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Wireville.com

Issue: March 2007
By: Frank Bisbee


Datacom/Telecom Glossary
In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces


BISBEE’S BUZZ

Building Owners Beware – The Cost Of Cabling Could Be A Big Pain

Building Owners Beware – The cost of cabling could become a big pain, because of a relatively new section of the National Electrical Code (NEC).  Unfortunately, these new code provisions have caught many building owners unprepared to deal with the issue because most tenant leases did not address the responsibility for cabling installed during occupancy.  The bill for this clean up may run into the millions of dollars and it appears that building owners may get caught “holding the bag” on this potentially costly problem.

Literally miles of cabling left in ceilings and walls from previous network and power installations by previous tenants have accumulated in most of our buildings.  These abandoned cables are a potential source for fueling fire, smoke and lethal toxic fumes that can incapacitate or kill.

Due to changes in the 2002 and 2005 editions of the National Electrical Code (NEC), some abandoned cables could render your property out of code jeopardizing the underwriting of your fire insurance and even representing a potentially significant legal liability.  The new rules make it a violation to have abandoned cables in the accessible portions of your building's concealed spaces including most risers and plenums.   Additionally, the code revisions mandate cable tagging requirements for new installs where cables are installed or pre-wired today for intended future.

When the tenant moves out, ask them to remove their cabling and/or have your own contractor remove all of the abandoned cabling from accessible areas.  Upgrade the lease language for the new tenant to address this area of concern and pay more attention to the infrastructure materials including WHERE the tenants are installing them.

The new NEC rules can be quite complex and often are as confusing as IRS rules and regulations causing building owners to wonder which way to turn.  Many electrical and communications contractors have the knowledge and practical expertise to guide you through this rather murky area of danger and liability related to abandoned wiring.  Furthermore, most contractors have a highly skilled technical staff capable of economically performing the identification and removal tasks according to code.

RULE #1 = TAG IT.  The fastest way to establish a tracking method for the cabling infrastructure is to label to facilities at both ends.

Abandoned cable can easily be found in hospitals, schools and office buildings that were built many years ago, and then expanded in recent years.  Particularly vulnerable and in need of urgent corrective action is the healthcare industry where abandoned cables abound.  Cabling may generate significant risks in fire, toxic gasses, & smoke hazards.  Safety concerns are a high priority.

These code changes developed over the past 8 years while many building owners were unaware of any proposals that may affect their tenants, their insurability or their liability.  More changes are proposed for 2008 and 2009 as the term “cables” may be expanded to the term “materials.”  Building owners are a significant group of users of building codes and should mobilize to have their voices heard in the debate over removal of cables, or materials, from concealed spaces in their occupancies.

Remember: Safety is too important to ignore.

But that’s just my opinion,

Frank Bisbee
"Heard On The Street" Monthly Column
www.wireville.com
4949 Sunbeam Rd, Suite 16
Jacksonville, FL 32257
(904) 645-9077 office
(904) 645-9058 fax
frank@wireville.com


Michael Martin Promoted to Associate Publisher & Editor of TED Magazine

Michael Martin has been promoted to associate publisher and editor of TED: The Electrical Distributor magazine by the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED).

An NAED staff member since 1998, Martin has been TED editor since 2000. He currently manages both editorial and publishing operations of the magazine, which is circulated monthly to over 27,000 readers in the electrical distribution industry. The award-winning magazine covers marketing reports, product trends, sales training techniques, operational improvements and news updates for the electrical distribution industry.

During Martin’s tenure at TED, the magazine has added more editorial, been redesigned, increased advertising revenue, and advanced its online presence with multiple sites and newsletters. During this time, the magazine has also been recognized both nationally and regionally for editorial and design excellence. In 2004, Martin also oversaw the magazine’s successful 40th anniversary that included contests, a commemorative edition of TED and an anniversary gala.

Martin is a member of the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) and the Missouri Association of Publications (MAP). He received an ASBPE award for Editorial Excellence for the feature Deep in the Heart of Profit (May 2005), a feature article about Elliott Electrical Supply and its founder Bill Elliott. He also led the magazine to receive five additional ASBPE awards between 2004 - 2006.

“Martin has been TED Magazine’s point person for some time now,” explained NAED President and TED Magazine Publisher Tom Naber. “His promotion comes as a result of successfully juggling multiple responsibilities ranging from editorial to advertising to web strategy. He not only puts a great deal of energy into the magazine, but also into our association and the electrical industry at large.”

A graduate of Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., Martin is married and has two children. www.naed.org


RHINO 101 Makes Labeling Fast, Easy and Affordable

When two worlds collide, great things happen. RHINO, a brand of Sanford, L.P., a Newell Rubbermaid Company (NYSE: NWL) and a world leader in industrial identification, is proud to bring together tough and durable RHINO labels and the ever-popular Sharpie® permanent marker to create the new RHINO 101 reusable label dispenser.

Since the introduction of the award winning RHINO 5000 label printer in 2004, the RHINO brand has been building superior electronic label printers for datacomm installers, electrical contractors, facility managers and other professionals all over the world. While electronic label printing is a fast-growing segment of the market, traditional “pen and tape” labeling remains the method of choice for some, as well as a viable means of temporary labeling in the “rough-in” phase of installations. For this reason, RHINO developed the RHINO 101 reusable label dispenser – a product that combines the durability of RHINO industrial labels with the proven power of the Sharpie Retractable® permanent marker into one convenient tool.

Doug Waldal, Global Business Director for RHINO explains, “Pen and tape labeling has been around for decades and still, for many, is the most cost-effective and efficient means for labeling their projects. We recognize this and for this reason decided to develop an innovative product that we feel represents the best “pen-and-tape” labeling solution on the market today. The Sharpie brand is very well known and for many is the identification tool of choice. Now, with the RHINO 101, installers and contractors can use what we believe is the best of both worlds: the best labeling materials – RHINO labels – and the best marker – Sharpie.”

The RHINO 101 is a reusable and refillable hand-held labeling tool that provides tape, pen, writing surface and cutter into one. But it’s no ordinary pen and tape. The tape is an easy to load drop-in cartridge that consists of easy-to-peel split-back RHINO labels with industrial-strength adhesives that stick. The pen included with the tool is a black Sharpie Retractable® permanent marker – a world-renowned brand in the market. Together, they provide a truly powerful and dependable solution for fast, easy labels. The writing surface integrated into the RHINO 101 makes it easy to write labels anywhere and the built-in cutter, belt clip and lanyard hook provide further on-the-go convenience. Additionally, the RHINO 101 includes a thumb advance for easy tape dispensing (without smearing) and a viewing window to align the label prior to cutting (for self-laminating labels).

“Prior to designing the RHINO 101 and even during the design and testing phases, we interviewed many installers to learn what features were most important to them,” said Rafael Martinez, Product Manager for RHINO. “They were very specific about the labeling functionality they wanted, what was currently missing in the marketplace, and what their “ideal” pen-and-tape labeler would include. We are proud to say that the RHINO 101 was truly user-inspired.”

The RHINO 101 is available in two packages: one for wire and cable marking (contains self-laminating die cut vinyl labels) and one for general purpose marking (contains continuous flexible nylon labels). Each lists for $19.99. Label cartridge refills are available in both self-laminating and nylon styles and retail for $9.99. All are available at major distributors in the security, datacomm, professional audio/video, electrical, MRO and construction markets in May.

About RHINO
RHINO is a brand within DYMO, a business unit within Sanford L.P., a Newell Rubbermaid company. DYMO designs and manufactures RHINO professional label printers and tools for commercial, residential and industrial use. RHINO labeling tools are designed with easy-to-use features that greatly reduce labeling time. Learn more at www.rhinolabeling.com


BICSI Reinvents Outside Plant Education With New Manual

BICSI®, an organization of information transport systems (ITS) industry professionals, announces the release of the Outside Plant Design Reference Manual (OSPDRM), fourth edition.

Written for the individual who designs, inspects or maintains the outside plant (OSP) infrastructures in a campus environment, the OSPDRM provides a

comprehensive, vendor-neutral overview of the components of OSP design. The manual is the basis for BICSI’s RCDD®/OSP Specialty Program.

Among new topics covered in this fourth edition is a chapter on ‘Legal Considerations for the OSP Designer’. This chapter introduces the most current information regarding potential issues/problems that OSP designers and installers may encounter given the complexity of OSP projects.

“This is a truly unique outside plant manual in the fact that the information contained within this new edition reflects a broader applicability,” said John Adams, RCDD/OSP Specialist, owner of Adams Telecomm in Valrico, Florida, and BICSI’s Technical Information and Methods (TI&M) Committee OSPDRM subject matter expert team leader (SMETL).

First published in 1999 as the Customer-owned Outside Plant Design Manual, the fourth edition of the OSPDRM is the product of the continuing evolution toward a global document. “It is an invaluable reference for anyone that is involved in the designing, inspecting or the construction of OSP information transport systems,” Adams said.

Previous editions of the manual relied almost exclusively on U.S. standards. Now addressing global best practices, the newest edition can be applied almost anywhere, making it a relevant reference material for ITS professionals around the world.

BICSI’s TI&M Committee works to develop and produce the technical information in BICSI manuals like the OSPDRM. “The knowledge gained by using this new manual will be an important asset to designers, consultants, engineers, end users, students taking BICSI outside plant courses, and candidates for the RCDD/OSP Specialty exam,” said David Labuskes, RCDD/NTS/OSP Specialist, vice president of RTKL Associates' special systems design group and TI&M Committee Chair.

OSP cabling systems can support a wide variety of communication services. These include telephone and data transfer, live video, security, building automation control systems and any other low-voltage circuitry.

For more information about the OSPDRM and BICSI’s RCDD/OSP Specialty Program, please visit www.bicsi.org.


General Cable Closes Purchase Of Chinese Cable Products Maker

Wire and cable products maker General Cable Corp. said Friday it closed the acquisition of Jiangyin Huaming Specialty Cable Co. a Chinese maker of specialty automotive and industrial cable products.

The company did not give financial terms. Jiangyin has about $12 million in revenue and employs about 200 people, General Cable said.

General Cable added that that it plans to invest additional capital over the next three years and expand the new company's portfolio, profitability, and revenue base.


Telecommunications Equipment Maker CommScope Hits 6-Year Best On Profit And Sales

Shares of telecommunications equipment maker CommScope Inc. jumped to a six-year high Friday after the company raised its guidance and reported a better fourth-quarter profit than Wall Street expected.

Growing demand for CommScope's communications network cables and products pushed sales to $393.7 million and earnings to 38 cents per share, beyond the $383.7 million and 36 per share analysts anticipated.

The Hickory, N.C.-based company now expects between $1.72 billion and $1.76 billion in sales for 2007.

Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst Kenneth Muth raised his price target to $40 from $34, and kept his rating on the stock at "Neutral."

"Early 2007 trends appear very positive in each major category and, importantly, Enterprise pricing has remained stable in the face of declining copper costs," he said. "We believe CommScope is executing well and would be buyers of the stock on weakness."

Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Alan Bezoza, who also has a "Neutral" rating on the shares, said, "As the supplier of last-mile solutions, CommScope is well-positioned to benefit from increased network traffic as well as from the competitive battle between cable, telecom, and satellite operators."

"We look for continued strength driven by solid fundamentals, lower raw material costs and stable customer pricing," Bezoza said, adding that he missed an opportunity to upgrade the stock before its price increased. Shares are up about 22 percent since the beginning of the year. www.commscope.com


Leading ABC Sports And ESPN Commentator To Kick-Off Event

Framingham, MA – December 29, 2006 – Dick Vitale, College Basketball Analyst for ABC Sports and ESPN, will officially open the 8th annual Electronic House Expo (EHX) Spring 2007 on March 8, 2007 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

In his Opening Keynote presentation, Mr. Vitale will lead the official kick-off to the 2007 EHX Spring event. EHX is the #1 place for the custom electronics community to gather, network, learn, share knowledge and ideas, and stay up to date on the latest industry trends and innovations.

Mr. Vitale will inspire EHX attendees about “Winning In The Game of Life." Vitale will share his secrets for tackling the problems of business head-on, with the boundless optimism and lessons learned from the hard knocks of sports. Perhaps no one understands the game of life – and particularly how to play it with enthusiasm, energy and verve – than the one and only Dick Vitale. Dick uses a combination of humor and inspiration drawn from his career as a sixth grade teacher, a college and professional basketball coach, and years as one of the best known – and perhaps most beloved – network basketball analysts in history.

Seating is limited for the opening keynote event. Attendees registering by December 29th will have a chance to meet Dick Vitale, during a special VIP reception, prior to the opening keynote. To register for EHX and get your chance to meet Dick Vitale, visit www.ehxweb.com/register.html and complete your registration by December 29th. Expo-Plus passes valued at $75 are free for registrants who sign up now.

More than 11,000 industry professionals are expected at EHX Spring 2007, with more than 350 companies showcasing the hottest products in the custom electronics industry – including home theater, multi-room audio, media centers, home networking, home automation, lighting control, structured wiring, security and advanced electrical products.

For complete information on EHX Spring 2007 or to register, visit www.EHXweb.com.

About EH Events
EH Events develops and produces world-class expositions and conferences for the technology and construction industries. The EH Events portfolio includes: Electronic House Expos (EHX) Spring & Fall, the TecHome Builder Conference and Expo (TBX), and Worship Facilities Conference & Expo (WFX). EHX Fall was named the fastest growing show in America by Tradeshow Week magazine in 2003, and both EHX Spring and Fall were named among the fastest 50 growing tradeshows by Tradeshow Week magazine in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

About CEA
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the consumer technology industry through technology policy, events, research, promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA represents more than 2,100 corporate members involved in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and integration of audio, video, mobile electronics, wireless and landline communications, information technology, digital imaging, home networking, multimedia and accessory products, as well as related services that are sold through consumer channels. Combined, CEA's members account for more than $125 billion in annual sales. CEA's resources are available online at www.CE.org, the definitive source for information about the consumer electronics industry.

CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES – Defining Tomorrow’s Technology. All profits from CES are reinvested into industry services, including technical training and education, industry promotion, engineering standards development, market research, and legislative advocacy.


Preformed Line Products Announces Improved Financial Results For The Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2006

Preformed Line Products Company (Nasdaq: PLPC - News) reported financial results for the fourth quarter and the full year ended December 31, 2006.

Net income for the quarter ended December 31, 2006 increased to $2,032,000, or $.38 per diluted share, compared to $883,000, or $.15 per diluted share, for the comparable period in 2005. Net sales in the fourth quarter 2006 were $51,765,000, an 11% increase from last year's $46,726,000.

Net income for the full year ended December 31, 2006 increased to $12,060,000, or $2.13 per diluted share, compared to the prior year's $11,986,000, or $2.07 per diluted share. Net sales increased 5% to $216,937,000 for the full year 2006 compared to $205,804,000 in 2005.

Rob Ruhlman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Our international operations had a record year for both sales and income. International sales of $105 million were 17% higher than the previous year. Currency had a $2.8 million favorable impact on sales. Our 2006 domestic sales were 3% lower than 2005 as a result of a weak telecommunications market. However, domestic sales recovered in the fourth quarter and were 9% stronger than the fourth quarter of 2005 in our core energy and telecommunication markets. This trend is continuing into 2007 as we anticipated. I am particularly pleased with our fourth quarter net income more than doubling that of 2005. One of our biggest challenges for 2007 will be improving operating efficiencies in our domestic operations to make up for continuing increases in raw material costs."

On Thursday, February 15, 2007 the Board of Directors authorized the Company to repurchase up to 200,000 common shares, $2 par value per share, or approximately 3.7% of the Company's outstanding common shares. Under the repurchase program, which does not have a stated expiration date, the Company has authority to repurchase common shares through the open market, block purchases, or in negotiated private transactions on an ongoing basis. The repurchases will be subject to availability of common shares, general market conditions, the trading price of the common shares, alternative uses for capital, and the Company's financial condition and performance.

The Board of Directors also declared a regular quarterly dividend in the amount of $.20 per share on the Company's common shares, payable April 20, 2007 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 2, 2007.

Founded in 1947, Preformed Line Products is an international designer and manufacturer of products and systems employed in the construction and maintenance of overhead and underground networks for energy, communications and broadband network companies.

Preformed's world headquarters are in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Company operates three domestic manufacturing centers located in Rogers, Arkansas, Albemarle, North Carolina, and Asheville, North Carolina. The Company serves its worldwide market through international operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain and Thailand.

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 regarding the Company, including those statements regarding the Company's and management's beliefs and expectations concerning the Company's future performance or anticipated financial results, among others. Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in those statements. Among other things, factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements include the strength of the economy and demand for the Company's products, increases in raw material prices, the Company's ability to identify, complete and integrate acquisitions for profitable growth, and other factors described under the heading "Forward-Looking Statements" in the Company's Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 15, 2006. The Form 10-K and the Company's other filings with the SEC can be found on the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov. The Company assumes no obligation to update or supplement forward-looking statements that become untrue because of subsequent events.


