Gartner Group Meeting : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

...meeting today. Guest speaker was Matthew Hotle, Vice President & Research Director of Gartner Group. Spent about 2 hours discussing Y2K issues & concerns. I personally attended this meeting. Highlights:

1. 25% of Y2K problems should occur by the end of Dec. 1999. 55% of Y2K problems will occur during 2000. 10% (of the 55%) of Y2K issues will occur during the first two weeks of '00. Most problems occuring during this time period will be found & fixed within 72 hours. Expect "spikes" of Y2K issues throughout 2000 - whoever said "the gift that keeps on giving..." is right on the money.

2. During key dates (such as 1st batch cycles, etc...) have people placed in key areas to monitor quality and manual workarounds. With critical transactions, be prepared to do personal walk-throughs. Dedicate 1 person for each critical function. Perhaps increased work.

3. On 12/31 & 1/1, expect problem spikes at 12:00 Greenwich Meridian Time (about 8 p.m. E.S.T., I think) and 12:00 local time. 4 out of 5 Y2K issues will be caused by corrupted data, not hard failures.

4. Corporations inventory build-up isn't happening at what Gartner thought it would be. J.I.T. (just in time) inventory isn't increased as to what it should be (a couple of weeks) because of not enough $$$ or space. An example was of a leading auto company in Detroit - their on-hand J.I.T. inventory is 4 HOURS worth of materials.

However, a chart that Gartner produced said that 70% of companies have placed orders for added inventory... (Makes me wonder what point is correct?)

Hotle did also say that some companies are stockpiling some critical items, but not all items needed in the process.

5. Thinking about intra-industry (within same industry) companies helping one another out? Hotle gave an example of the food industry. A few companies are stockpiling food containers - not only for themselves, but ALSO to shut-out their competition from having the needed supplies. Hotle called it "predatory issues" in our current marketplace.

6. World Status: Depends on veracity of data sources. Gartner compared surveys with contacts from clients, phone calls, etc... Where information from different sources co-incides, then probably close to the truth.

Gartner gave "slide-rule" indicators of how countries are doing, from "Level 1" (just started) to "Level 5" (almost done) ranges. This wasn't very useful - it didn't tell how many companies in a country were "poor" or what sectors were affected. Some countries were better than others, from "Level 3" to "Level 5", but again, nothing definitive.

He said that thought oil wouldn't be much of a problem. I wondered if he thought these countries' reports were accurate. Brought up the issue of Venezuelan oil (Guri dam - 70% of electricity expected to be affected). He then said that a lot of politics, etc... but never really answered my question.

7. Gartner more concerned about small-mid sized trucking companies - thinks they've got serious concerns. Also concerned about railroad track switches... (Never mentioned merger issues - CCX & Conrail. Didn't get a chance to ask that question.)

8. He told people to prepare for what they feel is right. Told them to do their own research. Also said to check out the BBS' - funny stuff he said. (I thought it was interesting that he paid attention to the BBS' since it seems like he thought that much info wouldn't be coming from there.

9. He (Hotle)expects 1 or 2 terrorist incidents. Didn't go into detail.

10. Concerned about $$$ withdrawal. Admitted that he would make fun of those people. Was very concerned about $$$ being stolen from home.

11. Expects Y2K to be media driven, gas prices to rise, and more pre-Y2K panic than post-Y2K panic. (Here Y2K = 1/1/00.)

-- Youguess Who (youguess@im.not.tellin), November 10, 1999


Several very interesting points.

Can you give us some idea who the audience was without "incriminating" yourself? (Industry, prof. org, gov, etc..) How amny? tone of questions?

Thanks for the update.

-- Lewis (, November 10, 1999.

J.I.T. inventory is 4 HOURS worth of materials
to shut-out their competition from having the
needed supplies. Hotle called it "predatory
issues" in our current marketplace.

I expect this to exacerbate the problem. This
will also be a problem in more than just the
food industry.

-- spider (, November 10, 1999.

End bold

-- spider (, November 10, 1999.


-- spider (, November 10, 1999.

Thanks very much for posting this, Youguess.

"3... [in reference to 12/31 and 1/1] 4 out of 5 Y2K issues will be caused by corrupted data, not hard failures."

"1... Most problems occuring during this time period [first 2 weeks of 2000] will be found & fixed within 72 hours."

These statements seem contradictory. I wouldn't have thought that corrupted data (which might not show up for a while) would be so easily fixed.

-- Brooks (, November 10, 1999.

--ok, this is what all those experts still "don't get", I'll just do a quikee, a maybe, a possible, but using their own data below is quote

""3. On 12/31 & 1/1, expect problem spikes at 12:00 Greenwich Meridian Time (about 8 p.m. E.S.T., I think) and 12:00 local time. 4 out of 5 Y2K issues will be caused by corrupted data, not hard failures."" ok-4 out of five corrupted data, here's the fifth, i could write it better, but i'll do it like a newscast, sorta:

January 1st, atlanta:

