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1998-05-31 08:36:24


Chase Manhattan Executive Says Y2K Has Many Advantages



I can see it now.

London, AP -- May 31, 1348. Physician says bubonic plague will have advantages. Dr. Will B. Graves says that this offers a tremendous opportunity to cleanse the European gene pool. "A lot of sickly people won't make it. They won't live to reproduce. This should allow Europeans in the next generation to score better in the Olympics. Maybe one of our men can win at least a bronze in one of the sprints."

The following assessment comes from an official from the largest bank in the United States. It has 200 million lines of code to go through. It has recently raised its y2k budget from $250 million to $300 million. The companies it loaned money to are not compliant. All other banks that it shares data with are noncompliant. Its vendors have yet to deliver compliant software.

But y2k will have real advantages, we are assured.

* * * * * * * * *

Everyone seems to be talking about year 2000 computer problems, but the millennium can present opportunities as well, says Nancy Everett, vice president and global communications manager for the technology infrastructure division at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City.

Everett, who lives in Passaic, specializes in year 2000 issues. Her work has taken her around the country to speak before groups, such as the American Bankers Association and the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners, that are interested in learning more about year 2000 challenges. . . .

Q. What issues do you address when speaking about the year 2000?

A. First, I try to communicate to people that it's very exciting just to experience the year 2000. . . .

The problem can affect basic services such as utilities, communications, office systems, building systems, and items in our homes, such as telephones, cell phones, thermostat controls, and even televisions. . . .

Q. You mentioned that year 2000 problems could also bring opportunities.

What might some of these be?

A. There are a lot of benefits to this whole process. From a personal standpoint, we are almost being forced to take responsibility for the things we own, making sure we have backup documentation of our assets, for instance.

From a business standpoint, it is a time to take a comprehensive overview of our entire computer resources and our inventory. It's an opportunity to evaluate our systems and the way we do business. In doing this, businesses can become wiser and more efficient in their use of technology. Also, marginally profitable products can be identified and eliminated, making companies stronger.

I think the year 2000 process will allow businesses to become sharper, clearer, and more fine-tuned, with standardized and improved quality as inevitable future outcomes.

Companies that are year 2000 compliant will be in the forefront.


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