Graybar Joins APC Gold Certified Partner Program

Graybar, a leading distributor of electrical and communications products and related supply chain management and logistics services, today announced that it recently joined the APC Gold Certified Partner Program.  Graybar technical sales professionals throughout the United States completed a rigorous training and proficiency-testing program and are now certified by APC to configure and implement APC physical infrastructure solutions.  Using APC’s online configuration tools, they can plan APC InfraStruXureâ solutions up to 80kW for customers with a wide range of IT architecture needs.

The InfraStruXure design, which integrates power, cooling, rack, management, environmental and security monitoring, and services, allows the selection of standardized components to create a data center solution through modular and mobile configurations.  This standardization enables an easily scalable architecture designed to meet changing needs and future expansion.  This award-winning, patent-pending approach provides increased availability, improved adaptability and speed of deployment as well as lower total cost of ownership for IT environments – from wiring closets to server rooms to data centers.

“We are proud to achieve APC Gold Certified Partner status, which, we believe, will benefit our customers immensely,” said Michael Dumas, vice president, comm/data business at Graybar.  “Now we have Graybar Network Systems Specialists and Account Managers throughout the company who have achieved the highest level of certification on APC’s innovative InfraStruXure solutions.  This scalable, “pay as you grow” approach to building a state-of-the-art data center works to our customers’ advantage.  We look forward to our enhanced collaboration with APC to configure, implement and service APC InfraStruXure solutions.” 

About Graybar
Graybar, a Fortune 500 corporation and one of the largest employee-owned companies in North America, is a leader in the distribution of high quality electrical, telecommunications and networking products, and specializes in related supply chain management and logistics services. Through its network of more than 250 North American distribution facilities, it stocks and sells products from thousands of manufacturers, serving as the vital link to hundreds of thousands of customers. For more information, visit http://graybar.com/ or call 1-800-GRAYBAR.

APC, which combined with MGE UPS SYSTEMS to form the Critical Power & Cooling Services business unit of Schneider Electric, is a leading provider of global, end-to-end solutions for real-time infrastructure. Founded in 1981, APC’s comprehensive products and services for home and corporate environments improve the availability, manageability and performance of sensitive electronic, network, communication and industrial equipment of all sizes. APC offers a wide variety of products for physical infrastructure including InfraStruXure®, its revolutionary architecture for on-demand data centers, as well as physical threat management products through the company’s NetBotz division. These products and services help companies increase the availability and reliability of their IT systems. All trademarks are the property of their owners.


Alchemy Communications, Inc. Chooses MRV Product Line As Basis For Los Angeles Fiber Network E-Business Services Provider Upgrades Core Network With Fiber Driver DWDM System

MRV Communications, INC. (Nasdaq: MRVC), a leading provider of products and services for out-of-band networking, WDM and Optical Transport, Metro Ethernet, Fiber Optic components, High-Bandwidth wireless, 10GE and other Service Aware Networking Products, announced that Alchemy Communications, Inc., a leading provider of co-location and managed data center services, has chosen the MRV Fiber Driver® to increase the bandwidth of its Los Angeles fiber backbone network.

Incorporated in 1995, Alchemy Communications is a major California provider of Internet and data center solutions. Utilizing an onsite “24x7” network operations center staff in each of its data centers, Alchemy offers co-location space, multi-carrier Internet connectivity and a wide range of managed services including monitoring, network security, storage, load balancing, video and audio streaming applications management and disaster recovery services.  

Alchemy’s metropolitan Los Angeles fiber-optic network consists of multiple fiber runs via diverse paths to each of its state-of-the-art facilities. Incorporating MRV Fiber Driver will enhance Alchemy’s backbone network by using dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) to increase bandwidth, redundancy and efficiency resulting in a greater return on investment.

“We are confident that this solution will provide an infrastructure that can grow at the same rapid pace as the needs of our business,” said Zane Alsabery, CEO of Alchemy Communications. “We chose MRV’s product because it provided us with a solution we could implement immediately to maximize data throughput of our existing fiber-optic cabling and in turn allow us to increase our ability to provide top quality services to our customers.”

“Fiber Driver’s carrier-class design offers the features and uptime necessary for mission critical networks that are looking for a cost-effective backbone product,” said Noam Lotan, CEO of MRV Communications.  “Now that this system is in place, Alchemy will be able to scale and upgrade its network quickly.”

MRV’s Fiber Driver optical multi-service product line provides a full range of solutions like services demarcation, media conversion, signal repeating, and fiber-optimization, including coarse and dense WDM capabilities.  Both managed and unmanaged solutions are available, including rack-mount, modular systems and desktop systems.  The Fiber Driver line includes several families of products with the flexibility of hundreds of combinations and system options for any type of optical or copper technology, covering virtually every protocol in use in networking today.

About MRV Communications, Inc.
MRV Communications, Inc. (“MRV”) is a leading provider of network equipment and services, and optical components.  MRV’s networking business provides equipment used by commercial customers, governments and telecommunications service providers, and includes switches, routers, physical layer products and out-of-band management products as well as specialized networking products for aerospace, defense and other applications including voice and cellular communication. MRV’s optical components business provides optical communications components for metropolitan, access and Fiber-to-the-Premises applications, through its wholly owned subsidiary LuminentOIC, Inc.  MRV markets and sells its products worldwide through a variety of channels, including a dedicated direct sales force, manufacturers' representatives, value-added-resellers, distributors and systems integrators.  MRV also has operations in Europe that provide network system design, integration and distribution services that include products manufactured by third-party vendors, as well as internally developed and manufactured products.  Publicly traded since 1992, MRV is listed on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol MRVC.  For more information about MRV and its products, please call (818) 773-0900 or visit our websites at www.mrv.com <http://www.mrv.com> and www.luminentoic.com <http://www.LuminentOIC.com> .

About Alchemy Communications, Inc.
Alchemy Communications, Inc. offers co-location space, multi-carrier Internet connectivity, and a wide range of managed services including monitoring, network security, storage, load balancing, video and audio streaming, applications management and disaster recovery services enabling any size entity to cost effectively have their mission critical services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week ("24x7"). As a leading provider of co-location and data center managed services, Alchemy allows its clients to cost effectively grow their co-location infrastructure without the issues associated with managing a data center technical staff.  Alchemy provides these clients with "no finger pointing" site maintenance and services that allow them to focus their attention and resources on managing their business rather than on data center technology. For more information about Alchemy Communications, Inc. please call (213) 596-3000 or visit our website at www.alchemy.net.


CABA Releases Micro & Small Business Needs Assessment Study

The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), through its Internet Home Alliance Research Council, has completed a needs assessment study on managed services for micro and small business.

The study assesses the current state of the managed services market and identifies areas for further development.

The report finds that the most popular managed services for micro and small businesses consist of Web hosting, email and messaging services, servers, routers and LAN installation and maintenance, data backup, storage, security and other related services.

The report also determines that target customers prefer to work with local specialty service providers, or alternately, with manufacturers directly and that small businesses have a distinct interest in annual contracts provided there are clear, substantial cost-savings compared to a pay-as-you go arrangement.

"In general, micro and small businesses do not have dedicated information technology or telecom support personnel," states Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. "Instead, this report shows that they have staff with other primary responsibilities that manage these products or services. This needs assessment helps service providers obtain a more complete sketch of the needs of micro and small businesses in order to improve their marketing and product development efforts."

The report was completed with the guidance and financial support of AT&T, Cisco Systems, Costco Wholesale, Hewlett-Packard, Level Platforms and SupportSoft through CABA's collaborative research model.

"We are extremely pleased to have led industry participation in this research project," says Jeff Dean, Senior Manager, Service Provider Internet Business Solutions Group at Cisco Systems, Inc. "This research report will allow Cisco and other participating companies to make more informed decisions in terms of existing and prospective customers."

The report "Microbusiness & Small Business Managed Services Needs Assessment Study" is currently available to Internet Home Alliance Research Council members. It will be available for sale through CABA's eStore at www.caba.org/estore.

About CABA
CABA is the only industry association to offer industry intelligence to stakeholders in all areas of home & building automation. CABA's resources cover areas such as HVAC, lighting, security, A/V, communications technologies, energy management and controls. A number of resources are available through the association including iHomes & Buildings magazine, research, CABA's forums, CABA's monthly eBulletin, Information Series reports, Event Reports and the CABA web site. Please visit www.caba.org for further information.


IP PBXs In Major Growth Mode, New Report finds

Traditional TDM PBX phone systems continue their steady decline in popularity, evidenced by a 22% drop in worldwide TDM PBX manufacturer revenue between 2005 and 2006, while IP PBX phone system sales continue to surge, growing 18% in the same period, says Infonetics Research in its latest Enterprise Telephony report.

The strength of IP PBX equipment sales buoyed the overall enterprise telephony market to a 9% gain in 2006, reaching US$8.9 billion worldwide, the research firm said.

"The PBX market had another good year, with lines posting double-digit growth for the third year in a row," said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst at Infonetics Research.

"On the market share front, the big story continues to be Cisco, the only company with significant market share gains in 2006, contributing almost half of the overall market growth for the year.

Though Cisco is still fifth in the worldwide market, they moved from second to first place in the North American IP PBX market this year, not surprising given they came out on top as the preferred VoIP equipment supplier in our User Plans for VoIP study."


FOA Creates Email Newsletter - All Are Invited To Sign-Up

The Fiber Optic Association, the professional society of fiber optics, has created an email list for distribution of its monthly FOA Newsletter, covering news of the fiber optic industry, technology tutorials, industry events, and FOA society news. The email list is an opt-in list that anyone, not just the 20,000+ FOA members, may join. Go to the FOA website, www.thefoa.org, to sign up.

Any manufacturer or organization having information or press releases appropriate for the FOA audience can send them to info@thefoa.org to considered for inclusion in the FOA Newsletter.

The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. is an nonprofit educational organization chartered to promote fiber optics through education, certification and standards. Over 160 FOA-Approved schools have certified more than 20,000 fiber optic technicians. The FOA offers free online introductory fiber optic programs for everyone and training for instructors at FOA-Approved schools. The FOA is also an active participant in industry standards activities such as TIA and NECA.
For more information on the FOA, see the organization's website www.thefoa.org, email info@thefoa.org or call 760-451-3655.


VDV Works Offers New Fiber Optic And Cabling Curriculum For Schools And Instructors

 VDV Works, LLC has released several new  VDV (Voice-Data-Video) subject modules as part of its VDV Academy Curriculum for use in training engineers, technicians, designers and installers of fiber optic, structured cabling and wireless networks. New modules include Fiber Optic Network Design, Ribbon Fusion Splicing, Fiber To The Home (FTTx), OTDR Testing of PONs in FTTx networks and Wireless Applications For Corporate Networks. A complete listing of the all VDV Academy programs is at  http://www.vdvacademy.com.

The VDV Academy Curriculum is used by over 200 instructors at schools and companies around the world to offer state-of-the-art training as part of school telecom and IT programs or in-house employee training. Instructors using the program realize that their time is more productive when spent actually teaching and training, not researching, developing and updating curriculum.

What do instructors say about VDV Academy programs? "I have used VDV Academy course materials for the past 4 years.  They provide our company with a concise and comprehensive approach to all voice, data and video subjects resulting in easy-to-understand study materials for our students." Bob Ballard, BDI Datalink.

Jim and Karen Hayes of VDV Works have been developing training programs for over 20 years, including the famous "Fiber U" and "Cable U" conferences. They reflect Jim's experience as a course developer, instructor and writer for magazines and books on cabling, as well as Karen's experience in organizing training programs and equipping laboratories for cabling training. All programs are aligned toward industry certifications like the FOA CFOT, SCA CCT and BICSI CECs.

The VDV Academy programs are turn-key curriculum, with classroom programs provided as annotated PowerPoint presentations and student manuals provided for lab sessions. The complete VDV Academy Curriculum sells for $595, including 10 PowerPoint presentations containing over 1000 slides, instructor's guides, student manuals, hands-on videos, an OTDR simulator and copies of the textbooks.  Unique to the fiber optic programs is an Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) Simulator, which allows instructors to project OTDR training in the classroom and students to have a copy for projects outside the classroom.

VDV Academy also offers two free online tutorials on cabling, "Lennie Lightwave's Guide To Fiber Optics," the most popular fiber optic website of all times, at http://www.lennielightwave.com and "Uncle Ted's Guide To Communications Cabling" at http://www.vdvworks.com/UncleTed/.

For more information on the VDV Academy curriculum, contact VDV Works at 760-451-3655, info@vdvworks.com or www.vdvacademy.com.


Harger’s Mechanical Grounding Connectors

Harger Lightning & Grounding proudly introduces its complete line of mechanical grounding connectors which provide a wide range of uses for pipe, ground rods and wire connections. They will accommodate the most common Class I and Class II lightning and grounding conductors 6AWG through 4/0. For more information on the mechanical connectors please check out the Grounding & Lightning Protection sections of our website at www.harger.com

Harger Lightning & Grounding is a leading manufacturer of lightning protection and grounding equipment, as well as exothermic welding materials for the communications and electrical industries. Harger also provides design and engineering services and specializes in offering total systems solutions for their customers. Let Harger apply its systemic approach to total system protection to provide you the most cost effective solution to protect your personnel and equipment against the effects of electrical transients.


Berk-Tek Increases Support For Their Strategic Accounts

Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company, a leading copper and fiber optic cabling technology manufacturer, announces two new additions to their sales organization. Dan Trotta has joined as the Strategic Account Manager, focusing on Anixter and Accu-Tech, and Kimberly Rheppard has been promoted to Strategic Account Manager for CSC.  Responsibilities for these positions will include developing and driving distribution sales and marketing initiatives.  Both report to Phil Radics, Director of New Business Development.

Dan Trotta has held various management positions with major comm data cable and connectivity manufacturers.  Most recently, he was with Superior Modular Products as Director of Sales.  Prior to that, he the Vice President of Sales for CommScope.  Before that he was the National Accounts Manager and Sales Director for CommScope, respectively. Trotta has also held senior sales management positions with Belden and Draka Comteq, formerly Helix/HiTemp.

Kimberly Rheppard has been with Berk-Tek for almost ten years and has held several positions within the Inside Sales Department, most recently as the Inside Sales Manager for the past four years.  Prior to that, she was Eastern Sales Service Manager and Anixter Account Manager. Rheppard recently passed the State of Pennsylvania bar exam and holds her juris doctorate from Widener University School of Law, as well as an undergraduate degree in Business and French from Penn State University.

“The combination of Kimberly’s extensive Berk-Tek background and company knowledge with Dan’s strong customer relations and industry track record will enhance our level of expertise, while providing our distribution partners with a very thorough bank of resources,” states Paul Trunk, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

About Berk-Tek, A Nexans Company
For more than 45 years, Berk-Tek has been a leading manufacturer of more than 100 different network copper and fiber optic cable products. The company has led in the development of high-performance and enhanced fiber optic and UTP cables designed to transport high-speed data and voice transmissions. Berk-Tek has major manufacturing facilities at New Holland, PA, Fuquay-Varina, NC and Elm City, NC. www.berktek.com .

About Nexans
Nexans is the worldwide leader in the cable industry. The Group brings an extensive range of advanced copper and optical fiber cable solutions to the infrastructure, industry and building markets. Nexans cables and cabling systems are used in every area of people's lives, from telecommunications and energy networks, to aeronautics, automobile, railways, building, petrochemical and medical applications. With an industrial presence in 29 countries and commercial activities worldwide, Nexans employs 20,000 people and had sales in 2005 of $6.5 billion. Nexans is listed on the Paris stock exchange as NEX. www.nexans.com .

Editorial Contact:

Carol Everett Oliver
Berk-Tek
Direct Tel: 717-682-7336


“MEDPAC Repeating Same Mistakes In Evaluating Imaging Growth” Say Imaging Companies Of Recent MEDPAC Reports

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission is repeating the same mistakes it made in the past in its analysis of growth in medical imaging-and it is overlooking the real questions Congress wants answered, according to the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance, a division of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). 

“It is pretty obvious that MedPAC still doesn’t get it,” said Andrew Whitman, vice president of MITA.  “MedPAC continues to focus only on imaging growth without giving a second thought to what patients are getting for that-from faster recoveries, to less disability, to less-invasive treatment.” 

“Yet while MedPAC continues to repeat itself about imaging growth, it is still not addressing what Congress has repeatedly asked:  how much of imaging growth is actually from inappropriate utilization and how much is simply because imaging provides the best care possible for diagnosing and treating a wide range of medical conditions?” said Whitman.

