WRQ today rolled out the latest version of its Year 2000 management suite for the desktop today.
Priced at $49.50 per seat, WRQ Express 2000 Software Manager 4.0 supports NetWare and NT; allows users to check applications, hardware, and networks for Y2K compliance; and prioritizes which applications to fix before year 2000. WRQ represents a growing group of software companies that have provided earlier products for desktop management and extended that technology to encompass Y2K.
"This is a real broad management tool," said Paul Davis, product line manager for Seattle-based WRQ. "A lot of companies are doing just Y2K, but if you're going to spend the time and money to install a whole product you might as well get something that will continue to be of value after the Y2K challenge passes."
The Express package will continue to meet IT needs by addressing such non-Y2K issues as managing software costs, software licenses, and platform migrations, he said.
"IT does not have time to deploy a Year 2000 management solution that comes with a set of management problems all its own," Davis said in a statement released today. "Consequently, business have either put off dealing with the desktop or pieced together products that give them only part of the answer. And they haven't even begun to think about ROI from the products they're using."
With just a little more than 450 days left before the year 2000, WRQ's new Y2K suite includes inventory and metering components, a BIOS checker, and a Year 2000 Web-based knowledge base. Express 2000 also shows which noncompliance applications are actually being used, by whom, and with what frequency.
The Express Console, which has a Windows Explorer-type interface, allows the IT administrator to manage all desktops from a central location and provides a simple way of organizing all the factors--applications, files, machines, and users--that an enterprise needs to assess in tackling the Year 2000 technology glitch on the desktop.
Although the Express 2000 suite itself does not include actual Y2K conversion applications, it does provide a substantial Web-based knowledge base which provides users with a collection of third-party Y2K products, information about the glitch, Y2K tool updates, and is revved every month.
"The most value in this product is for the IT department that can get a hold on their software management while also taking care of Y2K," said Christopher Germann, an analyst with the Gartner Group .
The Year 2000 bug originated in the design of the first computer programs. Those programs, which remain integrated into a large percentage of computerized equipment used today, register each year using a simple two-digit number. Therefore, when "00" rolls around on January 1, 2000, experts worry that many computers will interpret the date as 1900--causing either delays, confused data, or complete breakdown.
Express 2000 also integrates inventory and usage data to give IT administrators a way of prioritizing which applications to fix before the year 2000 deadline. It also highlights which non-compliant applications are actually being used, by whom, and with what frequency. These features come in handy as IT makes tough decisions about what will have to perform to prevent business losses.
In beta now, the Express 2000 4.0 is due to ship in November.
In related news, ON Technology today announced ON Command CCM Y2K JumpStart, aY2K product that automatically deploys Y2K tests and fixes to existing PCs without requiring end-user interaction or a technician to visit the desktop. ON Command CCM?s technology also automates the rollout of new Y2K-compliant PCs as part of enterprise-wide Y2K initiatives.