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Tracking of the trends

Paying attention to ITS as it relates to IT, and vice versa, makes a lot of business sense.


September 1, 2006  


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I was reading an article recently that listed the top 10 technologies in 2006, based on major initiatives that were ranked by expected spending.

The technologies included Voice over IP, outsourcing (third-party management of IT), data networking (high-speed connections between data centres), customer relationship management or CRM (tracking and data collection of customer information), collaboration (sharing files and applications between computers), supply chain Management (optimizing interactions with suppliers), desktop upgrades (newer/better/faster computers), application performance management (monitoring and proactive repair of applications), business analytics (detecting business trends or forecasts) , and compliance tracking (software that records changes to IT to show compliance with industry and government regulations).

ITS connection

I thought to myself, “no ITS infrastructure upgrades, no copper-to-fiber retrofits, and not much mention of structured cabling, which, on the surface, is too bad for us.”

But the more I thought about what I read, the more I realized just how much all these initiatives rely on ITS to ensure they would actually be successful.

Some of the technologies have an obvious connection to ITS (VoIP, data networking, and desktop upgrades), others rely on data centre upgrades and performance, and one (application performance management) could require extensive ITS cable management software input to allow for trouble shooting and asset tracking to the physical layer.

All would probably increase traffic on a network and, of course, accurate and reliable data transmission relies on a high-quality transport system.

Upgrades to the ITS infrastructure (Cat 5 to 5e or 6 or fiber in the horizontal) a higher capacity backbone, power-over-Ethernet (PoE), or a data centre rebuild or reconfiguration (to the newest standards) may be required to properly support the projects that your client wants to implement.

Experienced RCDDs can use BICSI’s project management courses to their advantage. These courses will help bring projects in on time, meeting specification and exceeding customer expectations.

There are 10 knowledge areas that these classes cover: technical process, human resources, scope management, communications, schedule management, integration management, risk management, procurement management, cost management, and quality management.

PM 100 is an Introduction to Project Management. A series of two half-day classes combine technical knowledge with implementation techniques.

The classes focus on specific project types, such as: Telecommunications Project Management, Information Technology Project Management, Outside Plant Project Management, Wireless Project Management, and Security Systems Project Management. PM 125 is a five-day program based on working in teams, and it includes the TPM Certification Exam.

PM 200 is an advanced program for certified project managers. Another great source of information is BICSI’s Telecommunication Distribution Methods Manual (TDMM). A new 11th edition recently became available for purchase. This manual could be used as a reference guidebook for understanding VoIP, data networking, power-over-Ethernet (PoE) and data centers.

A more in-depth look at the specifics of data networking is available in the 6th edition Network Design Reference Manual (NDRM). This manual is also newly available through BICSI.

In addition, the BICSI 2006 Fall Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, on September 18-21, will contain some invaluable information about subjects that are essential for having a detailed overview of the cabling business.

Paying attention to ITS as it relates to IT, and vice versa, can grow a cabling business, if the RCDDs are proactive in finding avenues for connecting the two industries for their customers.

So, the RCDD ITS professional should be actively looking for evidence of projects such as those listed above, and should be listening to their clients to pick up on discussions of future projects.

RCDD Renewals: If you have not done already, it is time to renew your Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) registration if it expires this calendar year.

BICSI staff will mail out a renewal form in September. They will also send out several courtesy reminders in the early part of the expiration year.

However, it is the responsibility of each individual member to ensure that all renewal requirements are met and submitted prior to expiration.

Due to the large number of active RCDDs (Over 7,000), BICSI cannot be responsible for monitoring renewal requirements.

Roman Dabrowski, RCDD, is the Canadian Director of BICSI and a Director of Product Management with Bell Canada. He can be reached via e-mail at rdabrowski@bicsi.org.