Whitman cited a 2005 House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee hearing when then panel Chair Nancy Johnson (R-CT) told MedPAC that examining imaging growth alone, without examining how much of the growth is because imaging simply provides better care for patients,  provides little help to Congress in trying to deal with the issue of over utilization.  Similarly, in a July 2006 House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing, MedPAC was repeatedly asked whether it had examined how much of the increase in growth is, in fact, for sound, patient-centered reasons-such as mammograms and scans for stroke prevention. 

“Until MedPAC takes a full and honest look at what medical imaging provides in terms of cost-savings and quality-improvements, its recommendations on imaging growth resonate with the narrow, cost-cutting sounds of a typical payer,” said Whitman.  “Medical imaging has radically changed the way medicine is practiced, from enabling modern cardiovascular care to virtually eliminating exploratory surgery.  It is these patient-centered changes that are driving much of the utilization growth-but that prospect apparently has never entered into MedPAC’s consideration.”

Whitman specifically criticized MedPAC’s analysis in two areas:

He said that MedPAC continues to overstate the size of the growth in medical imaging, particularly overlooking the impact of the migration of imaging services from hospital outpatient departments to physician offices and imaging centers. MedPAC admits that this “site of service shift” accounts for as much as 20 percent of the growth in imaging utilization, but its growth figures do not accurately account for this shift.  The problem, according to Whitman, is that when minimally invasive procedures-such as image-guided breast biopsies-migrate from the hospital outpatient setting to the physician’s office, they are counted by MedPAC as increases in utilization under the SGR budgeting mechanism.  Yet the offsetting savings that come from replacing the open surgery that was previously done in the hospital are totally overlooked. 

Whitman said that when this “site-of-service” shift is taken into account in calculating growth in SGR-related services from 1999-2004, imaging grew only about 2.3 percent faster than other services included in the SGR.  He added that a study by the Lewin Group also found that when growth in imaging costs are compared to growth in all Medicare Part B services from 1999-2003, imaging grew only about 0.9 percentage points faster.

Whitman also criticized MedPAC for failing to even take into account the many possible factors in imaging growth that would lead to perfectly appropriate utilization.  “How can MedPAC say imaging is significantly overutilized when it hasn’t even analyzed how much growth is due to the increased incidence of disease, the longer life spans of Medicare beneficiaries, changes in clinical practice guidelines, and even the increase in screening benefits enacted by Congress?” asked Whitman. 

The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance is the collective voice of medical imaging equipment manufacturers, innovators, and product developers.  It represents companies whose sales comprise more than 90 percent of the global market for medical imaging technology.  These technologies include:

·         Medical X-ray equipment

·         Computed tomography (CT) scanners

·         Ultrasound

·         Nuclear imaging

·         Radiation therapy equipment

·         Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

·         Imaging information systems

For more information on medical imaging, go to www.medicalimaging.org. MITA, a division of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is located at 1300 North 17th Street. Suite 1752, Rosslyn, Virginia  22207


Leviton’s Fiber Raceway Meets UL2024

Leviton Voice & Data is pleased to announce that its Fiber Raceway System is compliant and now listed to the UL2024 Standard for Optical Fiber Cable Raceway. 

The system has been evaluated, tested, and approved for installation in riser applications in accordance with the National Electric Code and general purpose applications.

Leviton’s Fiber Raceway System is a cable management system for routing, protecting, and storing fiber (or copper) cables in mission critical network locations such as in data centers, central offices, entrance facilities, and equipment rooms. 

Available in five sizes, Leviton’s Fiber Raceway System is easy to design, install, and reconfigure. Ducting material is halogen-free, UV light resistant, and rated UL 94V0 to meet local fire and smoke guidelines.

For more information on this system or other Leviton Fiber products, log onto www.leviton.com.


Accu-Tech Corporation Is Set To Lead The Midwest Distribution Revolution

Accu-Tech Corporation is set to lead the Midwest Distribution Revolution with the announcement of their May 2007 expansion into the Chicago Metro Area.  Accu-Tech's contractor oriented business model is set to redefine Chicago's concept of what a Network Cabling Distributor should be.  Chicago is the 28th Accu-Tech branch, which has expanded from the Atlantic to the Pacific since its founding in 1984." 

www.accu-tech.com


BOMA International Launches The G.R.E.E.N. Web Site

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International today launched The Green Resource Energy and Environment Network (G.R.E.E.N.) viewable at www.boma.org/green.

The G.R.E.E.N. offers commercial real estate professionals one-stop shopping for valuable information on sustainability issues, ranging from BOMA’s advocacy policy positions to state and local legislative initiatives to case studies to education offerings such as the BOMA Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP).  The G.R.E.E.N. is a constantly evolving site that highlights industry best practices; reports on the latest trends, solutions and educational practices; and keeps industry professionals updated on advocacy and code development. The G.R.E.E.N. also provides information on other industry programs and resources.

“The G.R.E.E.N. Web site is an organized clearinghouse of valuable information that can make going green an achievable goal,” said BOMA International Chairman, Kurt R. Padavano, RPA, CPM, FMA, SMA, chief operating officer of Advance Realty Group of Bedminster, New Jersey.  “Reducing energy consumption not only helps the environment, but also keeps properties competitive by driving ROI and creates a healthier and more productive work environment for tenants. The G.R.E.E.N. is a valuable tool for companies that are just getting started on an energy efficiency program, as well as for organizations looking to enhance an already existing program. ” 

The commercial office building industry spends approximately $24 billion annually on energy and contributes 18 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. Energy represents the single largest operating expense for office buildings, typically a third of variable expenses. The G.R.E.E.N. is the latest initiative in BOMA International’s long and accomplished history of working on energy and environment issues. From the World Wars to the energy embargoes of the ‘70s to the nationally recognized educational programs available today, BOMA continues to stand out as a leader on sustainability and energy efficiency.

Visit The G.R.E.E.N. at www.boma.org/green.

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 90 local associations and affiliated organizations. BOMA's 16,500-plus members own or manage more than 9 billion square feet of commercial properties in North America and throughout the world. The mission of BOMA International is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information. Founded in 1907, BOMA International celebrates 100 years of commercial real estate in 2007. Learn more at www.boma.org.


Graybar launches 2007 Technology Showcase Tour

Graybar, a leading distributor of electrical and communications products and related supply chain management and logistics services, is launching a series of Technology Showcase events. From March through October in major cities throughout the country, these complimentary events will provide contractors, resellers, network administrators and building owners with updates on new industry standards and advancements in enterprise networking.

This year’s showcases will feature hands-on demonstrations and displays of new products and services from industry-leading providers.  These events will also include a variety of technical seminars, and some will qualify for continuing educational units from Building Industry Consulting Services International (BICSI). 

“This is a great opportunity for network administrators, installers and other members of the comm/data industry to obtain crucial information that will help them better succeed in their work,” said Michael Dumas, vice president, comm/data business, Graybar.  “It will also help them raise the bar for performance and value for their internal and external clients.”

2007 Graybar Technology Showcase Schedule

Date

Location

Hotel

Graybar Contact

March 13

Minneapolis, Minn.

Doubletree Hotel

Casey Foss 763-852-6138

March 29

Philadelphia, Pa.

Marriott Conshoshocken

Don Wilkins 215-336-2211

April 11

Waltham, Mass.

Westin Hotel

Leesette Bengar 617-625-4700

May 8-9

Nashville, Tenn.

Nashville Convention Center

Ted Choate 615-743-3233

May 17

Chicago, Ill.

Drury Inn, Oak Brook

Tom Bleker 630-893-3600

May 24

Cincinnati, Ohio

Clarion Hotel & Suites

 

Tim Williamson 513-719-7312

Sept. 26

Wallingford, Conn.

Crowne Plaza Cromwell

Larry Cozzolino 203-284-4500

Sept. 27

Denver, Colo.

Denver Merchandise Mart

Kathy Roberts 303-480-3013

Oct. 4

Sacramento, Calif.

Graybar - Rancho Cordova

Virginia Tylenda 916-288-4100

Oct. 6

Norcross, Ga.

Dunwoody Country Club

Tom Baldwin 770-441-5580

Oct. 11

New York, N.Y.

Madison Square Garden

Wayne Pease 302-322-2200

Oct. 25

Greensboro, N.C.

Grandover Resort

Greg Hochheiser 704-398-6213

For details on an event, call the local Graybar location.  Information and online registration for some events are available at http://graybar.com/showcase.

About Graybar
Graybar, a Fortune 500 corporation and one of the largest employee-owned companies in North America, is a leader in the distribution of high quality electrical, telecommunications and networking products, and specializes in related supply chain management and logistics services.  Through its network of more than 250 North American distribution facilities, it stocks and sells products from thousands of manufacturers, serving as the vital link to hundreds of thousands of customers.  For more information, visit http://graybar.com or call 1-800-GRAYBAR.


Interactive Intelligence Enhances Enterprise IP Telephony Software With New Applications

Interactive Intelligence Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ), a global developer of business communications software, has added new e-mail routing and more sophisticated recording capabilities to its enterprise IP telephony software, Vonexus Enterprise Interaction Center® (EIC).

New in Vonexus EIC is e-mail routing, which enables organizations to deliver e-mails similar to the way the system currently routes and queues calls, faxes and Web chats to business users and workgroups. 

Also new is the option of adding a full-featured recording module called Interaction Recorder®, which includes an automatic rules-based recording interface, along with logging, retrieval and scoring features. The module’s multimedia capability includes the recording of calls, ACD-routed e-mails, Web chats and inbound faxes.

“Vonexus EIC effectively serves the mid-market with an affordable, yet sophisticated enterprise IP PBX solution,” said Yankee Group senior analyst, Ken Landoline. “Its new multimedia recording and e-mail routing features -- built to run on the same single, standards-based platform as the rest of the Vonexus EIC applications – make extending customer service throughout the enterprise even more manageable and cost-effective.”

“From inception, we set out to build a product that would eliminate vendor lock-in, and wouldn’t require multiple third-party ‘bolt-ons’ for a wide range of communications applications,” said Joseph A. Staples, senior vice president of worldwide marketing for Interactive Intelligence. “With the initial release of our software back in 1997, these innovations became a reality, and with our latest enhancements, we continue to prove that organizations can get sophisticated communications applications from an experienced, yet accessible vendor, at an affordable price.”

 Along with IP PBX functionality and a wide range of productivity-enhancing voice/data applications, such as interactive voice response, conferencing, unified messaging, presence management, ACD, auto-attendant and more, Vonexus EIC offers pre-integrated plug-ins for the Microsoft Dynamics™ and Microsoft® Office software, and Microsoft® Office Live Communications Server.

Vonexus EIC uses the VoIP SIP standard throughout, giving businesses the broadest choice of third-party networking equipment, end-point devices, and other hardware. Its modular, all-software, single-platform approach also enables businesses to cost-effectively migrate to more sophisticated applications, as well as scale to accommodate growth, by simply activating new licenses – no forklift upgrades.

Vonexus EIC is ideal for mid-sized businesses of all types, including those with remote and mobile workers, as well as verticals such as financial services and law firms.

 http://www.inin.com


RHINO Announces New Promotional Sweepstakes & Website

2007 is bound to be a HUGE year for RHINO, a brand of Sanford, L.P., a Newell Rubbermaid Company (NYSE: NWL) and a world leader in industrial identification. Starting the year off right, RHINO is happy to announce a new promotion that will really get your motor running…

Coinciding with the launch of the new RHINO 101 reusable label dispenser, RHINO will run a sweepstakes called “Stick with RHINO” beginning March 8, 2007 and concluding November 30, 2007. At the end of this promotion, RHINO will give away FIVE Yamaha Rhino Side-by-Side 4x4 vehicles to five very lucky winners.

Michael Clemens, Sr. Marketing Manager for RHINO explained, “We wanted a very exciting and memorable promotion to launch the RHINO 101, as well as other new products that we will be releasing this year. The Yamaha Rhino 4x4 seemed like a natural. Aside from the great tie-in with the name RHINO, the Yamaha Rhino 4x4 exhibits the same qualities as our RHINO labeling products – rugged, tough, and durable – not to mention FUN!”

Entries for the sweepstakes event will be accepted at all tradeshows where RHINO is exhibiting starting in March. Entries will also be accepted online at the newly released promotional website, www.RhinoPromo.com.

“While entering online at our new promotional site,” continued Clemens, “registrants will also find it very convenient to learn about the new RHINO 101 and other, award-winning labeling products by RHINO. They’ll find not only a fast and easy way to register for the Yamaha Rhino 4x4 sweepstakes, but also downloadable literature on RHINO Labeling products, information on labels and applications, a new Question and Answer Section called ‘Ask Al’ and much more.”

To assist current RHINO customers, the new promotional website can also be reached through RHINO’s original website, www.rhinolabeling.com.

About RHINO
RHINO is a brand within DYMO, a business unit within Sanford L.P., a Newell Rubbermaid company. DYMO designs and manufactures RHINO professional label printers and tools for commercial, residential and industrial use. RHINO labeling tools are designed with easy-to-use features that greatly reduce labeling time. Learn more at www.rhinolabeling.com


Vicon Names Two New Rep Firms To Handle Sales In Michigan And Parts Of Florida

Vicon Industries Inc., a leading designer and producer of video surveillance systems, has hired two new rep firms to handle sales of its products and systems throughout the State of Michigan and parts of Florida.

JC Hanlon Consulting, Inc. (JCHCI), headquartered in New Baltimore, Michigan, offers a complete spectrum of information security consulting services, including business impact analysis, risk assessments, security program reviews, disaster recovery and incident response planning, security awareness program development, secure network architecture design, security policy development, and more. Vicon video surveillance and management solutions will now be offered underneath the company’s umbrella of services. Founded in 2004 by Jim Hanlon, the firm seeks to assists its customers in providing responsible security for employees, facilities and critical business information resources while complying with regulatory, legal, contractual, industry, and policy requirements. Additional information may be found at: www.jchci.com. JCHCI will be responsible for Vicon sales throughout the entire State of Michigan.

The Connectivity Firm (TCF), headquartered in Tampa, Florida, is committed to bridging the gap between the IT and security industries by serving as a professional firm that has embraced and understands industry convergence. As such, Vicon digital and IP-based surveillance systems fit perfectly within the firm’s sales orientation and focus. The Connectivity Firm understands the inherent needs of both traditional security companies as well as IT integrators that need a resource for support as they embrace web-enabled security technology and become more involved in the traditional security elements of existing legacy systems. Steve Walsh, TCF’s President and one of the firm’s founders, heads a talented team that collectively offers 75 years experience serving the security and IT industries. Additional information may be found at: www.theconnectivityfirm.com. TCF will be responsible for Vicon sales in the State of Florida with the exception of the panhandle and the territory south of Ft. Myers to West Palm Beach.  

