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Companies Make Final Y2K Plans

Some workers may be pouting instead of partying on New Year's eve, according to a report by International Data Corporation. Over five million people may be working through the night as a result of the Y2K bug and other Y2K fears.

IDC (www.idc.com) surveyed organizations in 17 countries and found that while both large and small groups had concerns about last minute Y2K problems, larger organizations tended to prepare more by having staff on hand or a crisis team in place.

Eighty-one percent of large organizations planned to have IT staff on hand for the rollover, while only 35 percent of small groups have people staying through midnight. Similarly, 75 percent of large organizations have a special crisis team for Y2K, versus 37 percent of small organizations.

In addition to the celebrated Y2K bug, some feel that computer systems will be a target for hackers and viruses at midnight. In response, Internet Security Systems (ISS, www.iss.net) is keeping a round the clock watch to monitor hacker activity and viruses. They have assembled a special team of security research engineers to address any problems that may occur.

Other computer vendors have made plans to assist their customers through a potentially difficult calendar change. Hewlett Packard Co. (www.hp.com) will staff support centers 24/7 from Dec. 30 to Jan. 4 with over 10,000 professionals to aid enterprise customers. Likewise, Bull (www.bull.com) has planned crisis-management centers in 37 countries, each linked to the central hub in France.

Not all of the five million extra workers at midnight will be IT staff, though. Health care professionals and public relations staffs are also being retained. The millennial events may create unusual demands on hospitals and emergency rooms, and other crises may need a good dose of spin. - Christopher McConnell

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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