Proof of concept assessments have often powered significant change at HP 3000 sites. Without any demos of replacement apps, few migrations receive a green light to proceed with all of the raw change and full-on expense. Even when the change is limited to applications only with no platform replacement, testing with production data is a secure choice.
Ultimately, the way customers upgrade systems was going to change. In one example, virtualization solutions provider Stromasys calls proof of concept essential to HP 3000 success with its Charon system.
Back when the 3000’s exposure to Charon was new, Ray LeBrun held a webinar on proof of concept. “We’re pretty confident that if we engage in a proof of concept, we’re 99-plus percent sure Charon will work for you,” LeBrun says. “We will not engage if we’re not confident this is the right solution for you.”
Pieces of a proof of concept
To prove the concept of giving HP’s 3000 hardware an exit date, Stromasys works with a site’s production data and applications. Of course, the data stays in place. However, LeBrun said Charon has also been “a bridge to allow you to get to a migration. We have folks who say, “I’m only going to use that  application for another two years. Well, two more years oftentimes becomes three, four, and five years.”
A business case for migrations — either off HP’s hardware, or away from an operating environment — usually gets built at a customer site only after the technology has been given an all-clear. Proof of Concepts can be paid engagements. In fact, they can carry more weight with management because they are a paid service. Those costs can fall into the operating expenses column, too. In the case for Charon proof of concept in the 3000 market, they include vendor’s hours on site. Legacy sites pay for services to transfer data to the Intel-based Charon system, and training a customer’s IT staff to use the software.
A five-day onsite engagement, followed by a 30-day test period, can make up a proof of concept. In the end, customers get to rely on fresh hardware. The aging HP iron with its 20-year-old storage is gone. “We basically do a live install of your application [on Charon] in your environment,” LeBrun said. “You’re not testing for look and feel. You’re testing your application with your data.”