“We believe the fit between our products and the services offered by both JC Hanlon Consulting and The Connectivity Firm will provide for two excellent partnerships,” said Bret McGowan, Vicon’s V.P. of Sales and Marketing. “These two firms’ ability to provide Vicon systems within the greater context of their services will enable them to provide added value to their customers while, in turn, positioning Vicon products as part of truly integrated solutions.”   www.vicon-cctv.com


Mississauga Training Consultants 2007 Training Programs

Fiber Optics Installation & Splicing Certificate Course -2007

March  19 – 23., 2007 - Fiber Optics Installation & Splicing Certificate Course in Mississauga, Canada, (five days)  by Mississauga Training Consultants. Receive FOA Certification and 35 BICSI CEC’s,  Tel: (905) 785-8012, e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

April 23 – 27th., 2007  Fiber Optics Installation & Splicing Certificate Course in Mississauga, Canada, (five days)  by Mississauga Training Consultants. Receive FOA Certification and 35 BICSI CEC’s,  Tel: (905) 785-8012, e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

June 25 – 29., 2007 - Fiber Optics Installation & Splicing Certificate Course in Mississauga, Canada, (five days)  by Mississauga Training Consultants. Receive FOA Certification and 35 BICSI CEC’s,  Tel: (905) 785-8012, e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

August 13 – 17th., 2007 - Fiber Optics Installation & Splicing Certificate Course in Mississauga, Canada, (five days)  by Mississauga Training Consultants. Receive FOA Certification and 35 BICSI CEC’s,  Tel: (905) 785-8012, e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

September 24 – 28., 2007 - Fiber Optics Installation & Splicing Certificate Course in Mississauga, Canada, (five days)  by Mississauga Training Consultants. Receive FOA Certification and 35 BICSI CEC’s,  Tel: (905) 785-8012, e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

October 22 – 26., 2007  - Fiber Optics Installation & Splicing Certificate Course in Mississauga, Canada, (five days)  by Mississauga Training Consultants. Receive FOA Certification and 35 BICSI CEC’s,  Tel: (905) 785-8012, e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

November 26,  - 30., 2007 - Fiber Optics Installation & Splicing Certificate Course in Mississauga, Canada, (five days)  by Mississauga Training Consultants. Receive FOA Certification and 35 BICSI CEC’s,  Tel: (905) 785-8012, e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

VDV  Network  Cabling  Systems Inspection  - 2007

March  13, 14, 15,  2007  - Network Systems Inspection, three day Course in Mississauga,  Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  (21 BICSI CEC’s)  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

June 19, 20, 21,  2007 - Network Systems Inspection, three day Course in Mississauga,  Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  (21 BICSI CEC’s)  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

August 7, 8, 9,  2007  -  Network Systems Inspection, three day Course in Mississauga,  Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  (21 BICSI CEC’s)  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

September  18, 19, 20,  2007  -  Network Systems Inspection, three day Course in Mississauga,  Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  (21 BICSI CEC’s)  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

November 20,  21, 22,  2007  -  Network Systems Inspection, three day Course in Mississauga,  Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  (21 BICSI CEC’s)  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

Fiber To The Home   X   - 2007

March 26, 27th., 2007  - Two days  in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

April 30, May 1st., 2007  -  Two days  in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

July 2, 3rd.,  2007  -  Two days  in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

August 20, 21st., 2007  -  Two days  in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

October  1, 2nd., 2007  -  Two days  in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

October 29, 30th., 2007  -  Two days  in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

December 3, 4th., 2007  -  Two days  in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

Grounding  -  Bonding  -  Harmonics  -  Electrical Noise    -  2007

March 16th., 2007  -  1 Day intensive  Course in Mississauga,  Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

May  11,  2007  -  1 Day intensive  Course in Mississauga,  Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

June  22,  2007  - 1 Day intensive  Course in Mississauga,  Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

August  10th., 2007  -  1 Day intensive  Course in Mississauga,  Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

September  21st., 2007  -  1 Day intensive  Course in Mississauga,  Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

November  23, 2007  -  1 Day intensive  Course in Mississauga,  Canada, by Mississauga Training Consultants.  Tel: (905) 785-8012,  e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

Local courses are conducted at:

Monte Carlo Inn Airport
5 Derry Rd. East Highway 10
Mississauga, Ontario, L5T 2H8
Tel: 905-564-8500
Fax: 905-564-8400
Toll free: 1-800-363-6400
www.montecarloinns.com

79.90  Single   /    89.90  Double

Complimentary Light Buffet Breakfast,

Morning Newspaper,

Individual Climate Control,

AM/FM Radio Clock,

Fridges, Microwaves, Iron & Ironing Board,

Lobby & Lounge, Exercise Facility

Free Parking, Coffee Makers,

Free Wired & Wireless  high Speed Internet Access In All Suites,

Same-Day Valet Laundry Service

www.fiberoptictraining.com


Harger’s Signal Reference Grids

Harger Lightning & Grounding proudly introduces their Signal Reference Grids (SRG). Their SRG is a low impedance network of conductors, which establish an equipotential plane for high frequency, low voltage digital signals. Proper grounding and bonding of sensitive electronic systems including computer installations require careful consideration of all frequencies. Recommendations on Harger Signal Reference Grids are in full agreement with IEEE Std. 1100-2005, IEEE Recommended Practice for Powering and Grounding Sensitive Electronic Equipment. The flat strip SRG is the highest performance and most economical solution to high frequency grounding for a facility with a new raised floor installation. For more information or to request your free copy of the SRG brochure, contact our Sales Department at 800-842-7437 or email at www.hargersales@harger.com.

Harger Lightning & Grounding is a leading manufacturer of lightning protection and grounding equipment, as well as exothermic welding materials for the communications and electrical industries. Harger also provides design and engineering services and specializes in offering total systems solutions for their customers. Let Harger apply its systemic approach to total system protection to provide you the most cost effective solution to protect your personnel and equipment against the effects of electrical transients.  www.harger.com


Report Says Electromagnetic Relay Featured in ADC’s ACX Solution is Best Switching Matrix for Remote Automatic Copper Cross-Connects

ADC announced that its flagship OmniReach™ ACX automatic copper cross-connect solution for next-generation carrier networks (NGN) is based on a switching technology that market research company Venture Development Corporation (VDC) reports is the only currently available technology satisfactory for high-speed xDSL and VDSL/VDSL2 service delivery.

In a survey of switching technology for remote automatic cross-connect devices (RACC) used in NGNs, VDC states, "We believe the electromagnetic relay is an acceptable technology because of its proven reliability, ruggedness and minimal transmission impairment."

Of the other current switching technologies being used in RACC devices - including robotic, solid-state relay, electronic switching and thermal MEMs relays – VDC did not find any to be acceptable for RACC use.

RACC equipment, like OmniReach ACX, is increasingly becoming essential for NGN network operators. The rising demand is being driven by active electronic equipment, such as digital subscriber line access modules (DSLAMs), migrating out of the exchange or central office (CO) and deeper into the telecoms ‘outside plant’ distribution network or local-loop into the familiar roadside cabinets where telephone lines are interconnected.

With the migration of active electronic equipment to the field, technicians no longer
have quick and easy access to make, to add or change customers’ services at the CO exchange. As a result, expensive and time-consuming field service calls are often necessary.

According to VDC, RACC devices automate the connection process allowing a network operator or technician to add or change services from a computer terminal at the exchange or via their OSS (operational support system), saving the cost and delay of a field call and often dramatically improving customer service time.

“We developed our next generation network ACX product range around the tried and tested electromagnetic relay,” said Daniel Tardent, global product manager, automation, for ADC. “New technologies are years away from being field-proven for remote-plant applications where reliability is absolutely paramount.  Electromagnetic relays can provide that needed reliability today and we are extremely pleased that our technology is validated by VDC’s research report."

ADC’s OmniReach ACX is part of the company’s global connectivity strategy to integrate the NGN and make networks "minimum touch" for its carrier customers worldwide.

The OmniReach ACX provides a flexible, scalable platform that allows carriers to remotely move, add and change services for customers.  By reducing the need for on-site support, the ACX system helps carriers lower operational costs and implement service changes quickly and easily.

According to Tardent, the system also enables carriers to reduce the time-to-market for new services, giving them the competitive advantage of both quicker customer service and lower cost.

Applications supported by ACX include provisioning of service change requirements, xDSL  (including VDSL and VDSL2) deployment, switching between redundant equipment and co-location in both copper and copper/fiber-based cabinets.

The full VDC report can be obtained by contacting VDC at http://www.vdc-corp.com/

About ADC
ADC provides the connections for wireline, wireless, cable, broadcast, and enterprise networks around the world. ADC's innovative network infrastructure equipment and professional services enable high-speed Internet, data, video, and voice services to residential, business and mobile subscribers. ADC (NASDAQ: ADCT) has sales into more than 130 countries. Learn more about ADC at www.adc.com


REXEL Gets Nod

The Salvation Army in Oroville, Calif., was able to help more than 1,200 people (over 270 families) at Christmas 2006 thanks to contributions from local companies and local arms of national organizations – according to a letter to the local newspaper. Included: Wal-mart, Home Depot – and Norcal Valley.  www.rexel.com


CSC Initiative

Communications Supply Corp., now an arm of Wesco, “launched a new initiative called Secure(it), focused on developing products and solutions for high-assurance facilities, secure network deployments, and information assurance applications,” according to Washington Technology (1/15). According to the publication, CSC’s Secure(it) “aligns closely with the Defense Department’s Defense-In-Depth strategy.”  www.gocsc.com


Rexel IPO In The Offing

Is Rexel going to have a public offering?  “Three people with knowledge of the plan” told Bloomberg News last week that Rexel SA “may raise about [$4B] in an IPO as soon as next month,” according to an item in the 2/15 International Herald Tribune.

There was no indication in the story as to what percentage of ownership would be up for grabs. Rexel is owned jointly by Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity, Eurazeo, a European financial firm, and Clayton Dubilier & Rice.  www.rexel.com


Anixter’s 2006: Sales up 28%

Anixter posted a 27% sales increase in Q4, to $1.3B, bringing its 2006 sales total to $4.94B – up 28%. Of the nearly $1B sales increase, roughly $191M came via acquired companies.

According to CEO Robert Grubbs, organic sales growth (“after adjusting for . . . acquisitions and the favorable foreign exchange rate”) was 22% in Q4. “We again saw very strong larger project business, particularly as it relates to data center builds in the enterprise cabling market, and energy and natural resources customers within the electrical wire & cable market.”

Gross margins for Anixter in ’06 were 24.3%, vs. 24.0% a year earlier.

Separately, the company sold $300M in convertible senior notes due 2013 in a private placement. Holders will receive interest – 1% annually – but they have the right to convert each $1,000 note to 15.753 shares of AXE stock.  www.anixter.com


Belden Announces Exchange Offer for Its 4.00% Convertible

Belden (NYSE: BDC - News) announced today that it has commenced an exchange offer for all of its outstanding 4.00% Convertible Subordinated Debentures due 2023 (the "Old Debentures"). Belden is offering to exchange $1,000 principal amount of its new 4.00% Convertible Subordinated Debentures due 2023 (the "New Debentures") for each $1,000 principal amount of the Old Debentures. In addition, Belden will pay a cash exchange fee of $2.50 per $1,000 principal amount of Old Debentures accepted for exchange.

The New Debentures will be substantially the same as the Old Debentures except that the New Debentures will have a net share settlement feature requiring Belden to settle all conversions for cash and, in certain circumstances, cash and shares of Belden's common stock, while the Old Debentures are convertible only into shares of Belden's common stock. Additionally, the New Debentures will provide for an increase in the conversion rate upon the occurrence of certain changes in control that occur prior to July 21, 2008, while the Old Debentures do not provide for any such increase. The change to cash settlement of conversions will facilitate Belden's use of the treasury stock method of accounting for the shares issuable upon conversion of the New Debentures. As of March 5, 2007, $110 million aggregate principal amount of the Old Debentures was outstanding.

The exchange offer is scheduled to expire at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on Monday, April 2, 2007, although Belden reserves the right to extend it in its discretion. Tendered Old Debentures may be withdrawn at any time prior to 5:00 p.m. on the expiration date.

The consummation of the exchange offer is subject to certain customary conditions. Subject to applicable law, Belden may, in its sole discretion, waive any condition applicable to the exchange offer or extend or terminate or otherwise amend the exchange offer. The exchange offer is exempt from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, pursuant to Section 3(a)(9) thereof. No commission or other remuneration will be paid or given, directly or indirectly, by Belden for solicitation of acceptance of the exchange offer.

This news release is neither an offer to sell nor the solicitation of an offer to buy securities and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any jurisdiction in which, or to any person to whom, such an offer, solicitation or sale is unlawful. The exchange offer may be made only pursuant to the terms of an offering circular, letter of transmittal and related exchange offer materials which are being sent to holders of the Old Debentures and have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as part of Belden's Tender Offer Statement on Schedule TO. Holders of the Old Debentures are encouraged to review the offering documents carefully before making any decision with respect to the exchange offer because they contain important information. Belden is not making any recommendation to holders of the Old Debentures as to whether they should tender any Old Debentures pursuant to the exchange offer and, if so, the principal amount of Old Debentures to exchange. The Schedule TO, offering circular, letter of transmittal and other related exchange offer documents are available free of charge at the web site of the Securities and Exchange Commission at http://www.sec.gov. In addition, the company will provide copies of the Schedule TO and related documents upon request free of charge to holders of its Old Debentures.

Additional information concerning the terms of the exchange offer and copies of the offering circular and related documents, which describe the exchange offer in more detail, may be obtained from Global Bondholder Services Corporation, the exchange agent and information agent for the exchange offer, at (212) 430-3774 (banks and brokers) or (866) 807-2200 (all others).

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this release other than historical facts are "forward- looking statements." These forward-looking statements are based on forecasts and projections about the industries served by the company and about general economic conditions. They reflect management's beliefs and expectations. They are not guarantees of future performance and they involve risk and uncertainty. The company's actual results may differ materially from these expectations. Some of the factors that could cause actual results to differ from expectations include general economic and market conditions and other factors beyond the company's control. Please see the Risk Factors in Belden's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed March 1, 2007, for additional information about factors that could cause the company's results to differ from expectations.

The forward-looking statements contained in this news release include statements related to the exchange offer. The exchange offer is subject to market and other customary conditions and there can be no assurance that the company will continue with the exchange offer or with the acceptance of Old Debentures and issuance of New Debentures. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this news release. Except for its ongoing obligations to disclose material information under the federal securities laws, Belden disclaims any duty to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

About Belden
Belden is a leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of signal transmission products for data networking and a wide range of specialty electronics markets including entertainment, industrial, security and aerospace applications. To obtain additional information contact Investor Relations at 314-854-8054, or visit our website at http://www.belden.com.


Home Automation Inc (HAI) Expands Support of Audio Control

HAI, the leading manufacturer of integrated automation and security products since 1985, has expanded support of Audio control through its Omni and Lumina home control systems.

HAI's newly released 2.14 controller firmware added support for the Hi-Fi by HAI system via all models of HAI's OmniTouch touchscreen and all software interfaces, including Web-Link II, Home Control for Windows Media Center and HAI's Snap-Link.   Snap-Link also now supports the operation of NuVo's Concerto and Simplese distributed audio systems, as well as Russound's CAM and CAV6.6 distributed audio systems through the OmniPro II and Lumina Pro controllers. 

Through Snap-Link, Web-Link II, and Home Control for Windows Media Center the user can turn audio zones on/off and select the source and volume for each zone.  The user can also control source devices and display source feedback when supported by the selected audio system and/or source.

HAI is also adding support for the NuVo Grand Concerto audio system; the Xantech MRC-88 audio system; the Speakercraft MZC audio systems; and the Proficient M4 and M6 audio systems.  Support for these systems should be available by May 1, 2007.

HAI products are sold through a worldwide network of Distributors and installed by over 1000 trained dealers.  For more information on HAI's award winning products, please visit www.homeauto.com or call (800) 229-7256.

To download a high res image of the OmniTouch controlling Hi-Fi by HAI, please click here: http://www.homeauto.com/mediacenter/HaiPRImage.asp?image=OT_Hi-Fi.tif


Philadelphia Bill Seeks To Formalize Electrical Training

In December 2006 Philadelphia Councilman Juan Ramos introduced an amendment to Title 9 of the Philadelphia Code, “Regulation of Businesses, Trades and Professions.”  The amendment would add a new Chapter, “Certified Electricians, and Telecommunications Technicians,” which proposes that electricians and telecommunications technicians performing work in the city have at least 10,000 hours of documented, full-time practical experience working on electrical or telecommunications systems and have completed an apprenticeship program.

Those who have owned a business for at least seven years or have six years of documented experience would be exempt from the requirements.  Currently, the City of Philadelphia requires only on individual with an electrical contractor’s license per firm.  That person may then hire other workers, regardless of their training or experience.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 98, with support from the National Electrical Contractors Associations (NECA), Bethesda, MD., backs the bill as a measure that may increase safety in what can be a dangerous industry.  However, opponents of the bill, including the Independent Electrical Contractors Association (IEC) Alexandria, VA, argue that the legislation would drive up costs and hurt smaller businesses.  Anyone entering the trade would have to put in the mandated hours and pay for a formal training program to attain a license.  Some safeguards, such as electrical inspections and licensing, are already in place.

Discussion of the bill during the February 27th meeting of the committee on Labor and Civil  Service could result in a lessening of the requirements.  For the complete wording of the proposed bill, visit the City Council’s Web site at: http://webapps.phila.gov/council/attachments/3150.pdf  .  www.necanet.org


Hitachi Consulting Named Top Ten Services Provider to Consumer Products Industry for Second Year Running

Ranking Hitachi Consulting fifth in an annual listing of the Top 10 consulting services providers, Consumer Goods Technology readers acknowledge the business and IT consulting company of Hitachi Ltd (NYSE:HIT - News) as a leader in the consumer goods industry segment.

The ranking, part of Consumer Goods Technology's 2007 Readers' Choice Survey, was calculated from information provided by consumer company executives, whose responses also included customer experience rankings.

"Hitachi Consulting has consistently received high marks from Consumer Goods Technology readers," says Alliston Ackerman, managing editor of Consumer Goods Technology. "Its heightened position in this year's Top 10 list clearly demonstrates its commitment and depth of expertise in addressing the comprehensive needs of consumer goods companies."

Among those ranked ahead of Hitachi Consulting on this year's list are multi-billion dollar global consultancies and one other focused wholly on the consumer products industry.

