Independent support plumbs 3000 internals
Invent3K public server gains GNU tools

Discover the New World of 2011: HP Maybe

Christopher-columbus-6 In the US, a lot of business is on holiday as the country celebrates Columbus Day. Everybody knows that "Christopher Columbus discovered America" (not exactly a true historical account) and others know that Columbus discovered The New World. That latter belief has some bearing on your 3000 management, no matter whether your plan is to migrate or homestead your HP 3000.

The New World is the year 2011, the first year in 40 years when you can't order a stock HP 3000 service or part from Hewlett-Packard. HP's selling Time & Materials support on an official basis next year; it's one way to rescue a failed CPU board or reset HP's 3000 ID codes. You also might be lucky enough to qualify for HP's 3000 support -- if your management insists -- for next year. HP decides on a customer-by-customer basis. But this world of "maybe HP" or one-off support is a place as unknown as the Americas in the late 15th Century.

However uncharted, many 3000 users are going to have to explore this world of Maybe HP. And soon, too. HP's official 3000 operations end in about 10 weeks. Procurement and support managers are also looking over the horizon to see how to keep 3000s under support next year -- whether their firms are running 3000s while migrations start up or wrap up, or the systems continue to do mission-critical work.

Discovering the new land of HP 2011 support is a challenge while locating a support contract rep at HP. A good place to start is the HP IT Response Center, although those engineers don't handle contracts -- just support handles and fixes and patches. Less costly, more responsive alternatives to the "HP Maybe" new world lie in independent support firms. You can chart stops in your exploration at former HP authorized reseller Pivital Solutions, the ERP-grade mission-cricial experts at the Support Group inc., or our Homesteading Editor's Gilles Schipper Associates, among a few others. You'll want to know where you can sail to a safe harbor in the New World of 2011.

Blueline Services is partnering with the Support Group for hardware support and resale. Bay Pointe Technology is selling 3000 support contracts, too. Allegro Consultants or Beechglen come up a lot in support testimony among 3000 managers. Ideal Computer Services has been mentioned often in both US east and west coast reports from users seeking hardware support. The MPE Support Group serves clients around the US; it's even got a rep here in the NewsWire's hometown of Austin.

The there are the smaller support firms, one-man suppliers like Craig Lalley at EchoTech, or John Stephens at Take Care of IT. You can browse a growing list of these kinds of companies to get contacts at the OpenMPE News blog page for 3000 consulting. Some of those entries are old, and we're doing our own exploration to find out who among them are still tending to the 3000 ships still at sea.

The New World has ports populated with experience and personal service. Unless your top management insists on an HP alliance, there's no maybe out there in the non-HP 2011 course.