HP extends one deadline on Transition
Reports to partners it wont hurry customers
The first deadline in the HP campaign
to move customers off the 3000 slipped here in California, when
attendees at the Interex e3000 Solutions Symposium learned they now
have three extra years to purchase 3000-to-HP 9000 conversion kits
for their N-Class and A-Class 3000s.
The announcement was one of several designed to
motivate more customer acceptance of HP-UX platforms. Separately,
channel partners at the conference reported HP has told them it will
not be hurrying its customers to migrate.
Loretta Li-Sevilla representing the HP 3000
division (CSY) marketing department since CSY worldwide marketing
manager Christine Martino chose not to attend told a packed
house that the HP-UX conversion kits will now be available through
2006, not until October of next year as originally announced.
HP also took steps to beef up its offering to
customers in the hopes that more of them will choose to migrate. The
majority of the 300 conference attendants were hungry for migration
information plenty of seats were available in sessions built
around 3000 fundamentals. But few attendees had actually begun
HP used its three hours of presentation on the first day to
entice more customers to move. CSY announced substantial
revamping of trade-in credits for the 3000s, a 12-month zero
percent leased HP-UX equipment financing offer, and a new half-off
discount on the cost of mission-critical and enterprise class HP-UX
The discount uncovers the limited functionality of the
Basic HP-UX license in the conversion kit. HP had begun its migration
program with an offer of a free, basic level HP-UX license when
customers converted their 3000s something of a migration toy,
compared to the typical 3000 operating environment that runs
mission-critical applications and needs features such as a Journaled
File System unavailable in the Basic HP-UX license. HP's Symposium
announcement was the first discount off the thousands of dollars
these required, production-grade HP-UX licenses will cost.
HP also sweetened the pot with trade-in credits for
HP and non-HP storage devices when customers move to HP-UX. A loaner
program six months of free HP 9000 use in exchange for a
contracted promise to shift to HP-UX, with an discounted option to
buy after the six months was also extended for HP-UX systems.
Li-Sevilla did not know if storage devices could be included in the
loaner program. A customer in the audience pointed out that migrating
sites would need loans of HP-UX storage to replace their HP 3000
One peripherals bright spot appeared for HP 3000
homesteaders, those sticking with the 3000. R&D manager Dave
Wilde confirmed the 5300 tape array is shipping for the platform. The
CSY division is also in the process of evaluating the
feasibility of adding Ultrium tape library, to come after the DLT
7000-8000 family, Wilde said.
The R&D manager also announced the possibility of
another MPE/iX release, number 8.0, appearing from HP sometime next
year. The 7.5 release is expected to ship around September of 2002,
or a bit earlier, he said.
Still hoping for migration
Despite its increased incentives extended during its
Symposium presentations, CSY continued to cling to its ideal that
four of every five customers will be leaving the platform. The
estimate appeared to spring from an Interex Web survey, one which
Li-Sevilla cited several times during her talk.
The survey results showed that more customers began
migration planning after HPs Nov. 14 announcement saying it
will leave the 3000 platform at the end of 2006. The Interex survey
also showed that customers were unsatisfied with the clarity of
HPs plan for migration. CSY General Manager Winston Prather
told attendees I hope after today, people will feel better
about that plan.
HPs business efforts, Prather added, are aimed
at the segment of the 3000 community that is making plans to leave.
After citing Interex figures that show 23 percent of companies had no
plans to leave the platform, Prather let his estimates of those
migrating creep upward by 17 percent during his 15-minute speech. By
the close of his remarks, Prather was saying 90 percent of 3000
customers will migrate.
The general manager said that Homesteading firms appear to be
staying for whatever reason either they cant, or
they wont. Roughly 80 percent of the customers are going to
leave the platform, and our top priority has really been around
helping those customers to migrate.
HP officials reported that their work on concocting
better migration offers has prevented them from serious study of the
OpenMPE opportunities to extend the platforms lifespan. Prather
acknowledged that a share of the 3000 customers are an audience
that will need additional help, beyond what HPs currently
committed to. Such help could run to a port of IMAGE to HP-UX,
or HPs support for projects such as an emulator that mimics
3000 hardware on Intel PC processors.
Prather preferred to think of the target audience for
such extra help as customers who may need more than five years
to migrate rather than those who plan to stay on the system
indefinitely. We are very committed to understanding how to
help you, he said to this homesteading contingent. There
are lots of very good ideas, and my message to you today is that I
still dont know which ideas are right yet.
The general manager said he doesnt know the
answers yet, because roughly 85 percent of the customers are
focused on migration. Interexs survey showed the number
at 77 percent. Thats where our priority has been
were focused on the 85 percent.
Prather also wanted attendees to believe the emulator
engineering project proposed by a firm HP has subcontracted to
help build parts of MPE and with 14 years of PA-RISC hardware
experience is not as straightforward and simple as it
The HP GM said he also has heard from third parties
who have told him an open source, OpenMPE movement would
absolutely destroy the ability of the ecosystem to go forward,
because there will not be a critical mass of any one company to
provide support services, and that will absolutely kill the life of
HP has been asked to consider whether too many 3000 support
options will keep third-party support providers from succeeding,
according to one channel partner. This ample group of third-party
support providers will be competing directly with HP for support
business until at least 2006.
For every one of these great ideas that someone
thinks theres a lot of potential in, theres someone who
thinks its a bad idea, Prather said in explaining his
lack of decision on OpenMPE initiatives. Customers voted to empower
OpenMPE initiatives as their top two requests in a recent Interex
System Improvement Ballot.
Despite the lack of action, Prather said CSY is doing
a lot of talking about OpenMPE. We are engaged and actively
talking to companies who want to build emulators, were involved
in OpenMPE Inc., and we are plugged in to all of these, he
said. I believe a lot of these are really great ideas, and I
believe a lot of them, if not many or most of them, will come to
HP just cant help OpenMPE while its fleshing out
a migration strategy that most customers found incomplete. We
had to focus on migration, he said, because thats
what the majority of our customers are going to be doing.
When those customers will actually be doing the
moving remained far less clear. In a packed afternoon session led by
Birket Foster, he polled the audience attending MPE The
Transition how many planned to migrate. When the majority of
hands went up, Foster added, How many have budget to migrate
this year? Only a few hands remained raised.
Fosters final question showed even more
restraint among the customer base. He asked how many attendees had
even asked their management for budget for 2003 to begin planning
migration. Fewer than half had asked for money to plan next year.
Thats really scary, Foster said. We
believe the migration isnt going to begin before 2004.