"Appearing for the first time on last year's list and making a four-position upward jump this year is a testament to our focus on CP industry segments and ability to make a real impact on our clients' businesses. The placement also confirms the Hitachi Consulting strategy to provide deep industry expertise needed to deliver insight and capabilities usually only associated with dramatically larger or niche consultancies," said Hitachi Consulting National Consumer Industry Practice Leader, Stephen Brant, upon the release of this year's rankings.

Recognizing the need for organizations to better balance go-to-market and operational strategies, Hitachi Consulting is working with leading companies in the Food & Beverage and CPG segments to take their organizations "beyond lean" and to help them in Building the Market Responsive Company(SM). Market Responsive Companies are better able to exploit sudden market shifts, while maximizing profit and minimizing supply chain disruption.

"Market Responsive Companies know how to best respond to market stimuli and compete in a short-shelf life/short-business cycle world. They routinely shine light on the dark corners of their channel partner activities and all the areas of their own business. Building the Market Responsive Company(SM) is as rewarding to us at Hitachi Consulting as it is to our clients and helping our clients succeed has always been central to our culture. Helping companies to become more market responsive is driving us to deliver at an even higher level," Mr. Brant said.

The Hitachi Consulting Consumer Products National Industry Practice operates in all major U.S. cities, includes the Food & Beverage segment group and is the fourth largest industry practice for the now-global company. Current and past clients include Mary Kay, IHOP, Dot Foods, Unilever Foodsolutions, Birkenstock, Coldwater Creek, and many others.

"The success of our core industry programs, in particular to Stephen's Consumer Industry national team, validates our strategy to delivery high quality services that are industry intensive and value oriented," said Phi Parr, Hitachi Consulting COO.

About Hitachi Consulting
As Hitachi, Ltd.'s (NYSE:HIT - News) global consulting company, with operations in the US, Europe and Asia, Hitachi Consulting is a recognized leader in delivering proven business and IT solutions to Global 2000 companies across many industries. We leverage decades of business process, vertical industry, and leading-edge technology experience to understand each company's unique business needs. From business strategy development through application deployment, our consultants are committed to helping clients quickly realize measurable business value and achieve sustainable ROI.

Hitachi Consulting's client base includes nearly 35 percent of the Fortune 100 and 25 percent of the Global 100 as well as many leading mid-market companies. We offer a client-focused, collaborative approach and transfer knowledge throughout each engagement. For more information, call 1.877.664.0010 or visit www.hitachiconsulting.com.

Hitachi Consulting -- Inspiring your next success!®

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT - News; TOKYO:6501 - News), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company, with approximately 356,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2005 (ended March 31, 2006) consolidated sales totaled 9,464 billion yen ($80.9 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's Web site at http://www.hitachi.com.


BICSI Opens Canada Conference

The 2007 BICSI Canada Conference opened on Monday with the commencement of the General Session seminars and exhibits. Already boasting participation numbers in excess of 800, it is proving to be the most successful Canadian event in BICSI history.

Exclusive to this conference, two key presentations were given relating to all information transport systems and technology aspects of the Vancouver International Airport and British Columbia region preparations for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Attendees also had the opportunity to gain knowledge on optical fiber, 10-Gig cabling, as well as the latest information about BICSI publications including the recently released Outside Plant Design Reference Manual (OSPDRM).

The General Session opened with remarks from BICSI President John Bakowski, RCDD/NTS/OSP/WD Specialist and BICSI Canadian Region Director Richard S. Smith, RCDD/NTS/OSP Specialist. Bakowski, from St. Catharines, Ontario, and Smith, from Moncton, New Brunswick, both proudly acknowledged the audience for the excellent turnout of attendees and exhibitors and for continually supporting all efforts in the BICSI Canadian Region.

The opening keynote “Strength in Numbers,” featured modern day business "Renaissance Man," and former host of radio talk show "SuccessTalk" Ira Blumenthal. Using analogies, real-life examples and industry relevant trends, Blumenthal stressed that the key to being successful rests in making strategic alliances both in life and business. He noted that it is vital to be respectful of developing relationships that are mutually beneficial, and reminded the audience to “continue to be open-minded as you get older but don’t grow old in your ideals.”

The day ended with the BICSI Reception and Exhibits where more than 60 vendors showcased products and gave attendees exclusive insight into what is available in the market. The event continues today with a wide variety of concurrent sessions where attendees can select presentations that fit their business agenda. “I’m looking forward to seeing some interesting programs today,” said Ron Fridley, a six-year BICSI member. “I particularly want to see the outside plant session and the one on media converters.”  www.bicsi.org


SCTE’s John Clark Helps Greater Chicago Chapter Celebrate Milestone

Greater Chicago Chapter of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) marked two decades of service with a celebratory 20th anniversary seminar on March 1 in Willowbrook, Ill. SCTE President/CEO John Clark proudly served as keynote speaker to help commemorate the achievement.

As the keynote presenter, Clark was the first of several speakers who addressed attendees of the daylong seminar, which was titled “Networks, Applications, and Regulations.” He spoke on the subject, “SCTE—What We’re All About.”

“I outlined SCTE of 2007 and the future and how SCTE membership can help someone build a career in telecommunications,” he said. “This day was also an opportunity to take an interesting, nostalgic look back as we applauded the great achievement of this chapter’s founders in creating the ongoing legacy of the SCTE Greater Chicago Chapter. Telecommunications is a great and exciting field to be in. My day here with this vibrant SCTE chapter further underscored that truth.”

SCTE chapters play a vital grassroots role in helping the Society fulfill its mission of “Professional Development, Information, and Standards” by regularly scheduling technical seminars and conducting SCTE Certification testing sessions. Clark said Greater Chicago Chapter members had many questions for him during his visit, including “a high interest in the SCTE Foundation and potential educational aid for SCTE members” that the Foundation has been established to provide.

Clark touched on SCTE’s wide variety of other benefits to its members, from discounts to its flagship event, SCTE Cable-Tec Expo®, to its role as an Official Certification Partner of Jones/NCTI.

Greater Chicago Chapter President John Grothendick followed Clark’s keynote with a chapter retrospective extending back to the chapter’s beginnings in 1987. Other presentations delivered during the chapter’s big anniversary seminar covered “Cable and Government: Regulations on the Horizon,” “CPE and Future Digital Applications,” “The Future of Metro Optical Networks,” and “Measuring Digital/DOCSIS® Performance.”

“SCTE Greater Chicago Chapter would like to thank John Clark as well as our alumni board members, speakers, and attendees for helping to make our 20th anniversary seminar both a memorable and successful event,” said Grothendick. “It’s been a terrific 20 years and so very rewarding to be a part of this chapter from when it began to where it is today. We all look forward to another 20 years of training and educating our members as well as the continued support from Comcast, Wide Open West (WOW), our vendors, and the entire SCTE organization.”

More information about SCTE Greater Chicago Chapter and SCTE’s other 70-plus chapters can be found at www.scte.org  by clicking on the About Us section and then clicking Chapters in the left-hand column. 


EPA Names BOMA International ENERGY STAR® 2007 Partner Of The Year

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named BOMA International as an ENERGY STAR 2007 Partner of the Year for its outstanding contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by promoting energy management in commercial buildings through the BOMA Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP). BOMA International, the first real estate association to receive a Partner of the Year award, will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on March 21, 2007.

BOMA International, an ENERGY STAR Partner since 2005, is being honored in the Energy Efficiency Program Delivery category for helping building owners and managers reduce energy use by promoting energy management practices through BEEP, an innovative operational excellence program that teaches commercial real estate professionals how to reduce energy consumption and costs with proven no-and low-cost strategies for optimizing equipment, people and practices. To date, more than 5,000 commercial real estate professionals have participated in the BEEP seminars.

“As an ENERGY STAR partner we want to spread the word about making buildings more energy efficient,” remarked BOMA International Chairman and Chief Elected Officer Kurt R. Padavano, RPA, CPM, FMA, SMA, and Chief Operating Officer of Advance Realty Group of Bedminster, N.J. “The BEEP seminars are transforming the industry as building owners and managers now have the tools and techniques to put quantifiable reductions in energy consumption. Tracking and benchmarking a building’s energy use and improving energy efficiency have tremendous benefits for building owners, tenants and the environment.”

The ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year - Energy Efficiency Program Delivery Award is given to a variety of organizations to recognize their efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution, resulting in significant cost savings.  Award winners are selected from thousands of organizations that participate in the ENERGY STAR program.

Last year alone, Americans with the help of ENERGY STAR saved $14 billion on their energy bills and avoided greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 25 million vehicles.

“We applaud BOMA for their leadership in promoting energy management to its members,” said Bill Wehrum, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. “Because buildings contribute about 20 percent of our national greenhouse gas emissions, effective energy management helps the bottom line and protects our environment.”

Three BOMA Member Companies are also being honored:

  • USAA Real Estate Company - 2007 Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award. This is the fifth year that USAA Real Estate Company has been honored.
  • Transwestern  - 2007 Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award. This is the fourth year that Transwestern has been honored.
  • Jones Lang LaSalle2007 Energy Star Partner of the Year for Energy Management.

USAA Real Estate Company and Transwestern were active participants in the creation of BEEP.

For more information on BOMA International’s BEEP program, visit www.boma.org/TrainingAndEducation/BEEP/

###

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of 91 local associations and affiliated organizations. BOMA’s 16,500-plus members own or manage more than 9 billion square feet of commercial properties in North America and throughout the world.  The mission of BOMA International is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information.  Founded in 1907, BOMA International celebrates 100 years of commercial real estate in 2007. Learn more at www.boma.org.

ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in
1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Today the program offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money and help protect the environment for future generations. More than 9,000 organizations are ENERGY STAR partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes and businesses. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).


Paul Caragher Named President Of Fluke Networks

Fluke Networks, provider of award-winning Network SuperVision™ solutions for the testing, monitoring and analysis of enterprise and telecommunications networks, announced today that Paul Caragher has been named President of the company.

Caragher comes to Fluke Networks from his role as Business Unit Director at Hach Lange, a manufacturer and distributor of analytical instruments used to test water quality. At Hach Lange, Caragher lead the strategy development for the company's entrance into the industrial market and managed the Process Instrumentation business, driving double-digit growth in both segments.  Fluke Networks and Hach Lange are both part of the Danaher family of companies. 

"My first focus will be on learning our products and services, spending time in the field with our sales team, but most importantly, I'll be getting to know our customers," said Caragher.  "I'm looking forward to learning and growing with Fluke Networks, and becoming part of the team that has built a very successful company in an extremely dynamic industry."

"We are excited about having Paul lead the Fluke Networks team," said Chris Odell, founding President of Fluke Networks and current Chairman.  "He has a proven record of success within Danaher along with the necessary core values to continue to deliver Fluke Networks' promise of Network SuperVision.

Caragher was awarded the General Motors Fellowship to attend Harvard Business School and there earned his MBA with High Distinction in 2002. He also holds a BA in Accounting from Michigan State University.  Prior to his roles with Danaher, Caragher held positions with General Motors Corporation and Coopers & Lybrand LLP, a predecessor firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

About Fluke Networks
Fluke Networks provides innovative solutions for the installation and certification, testing, monitoring and analysis of copper, fiber and wireless networks used by enterprises and telecommunications carriers. The company's comprehensive line of Network SuperVisiontm Solutions provide network installers, owners, and maintainers with superior vision, combining speed, accuracy and ease of use to optimize network performance. Headquartered in Everett, Washington, the company distributes its products in more than 50 countries. More information can be found by visiting Fluke Networks' Web site at www.flukenetworks.com or by calling (800) 283-5853.


TIA Praises FCC Action to Speed Video Competition and Broadband Network Upgrades

The Federal Communications Commission took action that will help speed the roll-out of broadband Internet across the country and result in an increase of choices for consumers in the communications services market, Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) President Grant Seiffert said.

“Across the country, consumers want more video and broadband choices and communications providers are ready to upgrade their networks for new applications and services,” Seiffert said. “The FCC sees this, and today, it took steps to elevate competition in the broadband market by limiting unnecessary regulatory delays at the local level. But it’s the consumer who stands to benefit most, as more competition will pave the way for more broadband services and lower prices.”

In releasing its order, the FCC set time limits on how long a “local franchise authority,” usually a city or county government, can review requests by new entrants to offer broadband video. TIA has urged for a uniform local franchise process because unreasonable delay and build-out requirements create barriers to market entry that discourages investment, innovation and competition.

In comments to the FCC, TIA argued that while limited authority over video service offerings is appropriate at the local level, it is primarily a responsibility of the federal government. Therefore, the FCC is justified in enacting policies that apply a uniform treatment of video services nationwide. By setting time limits on the local franchise review period and prohibiting unreasonable build-out requirements, the FCC ensures that localities can still be part of the process without causing unnecessary impositions.

TIA represents the information and communications technology industry, and its members represent the entire telecommunications supply chain, from infrastructure provider to device maker. TIA members include many of the manufacturers of the equipment needed to offer video services and upgrade broadband networks.

###

About TIA
The Telecommunications Industry Association is the leading trade association in Washington, D.C., for the information and communications technology (ICT) industry. TIA serves ICT suppliers to global markets through its leadership in standards development, domestic and international policy advocacy, and facilitating member business opportunities such as the co-owned NXTcomm. TIA represents the communications sector of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA). For more information, go to http://www.tiaonline.org.


BICSI U.S. South-Central/Western Regions Meeting

Holiday Inn Phoenix West
51st Ave. and I-10
Avondale, Arizona

Learn what's new in ITS, earn CECs and network with professionals in your area!

Don't miss your chance to attend the South-Central/Western Regions Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Avondale, Arizona.

Michael Collins, RCDD, U.S. South-Central Region Director, and Steve Calderon, RCDD/NTS/OSP Specialist, U.S. Western Region Director invite you to attend this educational event.

To view the invitation for details and agenda, click here or copy the following URL into your web browser: http://www.bicsi.org/content/index.aspx?File=07phoenix.htm

Complete the online registration included with the invitation and guarantee your seat today!

There are still great sponsorship opportunities available at this meeting. By participating as a sponsor, you have the ability to reach out to industry professionals and showcase your products and solutions. Contact Mirna Jones, BICSI's Meetings Coordinator at mjones@bicsi.org or 800.242.7405 for more information.

Michael and Steve look forward to seeing you in Phoenix!

www.bicsi.org


Energy Conservation Can Save You Noticeable Money With Little Effort

CHICAGO – There is a need to solve energy issues. The Midwest could play a major role in renewable fuels. Practical solutions should be implemented by individuals, writes James Carlini.

Energy is one of the biggest challenges in the world today.

We have to do something major about its inefficiencies. The problem of energy inefficiencies can be attributed to transportation (27 percent), industry (25 percent) and buildings (48 percent). This breakdown was calculated and published in 2003 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

I was told about this by GP Yeh of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. He says the only way for the U.S. to survive is to keep pushing forward in technology. While I had a chance to recently talk with him on several subjects, the most important to him was the focus on getting buildings to be more energy efficient.

Yeh is a world-renowned scientist and physicist who has been at Fermi for more than 20 years. In his tenure, he has made many contributions with the most significant being the discovery of the top quark, which is a particle that is smaller than the atom.

Fermi is the location of the Tevatron, which is the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. This accelerator is used to study the smallest elements of energy that make up atoms, protons and neutrons. It is used to determine the smallest particles of the universe and understand their forces and interactions with each another.

Yeh says many energy companies (such as BP) are looking at renewable fuels. They are funding research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at other universities. Aside from corn, the research includes looking at making renewable fuels from grass, wood and other alternatives.

That said, how do we focus on everyday energy conservation without disrupting our lifestyle? It can be done. How many of you are driving gas-guzzling SUVs? With the Chicago Auto Show happening this week, maybe we shouldn’t be talking about buying smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Unfortunately, many people who are looking at buying cars are still not looking at fuel efficiency as much as they are looking for luxury and performance. They’re more interested in MP3 connectors and having enough cup holders. I have heard that the next big thing will be a new diesel engine for SUVs.

While hybrids may be great for some people, I think a really efficient, powerful and clean-burning diesel coupled with biofuels would be a better choice for SUVs and would probably be much more acceptable in the marketplace. We’ll see what happens as consumers make their choices.

In the meantime, let’s try to understand and adopt some everyday conservation practices that don’t need to be drastic changes to our behavioral patterns.

Cutting Back Your Energy Consumption

How many of you have fluorescent lights in your lamps instead of incandescent lights?

Putting in a 15-watt bulb where a 60-watt bulb used to be could save a lot of money if you do it throughout your home. Just changing the lights to a new bulb can cut back 75 percent of your lighting energy consumption. You can do this without ever feeling an ounce of sacrifice.

If you are living in a high-rise condominium building and are paying some hefty association fees, demand that the building at least switch to fluorescent lights in all the common areas. This does make a difference in energy costs and I have seen this done in a few buildings.

