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Creating greater Y2K awareness

IPOH: Practical Advanced Technology Sdn Bhd (PAT) will kick off a year-long monthly series of seminars focusing on the Year 2000 (Y2K) computer problem on Oct 3.

Managing director Lee Teck Voon said that the aim of the seminars is to make top and senior management aware of the seriousness of the Y2K problem.

"Feedback from IS staff at various organisations show that it is difficult to convince their bosses on the need to revamp or replace systems that are not Y2K compliant," he said, adding that they were distracted by the economic slowdown.

He said companies were trying hard to curb spending these days and view the Y2K problem as an expense, instead of an investment. Furthermore, they do not realise that resolving the Y2K problem needed proper planning and sufficient resources.

"They must realise that if they do not address the problem now, it will cost them more at a later stage. If they drag on like this, they better have a contingency plan in order," he warned.

Lee said PAT does not sell Y2K solutions but is offering its services as a consultant to help users look for suitable solutions.

"We will assess the products available in the market and make recommendations based on the testing we have done," he said.

The company has a Y2K task team comprising three persons who will tackle the compliance issue among local manufacturers, government, and small and medium industries (SMIs).

Lee also advised companies to start addressing their Y2K problem and tackle the mission critical applications from this year onwards, as time is rapidly running out.

"SMIs' investments in IT are typically small, so it would be better for them to replace the software instead of upgrading. The sooner they decide, the easier it is to deal with," he said.

He added that implementation of Y2K-compliant solutions might take anything from two weeks to 18 months.

"For instance, to implement a commercial accounting solution might take two weeks, and one module of an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) application would take five months," he claimed.

Lee said that it would take even longer to correct customised applications as this depends on the amount of documentation and resources available.

"If the original programmer for the application is still around then it would be easier migrate the application. Relying on a third party to do the job will be really tough," he said.

He said it would obviously be easier to opt for commercial, off-the-shelf solutions, as re-developing customised applications could take at least three months.

For more information on its seminars, call PAT at (605) 253-0030 or fax (605) 253-8426.

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