Changing IP Addresses for HP 3000s
HP's 3000 managers, generally, find futures beyond the designs of Hewlett-Packard

Licenses crank engines of 3000 virtualization

EngineIn a few days Stromasys will update the MANMAN community about its virtualization product that mimics 3000s using Intel hardware. Instead of calling it an emulator, we'll try to stay current and call this software what Stromasys calls it: a virtualization engine. We'll know more about the tech details and the current sales impact next week.

But in the meantime the applications which run on that 3000 iron need licensing. Either they need support fees paid, or in some cases the app itself requires a license fee. Sometimes unexpectly, a fee like this on a homestead 3000 can catapault into an unprecedented tier.

That's what happened to Sako Badalian at Rockwell Collins. The manufacturer of smart communications and aviation electronics in jet fighters uses a 3000 to run MANMAN, software that's now owned by Infor. Badalian reached out to ask if anybody else who uses MANMAN saw a 240 percent increase in the annual fees paid to Infor. That's the bill that Rockwell Collins received from the fifth company to own MANMAN, software whose ownership swaps date back to the 1980s. (CA, Interbiz, SSA Global and Infor have bought the software's customers and the code over that period.)

You would think that after a decade or more of no enhancements to an app, its fees wouldn't rise. But you'd be wrong, apparently, and this practice has become the one of the cranks that turns a 3000 virtualization engine.

There's a much larger field of homesteading 3000 customers for Stromasys to capture. They run custom code and apps, in-house software. Their licenses are limited to the independent tools used by IT pros who've been on the 3000 job for several decades. The vendors such as Adager, VEsoft, Robelle, Minisoft, MB Foster and Hillary Software, having made their initial sales, just want to maintain their service to the customers. These customers buying the Stromasys engines are unlikely to experience what Badalian bemoaned this week to his fellow MANMAN managers.

My main concern is the term license fee that Infor is charging us for use of MANMAN on the HP 3000. Infor has raised the annual term license fee and one-year support for MANMAN by 240 percent over last year's fees. What I am asking is: have your annual term fees increased substantially for this year? If yes, then did Infor notify you of this unexpectedly large annual fee increase?

Infor may not understand that its revenues for MANMAN are not going to go up by 200 percent using this strategy. Faced with this kind of increase, a 3000 owner will find a way not to pay. Some homesteaders don't have that kind of extra budget on hand, especially for a mission-critical app which they enhance themselves, or pay separately to have improved. Not all of the homesteader cost-cutting is going to come through migrations, however.

The higher profile the MANMAN site, the less room it has to economize on this license and remain an Infor customer. If Infor, Escalate (nee Ecometry) Amisys and other packaged app providers don't crank the virtualization engines for their customers, cloud solutions will rise up in their place. As it turns out, one of those solutions has been built using expertise from MANMAN's creators, ASK Software.

Some customers don't want to be tied to platforms anymore, and their genuine risks in using the cloud are offset by unexpected 240 percent price increases. They will also get a shot at virtualization, too, so long as there's some way to move to custom, in-house 3000 apps. (MANMAN has become this very thing over the last two decades, for the lucky customers who have the right to their source code.) Stromasys will be offering a cloud-based HPA/3000 engine later this year.