I recently looked at association fees at many of the downtown residential towers and was shocked to see the monthly assessments being charged. For some condos, the monthly assessment is well in excess of $1,000 a month. I wonder how much electricity is wasted in many of these downtown buildings.

Let’s say you have a 30-story building with 30 100-watt bulbs per floor within the common areas. That is a total of 900 100-watt bulbs. If they are switched out to fluorescent bulbs, check out the energy savings just from that one change. Even better, what if you can cut back to 60-watt bulbs?

Other changes can include installing motion-detector switches for lighting in common areas like bathrooms, locker rooms and hallways. If the lights are left on, the next person coming in to shut them off may walk in hours later. These minor changes pay for themselves fairly quickly.

Next, add to all those savings in the common areas the savings that individuals would also reap if they changed all the lights in their condos to fluorescent bulbs. Just by changing out all the lights in a building, you could change the whole dynamics of peak usage and power brownouts in the summer. All of this could be done without any drastic lifestyle or behavioral change.

While you really won’t see any difference in the brightness of the lighting, you will see some benefit to your association fees. If every building would do this in downtown Chicago, how much electricity could we save? Should there be an incentive for something like this?

In Wisconsin, the state actually gives some energy rebates if you buy fluorescent bulbs for your house or condo. Illinois should take a look into this and adopt the same program. You buy energy-efficient bulbs and get some cash back.

Reducing Mass Transit

Why would you want to reduce mass transit? That doesn’t sound like it promotes energy conservation, right? Well, let’s take a look at the waste.

Say you want to reduce mass transit when no one is riding the bus on the route you have designated. You are paying for a bus driver, his or her pension and benefits, the cost of the bus, the cost of the fuel for the bus, the insurance, the support people for the bus, their pension and benefits, the maintenance facility and all the other associated costs to run the bus route.

If you calculate the cost per rider on some suburban bus routes, you have a huge amount of money being spent for little benefit.

There is no payback or energy conservation for these bus routes when there is no one riding the buses. Where are the studies and subsequent public outcry for the waste of taxpayer monies on buses that have no one riding them? In some cases, we have created bureaucracies that serve little public good.

Take all that wasted money and increase the maintenance of the road infrastructure.

Increase the lanes of suburban roads in DuPage and Kane counties that should have been widened 10 years ago to handle the traffic. Some would say that is encouraging individuals to drive instead of taking mass transit. If they could take mass transit, they would have taken it when gas shot up to $2.60 a gallon.

Best Practices Not Found in Bureaucracies

Let’s focus on problems and solutions that are real. Make roads more efficient and set up stop-light patterns to reduce wasted idle time at lights. Priorities have to be reviewed as some transportation dynamics have radically changed. In the meantime, the ridership on some of these mass-transit providers has not.

If you ride on some of the commuter trains, you know that schedules and stops haven’t changed in years.

Trains still stop at certain locations on every run even though the location is not important any more or has lost its stature as a major employment center. Cut back on the non-important stops. If riders have figured this out on their daily commute, what is wrong with the bureaucracy running the trains?

This leadership is not aware of the inefficiencies. When we talk about becoming more energy efficient in this country, we should start with the simple things. Some of the complex things just might take care of themselves. Plant a tree this year.

Carlinism: Energy conservation does not have to impact your lifestyle and can actually save you some money.

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James Carlini will present how he pioneered measuring building intelligence

at the second-annual Building Automation Conference in Baltimore on March 21.

Also, check out his blog at CarlinisComments.com.

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James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be reached at james.carlini@sbcglobal.net or 773-370-1888.

Click here for Carlini’s full biography.

Copyright 2007 Jim Carlini


CABA To Hold Intelligent Buildings Leadership Forum At INFOCOMM 07

CABA is pleased to announce that its Intelligent Buildings Leadership Forum will be held June 18, 2007 at the Anaheim Convention Center in conjunction with InfoComm 07. InfoComm is the largest tradeshow in the professional audiovisual industry, with 28,000 attendees anticipated, including more than 13,000 dealers, systems integrators, consultants, independent reps and VARs, 7,000 technology managers and 1,200 manufacturers expected to attend.

CABA's Intelligent Buildings Leadership Forum is an interactive executive event designed to bring together related "large building" stakeholder groups that have a vested interest in the technology driving integrated systems and intelligent buildings. This year, the Forum will focus on research findings from CABA's Intelligent Buildings Roadmap and on green building technology.

The Roadmap is a collaborative industry-funded research project designed to update CABA's Technology Roadmap (TRM) for Intelligent Buildings, a research report released in 2002. It explores the opportunities offered by emerging intelligent building technologies.

Paul Ehrlich, PE, of Building Intelligence Group LLC, will make presentations concerning the Roadmap at the Forum. Building Intelligence Group is the independent consulting firm that developed the Roadmap for CABA. The presentations will focus on the current status and imminent opportunities offered by the accelerating evolution and usage of intelligent building technologies.’

The participating organizations in this CABA research project are: Cisco Systems, Direct Energy, ESC Automation/Delta Controls, Johnson Controls, HID Corporation, Honeywell International, Tridium, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, Legrand North America, Lutron Electronics Co., Inc., Panduit Corp., Siemens Building Technologies, Tour Andover Controls, Trane Control Systems, and InfoComm International.

The Forum will also feature sessions on emerging green building technologies. Environmentally sustainable buildings call for integrated designs encompassing a "whole system" approach. The range of "green" design features is very diverse, with options that include energy efficient materials, passive solar considerations, and structural and mechanical components. CABA's Intelligent Buildings Leadership Forum will examine these design features, typically known as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

"We are pleased that CABA has selected InfoComm as the site for its Intelligent Buildings Leadership Forum," stated Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D., Executive Director, InfoComm International. "CABA is recognized as North America's leading information source for building automation. The strategic collocation of CABA's Forum at InfoComm 07 will provide our attendees with a valuable additional source of intelligence on automation and green building technologies."’

Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO, responded, "We are extremely excited to participate in InfoComm and share this leading-edge research on the intelligent buildings sector."

For more information about the Forum's program, please go to www.caba.org/leadersforum. For more information about InfoComm 07, June 15-21 in Anaheim, California, please visit www.infocommshow.org.

About CABA
CABA is the only industry association to offer industry intelligence to stakeholders in all areas of home & building automation. CABA's resources cover areas such as HVAC, lighting, security, A/V, communications technologies, energy management and controls. A number of resources are available through the association including iHomes & Buildings magazine, research, CABA's forums, CABA's monthly eBulletin, Information Series reports, Event Reports and the CABA web site. Please visit www.caba.org for further information.

About InfoComm International
InfoComm International is the international trade association of the professional audiovisual and information communications industries. Established in 1939, InfoComm has over 4,100 members, including manufacturers, systems integrators, dealers and distributors, independent consultants, programmers, rental and staging companies, end-users and multimedia professionals from more than 70 countries. InfoComm International is the leading resource for AV market research and news. Its training and education programs, along with its separately administered Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) and corporately administered Certified Audiovisual Solutions Provider (CAVSP) company credentials, set a standard of excellence for AV professionals. InfoComm International is the founder of InfoComm, the largest annual conference and exhibition for AV buyers and sellers worldwide. InfoComm also produces trade shows in Europe, Asia, and China. Additional information is available at www.infocomm.org.


General Cable To Offer $325M In Senior Notes

General Cable Corp. said Tuesday that it will launch a private offering, subject to market conditions, of $325 million in senior floating notes and senior fixed-rate notes.

Proceeds from the offering will fund General Cable's tender offer for its outstanding 9.5 percent senior notes, worth $285 million and due in 2010.

Any remaining net proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, the company said in a news release.

The notes will be sold in the United States to qualified institutional buyers, General Cable said.

General Cable (NYSE: BGC - News), headquartered in Highland Heights, designs, manufactures and markets copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products.


NEMA Publishes ANSI C12.18-2006 American National Standard Protocol Specification For ANSI Type 2 Optical Port And ANSI C12.21-2006 American National Standard Protocol Specifiction For Telephone Modem Communication

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published ANSI C12.18-2006 American National Standard Protocol Specification for ANSI Type 2 Optical Port and ANSI C12.21-2006 American National Standard Protocol Specification for Telephone Modem Communication.

ANSI C12.18-2006 details the criteria required for communications between a C12.18 device and a C12.18 client via an optical port. The C12.18 client may be a handheld reader, a portable computer, a master station system or some other electronic communications device. 

This standard establishes protocol specifications and provides an open-platform communications protocol for two-way communication with a metering device through an ANSI Type 2 optical port.  It also covers compliance, backward and forward compatibility, the use of reserved fields, the identification service, packet size, and the toggle bit. Some alignment with the draft C12.22 standard was performed to meet the goal of producing a coherent suite of protocol standards.

ANSI C12.21-2006 details the criteria required for communications between a C12.21 device and a C12.21 client via a modem connected to the switched telephone network. The C12.21 Client could be a laptop or portable computer, a master station system, or some other electronic communications device. This standard does not specify the implementation requirements of the telephone switched network to the modem, nor does it include definitions for the establishment of the communication channel.

This standard establishes protocol specification for telephone modem communication and provides an open-platform communications protocol for two-way communication with a metering device via a telephone modem. It is expected that the logoff service will become mandatory in the next revision of the standard.  Implementers are strongly encouraged to support this service.

Both publications clarify text while retaining the normative elements of previous publications and conform to the OSI seven-layer stack.  Protocols specified in these standards were designed to transport data in table format. The table definitions are in ANSI C12.19-1997, Utility Industry End Device Data Tables.  Revisions were considered in the context of the so-called “protocol suite” of ANSI standards: C12.18, C12.19, C12.21 and C12.22 (draft). Changes were included only after ensuring that existing devices would continue to remain compatible with the 2005 revision. www.nema.org

Ortronics/Legrand And Berk-Tek Introduce NetClear Electronic Safety And Security Program

Ortronics/Legrand and Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company, have expanded their NetClear structured cabling solutions to include security and surveillance applications with the introduction of NetClear ESS (Electronic Safety and Security).  NetClear solutions were built on the co-engineering expertise between the two companies to provide high performance, reliable voice and data structured cabling systems.  NetClear ESS builds upon the same IT infrastructure to provide added value for the security and surveillance market as technology evolves to include IP-enabled devices, such as CCTV cameras, access control and other building automation systems. 

Through NetClear ESS, Ortronics/Legrand and Berk-Tek provide industry leading copper and fiber optic structured cabling systems to assure scalability and performance for all types of networks and technologies. “As a market leader in the IT enterprise market, Ortronics/Legrand and Berk-Tek have the experience, knowledge and product sets to provide a scalable and warranted cabling system allowing our customers to migrate surveillance and other security applications to run efficiently over IP,” states Marybeth Marx, vice president of marketing, Ortronics/Legrand.

By including security applications as part of the NetClear suite of copper and fiber optic end-to-end structured cabling systems, NetClear ESS offers solutions for analog, hybrid and IP camera scenarios.   Utilizing a UTP-based structured cabling system allows all types of cameras to be networked through the installation of the latest passive and active components.  NetClear ESS offers both UTP and fiber optic systems, which can be configured uniquely for each environment, depending on camera type, distance, and required bandwidth and application.

NetClear ESS solutions allow a progressive path to security over IP, including running data, video and power (PoE) over the same UTP cable. “Physical CCTV networks were previously implemented over proprietary operating systems using multiple cable types -- coaxial cable for video, twisted pair for data and electrical wire for power,” explains Todd Harpel, Director of Marketing, Berk-Tek.  “Through IP convergence, previously disparate disciplines, including data, video and power, are now being connected together over one standardized structured cabling network to allow the sharing of resources, which provides a higher level of network efficiency, while increasing the network’s return on investment,” he adds.

As part of the NetClear ESS initiative, educational programs, such as full-day seminars, on-site training classes and webinars will be created for both security integrators and cable installers. This training will focus on the basics of structured cabling systems and the range of installation scenarios for voice and data, as well as CCTV, access control and building automation functions. At the upcoming ISC West Conference, to be held March 28-30 in Las Vegas, Ortronics/Legrand and Berk-Tek will take part in a technical educational presentation entitled, “Future proof CCTV Cable Installations,” as well as demonstrating cable and connectivity products in the exhibit hall with Graybar.

In addition to using existing cable and connectivity components, as well as pathway products from Wiremold/Legrand and Cablofil/Legrand for parallels networks, the NetClear ESS initiative will build upon the solution set and introduce new products developed specifically for this market.  The NetClear commitment to the security market includes the recent introduction of a two-fiber indoor/outdoor Adventum tight buffer cable from Berk-Tek. “We identified the need for very robust small diameter tight buffer cable which would allow for quick and easy termination in the field yet still meet all the stringent requirements for both indoor and outdoor installations.”  We developed the new riser and plenum rated two-fiber Adventum cable in time for a large CCTV installation in Oklahoma.  Now, this cable has been added to our standard products offering to service the fast growing security camera and FTTH markets,” explains Beni Blell, RCDD, Fiber Optic Product Business Manager for Berk-Tek. 

About the NetClear Alliance
NetClear is a Technology Alliance between Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company, and Ortronics/Legrand to provide advanced, end-to-end co-engineered solutions for enhanced Category 5e, Category 6, Augmented Category 6 – 10 Gigabit and optical fiber channels - all backed by a 25-year warranty. For more information, visit www.netclear-channel.com.

About Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company
For more than 45 years, Berk-Tek has been a leading manufacturer of more than 100 different network copper and fiber optic cable products designed to transport high-speed voice, data and video transmissions. For more information, visit www.berktek.com.

About Ortronics/Legrand
Ortronics/Legrand is a global leader in high performance structured cabling solutions, services, and support. Ortronics offers a complete range of Category 5e, 6 and 10 Gig copper, fiber optic, wireless and residential/MDU connectivity solutions. In addition, Ortronics offers Cablofil® wire mesh cable tray and Wiremold® pathways. For more information, visit www.ortronics.com.


COOPER Wiring Devices To Demonstrate Aspire RF™ At Electronic House Spring EXPO (EHX)

Cooper Wiring Devices today announced plans to showcase its new ASPIRE RF™ line of wireless control products at the Electronic House Expo (EHX) from March 8-10, 2007, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.  Demonstrations to present the product line’s breadth of home-control capabilities will be held in Cooper Wiring Devices’ booth (# 234) throughout the show.  In addition, Cooper Wiring Devices will showcase two other award-winning product lines: MediaSync™ structured wiring as well as the ASPIRE™ Design System of wiring devices.

The ASPIRE RF product line, based on the extremely successful ASPIRE Design System platform, provides users with convenient, dependable and user-friendly wireless controls.  Any ASPIRE RF light switch, power receptacle, dimmer or component can be controlled with a simple touch command.  Using ASPIRE RF’s handheld controllers, a computer or a PDA, users can manage inside and outside lighting, appliances, home security and a range of other devices.  In addition, the simple programming suite provides an intuitive set-up process that is remarkably easy to install and use in any new or existing home, without the need for special wiring or rewiring.

Cooper Wiring Devices’ ASPIRE RF products incorporate Z-Wave’s highly robust, range-extending 908 MHz two-way RF (radio frequency) technology, ensuring compatibility with hundreds of Z-Wave products from other Z-Wave Alliance partners.  Any of the products can be controlled with the touch of a single button on a remote control, or joined with other devices to create “events” or “scenes” that offer ambience, convenience and energy savings.

Cooper Wiring Devices will also showcase its MediaSync line of structured wiring products in the booth during the show.  MediaSync recently won the 2007 Innovative Housing Technology Award (IHTA) in the Suppliers – Home Tech Products: Networking category.  The annual IHTA awards recognize significant advances and best practices by product manufacturers, integrators and builders in technology development for, and implementation by, the housing industry.

MediaSync, a state-of-the art structured wiring system that offers consumers maximum connectivity, convenience and flexibility, allows the integration of voice, data, audio and video services into a central, manageable distribution center.  Cooper Wiring Devices offers a breadth of different enclosures, service modules and value solution kits to create any type of connected home solution, from a simple starter system to a higher-end installation with maximum flexibility.

Additionally, Cooper Wiring Devices will display its award-winning ASPIRE Design System product line.  The ASPIRE Design System line is a unique, contemporary-styled, full line of electrical devices that offer builders, remodelers, architects and designers the most innovative residential and light commercial wiring design upgrade in three decades.

With its signature curve motif and contrasting matte and gloss finish , the ASPIRE series comes in three distinctive two-tone color combinations – Silver Granite, Desert Sand and White Satin. Cooper Wiring Devices’ ASPIRE line includes switches, receptacles, GFCIs, communication premise wiring products, dimmers, fan speed controls and screwless wallplates. 

