News Release

Issue No.1 - January 2000

EM4 Solutions

May all of us here at EM4 Solutions take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy new year. I am delighted to announce that the MS4 helpline received NO CALLS from Dec 23rd right through to January 4th, thanks to the excellent work of all concerned.

Any software utility tool is highly dependant upon its implementors, testers, project manager and ALL participants involved in the project, and MS4 is no exception. Many thanks is due to these people, not just within Millennium and the many other software houses engaged in implementing MS4 in over 600 sites around the globe, but especially to you, our clients who made each and every MS4 project a complete and outstanding success.

However, just because we have reached the end of the MS4 sales cycle does NOT mean it's the end of the MS4 life cycle or more importantly, the end of EM4 Solutions. The MS4 helpline will remain open indefinitely as clients on OGS require new keys or help in returning to pre-MS4 dates in order to implement entirely new Y2K compliant applications.

Millennium has also developed 'EM4', a utility tool to aid conversion to the Euro currency. Our e-commerce division has also developed 'Mcom', a sensational e-business tool allowing users to access across the web, an indefinite number of databases independent of platform.

I intend to update you on these new developments and others periodically throughout the year . In the meantime sit back and enjoy reading a very short and funny story by Judy Backhouse regarding the Y2K victory which was sent to us by one of our clients.

The heroes of Y2k

By Judy Backhouse

The truly crazy headed for the hills with fortified bunkers and ammunition. The more cautious bought water and tinned food. Even the most optimistic drew some extra cash the week before. Everyone speculated about the outcome.

But in the IT world, we worked. We checked code. We corrected code. We tested code. We rolled dates forward and backward and forward and backward until our nerves were paper-thin. We upgraded hardware. We upgraded operating systems (to cope with the new hardware). We upgraded compilers (to cope with the new operating systems). We modified more code (to cope with the new compilers). And then we began the cycle again of testing and rolling forward and testing and rolling backward. We initiated great, complex Y2k projects. We compiled project plans. We filled in endless forms about the state of our Y2k projects. We wrote monthly reports about the progress of the Y2k projects. We went to meetings where we were told how the future of the company depended on the Y2k project being completed in time.

We dealt with panicked business people. We soothed troubled nerves at dinner parties. We were asked to predict the outcome by distant cousins who knew we were "in IT". We became overnight experts in the working of diesel generators, photocopiers, motor vehicles and washing machines. And, collectively, we averted the disaster. Like superman of old, the IT professionals of today managed to intercept nothing less than the end of the world. In an industry where projects run notoriously over the most pessimistic time estimates, we met the deadline.

The clocks ticked over to the year 2000 with nothing more than minor hitches. And were they grateful? Did the world thank us and laud us as the heroes we quite clearly were? No! They turned around and called it "all hype". They questioned the money spent. We did our jobs so damned well that the only question remaining was whether there had been any need to do the job at all.

So, to all those IT people out there who slaved away at the Y2k problems over the past few years, who endured the pressure of fearful but helpless managers; who lost endless sleep testing things at night because there wasn't a separate test machine; who cancelled their December leave; who couldn't be in exotic places to welcome the start of the new millennium; who stayed sober on New Year's eve because they were on standby; who went to work on the 1st and the 2nd to boot up the machines - I say put your feet up, pat yourselves and each other on the back and go and get some much needed sleep with a smug smile on your face. We did it. The IT people across the planet are heroes - even if unsung ones. Like housework, what we do is not appreciated unless we don't do it. But like the housewives of old we go on doing it, knowing that it is good, honest, necessary work - and that it gives us inordinate power. So, my fellow programmers, system administrators, database administrators, operators, test analysts and support staff - congratulations on a job well done. Ours may be the youngest profession on the planet, but this 21st century belongs to us.

Happy Millennium,
Manus Bray.

Media Contact
Biddy Hughes
EM4 Solutions
Tel: +353 1 4035400
Fax: +353 1 4660052

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