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May 2005

Roundtable to deliver independent
migration experts at HP World

HP World’s summer panel serves up “vendor-agnostic” advice

Since 2002, customers could count on hearing advice from HP about how to migrate away from the HP 3000. Each HP World conference since the HP end-of-business announcement about the 3000 featured a customer panel, led by HP, to tell IT pros about moving off the platform. The sessions were often as well attended by tools and services providers as by customers. But all roads off the platform led to other HP choices.

This summer, migration advice will include new forks in the road away from the platform. Independent experts and providers will share their advice, tempered by completed migration experience.

The HP World conference in San Francisco — the first Interex show since HP decided to launch its own technical conference — will feature an August 17 panel at the show’s Wednesday afternoon midpoint populated with community migration solution experts. Instead of an HP moderator, the panel’s moderator will be 3000 NewsWire editor Ron Seybold.

HP has delivered bona-fide advice at its prior panels, moving closer to completed projects with each passing year. The vendor has never cut a speaker short during its panels or steered an answer. Customers testified about both difficulties and solutions while they moved applications and companies away from the 3000. But each solution led to another HP platform. Most of the IT pros on the panels were leading large staffs, or had multi-million dollar budgets for outsourcing from vendors such as HP Services.

In short, the new panel’s organizers say the advice to date hasn’t had much in common with the common HP 3000 site: A one-to-three-person IT shop that has always had a do-it-yourself approach to projects. Many 3000 sites want to know about non-HP target platforms, stepping away from the vendor after it decided it would drop support for their stable platform.

Nearly all of the panel’s speakers have had close contact with HP throughout their careers, either as contractors, business partners or solution suppliers. The panel’s organizer, Alan Yeo of ScreenJet, said the lineup of migration speakers will be on hand to deliver answers which may not follow the HP route to the future.

“We want to have a non-HP panel, vendor-agnostic,” Yeo said. “It certainly won’t be vendor-centric. We’ve tried to get a group with a whole different range of perspective and experience in migrating and related issues.”

Users will ask questions — or submit them to the NewsWire in lieu of attending the roundtable — and eight HP 3000 resources will do their best to answer. A transcript of the meeting will be available at the NewsWire’s Web site a few days after the meeting.

Yeo said the panel will also differ in one significant way. The speakers won’t have presentations to offer, only answers to questions.

“You’ll have a bunch of brains to ask questions of, get pointers and guidance,” he said, “details and specifics, anything we can help you with.”

Panel members are:

• David Dummer, creator of fourth generation languages for the HP 3000;

• Lee Tsai, whose iMaxSoft company has migrated HP 3000 databases to other platforms;

• Gavin Scott of Allegro Consultants, a company which has helped HP build parts of MPE/iX and now is a Resource 3000 member;

• Rick Gilligan of CASE, an MPE/iX banking application provider moving customers to non-3000 platforms;

• Alfredo Iglesias of Acucorp, a language provider that’s been at the center of 3000 COBOL migrations;

• Nick Fortin of Speedware, a company that has already migrated some customers off the 3000 and sells the AMXW migration suite;

• Michael Marxmeier, creator of Eloquence, the IMAGE-workalike database that’s stepping in at 3000 sites with packaged applications and home-grown systems;

• Yeo, whose Screenjet firm has migrated mid-sized companies such as Dairylea Cooperative and now sells a Transact-to-C migration tool.

“This is a panel of real world experience of real-world migration issues,” Yeo said, “either from our customers or directly.”

HP will also offer migration panelists at the conference. “These will be big customers,” Yeo said, “of whom you can’t ask them the real question: is it working yet?”

Some have been saying “not quite yet” for the past 12 months, he added.

“I have a lot of interest in having people migrate,” Yeo said. “I just think the case studies that HP has been talking about are as different as me driving my car home and NASA sending me a rocket to get there.”

Session attendees will also have a chance to offer advice and real world experiences. Migration is likely to be a self-directed project for the bulk of this market, according to Yeo and others.

“It’s the sites that are going to manage their own projects that are the most interesting,” Yeo said.

The panel, “HP e3000 Migration Questions? Ask Some Community Experts,” will begin at 3 PM, right after the SIG-Migrate meeting.


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