In just one decade, the 1990s, supercomputer centers have undergone two fundamental transitions which require rethinking their operation and their role in high performance computing. The first transition in the early to mid-1990s resulted from a technology change in high performance computing architecture. Highly parallel distributed memory machines built from commodity parts increased the operational complexity of the supercomputer center, and required the introduction of intellectual services as equally important components of the center. The second transition is happening in the late 1990s as centers are introducing loosely coupled clusters of SMPs as their premier high performance computing platforms, while dealing with an ever-increasing volume of data. In addition, increasing network bandwidth enables new modes of use of a supercomputer center, in particular, computational grid applications. In this paper we describe what steps NERSC is taking to address these issues and stay at the leading edge of supercomputing centers.