The media have given a great deal of coverage to Bob Bemer, a 77-year-old retired programmer who claims to have developed a tool to reduce the cost of y2k repairs. The product was supposed to be available in December, 1997. This promise remained on Mr. Bemer's Web site in late January. So far, it is still in the testing stage.
His Web site forecasted revenues of $10 million in 1997. It says that total revenues over the life of the product could be a billion dollars. But the worldwide cost of making the software repairs, the site says, is $600 billion.
I keep wondering: How can a product that solves a $600 billion problem (not counting litigation) be expected to generate only $1 billion? Either this product does not solve the y2k problem or Mr. Bemer needs a better marketing plan.
On August 11, 1997, I posted this analysis of Bemer's product by Prof. Leon Kappelman of the University of North Texas. "But even if Bemer is 100% right about this and can deliver the product to implement it, and say it works with no manual intervention at all and is 40 times faster, it still only addresses code remediation which is only about 10% to 15% of the work. That's not to say that a 97.5% reduction in 15% of the work won't help; it certainly will. But it still leaves over 85% of the work remaining to be done."
Mr. Bemer clearly does not believe has has invented a silver bullet. He has used the phrase, "silver-plated bullet."
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BMR Software Inc. is a privately held start-up company that expects to deliver its first product offering by December. 1997 annual sales forecast: $10 million. . . .
No. of Employees:4 employees and 2 technical consultants Product Offering:Vertex 2000, a Year 2000 conversion software program using Bob Bemer's Bigit Methodology TM. . . .
Coined the "silver-plated bullet" of the Year 2000 problem by The Wall Street Journal, BMR Software estimates that Vertex 2000 will work significantly faster than manual and/or source-code conversion approaches. . . .
Of Special Interest:Bob Bemer, 77, best knows as the Father of ASCII text, "jumped" out of retirement to save the world from the Year 2000 Millenium Bug. . . .
The potential market size for this product is $1 billion, according to Morgan Stanley. Worldwide costs of Y2000 conversions, according to The Gartner Group, is estimated at $600 billion.