Vendors reporting fewer changes of Y2K status

Vendors may finally be getting a better handle on exactly what will and will not pass Y2K muster, although Year 2000-compliance status continues to be a moving target for many network products.

Pittsburgh-based Y2K-compliance vendor Infoliant conducts a monthly Y2K status audit of its database, which contains 36,000 network and PC products from 630 vendors. Last month, the audit found 367 reported changes; for example, some products' status had changed from "compliant" to "action required" or from "pending evaluation" to "vendor will not test." That total number of changes was down from the 604 changes reported in April and the 595 changes reported in March.

"I think you're going to see the numbers continue to decline slowly," says Kevin Weaver, executive vice president at Infoliant. "I would be surprised if a monthly total hit the previous peak again this year."

Shifts in reported compliance status can leave customers' Y2K-compliance teams scrambling to patch or replace products that had previously been judged fit for the new millennium.

Weaver notes that about one-third of the changes continue to reflect bad news for customers, meaning products that once were considered compliant now have identifiable problems. Moreover, what Infoliant calls "softer changes" -- a new patch for a product that was already classified "action required," for example -- are not reflected in the monthly total and create yet more work for Y2K teams.

Even though time for corrective action is running short, 1,850 mostly older products in the Infoliant database are currently classified as "pending evaluation," meaning the vendors have not tested them nor have they provided any information about the products' Y2K status.

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