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Summary and Comments

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Category: 

Telecommunications

Date: 

1998-05-20 23:01:11

Subject: 

Sprint's 1997 Statement: Vaguely Positive and Positively Vague

  Link:

http://www.sprintbiz.com:80/iprivate/2000.html

Comment: 

Sprint has some 100 million lines of code. It has embedded chips. It has vendor software. It has suppliers. What it doesn't have is compliance.

But they're working on it.

If you're reassured by this bit of PR flackery, you're a trusting person.

Note: this was probably written in mid-1997. It promises great progress by late 1997. I wonder why this ancient press release is still on their site. Could it be that they missed their target goal? Nah!

* * * * * * * * *

PLANNING FOR THE CHALLENGE AHEAD

The year 2000. Itís coming quickly, and while many people are busy planning for their New Yearís Eve celebration, business professionals are already planning significant changes to their computer systems in order to do business in the year 2000 and beyond. . . .

Driverís license expiration dates, interest-payment applications, billing systems, pension plans, asset management systems and electronic data transfer are a few date-dependent applications that may either fail partially or completely. Already, credit card expiration dates beyond the year 2000 are causing some errors in performing credit background checks on customers. In fact, the 2000 problem will crop up in most systems before New Yearís Day in 2000 and will occur even earlier in systems that used 99 as a special character set for test purposes rather than as 1999.

The challenge is complex for the telecommunications industry because the major carriers handle millions of date sensitive electronic transactions every day. As a result, Sprint is assessing all of the mainframe, mid-range and client server production application programs. Sprint is also examining third party vendor application systems, hardware and software.

Recognizing the need to prepare for this dilemma, Sprintís top executives established a year 2000 program in June of 1996. A program management office, with dedicated resources, was organized to address all of the issues involved with year 2000 compliance - for Sprint and Sprintís vendors. Additionally, a consulting firm was engaged to provide year 2000 systems integration expertise. The firm is currently conducting a comprehensive assessment of all Sprint applications and technology, and developing a strategic plan for conversion by late 1997.

When all the companyís systems are compliant with the 2000 date, Sprint will examine where those systems interface with systems outside the company. Bridges or system interfaces will be built for non-compliant external systems, and non-compliant vendor applications will be replaced with those that are 2000 compatible.

Although the year 2000 challenges are large, the approach Sprint is taking to tackle them is comprehensive and thorough. Sprint's top priorities are ensuring the integrity of the Sprint network and minimizing the impact to customers.

Link: 

http://www.sprintbiz.com:80/iprivate/2000.html

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