Conference draws out Y2K first timers

Despite years of hype surrounding the year 2000 bug, hundreds of organisations lined up on Tuesday to attend a conference detailing the most basic of millennium issues.

Staged by local testing tools software vendor Mercury Interactive, the Year 2000 Testing seminar dealt with only the most rudimentary Y2K issues such as explanations of the problem itself, its potential business impact and options for alleviating the problem.

"You've got to scratch your head. We thought we'd do a scoop of the marketplace; throw a net out and we might get a couple of companies or the very late part of the market," said Robert Fraser, Mercury Interactive's Asia Pacific managing director of the 90-strong field who attended the conference in Sydney on March 23.

"Yet, there is still a surprising number of people out there [who haven't completely addressed Y2K]. We're holding another [conference] in Canberra next week where there are 28 registered attendees, in Adelaide about 50, Perth about 50 and about 45 in Brisbane. They're very scary numbers."

Fraser said Mercury has facilitated similar conferences every six months for the past three years, and notes that awareness of the subject has grown slowly alongside a ramped-up marketing campaign by the federal government. This campaign, while effective, is long overdue and may come too late for some organisations, Fraser said.

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