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HP 3000 Visions
for 1999

January, 1999

Peter Bradley
general manager

HP Computer Users Association


“Stay with nurse for fear of something worse” is a handy proverb in hard times, and Harry Sterling’s team made a good case in 1998 for sticking with the HP 3000 as the millennium approaches. I would expect that argument to have even greater force this year, and so I would not expect many lifeboats to be putting off from the good ship HP 3000 with the iceberg named 2000AD so firmly visible from the bridge.

More positively, it is possible to think in terms of slight growth for the HP 3000 community in 1999, driven in the target sectors of health, mail order and airline reservations, by the “if the application is right, I don’t care what box it runs on” approach. While this will not please aficionados, it is the one source of real growth in HP 3000 ownership. And who knows, with time may not love and even worship develop?

Strange things happen in this industry all the time. In which case I suppose it is not too fanciful to see 1999 as the year where we might learn to love proprietary again. The way this might happen is through a greater appreciation of the “horses for courses” philosophy. The three lovely nags, HP-UX, NT and MPE, should be entered for the appropriate race and then we might see some surprising results. That is not what marketing hype dictates, but then most shops don’t run on marketing hype. Thank goodness.

Within HP itself, I’m not sure 1999 will see major lovemaking between the rest of the divisions and Harry’s — let alone that HP will cherish the HP 3000 the way IBM does the AS/400. Without some sea change internally, long-term prospects for the HP 3000 are misty. Short- and mid-term seem fine, I hasten to add...

What conditions will be contributing to the 3000’s business prospects in Europe for the coming year?

For several years now, more HP revenue has come from outside North America than from within. With Asia/Pacific in the doldrums, Europe is seen as increasingly important in HP terms. Division boss Harry Sterling seems, apart from anything else, to like and know Europe, understanding the complexities that everyone — including Europeans — find so charming/frustrating.

He has made structural changes to his team, to ensure corporate and European HQ staff spend time on each other’s patch, getting to know each other better. We got the witty Michael Robinson in exchange for the weighty Jean-Paul Ferouelle, for instance. Fair exchange is no robbery... Ivica Juresa heads the HP 3000 marketing team for Europe. He is well bedded in post now and developing initiatives on a regional and continental basis. He gathered resellers, ISVs and System Integrators in Venice last spring to plan strategy — and this year is flying them to New York for more of the same. He has made one recent appointment to bolster the HP 3000 on my home turf of the UK — Emmet Hayes took over responsibility for it, Ireland, Belgium and Scandinavia at the end of 1998. He should be a man to watch — he has experience and clout and should get things moving in an area where there has been too little movement.

The strategic purchase of Open Skies has been very important in Europe, where deregulation is opening up the skies to the sorts of no-frill airlines like Easyjet and British Airways’ Go which have already made the HP 3000 choice for their ticketing. For imponderables like the economy, the Euro and the United States of Europe, I leave it to others to make the call, but for the HP 3000 I think the captain could safely say: “Steady as she goes!”

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Copyright The 3000 NewsWire. All rights reserved.

Copyright 1998 The 3000 NewsWire. All rights reserved