Full-page ad of success story?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
A full-page ad ran in today's front page section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It was run by M&I Data Services, based here in Milwaukee. In large, grey letters running up the page on the left side was the word "Teamwork". The text of the ad is as follows:
To every employee of M&I Data Services:
We have completed the most significant effort in our company's 34-year history. The final installation of our Year 2000 compliance project was completed with resounding success.
As a result, all M&I Data Services processing and software customers across the United States, and internationally, now have our Year 2000-ready software to process their data.
With more than a year remaining before the Year 2000, this is great news for our customers. They've had only positive things to say about our employees and their efforts.
This tremendous achievement confirms what we have known all along--our team rises to every challenge.
Every employee contributed to the success of this project--either directly, as a dedicated resource on the project, or indirectly, by supporting all those assigned to the project and by keeping our business running smoothly every day.
Teamwork drives success at M&I Data Services, and the people who make up our product teams, staff our support centers, run our facilities, operate our production environment, handle administrative responsibilities, manage projects, and market our services, prove this point every day.
Congratulations to everyone for the Year 2000 success. You should be extremely proud of this achievement.
M&I Data Services Management Team
(Corporate logo appears with the phrase "creating advanges")
[end of ad]
This is indeed good news. However, M&I has admitted that their product is not bug-free, and much testing remains. In addition, M&I services only a fraction of all banks (perhaps many more may bring their business to them now). Also, their software only handles a fraction of all transactions that banks do every day. M&I, as I understand their operation, handles all the daily account transactions (Checking and savings accounts activities) which are sent to them via various media. This does not necessarily include ATM's, loans, etc. Those are often handled by different vendors.
M&I's customers still have a great deal of work to do. However, this qualified success story is indeed good news.
-- Steve Hartsman (email@example.com), October 26, 1998
As I have found that it pays to do, I carefully try to "read between the lines" on these things. 1) "The final installation of our Year 2000 COMPLIANCE project was completed with resounding success" (emphasis mine), with the result that customers "now have our Year 2000-READY software to process their data" (emphasis mine). Why the disconnect -- shouldn't a COMPLIANCE project deliver "compliant" things, not "ready" things? 2) You note "M&I has admitted that ... much testing remains". Isn't TESTING 50%-70% of a Y2K project? Is M&I counting on their CUSTOMERS to perform this function??!!?? 3) Obviously, this does not imply in any way that customers with M&I's Y2K Ready-Sort-Of software are themselves Y2K compliant/ready in any way. 4) M&I's announcement does not imply that they are themselves Y2K compliant/ready in any way. == For what it is worth, I must admit, when it comes to good Y2K news, it doesn't get any better....
-- Jack (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 26, 1998.
<< 1) "The final installation of our Year 2000 COMPLIANCE project was completed with resounding success" (emphasis mine), with the result that customers "now have our Year 2000-READY software to process their data" (emphasis mine). Why the disconnect -- shouldn't a COMPLIANCE project deliver "compliant" things, not "ready" things? >>
I believe you may be over-analyzing here. Delivery of "ready" objects as oppsed to "complient" objects appears to be an attempt to avoid the repetitive use of of the word "complient" in a single sentence and/or paragraph. It was probably meant to improve readability, not to hide anything.
<< 2) You note "M&I has admitted that ... much testing remains". Isn't TESTING 50%-70% of a Y2K project? Is M&I counting on their CUSTOMERS to perform this function??!!?? >>
Well, actually, yes. When you are a vendor of software, you don't have much control over what you customers do with it once they have it. Even when you ship software which, when used as documented, performs in a certain way (in this case Y2K-compliently) there is no end to the inventive things customers will do with it, some of which are bound to cause problems. Basically, even if it Y2K complient when it leaves your shop, you can't guarantee that the customers are using it in Y2K-complient ways. Therefore, there is "much testing" remaining and the onus falls onto the customer to do that testing. Now, that testing should be done with the vendor's help and guidance.
<< 3) Obviously, this does not imply in any way that customers with M&I's Y2K Ready-Sort-Of software are themselves Y2K compliant/ready in any way. >>
Quite correct, and it would just as obviously be impossible for M&I to make any such claim with any accuracy.
<< 4) M&I's announcement does not imply that they are themselves Y2K compliant/ready in any way. >>
Sure it does. It implies that they have a Y2K complient product to sell, and that is indeed a form of Y2K complience. However, you are correct in that it doesn't say anything about their own administrative systems.
-- Paul Neuhardt (email@example.com), October 26, 1998.
Paul, Paul, Paul! You must work on your spelling! :-) I will have to deduct 15 points from your last post, and you must write:
Compliant, Compliant, Compliant......50 times on the blackboard!
