The University Record, September 13, 1999

Y2K–ready or not? Some vendors reverse compliance status

By Judy Dean
Information Technology Division

Identifying your dependency on vendors and learning whether or not their products and services are Y2K-compliant is an essential element of Y2K contingency planning. Unfortunately, some vendors are backing away from previous claims of compliance.

Officials readying the U-M for the new year note that there have been numerous reports of vendors who have changed their claims of full compliance to something less assuring and of others who have declined to publicly announce whether their products are compliant. Some also may have overstated their compliance, as reported in an article published recently in The Orlando Sentinel. “In Florida, the chairman of a governor’s Y2K task force said many businesses have complained about the growing number of false Y2K-compliance claims. BellSouth Corp., for example, told state officials that more than half of the compliance claims by its vendors turned out to be incorrect when they were independently tested.”

An IBM report on the subject advises: “Since additional user testing as the year-end draws near may uncover problems with products originally thought to be Year 2000-ready you should have in place a procedure to regularly monitor the current readiness status of all vendor products.

“ . . . you should consider,” the report recommends, “identifying key vendors along with their contact names and phone numbers and keep this information in hard copy form in case of a problem. You should confirm their availability and understand any special support arrangements they may have for the rollover.”

The final burden falls to the business or organization to check and double-check its vendor dependencies. U-M administrators recommend re-visiting vendor Web sites at regular intervals in the months ahead and testing products whenever feasible.

Links to many key vendors’ Y2K Web sites are on the Web at www.year2000.umich.edu/vendors.html.