Electronic House Expo, a Tradeshow Week magazine Fastest 50 event for three years running, is the fastest growing trade event of the $13 billion custom electronics industry. Held twice annually and sponsored by CEA’s TechHome Division, EHX attracts a large and dynamic audience of custom electronics integrators, retailers and allied trades to interact with leading suppliers of audio/video entertainment, digital convergence, networking and communications, comfort and control, and security and electrical products.

About Cooper Wiring Devices
Cooper Wiring Devices is a division of Cooper Industries (NYSE: CBE) that provides over 10,000 electrical wiring device products for industrial, commercial and residential applications. For more information, visit www.cooperwiringdevices.com.

About Cooper Industries
Cooper Industries, Ltd. is a global manufacturer with 2006 revenues of $5.2 billion, approximately 85 percent of which are from electrical products. Incorporated in Bermuda with administrative headquarters in Houston, Cooper employs approximately 31,000 people and operates eight divisions: Cooper B-Line, Cooper Bussmann, Cooper Crouse-Hinds, Cooper Lighting, Cooper Menvier, Cooper Power Systems, Cooper Wiring Devices and Cooper Tools group. Cooper Connection provides a common marketing and selling platform for Cooper’s sales to electrical distributors. For more information, visit www.cooperindustries.com.


Area Communications Announces The Grand Opening of MHSP (Managed Hosted Solutions Provider)

Area Communications, an Orange Park Florida based Business Technology Solutions provider announced the Grand Opening of its MHSP (Managed Hosted Solutions Provider) business.  The Scarlett Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Area Communications, will provide Hosted Network Monitoring, IT Asset Management, IT ticketing and Work Flow Systems, Hosted Learning Management Solutions, and Hosted Telecommunications offerings.

The Scarlett Group focuses on both the inbound call center market, and the outbound predictive dialer market.  Advances in SIP Trunking and SIP IP agent technologies have made outsourcing call center technologies a powerful options for growing call centers which are strapped with antiquated communications technologies and who are struggling with disaster recovery and or business continuity plans.  All services are provided from a secure disaster recovery facility located in Jacksonville, Florida that is considered to be among the most Highly Available sites in North America.

The Scarlett Group places a strong emphasis on support, training and ease of entry and cost.  A complete enterprise call center or predictive dialer solutions can be configured and rolled out at a fraction of the cost, and in a fraction of the time of a traditional solution. www.areacom.com


APWMayville™ Cabinets Provide Sturdy And Flexible Enclosure Solutions For Westwood College Of Technology

APWMayville™, a leader in rack and enclosure solutions for the broadcast, audio/visual, security, data communications and telecommunications industries, is now an integral part of the learning process at Westwood College of Technology. Westwood is a national university offering a variety of career-focused degree programs in Computer Network Engineering and Management.

During a recent campus expansion, Westwood College of Technology worked with Arkatype, a full service connectivity provider, to manage and design their data communications installations. Michael Cantrell, Arkatype’s CEO, says the goal of creating a user-friendly learning environment greatly impacted the decision to use APWMayville Mini Max™ Wall Cabinets at the college’s four California campuses (Los Angeles, South Bay, Inland Empire and Anaheim).

“Westwood’s biggest immediate need was a product that that was sturdy enough to get used on a daily basis,” said Cantrell. “APWMayville just made the most sense, offering the best blend of features and cost. That’s why we developed a standard operating procedure that includes APWMayville racks in every installation we do for Westwood in California. Whether they’re just doing a new classroom, renovating, or expanding the campus, they’ve standardized on APWMayville because of the convenience and flexibility that the cabinets give their students.”

The college’s commitment to standardization allows an IT staff member from any Westwood campus to experience a uniform environment while maintaining the crucial core technical systems that make up the college’s technology programs. A single Westwood campus can feature up to 50 classrooms containing APWMayville cabinets housing a variety of IT equipment.

From each cabinet, cabling is run into the college’s main distribution frame, handling anything the college needs to go to the classrooms on an update or Internet connectivity basis. The cabinets and racks in use today afford Westwood enough space to make for flexible cable management and easy access.

“We take great care selecting cabinets for our infrastructure and we’ve never had a problem managing cabling and wiring since we began using APWMayville racks,” says Kevin Behunin, Westwood College of Technology’s IT Director.

According to Cantrell, the APWMayville cabinets offer robust features without putting strain on the college’s budget. “The college looked at several other options, but when it came down to price, no other competitor could match the form, function and aesthetic quality like APWMayville,” he said.

The cabinets are out in the open, serving as a vital tool in the education program, providing function while facilitating learning. Westwood stresses hands-on training given for its students, so the networks must be housed in a sturdy rack that withstands those demands. Students enrolled in Network Engineering and Management courses complete daily projects simulating troubleshooting scenarios in a business environment. The dual-hinged cabinet allows students to open the front door and have access to plug in patch cables. The hinge on the back allows them to view everything inside from the rear.

About APWMayville
APWMayville is the former Mayville, Wisconsin business unit of APW Ltd.  Now under dedicated local ownership, APWMayville remains an industry leader in the design, manufacture, and assembly of a wide range of standard and configurable cabinets, enclosures, frames, racks, and mounting products.  The enclosure solutions product line is sold throughout North America for use in data communications, telecommunications, audio-visual/broadcast, and security applications.  For more information, please go to www.apwmayville.com .


Message From NAED Chairman 2007

Dear NAED Members, Associate Members, and Allied Partners,

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), I am very pleased to invite you to join us for NAED's 2007 Annual Meeting. If you haven't registered yet, don't waste another minute. This year, we will convene at the stately Marriott Wardman Park in our nation's capital. I think you'll find that the strategic planning insights and top level networking opportunities make attending this meeting well worth your time and investment. Plus, if you register by the early bird deadline of Friday, March 9, you'll save $150. (Special note to associate members and allied partners: TED Magazine is extending its deadline to get into TED's Annual Meeting Booth Directory to March 9)  Register online here.

I chose my Chairman's theme, "Focus on the Future," because change happens quickly within our businesses and our industry: new competitors inside and outside of our channel, new technologies, new products, new laws, new customers, new challenges from young employees, and the list goes on. Our challenge is to focus on our future to make sure we are on the "leading" edge--not the "bleeding" edge. And focus we shall, with a slate of excellent speakers and sessions giving us a look at what's ahead and strategies to meet the challenges:

  • Economic and political forecasts: Are we headed for an economic slide or a recovery? Will the recent political changes impact these trends? How can we prepare our companies? We'll get answers to these questions and more from leading political analysts and economists like: Charlie Cook, editor of The Cook Political Report; Bernie Markstein III, director of forecasting at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB); Ken Simonson, chief economist for Associated General Contractors of America (AGC); and Futurist David Pearce Snyder.
  • Strategies to make change work for you: Our experts tell us that change is coming. But what changes? And how can we make sure our companies ride the tide and glide to profitability? Attend the general session to hear the Industry Thought Leader Panel give their views on "Strategies to Meet Future Challenges;" then make sure to hear the Contractor Customer Panel discuss how their expectations of distributors are changing.
  • Executive leadership training: You won't want to miss the session, "How to Manage Your People & Profits with Bottom-Line Leadership" from the author of Contented Cows Give Better Milk. Other speakers will examine "The 'Discomfort' of leadership" and the crucial role that emotional intelligence plays in leadership.
  • Insights into profitability: achieving it and keeping it: Industry panels will share their wisdom on "How to Beat the Profit and Margin Squeeze with Electronic Communications" and "Enhancing Value & Profitability with the Supply Chain Scorecard." Plus, Bernd Heinze, Esq. will provide information to help us manage and mitigate product liability risks in today's global market.

And of course, we need to have a little fun, too. So, in keeping with our setting, some notable political figures will join us, such as Keynote speaker P.J. O'Rourke, author and political satirist, referred to as "the funniest writer in America" by Time and the Wall Street Journal; The Capitol Steps Comedy Troupe; And we'll even receive a special visit from "Abraham Lincoln," who will share leadership lessons from legends. This is really going to be a great meeting. I hope to see you in D.C.

NAED Chairman,

Chairman & CEO, Butler Supply, Inc.

P.S. And remember: Yesterday is history; today we need to take the actions that will make our lives and businesses better tomorrow. A good place to start is attending the 2007 NAED Annual Meeting! Register at http://www.naed.org/meetings/annual/index.asp


HCM Introduces NanoCoreTM Gel-Free Loose Tube Fiber Optic Cables

Hitachi Cable Manchester (HCM) is pleased to introduce its NanoCoreTM line of fiber optic cables.  The line includes three new constructions of plenum-rated gel-free loose tube fiber optic cables.  The three constructions include a 4 to 24 fiber optic strand zip cord, a single jacket construction that can accommodate from 2 to 12 strands and a more robust dual-jacket construction capable of accommodating up to 72 strands.  Where more than twelve strands are present, they are separated by a colored binder into12-strand bundles.

Designed to work with MT, MTP/MPO and other small form function connectors, the NanoCoreTM line of cables offers higher fiber strand counts in smaller diameter cables.  With a UL rating of OFNP, these easy to terminate cables can be installed in plenum environments and therefore, virtually anywhere in a building.  And, if you are using conduit or inner duct, the smaller diameter of the cable allows the use of smaller diameter conduit or inner duct, thus saving the owner money.

All cable constructions are available with your choice of optical fiber.  8.3 micron singlemode and 62.5 and 50-micron multimode, including optical fiber for 10 Gigabit Ethernet applications are available. And, HCM uses only Corning optical fiber in all its standard constructions.

“The addition of these products to our existing product line allows us to meet all of the fiber optic cable needs of our customers.  These products not only reduce installation costs, they are engineered and constructed with durability and performance in mind,” said Steven Kenney, Marketing Manager for HCM.

About HCM
HCM, located in Manchester, NH manufacturers a complete line of copper and fiber optic cables for the communication industry. Over 3,300 different cable products are manufactured at this facility. Products include Augmented Category 6 cable, shielded and outdoor Category 6 cable, armored plenum-rated fiber optic cable as well as plenum-rated indoor/outdoor fiber optic cables.

For more details, please contact HCM toll free at 800-772-0116 or visit the HCM website at www.hcm.hitachi.com.


Broadband Is The Key To Small Business Growth, TIA tells Congress

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) told the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday that access to broadband is the key to keeping U.S. small businesses competitive.

“We have seen that demand for broadband and high-speed services is fueling this growth, as carriers invest in new fiber, new IP technology and new wireless infrastructure to provide state-of-the-art voice, video and data services,” said Grant Seiffert, TIA president, during Wednesday’s hearing titled “Advancing the Innovation Agenda: The Perspective of the Technology and Telecommunications Industry.”

Seiffert joined seven other business and technology leaders on the panels, and topics of discussion included broadband deployment, e-commerce, Internet taxes, new technology, tax credits and other regulatory issues.

Seiffert said one of the best things the government could do to help keep small businesses innovative is to relax some of the accounting requirements in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires companies to maintain detailed auditing records and has shown to be extremely costly for small business. Under Sarbanes-Oxley, many small companies have to take money from research and development and other innovative projects and use these funds for accounting and auditing, said Seiffert, who added that the spirit of Sarbanes-Oxley can be maintained without applying excessive regulatory requirements.

Recently, the Telecommunications Industry Association urged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to reduce the regulatory burden of Sarbanes-Oxley on small business. TIA’s comments to the SEC are available at http://www.tiaonline.org/policy/publications/filings/documents/SOXComment022607_FINAL.pdf

Additionally, Seiffert urged the committee to keep broadband free of regulation, otherwise smaller firms would lose much of their ability to innovate and compete.

Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., said that small firms employ more than half of the nation’s scientists and engineers. Ranking Republican Steve Chabot, Ohio, added that a strong broadband network will help small businesses strive in both urban and rural areas.

In his testimony, Seiffert pointed out that TIA research shows the telecommunications market is growing and that consumers are “thirsty for broadband.” Citing TIA’s 2007 Market Review and Forecast, Seiffert said the U.S. market grew 9.3 percent in 2006 to total $923 billion in revenue.

About TIA
The Telecommunications Industry Association is the leading trade association in Washington, D.C., for the information and communications and entertainment technology (ICT) industry. TIA serves ICT suppliers to global markets through its leadership in standards development, domestic and international policy advocacy, and facilitating member business opportunities such as the co-owned NXTcomm. TIA represents the communications sector of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA). For more information, go to http://www.tiaonline.org.


Check Out What’s New For Cabling Business Magazine’s April 2007 Issue!

Check out what’s new for Cabling Business Magazine’s April 2007 issue! Packed full of hot new products, timely industry columns and of course, the latest technology news you’ve come to expect every month!

Features:

  • Trimming/Stripping Coaxial Cable with Automated Powered Tools By John Lumia
  • Restaurant Cameras Keep Tabs On Workers, Customers By Karen Robinson-Jacobs
  • How VoIP Can Upgrade a Cable Company into a World-Class Telecom Provider By Baruch Sterman
  • Pseudowire Eases TDM Traffic Networking By Eitan Schwartz

Industry Expert Columns:

  • The Leadership Link By New Commons
  • Reel Time By Berk-Tek, A Nexans Company
    • Testing the Experts By Fluke Networks

    Hot Products:

    Copper Cable Systems, Equipment for the Data Centers, Fiber Optics, Power over Ethernet, Security Cameras, Video Technology, Digital Cameras, Alarm and Security Systems, Testing Equipment, VoIP Technology, PBXs, T1/E1 multiplexers, Patch Panels, Label Makers and much, much more!

    As always readers can log on to the magazine Web site at www.cablingbusiness.com and download the latest issue online! Be sure not to miss out! www.cablingbusiness.com


    BOMA International To Take Real Estate’s Message To Capitol Hill

    The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International and more than a hundred of its members from across the U.S. will meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill during BOMA’s National Issues Conference, March 12-13, 2007. During the conference, BOMA members will have the chance to educate U.S. Senators and Representatives on the issues important to commercial real estate from both a local and national perspective. 

    BOMA members will be putting several topics before Senators and Representatives, including:

    • The need to extend the 15-year depreciation period for tenant improvements and the reduced capital gains rate.
    • The importance of enacting important incentives to promote energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    • The necessary extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) before its expiration at the end of 2007 and the federal government’s role in resolving the growing reinsurance capacity crisis that has resulted following the high number of devastating storms over the past few years.

    “The National Issues Conference gives BOMA members the chance to collectively voice the concerns and issues of the commercial real estate industry to the leaders on Capitol Hill,” said BOMA International Chairman and Chief Elected Officer Kurt R. Padavano, RPA, CPM, FMA, SMA, and Chief Operating Officer of Advance Realty Group of Bedminster, NJ. “We have a strong message as an industry that is a major contributor to the economy, representing 20 percent of GDP, providing nearly $300 billion annually in federal tax revenues and 70 percent of local government tax revenues.”

    The National Issues Conference is being held March 12-13 at the Westin Grand Hotel and on Capitol Hill. During the conference property owners and managers will have the opportunity to analyze and discuss issues, hear presentations by members of Congress and the press, and actively support their profession by visiting Congressional offices for one-on-one meetings with their elected officials. Featured speakers include Amy Walter, senior editor of The Cook Political Report and Representatives Pete Sessions (R-Texas), Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Michael Turner (R-Ohio).

    The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 90 local associations and affiliated organizations. BOMA’s 16,500-plus members own or manage more than 9 billion square feet of commercial properties in North America and throughout the world.  The mission of BOMA International is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information.  Founded in 1907, BOMA International celebrates 100 years of commercial real estate in 2007.  Learn more at www.boma.org.


    BICSI Canada Conference Gets High Marks From Participants

    Educational presentations, informative exhibits and networking opportunities all combined to make the 2007 BICSI Canada Conference a most memorable event. President John Bakowski announced that the conference hosted nearly 1,000 participants.

    Attendees and exhibitors alike bestowed highly positive reviews of their participation at the conference. “This is one of the best BICSI conferences I have ever been to,” said 12-year member Joanne Bazinet-Brown, RCDD. “I met a lot of new exhibitors and the educational sessions were fresh and interesting.”

    “The exposure we have received has been phenomenal,” said Wade Muri with Genetec. “This is our first time exhibiting at a BICSI conference, and we definitely will plan on coming to future shows.”

    Throughout this Canada Conference, attendees took the time to stop by the BICSI Cares booth and offer their donations to charity. The Western Society for Children, an organization that focuses on delivering basic life needs to children and families who deal with the difficulties of birth disorders and disabilities throughout Greater Vancouver and British Columbia, benefited tremendously from these acts of giving.

    The BICSI Cares presentation was hosted by newly inducted Committee Chair Christine Klauck, RCDD/NTS Specialist. There were looks of surprise, joy and a few tears shed as members of the Committee presented representatives of the Western Society for Children with a check for CAN$10,700. “I am proud of all the conference participants for showing their generosity to help BICSI Cares make a difference in the lives of all children here in Western Canada,” said Klauck.

