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Optimism expressed at BICSI show

Many of North America's top cabling and telecommunications companies gathered in Las Vegas recently at the BICSI Spring Conference to showcase their latest technologies and services.Fortunately this t...

July 1, 2002  

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Many of North America’s top cabling and telecommunications companies gathered in Las Vegas recently at the BICSI Spring Conference to showcase their latest technologies and services.

Fortunately this time around it seemed that the more serious mood felt only four months earlier at the BICSI winter event in Orlando was replaced by a building sense of optimism.

The show, held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel from May 6 to 9, brought together close to 2500 attendees (including 68 Canadians), which was a good showing, but still down from the 2900 who attended last year’s spring event. Yet, the majority of people Cabling Systems spoke to thought the market was improving and that the industry gathering was an important one.

Telecom markets have been hard hit during the past year as the economy weakened and spending was cut back. But, as BICSI Secretary John Bakowski put it during a Region 5 (Canada) lunch during the conference: “Things are starting to pick up, and financially, BICSI is doing well.”

Well enough that 156 exhibitors (slightly less than last year’s total of 165) were on hand to showcase their wares. And while there didn’t seem to be any earth-shattering technologies to arise out of this conference, several vendors introduced products of note.

Ortonics was on hand with its new OPTIMo system, an end-to-end fiber-optic structured cabling system; Middle Atlantic Products showcased its new DRK Series cable management enclosure for high-density cable management challenges; Tyco and iTRACS announced the release of AMPTRAC, a software-ready structured connectivity management system for automating the management of the physical layer; and Ideal Industries announced FIBERTEK, a new line of fiber accessory kits.

Many interesting seminars — which ran the gamut from data centre design and Ethernet devices to testing fiber and Category 6 — took place during the event. Jason Jennings, an author and consultant, gave the keynote address, which focused on what drives the world’s most productive and successful companies.

“It’s not the big that eat the little, it’s the fast that eat the slow,” quoted Jennings in his address, before sharing the four characteristics that distinguish the fastest and most productive companies. These companies, says Jennings, have learned: 1) the art of abandonment (i.e., letting go of old ideas); 2) that satisfied customers will still leave (that there is a difference between “satisfied” and “completely satisfied”); 3) the importance of not having a mission statement (they each have a “cause” instead); and 4) that their cultures must be based on respect and honesty.

In addition to the seminars and exhibits, BICSI Cares, the charitable arm of BICSI, raised US$21,000 for Child Haven, a local facility that provides temporary care and treatment for abused, neglected and abandoned children.

BICSI’s Fall Conference will be held from August 19 to 22, 2002 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition, a Canadian conference is scheduled for September 16 to 19 in Quebec City.

Janine Strom is Editor of Cabling Systems magazine.

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