Sorry, I've been grading too many spelling tests lately!
-- Gayla Dunbar (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 26, 1998.
I second that emotion! It is the start of the downfall of our society when computer communicators can't spell. Besides, it's not very Y2K compliant, either.
Good Night sweet Gayla, good night.
-- Larry Olney (email@example.com), October 26, 1998.
As anyone who reads my posts knows, I'm most definitely NOT a Pollyanna. However, I expect that there will be many such reports (disguised as press releases or advertisements in many cases, I suspect) of Y2K readiness or compliance.
Instead of denouncing them, I choose to embrace them as good news. Do I believe that this means there won't be problems? Of course not. The more good news I hear, however, the more I believe that meltdown, at least in the US, may be avoided.
Just as there are many who are still in denial that Y2K is a problem, it seems to me that there are some folks who are so steeped in their belief of digital armageddon that they actually deny that there can be any good news/progress being made.
Y2K is not technically difficult to fix within a given company or piece of software. It just takes time and thorough testing. More time than we have left, and more time than most (but not all) companies allotted to fix and test it. Had the entire world started to fix this problem in the early or mid-'90's, I firmly believe (unlike Gary North and seemingly many others) that it WOULD have been a minor blip.
Obviously, that is not the case. Companies like M&I, however, have succeeded to the degree that it is possible to succeed. NO attempt to deal with this problem will be bug-free.
I quote the Securities and Exchange Commission:
It is not, and will not, be possible for any single entity or collective enterprise to represent that it has achieved complete Year 2000 compliance and thus to guarantee its remediation efforts. The problem is simply too complex for such a claim to have legitimacy. Efforts to solve Year 2000 problems are best described as risk mitigation. Success in the effort will have been achieved if the number and seriousness of any technical failures is minimized, and they are quickly identified and repaired if they do occur.
Now, some may interpret this statement as proof of the IMPOSSIBILITY of fixing the problem. I accept it at face value. In my best-case scenario, most companies will have been "successful" according to the above definition. If that is the case, there will be many problems, but NOT problems which will result in TEOTWAWKI.
It frustrates me that those who are convinced of TEOTWAWKI absolutely refuse to accept/believe anything resembling good news.
Flame me if you must.
-- Steve Hartsman (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 27, 1998.
Suddenlly you and I sound more and more alike. Scary huh?
"Just as there are many who are still in denial that Y2K is a problem, it seems to me that there are some folks who are so steeped in their belief of digital armageddon that they actually deny that there can be any good news/progress being made. "
Could this be refrencing to a certain "butthead"?;) Or perhaps a certain newsletter writer?;)
"It frustrates me that those who are convinced of TEOTWAWKI absolutely refuse to accept/believe anything resembling good news. "
Exactly, and as we get closer and closer there WILL be good news. I forsee one heck of a bumpy ride, I forsee my life being drastically different after 01/01/00, but I vertainly think TEOTWAWKI becoming less likely with each passing day.
-- Rick Tansun (email@example.com), October 27, 1998.
There will obviously be many companies who will be ready, question is how many won't be ready. Of those who won't be ready can they keep trading somehow. How many will go under ultimately. When it comes to (the less visible) Govt agencies not being ready will anyone in the world at large notice any difference.
-- Richard Dale (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 27, 1998.
<< Paul, Paul, Paul! You must work on your spelling! :-) I will have to deduct 15 points from your last post, and you must write: >>
Uhhhh, can I plead temporary insanity? Whil I confess my spelling is below par (and my typing even worse), I do know how to spell compliant, and even get it right most of the time. I also genrally type out my postings in Word, spell check them then cut and paste them into place. I did neither with my post here. My humble and embarassed apologies to all.
<< Compliant, Compliant, Compliant......50 times on the blackboard! >>
I don't have a black board. Will a white board do?
<< Sorry, I've been grading too many spelling tests lately! >>
Only 15 points? You are nicer than my teachers ever were.
-- Paul Neuhardt (email@example.com), October 27, 1998.
Are you complainting about compliantinty with cmplainancy, or making a point about complaincency in his complaintency?
Was he complianying in his complacencie in his reply?
-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 27, 1998.
I hate keyboards.
Every child receives advice from his or her parents along the way. Every child ignores some (probably most) of that advice. When I was in high school my mother kept saying "Take a typing class! You'll be glad you did." My response was "No Way!"
It's the one and only subject I've ever admitted to Mom that she was right in what she said and I was wrong not to heed her words.
(There have been other such situations. This is just the only one I ever admitted to.)
-- Paul Neuhardt (email@example.com), October 27, 1998.