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Panel deliberations

he third CNS industry panel, like the two before it, was interesting, informative and, by design, a little off the wall.


January 1, 2012  


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he third CNS industry panel, like the two before it, was interesting, informative and, by design, a little off the wall.

The off-the-wall reference is what happens when you assemble a group of like-minded individuals, who are not afraid to speak the truth and tell it like it is.

Two years ago in this space, I wrote that “the second edition turned out to be as good as the first. I am referring of course, to the CNS industry panel, which now that it’s in print with a video edition pending, is officially a biennial event. When we meet again in two years time, it will be interesting to see what impact cloud computing is having in the networking, structured cabling and telecom sectors.”

As you can see in the 18+ pages of coverage, cloud computing was discussed, but this time around, the questions covered a number of deeper and more diverse areas.

Peter Sharp, senior telecommunications consultant with the IBI Group, wondered that with IT seeping deeper and deeper into the fabric of business, is cabling becoming less visible and taken for granted. Finally, does it represent a threat to the industry?

You can read more starting on p. 10 (and watch it next month when the first installment appears on the CNS Web site), but suffice to say there was definitely a difference of opinions.

That is good. There is no point holding a panel if people are concerned about what they are saying or feel obligated to use this type of forum to pitch their own products or services.

With this crowd, that does not happen, which quite frankly, is why they keep being invited back. They definitely generate good copy, a sampling of which appears below:

I think there’s going to be a technology that, for want of a better word, the ‘cowboys’ are going to get their hands on and it’s going to be a bit more difficult to control. I’m wondering if in fact we’re going to see a change in the way that structured cabling is implemented over the next few years. — Peter Sharp

In the past, it was almost as if we had to justify cabling. Are you going to go with copper, or with fiber, or are you going to go with wireless — it was almost like competing media. I think now everybody realizes you do need that technology infrastructure and they’re putting it in, so instead of justifying our existence, I think what we’re doing is having more meaningful discussions with clients — Henry Franc

We make our living day to day designing it, selling it or writing the standards for it, of course it’s important to us. Talk to a building owner or an end-user who’s using the cabling system, as long as they plug their computer in and it works, they are not thinking about what’s behind the wall or up in the ceiling. — Pete Newman

We’ve got a lot of installers that have been with us for 10, 15, 20 years, so our challenge is to make sure that we’re constantly upgrading and training and making sure that they’re up to speed on things. — Rob Stevenson

Virtualization and the cloud are hugely powerful applications. I mean, this is the kind of stuff we should have been doing a long time ago. — Brantz Myers

Surveillance was the first testing of the waters to see how a building automation system performed in an IP-based environment. I think that the test was a brilliant success and, as a result, we’re starting to see other building automation services — access control, HVAC, in some cases fire alarm — looking to take advantage of the features that an IP-based system offers. — Valerie Maguire

My thanks to all of the participants, and to the readers, as always, your feedback is welcomed.