Millware offers free products over Internet for GUI,
company built around business practices new to the HP 3000 market
took its products before the public at HP World, as Millware Corp.
showed off its ScreenJet and TheDash software and offered customer
The brainchild of founder Dave Wiseman, Millware is billed
as a marketing corporation without sales people, but one thats
selling software nonetheless. The two products in Millwares
stable have been created by experienced MPE/iX developers who hold
the licenses for their software just one of the many ways
Wiseman is changing the rules for solutions in the 3000 market.
Millware (www.millware.com) does have a
physical address in the UK a 13th Century Gloucestershire
abbey where the companys administrative, marketing and tech
support staff operate. But in contrast to its ancient offices, in
some ways this firm represents the potential for the 3000
markets future a pure Internet play which does as much
over the Web as any company can.
The HP 3000 division (CSY) admitted Millware as one of its
first 3000 partners participating in HPs Garage Program, where
HP delivers hardware to companies before they have to pay for it. The
deferred billing on such Garage systems is designed to let dot-com
firms have a chance to start up and earn revenue before they have to
pay for hard assets like computers. In Millwares case, a Series
918 arrived at its office under the auspices of the Garage
Theres more thats different, items that have a
greater impact on potential customers. Millware is offering its two
products for free in base-functionality versions, while more
feature-laden versions are for sale online. The company is basing its
prices on per-seat charges, so a 3000 with a 20-user license might
pay $1,000 per year for a full development copy of ScreenJet, for
example $50 per user seat.
Millware will also collect two years of license fees
for its products at first, and will add a $100 administrative fee to
each order. Placing an order online gets a software key good for 90
days delivered to the customer. Receipt of payment gets a more
permanent key delivered.
But Millware but wont be charging for support.
Nearly all 3000 suppliers collect a yearly fee for support, between
10 and 20 percent of a products purchase price.
The differences in the Millware business model reflect
Wisemans thinking about how much change is needed in the
computer field. He delights in saying things like, Millware
Corporation does not employ salesmen while attracting users to
things like hospitality suites. The company hosted an open bar in an
HP World hotel to help kick off its product offerings, software which
started to break onto the market in earnest this month.
Wiseman applies a salesmans energy to his marketing
tasks, however. At HP World, Millware was offering high-grade dress
shirts embroidered with its logo to people registered at its Web
site. Attendees had to promise to wear the shirt one day of the show,
a way to increase visibility for the company. Millware had a booth on
the show floor as well, and was a Gold Level sponsor of the
interesting as the marketing and business plans are, theres
some real MPE/iX engineering going on in the companys
offerings. Millware partnered with Brian Duncombes Triolet
Systems to build TheDash, a free performance dashboard that lists
fundamental performance information and can launch other HP 3000
tools such as Adager. Duncombe has created several performance
measurement products for the HP 3000 since the 1970s, and Triolet
began offering the Probe/iX performance tool in 1998.
And Millware is in partnership with Allan Yeo of the
UKs Affirm Ltd. to create ScreenJet, a terminal emulator and
GUI development package. Yeo started with client software from
another third party, stripping out 75 percent of its functionality
down to the essentials and reworking it for the needs of the 3000.
We know its solid, and we can add as much
graphical function as we want, Wiseman said. We have
another five years of enhancement in the client. Entering a
marketplace like GUI and terminal emulation could be daunting,
considering the established products available for the 3000. Millware
wants to establish its beachhead with TheDash.
TheDash will create bar charts which show data such as
transaction launches per second, or memory faults per transaction
launch, as a gauge of how busy the system is and whether there is a
potential memory problem. It also shows jobs, sessions and processes
for a quick look at system limits, and the systems top five
CPU-using processes. The software also promises to have a Windows
Help version of the MPE Help files. (A First Look at TheDash will be
in a future issue of the NewsWire.)
We have designed this so that you can keep it at the
top of your screen, Wiseman said, and you will always
have a minds eye view of your system while you work. Im
trying to make it the nicest little toy that any boy would want to
have on his HP 3000.
ScreenJet wants to be a means to remake the interface to
HP 3000 applications relying on VPlus. Its free client version
includes Smart Send, which sends ENTER in block mode and CR in
character mode, regardless of whichever of those keys a user presses.
It also offers an auto GUI that starts converting VPlus application
interfaces to look like Windows, file transfer, and a scripting
language. When sites that download ScreenJet register with Millware,
a feature is added which displays VPlus errors as Windows pop-up
Paying for a full version of the product that $50
per seat per year charge offers interface items such as radio
buttons and drop boxes through the ScreenJet Designer.
Both products being marketed by Millware promise an array
of future features, such as a Reporter for ScreenJet and subroutines
to handle non-VPlus applications. At the moment, the company is
offering a $20 per user per year special bundle for TheDash, one that
will provide all upcoming enhancements over the next two years at a
First release of some of these functions is planned
for ship at the end of October, Wiseman said, with
further releases every two months for the next two years, until all
modules have been completed. We feel that this gives the early
adopters who have faith in us, a real break on pricing forever, in
return for their faith.
Application suppliers and existing 3000 partners have
demonstrated faith in the Millware plan. CMT, a garment application
provider, CIO Technologies, an Internet fulfillment application
provider, Demand Wave, offering distribution applications, financial
app provider Genesis Total Solutions, and manufacturing application
maker Dennis & Schwab are among those who have signed up to use
ScreenJet to develop GUIs for their applications. Wiseman said that
these firms have over 500 customers.
GTS vice president Chris Miller says his company had been
particularly successful selling its applications to dot-coms using
the Smith-Gardner Ecometry package. But his firm recognized it needed
a more Windows-friendly interface. After reviewing our many
options ranging from designing new screens from scratch to
third-party conversion programs ScreenJet provided us with the
easiest, most cost-effective solution.
David Lorenz, Parcel Corporation of Americas
Director of Technology, said his fulfillment house to e-commerce,
catalog and direct TV companies used ScreenJet as deployed by CIO.
The software gives Parcels clients Web access to its systems
without losing the benefits of a VPlus and COBOL application.
In addition, the free distribution model from
Millware Corporation had allowed PCA to distribute the software
easily to as many customers as needed, without being penalized on
cost, Lorenz said. We gained instant benefit the moment
we installed ScreenJet, because our applications immediately looked
like Windows, and they ran faster on the Internet.
Changing the process of deploying 3000 applications seems
as important as any goal on Millwares menu. For the last
year weve been redefining how software should act, how it
should be designed, what it should do and, most importantly, how it
should be sold, Wiseman said.