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April 29, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:12pm


By CBR Staff Writer

The need to find answers to the millennium problem has acquired a new urgency in Spain now that the world is less than 1,000 days away from January 1 2000. SEDISI, the Spanish Association of Information Technology Companies, has set up a technical commission to sensitise users to the problem, while the Socialist parliamentary group recently harangued Jose-Maria Aznar’s government to produce a report on how ministries and state-owned firms are ready to cope. Estimated costs of adjustments vary considerably. The computing services unit of Andersen Consulting Co, Coritel SL, whose advertising campaign warns that, according to a lot of computers, Louis Armstrong, Humphrey Bogart and Luis Buquel will all be coming back to life, claims that Spanish companies will have to invest a total of $6.25bn over the next 32 months to alleviate the problem, worth the turnover of the entire Spanish information technology sector in 1995. In contrast, IBM Espana is less alarmist, suggesting a figure of just under $1.4bn. Madrid-based Profit Gestion Informatica SA is one of a number of services specialists already beginning to make hay while the clocks tick away. Speaking to Computerworld Espana, Pedro Luis Moreno, a partner in Profit Gestion, predicted that there will not be sufficient Year 2000- solving resources to meet demand and therefore prices will inevitably begin to rise, just as they have done already in the USA. The company started work two years ago on its own methodologies for both the millennium problem and the introduction of the Euro, the common European currency. Moreno reckons that a company with some 12 million lines of code to check will be looking at a bill of $2.1m to $2.4m. Profit’s methodology involves a two-phase project lasting up to 18 months. Many of its clients are working on the basis that all auditing will have been concluded by the end of 1998, in time for the closing of the 1998 fiscal year. Despite the claims in Spain that many companies have not got to grips with the problem, Moreno believes that most already have a Year 2000 crisis committee and have already selected their suppliers. Profit Gestion anticipates a steady increase in staff to 2002 and beyond, since many companies will put other projects such as automation of workflow and segmentation on hold until preparation for the Euro has been completed. The company estimates that it will do an extra $2.1m in 1997 on the back of the Year 2000 and preparation for the Euro, taking its annual turnover up to $19.4m, and expects this bonus to increase as the massive correction of applications is addressed during 1998.

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