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Why BICSI makes sense

The challenge for many in the ITS industry is to find sources of information which are useful, reliable, current and affordable.


July 1, 2008  


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As BICSI’s Canadian region director (an elected, volunteer position), I strive to improve all BICSI members’ careers as well as the entire information transport systems (ITS) infrastructure industry.

With the aid of the staff at BICSI headquarters in Tampa, Fla., I am able to provide information to those who choose careers in designing, installing and maintaining ITS infrastructure in many different ways — BICSI conferences, region meetings and breakfast clubs; on BICSI’s Web site, www.bicsi.org; and through numerous magazine articles such as this one.

BICSI was formed in 1974 to help the blossoming ITS industry develop manufacturer-independent and vendor-neutral documents that provided guidance related to codes, standards and best practices.

Today, with the rapid pace of technological change, BICSI is looked to by professionals around the world who are seeking up-to-date information that helps them provide safe, reliable ITS installations.

Because of the number of resources needed to identify and update internal technical documents, even large service providers look to BICSI for current technical information.

There are numerous reference manuals that focus on LAN, Wireless and Security, including the 1,900-page Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual.

These manuals are updated extensively on a two-to-three-year cycle to reflect the newest information in the industry. Besides being recognized as world-class technical documents, they are the basis for BICSI’s professional accreditations such as the Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD).

Recently, BICSI has broadened its focus beyond only producing reference documents and has started writing standards that focus on various ITS subjects and entire institutions. With this, BICSI has again taken initiative to aid its members with technical information that improves productivity and profitability.

BICSI’s technical staff, along with a myriad of subject matter experts (SMEs), are currently working on these standards:

ANSI/BICSI -001 K -12 ANSI/BICSI -002 Data Centre

ANSI/NECA/BICSI -607 Bonding Grounding (Earthing)

ANSI/BICSI -003 International Cabling Standard ANSI/BICSI -004 Post Secondary

ANSI/BICSI -005 Home Technology Reference Manual ANSI/BICSI -006 Healthcare ANSI/BICSI -007 Industrial

The challenge for many in the ITS industry is to find sources of information which are useful, reliable, current and affordable.

Unfortunately, technical information quickly becomes outdated. Rather than having an in-house administrative assistant and part-time librarian keeping technical documents up-to-date, a better option is to become a BICSI member.

For US$150 a year, BICSI provides you with access to information specific to your ITS infrastructure market information needs. When purchasing BICSI and many non- BICSI standards, BICSI members get discounts which far exceed the cost of membership.

Essentially, professionals working in the ITS industry want to provide customers with the best possible service at a mutually beneficial cost. To this point consider:

It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money–that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot — it cannot be done.

If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better. — Author, poet and artist John Ruskin (1819 -1900)

Whether you are purchasing or providing ITS labour and material, based on my 33 years in the ITS industry, I firmly believe that BICSI offers you and your business true value and unbiased technical information that is second to none.

I encourage you to give headquarters a call at (813) 979- 1991 or visit BICSI’s Web site, www.bicsi.org, and register as a member. It just might be the best business decision related to training you will ever make.

Richard Smith is the Canadian Region Director of BICSI and the manager of Aliant Cabling Solutions in Moncton, N. B. He can be reached at rsmith@bicsi.org.