September Industry News

Legal Alternatives for Y2K

With this past month’s signing of Senate Bill 96 (the Y2K Act), businesses must now consider litigation alternatives in order to resolve disputes quickly and to prevent potentially crippling work stoppages, according to the JUSTUS Year 2000 Mediation Group. Additionally, companies should seek solutions that will help them maintain business relationships after Y2K disputes are resolved.

Highlights of the Y2K Act include a mandatory 90-day waiting period following a Year 2000 computer bug-related injury before a lawsuit can be filed; mitigation of damages for both parties; and limitations on liability and punitive damages. The intent of this legislation is to require parties to try and resolve disputes before costly and lengthy litigation can begin.

According to David Ward Murphy, Mediation Director for the JUSTUS Year 2000 Mediation Group, businesses should understand implications of the "cooling off" period. Murphy says Y2K computer problems could cause work stoppages or equipment shutdowns. Because there is no immediate remedy available from the courts, affected companies should consider mediation to stay in business.

"In mediation, the goal is to communicate effectively, and quickly find a solution that is beneficial for both sides. This is especially important, considering the Y2K Act and the immediate impact the Year 2000 problem is expected to have on businesses," Murphy says.

Heather Heidelbaugh, a JUSTUS Mediator; Partner and Chair of the Year 2000 Practice Group with the law firm Burns, White and Hickton; and author of the book Year 2000 Compliance: Is Your Company Ready? notes that mediation is an effective way to keep previous business relationships alive after a dispute is resolved.

The JUSTUS Y2K Mediation Group is part of JUSTUS ADR Services, a division of M.A.N.A. Ltd. (Mediation, Arbitration, North America), based in Pittsburgh. JUSTUS ADR specializes in resolving a range of disputes quickly and cost-effectively, including Year 2000, tort, insurance, employment and discrimination claims.

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IBM/i2 e-Business Relationship

IBM and i2 Technologies have formed a relationship that lets clients optimize their e-business processes on the Internet by offering leading-edge supply chain applications, consulting, technology, advanced research capabilities and extensive implementation and integration skills on a global basis.

IBM and i2, sharing a common e-business and supply chain vision, will collaborate on strategy, marketing, sales and development. Under the agreement, the companies will jointly market and sell e-business and supply chain solutions, including i2’s Rhythm suite, through their global direct sales forces. i2 will leverage IBM’s global resources and research facilities. IBM will also establish global Supply Chain Centers of Excellence, featuring combined IBM and i2 solutions.

Through the relationship, i2 will incorporate the standards and technologies of IBM’s Application Framework for e-business, an open, multi-platform approach to building and deploying integrated e-business applications. From this base, IBM and i2 will support the development of industry standards for open data modeling, which will help facilitate the multi-company collaboration necessary to improve supply chains.

In a related story, HP and i2 also introduced an intelligent eBusiness portal solution for electronics distributors that facilitates the timely sharing of information within an entire trading community.

HP and i2’s trading-community solution provides a framework and enabling tools for real-time collaboration and a seamless exchange of information between distributors and their customers, manufacturers and logistics providers. For more information, visit www.ibm.com/e-business/supplychain, www.hp.com or www.i2.com.

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Source Recovery’s RESource 2.0

The Source Recovery Company, LLC (SRC) introduced RESource 2.0, which it maintains to be five times faster than the previous version. This new version was created so companies and government agencies that are missing source code may find that they can still recover it in time to complete their Year 2000 projects.

SRC President Barry Clapp cautions that companies that wait any longer may find that the capacity to recover is no longer available. "We can still recover only a finite number of lines of source code," says Clapp. "Based on our experience, we believe that virtually every Fortune 1000 company and every major government agency is missing some source code. In fact, the GartnerGroup estimates that the typical company is missing 3 percent to 5 percent of its source code."

When companies are missing source code, their only other options are to rewrite the missing code or to replace the application, both of which are too costly and time consuming to complete before the Year 2000. For further information, visit SRC’s Web site at www.source-recovery.com.