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IMB troubleshooters remain on alert for possible Y2K computer problems

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–A 24-hour call-in center went online Dec. 31 at the International Mission Board, said Les White, requirements development director for the board’s office of global information systems.

The board’s Y2K preparedness effort began two years ago in the context of an intensive effort to create an electronic network integrating both overseas missionaries and home office employees, White said. During that time, the board updated hardware and software to insure everyone would be ready for the advent of the new year.

“Our story is more one of prevention than problems,” White said. “We replaced a lot of computers here in Richmond and worked with our overseas people to make sure missionaries knew what they needed to do to be ready.”

“We installed new computer systems in five of our 14 regional offices overseas and completely rewrote an accounting software package several of those offices were using,” he added.

“We had a team come in on Jan. 1 to bring the system up and test critical applications. The fact that we’ve had no major problems reported is a testimony to the tremendous amount of work done to prevent them.”

The fact that most missionary computer systems were shut down over the New Year’s weekend, however, means problems may yet emerge as people return to a normal work week, White said.

IMB troubleshooters will remain on alert for several days to help missionaries and staff cope with any difficulties.

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  • Mark Kelly