BICSI Winter Conference

Jan. 22, 2010

BICSI Winter Meeting Draws Strong Crowds

BICSI, the organization focused on the information transport systems industry, held its Winter Conference & Exhibition this week in a smaller venue at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla., but the more compact exhibit space and show venue didn’t seem to bridle any enthusiasm attendees had for the show.

By the second day, the parking lot was completely full for exhibit hours, which continues to be held during the evenings so attendees can gain continuing education credits to maintain their certification status. And even though the show was downsized in its exhibit area and venue for the second year in a row (it’s previously been held in the larger Gaylord Palms Resort) the conference was hopping and the aisles crowded as attendees glimpsed new products and solutions—many tied of course to the continued move to systems and services on the network, as well as IP-centric solutions.

In the daytime educational and certification sessions as well, rooms were crowded with folks eager to learn about new products and technologies which may result in a business edge. Overall, it seemed to be one of the most exciting and dynamic trade shows in recent times.

Registered Communications Distribution Designers (RCDD), the lifeblood of BICSI, and other credentialed technicians and network specialists use the show to earn the continuing education credits required to maintain their certification. Since the year 2000, BICSI has introduced three Specialist design credentials: Electronic Safety and Security (ESS) Specialist; Outside Plant (OSP) Specialist; and Wireless Design (WD) Specialist in addition to its RCDD credentials. It also has an ITS or Information Transport System (ITS) Cabling Installation Program.

The show included the BICSI Cabling Skills Challenge, where installers wired systems to their heart’s desires and competed for prizes—all on the show floor!

Some quick takeaways from the show: the move to IP cameras has gained the interest of BICSI members, who are increasingly interested in what else they can put on the network besides the infrastructure itself to increase their company’s productivity. Instead of convergence, manufacturers were focusing on the term ‘coexistence,’ allowing current analog products and services to reside on the network while adding IP as the user wants to grow into the technology. This is also palatable to users, who now in the third year of a recession don’t want to have to throw out what they have to get the more modern solutions they want. They simply don’t have the money to do it right now.

Labor and installation savings were also critical topics and manufacturers continue to bring to market products that save time, money and labor, yet give their customers the solutions they want. Suffice to say that as systems and services continue to move onto the network, the BICSI installers are also looking at the solutions previously centered on the security industry only. – Deborah L. O’Mara, editor, Security Dealer & Integrator magazine

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