Friday, February 9, 2007

Daylight Savings Time Change May Cause Problems With Your Telephone Expense Management Software

Call accounting, Move, Add and Change (MAC), traffic analysis, call center, auto attendant, voice mail and many other communication management software tools may all be impacted by the upcoming earlier spring forward time change. Any software that utilizes a date and time variable to compute billing records, process date sensitive statistics or trigger tasks at a specific time will be impacted.

Telecom managers should ensure that their communication facilities have the proper patches or can manually be adjusted to report the right time. Failure to establish a proper strategy before March 11 could mean disruption and/or chaos depending on the critical nature of the system.

Telephone switches and computers should be synchronized in order for call detail records to be assigned the right date stamp. This will ensure that call records are reported accurately and tariff information is properly applied. Companies that use call accounting for cost allocation, rebilling and real time billing will be most affected.

Microsoft is warning that older operating systems including Windows XP SP1 and Windows NT4 will require manual setting. The company website provides detailed instruction on their various products and patches are furiously being created and distributed. Microsoft recommends that customers should not assume that everyone has made the proper updates. On their website they state "users should view any appointments that fall into these date ranges as suspect until they communicate with all meeting invitees to make sure that the item shows up correctly on everyone's calendar both internally and externally."

"If they're running systems that are not auto-updated, they'll have to be cognizant to make those changes themselves," said Mike Wendy, a representative for the Computing Technology Industry Association. "That will involve a modicum of some sort of education to the community to ensure that that occurs."

Resource Software International Ltd. (RSI) spokesman Steve Cummings explains "our software solutions utilize the date and time provided by the hardware manufacturers. Our applications will continue to function without the adjustment but could report erroneous tariffs. Customers are advised to contact their equipment vendors to ensure that the daylight savings time is accurately configured."

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