Tool Readies Market For Euro

As preparations for Year 2000 compliance head into the final lap, one millennium solutions provider plans to finish off 1998 with its eyes on the upcoming euro conversion. Nexgen Software Technologies Inc. (Naperville, Ill.) plans to ship a new euro solution in November for AS/400 BPCS ERP users.

The NexgenEuro tool is designed to automate euro currency conversion and compliance for System Software Associates Inc.’s (Chicago) BPCS, versions 2 through 5, including BPCS CD (Version 4.5CD). The tool automatically applies EMU-conforming modifications to BPCS programs, to modified BPCS programs and to BPCS-fashioned custom programs. A built-in development framework manages source code changes and recompilation as well as test staging of converted programs.

"Nexgen has engineered a solution for companies that have heavily modified BPCS and therefore have chosen not to upgrade to the client/server BPCS Version 6.0," says Daniel J. Mitchell, president and CTO of Nexgen. "NexgenEuro is based on our Focus/2000 technology and has been designed by veteran BPCS financial experts and former BPCS developers. It allows you to automatically euro-enable your system, and you do not have to re-install your BPCS applications, as is the case with other euro solutions."

While pricing for NexgenEuro has not set at the time of this writing, Ruth Clark, Nexgen marketing manager, says the product will be available both as a separate tool and as one that may be combined with the company’s Focus/2000 millennium-compliance solution. "The exercise of century and euro enabling can be done simultaneously because the two tools are built off the same foundation," she says.

Despite the attention Y2K continues to receive, the time frame for euro conversion is also rapidly approaching, particularly for banks and other financial institutions. In fact, on January 1, 1999, the euro proceeds from concept to reality, affecting not only European companies but also those around the world that do business with Western Europe.

The advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web have opened up the United States to the world, and now those businesses will have to be prepared for the euro, Clark adds.

While the cost of euro conversion for Europe has been estimated at about $85 billion, it is believed the cost for hardware and software in the United States will be in the neighborhood of $11 billion.

A study published jointly by International Data Corp.’s (Framingham, Mass.) U.S. and European Consulting and Management Services research programs goes even further, estimating total worldwide euro spending will reach $145 billion. This cost will be incurred mainly by companies between a seven-year period – 1996 to 2002 – and will primarily represent an internal expenditure, according to the study. External expenditure is expected to comprise 40 percent of the overall cost and will primarily represent IT and consulting services.