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Record crowd in Montreal

Opening and closing keynotes at conference provide real-world examples of the importance of an IT infrastructure.


May 1, 2010  


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Congratulations and thank you to all those who worked on and or attended the 2010 BICSI Canadian Conference & Exhibition in Montreal, May 2-5.

Whether you were one of the 1,274 attendees, an exhibitor, presenter or future BICSI Authorized Training Facility (ATF) the event was a success beyond everyone’s expectations. This event was the largest conference BICSI has ever held in Canada.

A special thanks to BICSI past president John Bakowski as well as one of my coworkers at Bell Aliant, Marc Leblanc, whose support and tireless efforts helped more than 30 staff and volunteer members coordinate this event for attendees.

This conference, held for information technology industry (ITS) professionals, had many highlights.

Attendees heard a range of topics including the most recent industry trends. Two presentations that provided the most interest came during the opening and closing keynotes. These were both cutting edge, real-world examples of how IT infrastructure is changing what we are able to see and how fast it can be made available to viewing audiences.

The opening keynote speaker was Joe Madigin, RCDD, CD, of Bell Canada. His presentation, “Cabling the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games,” focused on the planning and implementation of the massive cabling systems needed to successfully and flawlessly provide communications and information systems for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver.

This presentation was a follow-up to one during BICSI’s 2007 Canadian Conference in Vancouver where the audience heard what was planned.

The perspective Madigin provided at this conference identified what actually happened and how evolving technology allowed information to be carried on redundant paths around mountains and within building venues to around the world at speeds like never before.

One example in the presentation explained that professional photographers covering skiing were, for the first time, able to connect their digital cameras to the fiber network on the mountain.

Photos were taken of the skiers at the top of the hill, transmitted to sports desks around the world, edited and posted on Web sites covering the event before the athlete finished the course. Initially those monitoring the data coming from the mountain noticed a surprisingly large amount of traffic.

Upon investigation they found photographers were resending high-resolution photos because they were transmitted so fast they didn’t realize it and kept resending the files.

The closing keynote was presented by Dr. Joe MacInnis, veteran ocean explorer and author from Toronto. His presentation was titled “Deep Leadership: Insights from Outer Space and the Abyssal Ocean.” MacInnis has led 30 undersea expeditions, including the original team of scientists to dive beneath the North Pole.

Among the first to dive to the wreck of the Titanic, his expeditions served as the inspiration for James Cameron’s Academy Award-winning epic film. In 2005, he joined Cameron and his team on a $7 million Discovery Channel expedition to explore the last unseen rooms of the Titanic, creating the first ever surface-to-seafloor communications system.

MacInnis described mission-critical moments managing complex technologies in lethal environments and how they reveal essential traits of leadership. Speaking with MacInnis before and after the presentation, he explained that after visiting the Exhibit Hall at the conference he realized BICSI members and information technology professionals are the silent partners in the background who make it possible to transmit information needed to make his expeditions possible.

From short-range wireless on the ocean floor between unmanned and manned submersibles, through fiber optic cables four kilometres to the surface support vessels, then via satellite to land based operations, the information technology industry was there.

These types of quality and timely presentations are consistently offered at all BICSI Conferences. If you are seeking a career in this exciting industry which is focused on IT infrastructure, I invite you to view our upcoming BICSI events at www.bicsi.org. CNS