HP Business Critical Systems
Marketing Program Manager
Making Choices to Move On
Alvina Nishimoto has been tracking choices for HP 3000
customers a long time. Not anywhere nearly as long as her time at HP;
Nishimoto, whos been in charge of the technical marketing for
HPs 3000 transition programs since 2002, started with
Hewlett-Packard as a programmer analyst, straight out of college, in
1978. The first 15 years of her HP service came in the companys
applications development group, improving the Materials Management II
and Financial Management apps, But Nishimoto moved out of the labs
and into more direct customer contact during the 1990s, becoming the
best-informed source of tools for the 3000s growing
Tools remain at the heart of her work with the 3000
customers, a group that has often relied on third parties to provide
the means to move data. Now that HP has practiced a few years of
advocating movement away from the platform, Nishimoto is often the
messenger carrying news of trade-in offers, investment protection
plans and stories about companies who choose to step away from the
platform. Shes still talking about choices, but now those
choices are HPs alternatives to the 3000.
Nishimoto has been honored by HP and the 3000 community
for her work with customers. In 2001 she won the
Entrepreneurial/Business Achievement Award from The HP Womens
Conference, one of just four HP female employees so honored that
year. With the advent of a new Transition Tools program and the end
of HP 3000 system sales, we made a date to talk with Nishimoto at a
venue where shes been a fixture of late: an HP user group
conference. We spoke with her at last months regional Greater
Houston RUG meeting.
Whats the motivation for creating this new
Transition Tools program?
Some of it is the customers asked for this, and some
of it is that sales ended on Oct. 31, and this is a follow-up program
thats more geared to the transition.
Which kinds of tools qualify for the program? Can other
ISVs get their products eligible?
Were willing to consider that, but were
going to wait another six months because we went through a Request
For Proposal process for this, and that takes a bit of overhead. The
main qualification is that you have to have a business relationship
or reseller agreement with all four Platinum migration partners.
So customers have to work through a Platinum partner then,
to get their free tools?
We issue a coupon to the customer, and the partner
verifies that it is a valid coupon. You have to request a tool within
60 days of the purchase of the HP server. You need to have purchased
the server, but you dont need to have received it.
What kinds of spots will be open in another six months for
the program? Are you limiting the offers to one tool for each unique
We didnt really go after establishing unique
positions for the tools this time. The main criterion was having a
relationship with all the Platinum partners.
What are the plans for HPs North American Transition
Center for 2004?
It still exists, and its doing programs like
this Tools coupon. We continue to meet and evaluate where the
customers are. It hasnt really changed that dramatically, but
it concerns all the platforms from HP, not just the 3000.
So there are other HP platforms facing a transition?
Alpha (Tru64 UNIX) is one. We are borrowing a lot of
the ideas of Alpha, and theyre borrowing from us. The
transition to Itanium (HP Integrity) is another, so were
borrowing a lot of the ideas weve used between the two
What 3000 hardware advice do you have for the company that
brings an HP 9000 in on loan and still owns their HP 3000 when the
migration is done?
Were telling people to keep the loaner system
because its a better box, a newer box.
You mean that if they take their existing N-Class 3000 and
turn it into a 9000, theyd have an older HP 9000?
Yes. Some people see it as less risky to keep their
3000 [after the loan] because they do know that it works, and their
peripherals are already configured for it. In those cases they do
their change overnight. Its one less variable for them to worry
about. But if you have the ability to keep the 9000, we recommend
What about the value of whats left over? The 3000 is
worth up to 15 percent of the HP 9000s purchase price through
the trade-in program, right?
Thats true, but if you dont trade in the
3000, then you have to pay for that 9000 server. Thats the
Isnt the value of the MPE license more significant
than the hardware, since theres not going to be any more
PA-RISC MPE licenses issued by HP?
Can a customer get an extension of their HP 9000 loaner if
their project starts to run behind schedule?
If you have a conversion kit situation, we give you
about three months to get that system back to us. I have considered
something we do on a case by case basis: two different back-to-back
six month loans of the 9000. We want the first one to be a small one
and the second one to be a production one.
