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1997-11-03 16:43:04


"It Won't Cost That Much. It's Not a Big Problem."



This article from COMPUTERWORLD (Sept. 9) reports on analysts who dismiss y2k as overhyped.

On the allocation of resources necessary to complete a y2k project, see the California White Paper.

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"The alarmists have seized the field, and the burden of proof seems to be on those who say it's not that critical," Giammo says.

"I can see where some companies are in trouble, but vendors are really playing on the emotions of companies that are not in trouble," says Chuck Meehan, director of management information services at Insituform Technologies, Inc. in Memphis. "Some companies are spending huge amounts to change out their total software, which is asinine." . . .

But Ray Strecker, a vice president and year 2000 specialist at American Management Systems, Inc. (AMS) in New York, says the minimalist philosophy may have troubling legal implications. "If you're a firm with a substantial balance sheet, you have no choice but to take the problem very seriously because that's the only action you can defend in court," he says. . . .

It's impossible to completely validate vendors' claims for year 2000 compliance, warns Leon Kappelman, co-chairman of the Society for Information Management's International Year 2000 Working Group. Testing is essential, he says, and it may also be necessary to set up filters to block noncompliant transactions from critical internal systems.

But no matter what you do, you won't know whether systems are compliant until the date change occurs, experts say. "You will never find all the date problems," Maney says. "Of those you do find, you'll never fix them all right. And of the ones you fix, you'll never test them all right."

Many of the companies saying the year 2000 is no big deal are "in la-la land," especially those that haven't started their work, Kappelman says. For example, he says, a large manufacturing firm recently said it might use brand-new applications from SAP America, Inc. to solve its legacy year 2000 problems. "But they are a four-year SAP project," Kappelman says. "They should be doing triage what do they have to fix now?"


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