The problem is interfacing among systems. Make one part of the system compliant, and it may fail when it hooks up with another part. This is from FEDERAL COMPUTER WEEK (Sept. 29).
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The Year 2000 telecom problem presents especially sticky challenges. Even products and services described as Year 2000-compliant by vendors may not work correctly if they must interface with other products and services. Bill Nichols, director of service planning at the General Services Administration's Federal Telecommunications Service, said a product that will work fine in a stand-alone environment could encounter big problems in an interconnected configuration.
"You may have products in compliance, but the interfaces with other equipment may not be in compliance," Nichols said. "It may result in dropped calls. We don't know what will happen." . . .
The problem will be compounded because some solutions are not yet available and will require extensive testing within only a few months. "Some of the software fixes for some of these large systems will not be available until mid-1998," Nichols said. "That puts a lot of pressure on agencies to go through acquisitions and tests by the Year 2000."