Defence deadline imminent

Defence deadline imminent

The heat is really starting to rise on the Department of Defence's Y2K remediation project Diary, with the intended completion date of June 30 fast approaching.

With some huge orders being placed for replacement desktops and servers, recent attention has been focused on the networking requirements. And it is believed that some of the major communications vendors such as Cisco, Nortel Networks and Cabletron are still feverishly lobbying the five Defence preferred system integrators (DPSIs) for a slice of the network remediation cake.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Hank Gregory, deputy project director of Project Diary, the DoD is letting contracts on a daily basis, and over this peak period, it's averaging a couple of million dollars worth a day.

"The DPSIs [Aspect, BHPIT, Compaq, CSC and IBM] have all been asked to meet certain time schedules, and we have no indication at this point that they are not going to meet those schedules," Gregory told ARN.

Unlike the contracts for the supply of an estimated 20,000 desktop PCs, there is no huge windfall for the comms vendors, and Gregory said that they don't really have any direct visibility. "There are 287 sites, and we sign them off base by base, with each DPSI quoting on their allocated sites. After looking at their submissions and evaluating the user needs, we sign it off and the work starts," he said.

And the project is something of a moving target. It is not just a case of replacing non-Y2K-compliant systems one for one. "While the DPSIs have done the audits and contracted the remediation, in some cases the defence force units have shifted, for instance from Puckapunyal to Darwin. The only thing we know is how many sites are not Y2K compliant," Gregory said.

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