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1998-05-25 11:54:43


Old Good News Is Bad News: The ITAA Index



The Information Technology Association of America is one organization at the forefront of y2k repair.

It has a web page on success stories. As of late May, 1998, its latest sucess story was published in June, 1997. The lead story, on transportation, was on the Union Pacific Railroad. Date: Jan., 1997. Since that time, Union Pacific has suffered losses and bad publicity because of disruptions in its operations.

Here's the "good news" in Union Pacific, as of Jan. 3, 1997. There has been lots of bad news since then. Some of it is posted on Union Pacific's page, Service Recovery.

* * * * * *

As the largest railroad in North America, Union Pacific depends on dates to make the trains both literally and figuratively run on time. Working from the company's headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, Brechbill seems to maintain the steady confidence of a locomotive engineer, notwithstanding his company's recent merger with Southern Pacific.

What's the Y2K connection? Southern Pacific outsourced its IS operations. Thus, while these information systems will not make the transition, the consolidated company must still assimilate vast quantities of Southern Pacific data. In some cases, the new data must be changed to fit in the Union Pacific framework; in other instances, Union Pacific programs must be adapted to incorporate new types of information. Melding the information resources of the two companies has required both people and planning, even as Y2K efforts must speed ahead down a parallel track.

And the company's Y2K train has definitely left the station. . . .

Union Pacific launched its first Y2K pilot in 1995. Compared to what he has heard from others at a recent Y2K conference, Brechbill said he thinks his company is ahead of the game. The program manager hopes to stay ahead by cutting down the time it takes to test systems and put them back into production. He has a pilot in the works, details not available, that may make dramatic improvements in this critical area.


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