"....cash position from a positive $40 million to a negative $460 million...."

"....cash position from a positive $40 million to a negative $460 million...."

Post by Lane Core J » Mon, 01 Mar 1999 04:00:00



[to comp.software.year-2000]

"As long as the number of crashes doesn't exceed some threshold, and
as long as those crashes can be repaired quickly enough to re-run the
production jobs and generate the output reports before the sun comes
up in the morning, everyone is happy.  Chances are that you could
double the number of crashes without causing any externally-visible
behavior.  Chance are that you could saddle the organization with a
certain number of internally-visible crashes, problems, and screwed-up
reports, and the public still wouldn't see anything; at worst, you
would only have to hire a few more maintenance programmers for the
third-shift work.  Chances are that you could even*off a few
thousand customers (as the IRS did recently when incorrect tax notices
were sent to approximately 2,400 citizens in Texas because of a Y2K
bug) without the ever-alert media community paying any attention.
Chances are that you could even foul things up badly enough to change
your overall cash position from a positive $40 million to a negative
$460 million, as one mid-west utility company recently did because of
Y2K problems, without anyone paying a lot of attention."

Ed Yourdon

(http://www.veryComputer.com/)

To what "mid-west utility company" is Yourdon referring? Does anybody
have more information about this situation?

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"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for
all other causes combined". Frederick P. Brooks, _The Mythical Man-Month_

 
 
 

"....cash position from a positive $40 million to a negative $460 million...."

Post by Isett » Tue, 02 Mar 1999 04:00:00


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(snip)

Quote:> Chances are that you could even foul things up badly enough to change
> your overall cash position from a positive $40 million to a negative
> $460 million, as one mid-west utility company recently did because of
> Y2K problems, without anyone paying a lot of attention."

> Ed Yourdon

> (http://www.yourdon.com/articles/y2kratcliffe.html)

> To what "mid-west utility company" is Yourdon referring? Does anybody
> have more information about this situation?

"Chances are".. he is talking about ComEd (parent company Unicom) and
their untested release of new billing software on the unsuspecting
public. (But hey; its new!, its Y2K compliant!  Hey, we were in a
hurry, you know, Y2K, deregulation, all that...)

I can't even begin to confirm his numbers, but I know the Chicago
Tribune has done several stories over the last few months about how
badly the Anderson Consulting Software is operating in the real world.

ComEd is bleeding at the moment because alot of customers are not
paying their bills, or they are paying a flat fee until this gets
straightened out.

if you want to find out more about this for yourself, go to:
http://chicago.tribune.com

do a search for ComEd, it should bring up a bunch of stories, including
the current one where they "apologize" for the problems.

A previous story had mentioned that they yanked the software around
November and reverted back to some 35 year old version, but it appears
they didn't and are still hoping to FOF.

I wonder if they already wrote off their billing software as being Y2K
compliant when they released it in July 1998?

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"....cash position from a positive $40 million to a negative $460 million...."

Post by Isett » Tue, 02 Mar 1999 04:00:00


[[ This message was both posted and mailed: see
   the "To," "Cc," and "Newsgroups" headers for details. ]]

oops, I found the Tribune article that Yourdon refers to:
I forgot that I had posted it on  Feb 26 as well in another thread

http://chicagotribune.com/splash/article/0,1051,SAV-9902260226,00.html

COMED APOLOGIZES FOR BILLING BUGS

By Cornelia Grumman
Tribune Staff Writer
February 26, 1999

Commonwealth Edison apologized Thursday for the problems thousands of
its 3.4 million customers have been experiencing in recent months
because of bugs in its new customer information system.

The state's largest utility took out large ads in major Northern
Illinois newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, expressing regret
"for any inconvenience, concern and frustration the billing problems
may have caused you."

"We're working to resolve the problem and anticipate having the final
bugs worked out by early spring," the ad stated. "We anticipated some
start-up problems with the new system, but not as many as we actually
experienced."

Since July, at least 200,000 customers--including residential,
commercial and industrial--have experienced headaches ranging from no
bills to estimated bills, late payment charges for bills they never
received and trouble getting through to customer service agents.

ComEd traces the problems to the hurried installation last July of an
Andersen Consulting system. Worried about Year 2000 compliance, new tax
laws and last August's 15 percent discount for residential customers,
utility officials wanted the new billing and metering software
activated before fully testing it.

According to ComEd's most recent filings with the Securities Exchange
Commission, the billing problems have resulted in a $470 million cash
flow shortage from uncollected monthly charges. In the prior two years,
annual cash flows were in the black, ranging from $24 million to $71
million.

"We'll be able to collect this down the road," said ComEd spokesman
Keith Bromery. "We're able to absorb it."

The ad also invites customers who still are experiencing problems or
who want to set up payment plans for large, accumulated bills to call
800-Edison-1.

Bromery said the company currently is going through each bill manually
to determine when late charges have been wrongfully applied to
customers. But ComEd may not catch all of the errors. In those cases,
late charges still will apply unless customers can prove they resulted
from the billing mess.

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