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Bakowski takes over

Canadian John Bakowski will be installed as president of BICSI at the Winter Conference in Orlando, and like any newly elected official, he has his own goals and aspirations....


January 1, 2006  


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Canadian John Bakowski will be installed as president of BICSI at the Winter Conference in Orlando, and like any newly elected official, he has his own goals and aspirations.

This is a very different organization from two years ago when Russ Oliver took over. To begin with, there has been a massive overhaul of the staff, which Bakowski talks about in his Q&A beginning on p. 20.

Secondly, a number of new programs and services have surfaced designed to provide additional value to the membership.

“It would be easy to sit back and watch these new program grow,” Oliver wrote in the Nov./Dec. issue of BICSI News. “However, it is more important that we identify the emerging issues that matter to the association and focus our attention on those vital few opportunities that offer the most benefit to members.

“It is equally important that we lead the way by anticipating and make change happen in the ITS industry.”

BICSI is at a pivotal point in its history. The board certainly realizes this, which is why it recently adopted an esoteric sounding strategy called Knowledge Based Governance. The goal, according to Oliver, is to not only make the organization’s decision-making quicker, but more focused on member needs now and in the future.

“All of us are confronted each day with both change and opportunity,” he wrote. “Your success in seizing opportunities in the marketplace can be helped or hindered by how well your association anticipates and plans for change.

The situation that now exists is in stark contrast to four years ago. BICSI’s primary concern then revolved around a financial situation so tenuous that the board borrowed US$500,000 and put up the building in Tampa, Fla., which houses its headquarters as collateral in order to raise operating capital.

That was resolved by the end of 2003 through a series of cost-cutting and revenue-generating measures that resulted in the loan being paid in full and surplus funds in the bank. Cash on hand in BICSI’s bank account as of Jan. 2004 was an impressive US$2,112,912.

Moving forward, Bakowski and the board’s primary goal will be to provide the additional value, which in turn should result in a rise in membership, particularly in this country. With only 842 current members something obviously needs to be done.

“We have not reached out enough,” the soon-to-be president admitted when asked if he was satisfied with what the association currently provides. “We have to do more and we need to do more quickly. The success of BICSI will depend on the quality of programs we put out.”

That will be especially true in a 10 Gigabit world, the subject of this issue’s cover story. When you start getting into 10Gig, you have no idea what quality means, Bakowski says: “It has to be done once and it has be done right. There is simply no room for error.”

Roman Dabrowski, the Canadian Director of BICSI, writes in his column on p. 22 that if the past is any indication, we will probably see initial installation of 10 Gigabit in the backbone and in data centres where the high bandwidth is requires, long before it reaches the workstation or desktop.

That is a good thing for it will give everyone involved in this industry time to adjust to a new era in networking that promises to create both challenges and opportunities.