    The General Session started with BICSI Government Relations Consultant Richard Reed, RCDD/OSP Specialist, giving an update on municipal and provincial legislative issues that are affecting the industry in the Canadian Region. Jeffery Beavers, RCDD/OSP Specialist followed with a very interesting look at the design and planning for the Louisiana Superdome reconstruction project from a telecommunications standpoint. Beavers outlined the difficulties and delays that had to be overcome in repairing the structure after the devastation suffered from Hurricane Katrina.

    The closing keynote was given by Captain Larry Brudnicki, who delivered a powerful presentation incorporating stories and lesions learned from his experience directing U.S. Coast Guard rescue efforts in “The Perfect Storm.” He stressed to audience members the importance of “having a plan B” in life and business decisions. Said Brudnicki, “Just as I had to make life and death decisions in rescuing the crewmembers of that ship, it is vital for you to develop processes of assessing risk and choosing which route you will take to achieve your project goals.”

    ###

    BICSI is a professional association supporting the information transport systems (ITS) industry with information, education and knowledge assessment for individuals and companies. BICSI serves more than 24,000 ITS professionals, including designers, installers and technicians. These individuals provide the fundamental infrastructure for telecommunications, audio/video, life safety and automation systems. Through courses, conferences, publications and professional registration programs, BICSI staff and volunteers assist ITS professionals in delivering critical products and services, and offer opportunities for continual improvement and enhanced professional stature. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, BICSI membership spans nearly 100 countries. www.bicsi.org 


    You Get What You Pay For: Aspiring Beyond the Vortex of Declining Corporate Mediocrity

    Carlini’s Comments, MidwestBusiness.com’s oldest column, runs every Wednesday. Its mission is to offer the common man’s view on business and technology issues while questioning the leadership and visions of “pseudo” experts.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CHICAGO – You don’t get Superman by paying Jimmy Olson wages.

    You can’t commoditize talent when the key skills for today’s success are flexibility, adaptability, creativity and technology. You have to pay for talent in order to compete in the global marketplace. This transcends all industries and organizations.

    There is a misperception that there is a shortage of highly skilled technical people in this country. The reality is that there are many qualified highly skilled technical people here but many companies don’t want to pay their salaries.

    While this management misperception has been going on for several years even before Sept. 11, 2001, only now are you starting to see some of the long-term effects of overzealous rightsizing, downsizing, force reductions and outsourcing.

    Some companies have gotten rid of a lot of their systems people over the last several years in the name of rightsizing, offshoring or whatever you want to call it.

    They have decimated some of their core systems support and replaced them with cheap and mediocre substitutes. Customer service has dropped, some customers have left and some organizations have brought back their call centers back into the U.S. to turn around the losses.

    While short-term budgets were cut too “lean and mean,” some of these decisions were the wrong ones as demands grew and systems aged.

    Some organizations are left in a jam with hollow systems and ones that are constantly being patched. The skills walked out and were sometimes escorted to the door. Though there are some organizations that have kept up and have spent money, those are the exception and not the rule.

    With corporate compliance issues like Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA, these weaknesses are being constantly uncovered. In some cases, this is costing companies much more in fines and penalties along with the cost to “get it right” again.

    All companies fear compliance audits by the SEC and the U.S. Department of Labor because they know their systems may not be as good as they thought. They pray that their systems are fixed before the auditors show up.

    All of a sudden, that $500,000 cost reduction in systems support sounds pretty dumb compared to an $18 million hit in penalties by the SEC. Who made that bonehead decision?

    Companies are also getting into a jam as more people opt not to give two-week notices when they are fed up with an overly worked and under-recognized job.

    I was just interviewed by someone writing an article for a human resources journal that was surprised at my stance on not giving two-week notices. She wanted to know how organizations could combat that. I said they could have mutual 30-notice clauses or termination clauses. I am sure HR experts would recommend for it to stay one-sided.

    Immediate resignations are definitely on the rise. I am just reflecting on what has been happening due to poor corporate policies that were instituted by HR experts and consultants. Say you just lost your top person and he or she is leaving immediately.

    Maybe you should have given the person a little more recognition. It’s too late now.

    There has been a definite change in values in the work force. Immediate force-reduction dismissals used as an accepted practice have in turn spawned immediate resignations and voluntary departures as an accepted practice by individuals.

    Most people at various levels are thinking about it now because companies didn’t know a bridge is a two-way street and “burning your bridges” can apply to them as well.

    As for problems due to a lack of good people on staff, there is a major multi-national company that has a system cutover in France so messed up they have sent people out there for weeks to try to fix it. There is also a major financial firm looking at implementing a critical systems conversion and has a crazy systems conversion plan.

    There is no contingency or fall-back plan to the original system once the new system is in place. It sounds like the people who planned the process have never been through a real systems conversion.

    General management is very worried because someone with real systems experience has pointed it out even though that person is not in the systems group. The systems people are trying to get the general management people to sign off on it now and they are telling them no.

    Where did all the people go who knew the systems development process? Evidently they were swept away and those who remained don’t have a clue.

    People Are Our Assets

    “People are the assets who determine our success or failure.” This was part of a statement by a retired Air Force general. While this is a great credo to have, is it really just a bunch of empty words?

    There is a great quote I have used before from former ITT Chairman Harold Geneen: “Words are words, explanations are explanations and promises are promises, but only performance is reality.”

    It seems like so many companies are driven by slogans, rah-rah statements and corporate golf shirts with their logo on them that they don’t see the realities of their poor performance in dealing with people ad in the marketplace.

    I have always advised clients and taught in courses that you get what you pay for and there’s no such thing as a new $5,000 Rolls-Royce. If you want the quality, the performance and the reliability, you have to pay for it. When are people going to learn?

    Carlinism: When you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

    James Carlini will present how he pioneered measuring building intelligence

    at the second-annual Building Automation Conference in Baltimore on March 21.

    Also, check out his blog at CarlinisComments.com.

    James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be reached at james.carlini@sbcglobal.net or 773-370-1888.

    Click here for Carlini’s full biography.


    Education, Networking at 2007 BICSI Spring Conference

    Tampa, Fla., USA, March 8, 2007— April 15-18, BICSI is going to the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, to hold its 2007 Spring Conference where BICSI members and nonmembers alike will gain invaluable ITS knowledge. This unique Conference will help the attendees make better decisions, earn better margin on projects, and win more business.

    “The Spring Conference promises to provide you with education and motivation to lead your organization to a new level of success,” said BICSI President John Bakowski, RCDD®/NTS/OSP/WD Specialist. “Whether your career is in data centers, security or design, you will be able to choose from different concurrent sessions based on your ITS interest.”

    Other conference highlights include:

    • Dr. Barry Asmus, Senior Economist, National Center for Policy Analysis—Keynote Speaker, Mon., Apr. 16

    Dr. Asmus speaks, writes and consults on policy, business and economic issues facing America. He has testified before the House Ways and Means Committee. He was a featured speaker at the Social Security Conference for Western European leaders and has traveled frequently to Romania to discuss privatization and market based solutions on behalf of NCPA. Dr. Asmus is a passionate advocate of free market systems and limited government solutions. He has addressed Fortune 500 companies all across America and is the author of nine books, his most current being “Bulls Don’t Blush, Bears Don’t Die.”

    ·          Concurrent Sessions on Tuesday, April 16

    Attendees will choose from 4 education tracks and 23 sessions to customize their learning. Tuesday features presentations on designing and reducing energy costs in a data center, low voltage applications, cabling in clinical and laboratory environments, telecommunications cabinets, changeable connections, video signal transmissions, CAT 6 cabling, video security and surveillance, power strips technology, passive optical networks (PON), screened and shielded cabling systems, and increasing marketplace demands on installation contractors.

    • Jim Morris, Former Major League Baseball Player—Closing Speaker, Wed., Apr. 18, 10:30 a.m.

    Originally drafted in the 1st round in 1984, Jim's childhood dream of becoming a Major League Baseball player was derailed by serious arm injuries. At the age of 35 and some 11 years after retiring from minor league baseball, Jim went to an open tryout where he threw 12 consecutive pitches at 98 mph—almost 10 mph harder than he had some 15 years earlier—to the amazement of scouts in attendance. Jim signed a professional baseball contract and after just 3 months in the minor leagues, Jim returned to Texas as a major league player and struck out all-star Royce Clayton with a 98 mile per hour fastball in his first big league game. Jim retired again from baseball in the winter of 2001 and co-authored his autobiography, The Oldest Rookie, published that same year. As a speaker, Jim inspires and motivates audiences to never give up on their dreams.

    ###

    BICSI is a professional association supporting the information transport systems industry with information, education and knowledge assessment for individuals and companies. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., BICSI serves more than 24,000 industry professionals in more than 90 countries around the world. For more information, visit http://www.bicsi.org.

    Contact:            Maarja Kolberg, BICSI Headquarters, mkolberg@bicsi.org, 813.979.1991

                            Tom Damico, BICSI Headquarters, tdamico@bicsi.org, 813.979.1991


    CABA Becomes Ninth ESPA Affiliate

    The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) is the ninth organization to sign on as an Affiliate of the Electronic Systems Professional Alliance (ESPA), indicating ESPA is on its way to reaching a critical mass of support for its universal entry-level education and certification products. ESPA Managing Director Deb Rolfes announced the new affiliation with CABA at Electronic House Expo (EHX), where ESPA is exhibiting in Booth #1744.

    CABA promotes advanced technologies for home and building automation, and therefore has a significant stake in the quality and availability of electronic systems technicians. As an Affiliate of ESPA and founding partners the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) and the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA), CABA is making a positive contribution to the long-term industry solution for qualified entry-level employees.

    All ESPA Affiliates participate in the development of the industry's first universal education and certification program. The vision is for ESPA to serve as the foundation of a career-ready workforce for the electronic systems contracting industry. ESPA Affiliates help standardize the terms, definitions and best practices of the electronic systems industry, and ensure broad-based inclusion of critical concepts for entry-level technicians in both commercial and residential disciplines. Affiliates are included in ESPA promotional activities as recognized leaders who are uniting the industry and providing long-term, credible solutions for education and certification.

    "The proliferation of automation technology is astounding and our industry not only needs new technicians every year, we need more than ever before," said Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. "ESPA's visionary effort to create and promote a gateway for new employees to enter electronic systems will probably be one of the most significant factors in our ability to control the industry and maintain or accelerate its growth."

    ESPA anticipates rolling out its education/certification programs in the fourth quarter of 2007. For the latest news on ESPA developments visit www.espa.org.

    Organizations and businesses interested in becoming ESPA Affiliates should contact ESPA Managing Director Deb Rolfes at 319-861-8622 or deb.rolfes@espa.org.

    About CABA
    CABA is the only industry association to offer industry intelligence to stakeholders in all areas of home & building automation. CABA's resources cover areas such as HVAC, lighting, security, A/V, communications technologies, energy management and controls. A number of resources are available through the association including iHomes & Buildings magazine, research, CABA's forums, CABA's monthly eBulletin, Information Series reports, Event Reports and the CABA web site. Please visit www.caba.org for further information.

    About ESPA
    The Electronic Systems Professional Alliance is a non-profit organization that will deliver high-quality education and credible certification that is universally recognized as the path to a career in electronics systems contracting. Founding partners the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA), and National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) established ESPA in November 2006. ESPA seeks to "calm the noise" and unify the electronic systems industry with a qualified workforce that is valued in the marketplace.

    ESPA Affiliates include the three founding partners, Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA), HDMI Licensing, LLC, Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), and Loyd Ivey's Mitek Corporation. www.caba.org


    CABA Endorses NET-AT HOME 2007 Conference

    The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) is pleased to announce its endorsement of the Net-atHome2007 Conference. The event is to be held Nov. 13-15, 2007 at Boscolo Plaza Hotel in Nice, France.

    Net-atHome is an annual industry forum organized by Homega Research, a marketing and technology firm based in Sophia Antipolis, France specializing in residential technologies.

    The event focuses on products and services taking advantage of: home networking solutions, such as “home gateways” connecting the home communication infrastructure to external access networks; thus providing consumers with more attractive functionalities and services for the widest range of applications, including comfort, entertainment, remote control, security, energy management, automation, and working from home.

    “As a organization whose raison d’être is the promotion of home networking and automation technologies, CABA strongly supports and endorses the Net-atHome Conference,” states Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO.

    With more than 170 to 300 key industry representatives from 25 different countries projected to go to the show, attendees will learn about various home networking trends and issues from global communication infrastructures to killer applications, and working business models to market-enabling industry standards.

    “We are pleased that CABA has endorsed our conference,” states Karine Valin, Managing Director, Homega Research. “CABA’s endorsement is a seal of approval indicating that our international event is of the highest quality in terms of attendee and exhibitor satisfaction.”

    More information about the event can be found at http://www.net-athome.com.

    About CABA
    CABA is the only industry association to offer industry intelligence to stakeholders in all areas of home & building automation. CABA's resources cover areas such as HVAC, lighting, security, A/V, communications technologies, energy management and controls. A number of resources are available through the association including iHomes & Buildings magazine, research, CABA's forums, CABA's monthly eBulletin, Information Series reports, Event Reports and the CABA web site. Please visit www.caba.org for further information.


    CABA Signs Program Recognizer Agreement With C-TECH Associates, Inc.

    In a proactive move to support the growing need for entry-level telecommunications technicians, the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) announced today the signing of a program recognizer agreement with C-Tech Associates, Inc. C-Tech is a New Jersey-based developer and manufacturer of curriculum and training aids for communications networking. The agreement will provide CABA members access to highly trained labor pools.

    CABA has reviewed C-Tech's Communications Networking Programs for content and applicability to the marketplace, and recognizes C-Tech's certifications known as Network Cabling Specialist, Voice Communications Professional, and Smart Home Professional. Because of this recognition, they will be promoting the hiring of C-Tech-certified technicians to its membership.

    "We are extremely pleased to endorse C-Tech's certification programs," states Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. "The rapid adoption of networking technologies within the home and building sectors has created a need for highly qualified installers. C-Tech's series of certification programs allows professionals to enhance and verify their skills, and we are pleased to recommend it to system installers at large and to our members in particular."

    C-Tech took an innovative approach to the development of its training programs. "Early on, we recognized a need for trained technicians at an entry-level wage," states David Brady, C-Tech's Director of Marketing. "It is very important to deliver the technology at a level that addresses the majority of the population and still provides the much-needed skills." Companies have been able to cut as much as three months off a new employee's preparation cycle, by hiring C-Tech certified technicians.

    Since entering the educational/training market in 1995, C-Tech has established a network of over 350 certified training facilities throughout the United States including vocational and comprehensive high schools, community colleges, labor unions, community and faith-based organizations, Job Corps centers and correctional institutions.

    These training sites are equipped with the resources, knowledge and skills to provide entry-level job training to any individual regardless of age or background. More than 40,000 individuals possess the telecommunications skills and knowledge base to work as technicians, sales associates, customer service representatives or a number of other positions.

    CABA sees teaming with C-Tech as a natural fit. "We are excited to support certification efforts that advance a stronger home systems integration marketplace," says Zimmer.

    About CABA
    CABA is the only industry association to offer industry intelligence to stakeholders in all areas of home & building automation. CABA's resources cover areas such as HVAC, lighting, security, A/V, communications technologies, energy management and controls. A number of resources are available through the association including iHomes & Buildings magazine, research, CABA's forums, CABA's monthly eBulletin, Information Series reports, Event Reports and the CABA web site. Please visit www.caba.org for further information.

    Media Contact:

    Rawlson O'Neil King
    Communications Director, CABA
    king@caba.org
    613.686.1814 x225
    888.798.CABA (2222)



    KITCO Fiber Optics Names New Inside Sales Professional

    KITCO Fiber Optics has named Ann Moriarty to the position of Inside Sales Professional.  Ms. Moriarty has extensive technical sales experience, previously serving as Global Services Manager with MCI Telecommunications Business Services Division; as Regional Sales Director with Newbridge Networks Corp.; as an Account Manager with Videotele.com and as Sales Support for Mobile Networks with Draka NK Cables.  She is a graduate of St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN and will receive her MBA from Old Dominion University in May.

    KITCO Fiber Optics is a leading provider of fiber optic connectorization products, training and consulting services to the military and commercial communications industry. It specializes in the design and fabrication of fiber optic tools, tool kits and custom cable assemblies.  KITCO is also recognized for the development of customized fiber optic curriculum and training and provides commercial and military training worldwide, serving as the U.S. Navy’s sole shipboard fiber optic trainer.  Its highly skilled field services team can respond to your fiber optic requirements anytime, anywhere - rapidly providing the best solutions for overcoming system problems or delays.  www.kitcofo.com


    REMEMBER TO RECYCLE, REDUCE AND REUSE

   
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