Commerce in the 3000 community has been dominated by migration tools and services. While many utility and some app vendors are selling support contracts, new business has been hard to acquire. It's been close to eight years since HP announced its exit from the community. And after two postponements, the closing of HP's support doors is less than 15 months away.
But that timeline hasn't dislodged applications from many 3000 customer workflows. So some of the same companies who offer migration engagements will also manage your 3000 apps. Speedware is discounting those services for customers who sign on until the end of 2009. Its marketing manager Chris Koppe said that HP's "end of life" label for 2010 doesn't match up to everything he sees.
2010 = End of Life is valid at some larger sites, but smaller ones will rely on 3000 apps for awhile. End of life "has a different meaning for different people," he said. "While the smaller shops have applications on the side, like mail servers, their core businesses are running on the HP 3000."
And so, Speedware (like a few other providers) sees 3000 app management as an important service to the customer. For a limited time it's waiving fees for "application support set-up and knowledge transfer" services to attract this homesteading business, designed to match the lifespan that a customer sees for its 3000s.
Koppe said that Speedware has started to push application support for 3000s, extra effort to win customers with a service Speedware has offered for more than a year. Customers who asked the vendor got app support up to this summer, but Speedware wants to connect with more of these sites.
He believes his company has the largest number of 3000 software programmers employed or on contract "that know 3000s inside and out and can handle any kind of environment." Koppe mentioned MB Foster as another source; the Support Group inc specializes in ERP application support, especially MANMAN.
Koppe reasons that because his company's programmers have been busy with migration details, moving applications had made them experts in the 3000's languages. "For those customers that are not going to be migrating right away, a lot of them may need to deal with issues like lack of programming staff -- human resource backup options."
These kinds of potential customers for app support have no 3000 programmers anymore, or can't answer questions about how much 3000 code they have. "How are they maintaining this code," he wonders. "It just runs in the background." MB Foster's Birket Foster agreed about the focus on apps for the community. "It's all about the applications," he said at the recent e3000 Community Meet. Both men invoked the "what about winning the lottery" question, where a 3000 customer's only expert hits the jackpot and curtails an IT career, suddenly.
Speedware will let you pay their experts to maintain application code, batch processing, enhancements, help desk, vendor management, online processing. "It's not hardware support, and it's not operating system support," he explained. Speedware can refer this administration support for hardware and OS to another supplier, and then offer a full package for a company that wants to keep its 3000 apps without any 3000 staff.
Co-location, or offsite system hosting, gets referred by Speedware to the Support Group if a customer needs that level of support. The talent and resources are out there in the community, Koppe said. The app support offers the same benefits as you'd seek from any homestead support provider -- safeguarding IT systems and possibly reducing costs.