement programs in a new environment -- takes more than half the time of a migration. Companies might be tempted to compress their test cycles in order to start later than this fall. That's another risk than an earlier start can help avoid.

Koppe says Speedware wants to offer a migration solution that fits all sizes of companies, not just those with deep pockets. "Companies that have tighter budgets tend to be more open to combinations of outsourcing and in-house resources," he said. Speedware's offer is to discount its Detailed Modernization Analysis, a first step in what it calls modernization rather than migration. A Detailed Modernization Analysis (DMA) and earns an investment credit worth up to 50 percent of the cost of your DMA, applicable towards the cost of a Speedware migration.

The investment credit offer is only available through December 31, but a reduction in costs could start some migrations moving. "There are five different tiers of resource offerings geared to every level of budget," Koppe says, "because some people don't have the financial budget to outsource everything, but they can get the physical resources to do it. They're looking for a more cost-effective or cheaper solution."

While every migration manager wants to be successful, there's two levels of accountability to that success. Quality of migrated code is one level, and then there's "being accountable for the outcome of the project: managing it and guiding the customer in their testing activities," Koppe says. Managing preparation for deployment, preparation for transitioning an organization, embedding staff onsite  -- these are on the high end of Speedware's five levels of engagement.

Low end modernization might include teaching a customer how to use transition tools. "It's do it yourself, but with some education on how to do it," he says. Then there's mass migration of code, handed back to the customer. Both of these levels put the accountability of outcome on the customer's shoulders, "and I've seen customers very successful with do-it-yourself projects," Koppe says.