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1998-01-12 18:53:02


No Y2K Fix for Power-Generation Systems Yet -- Just Billing



This power generation company has 25 million lines of code. At $1 a line -- cheap -- it will take $25 million to fix it. But it has budgeted only $3.5 million. It is working on getting the billing system compliant. (After all, what good does it to to become compliant in your generation and transmission systems if you can't bill customers. First things first!)

This is from COMPUTERWORLD (Jan. 12).

* * * * * * * *

Holed up in three rooms above a local payment office, a team of IS veterans at Atlantic Energy, Inc. has just about finished renovating the electric utility's billing and customer information systems for 2000. The seven programmers have analyzed most other applications developed in-house for date-sensitive code.

But Chris Arena, the year 2000 project manager, is worried.

The scope of his team's $3.25 million project covers only those systems, such as billing, that were written and maintained by the $1 billion utility's IS group. Other systems, including those used for power generation and distribution, are the responsibility of user departments, "and nobody's working on year 2000 in those departmental areas," Arena said.

Distracted by an ongoing merger with Delmarva Power & Light Co. and a major SAP AG R/3 implementation, top executives have yet to make year 2000 readiness an official goal. . . .

"But the next step has to be to make [year 2000] a corporate goal," Arena said. "There's an overriding concern that we generate and we distribute power. If that doesn't happen, it doesn't matter whether we can bill people or not."


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