Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are more at risk of year 2000 hitches than large organisations because they don't have formal IT staff and therefore do not recognise the problem, according to IT service provider and systems integrator, MUA.
"There are customers who are now starting to tell us that they never considered the position they are in now," said David Turton, MUA's business development manager, services.
Turton cited an example of one of MUA's resellers which had just been swamped with requests from 400 customers to upgrade to the latest version of SCO software.
"Basically, they were faced with the scenario of doing a massive number of upgrades with limited resources, staff and time," Turton said.
Turton's advice to other channel players is to get in early and make customers aware of just how important year 2000 compliance is for both organisations.
"Both parties need to understand the scope of the problem they are faced with.
"It could well be the case that a reseller won't be able to reach every customer over the next two years so they have to act now."
Turton added that end users have stolen a march on the channel in recognising the potential dangers of the year 2000 issue. He said many are now issuing letters stipulating that any channel partner must be year 2000-compliant or have a strategy in place before shaking hands.
"That could shake up a number of channel organisations in the short-term," Turton envisioned.
MUA, which focuses its services on small and medium sized companies, recently announced Y2K-Today, a service designed for smaller companies which includes a fixed price Y2K service audit ($30 per Intel server or PC) as well as a series of upgrade/replacement options. Turton said the biggest problem for SMEs will come from their own systems and PC applications.