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Three Kinds of Un-migrated Sites: One View

David Floyd, CEO of the Support Group, sat with me this week at lunch to answer questions for February's print-exclusive Q&A interview. (That's a story you can only read first in our print edition, then later up here on the blog.) While we whiled away an hour talking about this year's market, he summarized who's not yet migrated in a concise roundup. His view is of the small manufacturer, since his company services the MANMAN application users on HP 3000s. Here's a tease on the Q&A, so you can see if you're in any one of these groups.

"The first camp are the homesteaders, and they're still serious homesteaders," he said. "They're not going anywhere, and some have plans to 2020. They're plans, and we'll see if they get to follow through. It's like a Presidential administration creating a 20-year plan -- and the next administration comes around and says that's not the way we're going to be doing things. Terry Simpkins at Measurement Specialties comes to mind. He's got corporate buy-in for that."

"The second camp I see are the SMB companies that don't have the resources, $50 to $200 million range. They haven't made plans, and they haven't considered plans in many cases. They just don't have the resources to go out and buy a modern ERP package. I mean both technical resources, people, and money. It costs a lot of money these days."

The third camp has had an external migration deadline set for them -- something HP wanted to do with "End of Life" but didn't succeed with as much as it would've liked.

"The third camp," Floyd said, "are the companies that have been bought by major corporations. They are now a tiny division in a giant manufacturing conglomerate. The majority of them have nebulous plans to get on board with their corporate ERP implementations, generally SAP or Oracle. This little manufacturing company in the middle of nowhere is on the list to someday get migrated from MANMAN to that corporate platform."

By "middle of nowhere" Floyd means the 3000 customers who make up SMB manufacturers in the US. These are companies, he pointed out, whose operations are in very small cities and towns. Up to now, a good share of these firms have been scrabbling to get out of the Great Recession. They're in the small towns for low cost of labor and incentives and general cost of doing business.

These kinds of companies, Floyd agreed, will be getting the benefit of polished and proven tools to use. It's simple economics to see that the early migrators paid more for their projects, since they paid in 2004 dollars, for example -- which were more costly (in valuation) than 2011 dollars. The prices probably haven't risen much in the years the un-migrated sites have needed to wait.

Drop me a line by email if you want to be sure you're getting that February print issue in your mailbox. It's mobile, and need no power source but a little light. You might even call our print issue solar-powered.