*Sinking In A Lake Of Complacency - Ground Zero*

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9 December 1999 - Computer Weekly News

Sinking in a lake of complacency

By Karl Feilder

Ground Zero

UK companies don't speak the language of e-commerce

The turquoise water slipped silently beneath the gondola. I watched the faded glory of the timeless palazzi on either side of the canal, and realised the water was both the making and the curse of this beautiful city.

I have a few major rules when travelling, and this week I broke one of them. If you travel as much as I do, then I suggest the following: never make an important decision when jet-lagged.

Having arrived back from Las Vegas via Eire, I was still a bit shaky when I ended up at Heathrow on Friday night. I couldn't face the M25 and so I found the first BA flight and well, you guessed it.

But back to Venice. As you probably know, it's sinking. They've had years to consider their fate but have never found a real solution. The problem is they need the water for tourism, and yet that is what's causing the city to sink.

Of course, it reminded me of Y2K. Reading the Daily Mail on the flight over, I was once again reminded that "they" don't get it.

"The year 2000 problem is caused by some old computer programs not being able to process the year 00." And what of the data? No mention. Of course not.

It's apparently too complex to explain - and yet they managed to throw light on our politicians' latest Machiavellian tactics.

Well, maybe they should think of it like Venice. Your company needs the flow of data to function and yet that data, unless carefully cleaned and restricted, will erode the very foundations of the organisation. You can build bridges between the different computers and devise careful routes for the stream of information, but dirty data should be avoided at all costs.

Returning to the newspaper, I see Tony Blair has decided the UK should become a world leader in e-commerce. Good joke. We tried for six months to find a suitably fast and experienced e-commerce provider, to no avail. One UK company even asked us for a #40,000 deposit. In utter frustration, I contacted a US company and within two days and no set-up fee, we were connected to the Internet with downloads occurring at 71mbps.

The UK companies simply didn't get it, almost as if they didn't speak the language. If you're wondering about the name of our fluent e-tailer, which understands the Y2K issues regarding data and the need for speed, it is, of course, Digital River.

URL: http://www.computerweekly.co.uk/pagelink.asp?page=article&link=%2Fcwarchive%2Fnews%2F19991209%2Fcwcontainer%2Easp%3Fname%3DE1%2Ehtml


-- snooze button (alarmclock_2000@yahoo.com), December 09, 1999

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