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3Com pushes Y2K awareness

The firm's five-pronged program is an effort to provide advice on how companies can avoid systems failures and data disasters brought on by the Year 2000 bug.

Networking giant 3Com is rolling out a worldwide effort to further awareness of the Year 2000 technology problem among its small- and medium-sized business customers.

The five-pronged program is purely an effort to provide advice on how companies can avoid systems failures and data disasters brought on by the Year 2000, and does not include any products.

3Com concludes that since all organizations are now inextricably linked through global data networks, a company's economic resistance to the millennium bug is only as strong as the weakest link in the supply chain. And while Fortune 500 organizations and the government have devoted dollars and resources in pursuit of Y2K compliance, smaller enterprises often have no CIO to turn to for answers to questions.

The new program is filling a gap in the overall fight against the Y2K computer glitch. Analysts have warned that the network arena has been greatly neglected. Efforts by companies and Y2K solution vendors and consultants have focused on legacy systems, PCs, and embedded systems, and not the pipes that tie them all together.

3Com's new Y2K program includes Y2K resource centers that will consist of call centers that offer free advice to businesses, information on Internet site addresses, white papers, and other materials on the computer glitch.

A small business reseller support program consists of preparing the company's 40,000 VAR's this month with a Y2K kit, a Y2K checklist on how to be ready forBack to Year 2000 Index Page the new century, and Y2K case studies.

The initiative also features the "Y2K-OK" product program, which will help customers recognize 3Com products' Y2K compliance, in accordance with its stated Year 2000 warranty, by stickers on all SuperTrack hubs and switches, Office Connect small business hubs, routers, LAN modems, switches, print servers, EtherLink network interface cards, Megahertz mobile solutions, and U.S. Robotics modems.

The "Online Hotline" is a 3Com Web site that provides information on the Year 2000 status of 3Com products as well as answers to frequently asked questions. In addition, 3Com's recent annual report provides information on the Y2K risks confronting 3Com and other companies.

A "Faxback" service will allow resellers and business customers to obtain faxed Y2K materials, like a 3Com Y2K testing statement and Year 2000 limited warranty statement for 3Com Y2K-compliant products, by calling 1-800-NET-3Com.