Will these loaned HP 9000s ever be Itanium-based
Yes. Some of the newer ones just arent
available because of supply.
And the newest midrange servers just announced in the
Those are going to be a lot harder to get now. You
have to let that dust settle a bit.
Hows the response added up for the Investment
Protection Program since HP World?
Weve had some response, but its still
pretty low. Thats why I keep mentioning it. Some people have
registered, and they have until January 31. Theres only so long
we can keep track of these things. They have to take the liability on
these system discounts in advance.
SIG-Migrate members believe that the information about
migration options is pretty scattered, and theyve proposed
setting up an independent Web site to offer information. Is there a
comprehensive Web site already up and running to help educate
That certainly makes sense. We tried to do that kind
of Web page with our Quick Reference Guide. [Ed. Note: The page is at
www.hp.com/products1/evolution/e3000/programs/quick_ref.html.] If the
SIG has suggestions on how to update the Quick Reference Guide,
Ill certainly adjust that. That was the intention on the Quick
Reference Guide, because the information was pretty scattered.
What are the plans for the Platinum Migration partner
program for next year?
The tools promotion is the big thing. Thats why
we put it together, to have something with the Platinum partners.
Well continue to do things like present at RUG meetings, but
there are concerns about attendance. If were starting to get
low attendance, its hard for the Platinum partners to justify
traveling. I dont have real good visibility right now, because
we get our budgets quarter by quarter.
Do you believe the business-level executives in HP 3000
customer sites have been reached by HPs migration initiatives
At least 25 percent of our contacts in our database
are at the CIO level, and we do call them. But its hard,
because they have plenty of other responsibilities, and they tend to
delegate that part of it to somebody else. Theres only so much
we can do.
Do you think if you got to more of those business
contacts, you could get more people moving in a transition?
To be very frank, it appears there are a fair number
that are already moving, or at least are planning. Im not quite
as concerned, I guess. We were surprised at the number of people who
called us back and said Ive been off the 3000 now a good
five or six years. For our top customers we taking another
look, and making sure we reach out to them, one more pass from the
CSY group. It takes a bit.
Whats the latest a customer can take delivery of an
HP 3000 they had quoted by Oct. 31?
The latest they can take delivery is January 31,
2004, but were not really encouraging that.
Is that because of what you said this morning, that some
of the 3000 system parts are in short supply?
Thats the concern. Well have to see when
the dust all settles, because there are a lot of quotes outstanding
But dont the available HP 9000 rp7400 systems help
HP make up those parts shortages? Arent these the same systems
The parts problem is that were using the same
chassis supply that the 9000 folks are using. Were actually
trying to balance more than our [3000 N-Class] needs. HP needs to
keep parts on hand for the 9000s for service needs.
Are customer sites starting to warm to the idea of app
migration instead of app replacement?
Were getting a little bit of that. People have
looked at the replacement applications and realized that its
not going to meet their needs, or its just going to be way too
big a project to replace. Weve seen that in a few customers.
But a lot of other customers just want to move on, and so they look
at off- the-shelf applications. They tells us that this is a great
time to re-evaluate their processes, to fix those weird encoded part
Will you try to guess what the size of the 3000 installed
I cant do that. I know the answer to the
question, but we just dont talk about it. We have an idea, but
its less than people think. Its based on when we call,
and hear these customers have been off the platform for five or six
Doesnt that declining size of customer base start to
work against you in offering programs to 3000 customers?
Its part of HPs umbrella of keeping our
whole installed base. Its not viewed as a 3000 program,
its viewed also as a 9000 program and an Alpha program. We
created the 9000 Quick Reference Guide, for example, based on our HP
For the 9000 customers, is their transition issue simply
when do they go to the Itanium-based models?
And its also getting off HP-UX 10.20 which is
no longer supported. Some of that 9000 hardware that might be running
10.20 is also not supported or wont be shortly.
What size of company has been most likely to engage with
HP in a migration so far? Typically a bigger company than small to
From an HP Consulting point of view, large companies
are typically who they service. From a Migration Center and
Transition Program view, were all over the map. We get a lot of
feedback from Summit and Amisys on things like the loaner program,
where we ironed out a lot of the kinks.