...workers in the federal building downtown were killed and thousands had to be evacuated today, after a train struck a truck at a crossing near the world congress center and omni complex. the workers were in the building after hours to observe any problems with the y2k rollover date in some government computers. It's theorized but not known that a malfunctioning warning signal and crossing gate allowed the truck- carrying electronics to a tradeshow-to cross over the tracks, just when a train was crossing. The resultant pileup made the locomotive jump the tracks, and over a dozen cars left them as well. The rail line is in a tunnel that transverses down town atlanta. Approximately 15 cars back was a car containing liquid chlorine, the resultant cloud of chlorine gas has contaminated most of downtown, and killed by burning and asphyxiation all of those workers who were staying over new years to help fix anything that might have failed because of y2k. Also killed or injured were thousands of late nite revelers gathered in underground atlanta to celebrate the new years. GEMA has cordoned off a 30 block area of downtown. The exact number of dead or injured is unknown at this time. MARTA has stopped running, as the main north-south, east west point crossing is completely bathed in chlorine gas, and it has spread down the tunnels in all directions. There are a few people on the rooftops of the larger buildings downtown, but rescuers cannot get to them, even with helicopters, because of the gas. And clogged streets. Police have advised that no travel into the downtown area is being allowed, and there is a massive traffic pileup of people trying to evacuate, but the huge number of crashes has blocked all the roads, and firefighting and emergency equipment cannot get through. Once again, GEMA has advised all citizens within 3 miles of the center of atlanta to please stay indoors until this crisis is over, and to not travel. Please stay off the roads. --in further y2k related news, atlanta gas light is assuring customers that the gas will be turned back on within the week, as soon as they can be assured of a reliable supply at a manageable pressure from suppliers in the west....they advise citizens to please shutoff their own gas appliances and service line from the street, as crews are stretched thin, and can't get through the clogged roads.....and also to not burn fires in unapproved ways in their homes to try and stay warm. they advise swaeaters and huddling in blankets in interior rooms as an alternative for staying warm. ---the fulton county emerrency manager has asked citizens to be patient, as the food trucks will be able to get in and resupply the grocery stores as soon as the roads open after the chlorine emergency is past. In the meantime, please stay in your homes, and monitor these newsbroadcasts on the emergency weather channels. The generators that run these emergency channels are up and running, and they ask that you not try to use the phone system or 911, as it keeps crashing from citizens dialing in to find out what's going on.......

blah blah blah, don't these eggheads get this? are they this dense, or what? my guess is that they are all peter principle victims......

I think maybe these upper level experts might need to take another look at interconnectedness.

yea, me, zog

-- zog (, November 10, 1999.

I'm in local goverment. Very low-level, and am in no position of need-to-know info. This meeting was an open invitation to all employees of my division (at least 1,000 people in my div.).

Meeting was fairly well attended by upper mgmt. I felt out of place because I'm not management, but have always been looking out for computer issues. (My dept. didn't have virus scanners on some of our computers. I brought this up to my supervisor numerous times - nothing ever done until Chernobyl wiped out 3 of our computers. Also had to get our I.S./Research person to run MSN's Product Analyzer. He thought that fixing the BIOS would fix it all... Had to argue with him just to get the P.A. run - boy was he surprised!)

Also, something else I forgot - Holte said that NBC had been put under some pressure to cancel the Y2K movie on 11/21, didn't say by what groups, etc... As far as he knew, the movie was still going to be run.

Questions from the crowd - yes. Especially about infrastructure and nuclear issues. You could tell that some people were not well read on the issue. Tone was kept light - "don't panic, but do a little preping if it makes you feel good" was the theme. Sometimes seemed to be conflicting messages, like the companies' inventory issue.

One man brought up the point about a possible Asian recession, and Holte said that he wasn't an economist, but that there was a definite possibility of Asia heading south again. Holte then said that Yardeni needed to more technically founded than currently was, as some of Yardeni's info wasn't very accurate.

A few well-read people in the crowd, mostly people that either hadn't read or were close-lipped.

-- Youguess Who (youguess@im.not.tellin), November 10, 1999.

---I didn't do it, but let's see if i can get bold off. Hope this works!

-- zog (, November 10, 1999.


It's obvious to me from their recent flip-flop, going from in-depth research and extensive reports on how and why Y2K was likely to be economically painful throughout the world, to baseless and shallow propaganda style news releases designed to support the corporate world's $$$ bottom line from which Gartner so generously benefits, that Gartner is CLUELESS as to what is going to happen.

I refuse to listen to ANYONE that reported (until recently) that Y2K was likely to be painful, but now reports that Y2K will basically be a non-event. They have contridicted themselves. Was I a fool for believing them then? Would I be a fool for believing them now?

The evidence is deafening. Prepare for the unknow. IMHO.

BTW, it's gone from 3 days of preps, to a week of preps as CNN reported this morning. Expect that to triple in the next 30 days?

-- GoldReal (, November 10, 1999.

Bold off.

-- Linkmeister (, November 10, 1999.

What is BBS? and why is it interesting that Holte referred to it?

-- big chill (, November 10, 1999.

"Holte then said that Yardeni needed to more technically founded than currently was, as some of Yardeni's info wasn't very accurate."

I can hardly believe that one of the Chief Economists for the worlds's largest bank (in terms of assets) is not receiving some very accurate information.

-- the Virginian (, November 10, 1999.

I'd also like to add my thanks for this informative post. It backs up my increasing conviction that - all paranoia about the Men In Black aside - no one really has any idea what will happen.

One question that I would love to hear the answer to is: "What are you *personally* doing to prepare yourself and your family for Y2K?" And if the answer is "Not a lot", then follow up with "Great! That's very reassuring. Do you mind if I just pop round to your house and check check that out?"

-- Colin MacDonald (, November 11, 1999.

"BBS" means "Bulletin Board System" - Like the one we're on now. He referred to both pollies and doomers. Hotle laughed when he said that there was some interesting stuff on these boards...

I found it interesting that he would try to generalize and discredit all posts, especially since Koskinen is now saying that same things that some of us have been saying for a LONG time now.

-- Youguess Who (youguess@im.not.tellin), November 11, 1999.

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