Systems won't snap, crackle or pop in 2000 said Kelloggs

Kelloggs' local operation has dismissed claims that it has set itself unreasonable deadlines to cure its new ERP system of Y2K problems.

In early March this year, the company's US-based parent embarked on a global ERP rollout, using a mix-and-match conglomeration of packages from Oracle and several niche partners (see ComputerWorld 6 March, page 46), with the vendors themselves handling the integration, support and service.

According to Brian Rice, Kelloggs Australia's vice president of information systems, the local implementation in currently in full swing after kicking-off in the third quarter of last year. The project team is expected to be in place by early next year, he said, and the organisation is now in the process of readying itself for the final stages of the project.

"Generally, the project is going well. It's on track and we're actually slightly under budget. We're currently in the final stages of locking in the design and our intent is to have the system really frozen in late December so we can begin full-scale testing in early January," Rice explained. "We're currently finalising our testing, training and transition plans and within the transition phase, we're also developing contingency plans in case portions of the system do not come up as planned."

The vendor contingent have completed much of the preliminary millennium bug compliance testing, but Rice said Kelloggs will continue with its own internal program of systems auditing. With slightly more than a year to go until d-day, however, many are questioning the company's ability to pull-off adequate Y2K testing in time.

"We've put a lot of emphasis on our year 2000 program. Oracle and their partners have performed year 2000 testing on the packages, and they've fixed any issues that they've found. However, Kelloggs is not stopping. We're performing year 2000 testing internally, other countries within Kelloggs have already installed Oracle's package, while others are progressing along similar timelines to ours in Australia. So the year 2000 testing within Kelloggs is being coordinated globally," he said.

"I haven't seen [time] as an issue frankly. I think we'll be there. The Year 2000 problems have been addressed and, of course, we're also doing our own tests internally, but I don't see [time] as an issue."

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