September 2003

Transoft will move more than 30 HP 3000s to Windows .NET

Much of the talk at HP World about customer transitions used timetables of several years, and few customers at the conference could report they’d actually begun to make a move away from the platform. But in the weeks following the show Transoft and HP announced they had signed a deal to migrate the 3000s in the Washington Community College Consortium to a solution on Windows NT that uses SQL Server. Paul Holland, the CEO of Transoft, said the project is the biggest migration awarded so far to an outside transition firm. Expeditors International will move more than 160 HP 3000s to some brand of Unix, but that company is doing the work itself using AMXW. The deal with the Washington colleges migrates 34 HP 3000s into a centralized data center to be run by the colleges’ Center for Information Systems (CIS). The applications written in COBOL II on the 3000s will become AcuCOBOL applications under Microsoft’s .NET, Holland said, after about 18 months of migration work between Transoft and HP Services.

The business came through after competing bids from the likes of Sun and SAIC, Holland explained. The CIS proposal wanted a datacenter built, stocked with a server farm, its colleges networked, the application moved and the databases re-engineered. “We went to HP Services and said ‘If you come in on this, we’ll marry you to this and we won’t go to anyone else,’ “ Holland said. The company plans to use its tool set in the migration, especially those pieces dedicated to preserving business logic in applications during a migration. Transoft’s approach, Holland said while reporting on the project, includes both services-based engagements like the colleges’ migration, as well as products, “because these HP 3000 customers are an independent bunch, and they very much want to take this [transition] on themselves. In many ways that’s what feeding the inertia that’s out there. These people say they’ll solve this problem themselves, and they’ll hang in there until they get it figured out.”

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