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1998-06-12 14:13:46


Abbott Labs Is Not Compliant; Began Repair in 1992



Abbott Labs began its y2k repair project in 1992. The company says it just about has its code renovated. It plans to leave 18 months for testing. This is a very conservative time frame for testing.

The fact that the company got started years before most companies had heard about the problem testifies to the enormous task of renovation. Think of the companies that began in 1995 (e.g., Citicorp, Chase Manhattan Bank, Union Pacific). Bear in mind, "Most of our product offerings are either not computer-based or, if they are, do not calculate date-dependent information." This is not true of banks and railroads.

Abbott is dependent on suppliers. It has been contacting its suppliers since 1996. It has sent out y2k questionaires. No word on what the suppliers replied. You might imagine that they have had enough time to reply.

A chain is no stronger than its weakest link. That is an important concept for the Year 2000.

Abbott has not yet completed its inventory of manufacturing and physical facilities, i.e, embedded chips. Inventory. You know: the initial process. Then there is replacement, chip by chip. Anyway, they hope there are replacement chips -- chips that fit motherboards. Hope springs eternal, or at least until late 1999.

The company does provide lists of its compliant, noncompliant and "who knows?" products. A lot of them have become discontinued products.

* * * * * * * *

Abbott like any company or organization that relies on computer technology to conduct business has the potential to be affected by the Year 2000 issue. Although most of our product offerings are not affected, some of our active medical electronic products and commercial business systems incorporate date functions that could be affected. In addition, some of our Year 2000 compliant products and systems may interface with non-Abbott products and networks that are not Year 2000 ready, which broadens the potential impact. . . .

The Year 2000 problem only affects a small percentage of active Abbott products. Most of our product offerings are either not computer-based or, if they are, do not calculate date-dependent information. . . .

Any interfaces between two or more products add to the complexity of Year 2000 issues. Abbott is committed to providing solutions that make our products Year 2000 compliant. However, we cannot verify the Year 2000 readiness of any interfaces to laboratory information systems (LIS), hospital information systems (HIS) or other data management and collection systems unless Abbott specifically developed those interfaces. In cases where interfaces were not written by Abbott, we advise that you consult the developer for information on Year 2000 compliance. . . .

Mainframe renovation, which began as early as 1992, is nearing completion. Testing to validate the renovations will be conducted over the next 18 months. . . .

Abbott is currently completing a comprehensive inventory and assessment of all manufacturing and physical facilities systems, which include HVAC, environmental controls, elevators, safety and security systems, production and laboratory equipment, and utilities. Critical systems are being identified and priorities are being established. Remediation of some systems began in 1997 with completion planned prior to 2000. . . .

Abbott began actively addressing the Year 2000 readiness of its suppliers in April 1996. We have contacted all key suppliers to inform them of our expectations. Our supplier program continues with mailings, questionnaires, visits to supplier sites, and independent audits in an effort to obtain a commitment from each supplier to comply with our Year 2000 requirements.


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