Coming together

Firms upgrade hardware and software but don't upgrade their most valuable asset, people.

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By  Sean Robson Published  June 3, 2008

BICSI has grown from strength-to-strength in the Middle East region and this was reflected in its seventh annual Middle East and Africa conference and exhibition.

"Enterprises spend large amounts of money on upgrading their hardware and software but hardly ever spend anything upgrading their most valuable asset, people. This has to change," stated Andrew Stevens, managing director of training firm CNet.

Stevens, who also serves as the chairman of BICSI UK, was addressing a gathering of stakeholders from the information transport systems (ITS) industry at the seventh annual BICSI Middle East and Africa (MEA) District Annual conference and exhibition.

Enterprises spend large amounts of money on upgrading their hardware and software but hardly ever spend anything upgrading their most valuable asset, people. This has to change.

As part of his presentation, Stevens delivered insights into how people were the real assets of all enterprises. He dealt with the need for proper investment in employees and stated that this would alleviate the very real skills shortage prevalent in the industry across the region.

"Training and certification can be of real benefit to the ITS industry and if we start working with our staff now we will reap the benefits in the not too distant future and for many years to come," said Stevens.

BICSI, a professional association supporting the ITS industry with information, education and knowledge assessment for individuals and companies, has grown from strength-to-strength in the Middle East region and this was reflected in the recent conference.

The organisation serves more than 24,000 ITS professionals, including designers, installers and technicians, across the globe. BICSI assists ITS professionals in delivering critical products and services through courses, conferences, publications and professional registration programmes.

It also offers opportunities for continual improvement and enhanced professional stature.

In keeping with the growing ITS industry, globally and in the region, BICSI is modifying its programmes and is constantly working to remain up to date.

Jerry Bowman the North-Central region director of BICSI, spoke at length on BICSI's current process for certification and future plans during his key note presentation on the first day of the conference.

Bowman also updated the delegates on BICSI's events worldwide and provided details on the improvements to the various programmes that the organisation is working on.

Bowman discussed in specific BICSI's NxtGEN programme and its plans to upgrade and improve on its existing testing and accreditation guidelines. He encouraged everyone in the industry to continue to learn and evolve in keeping with the improvements and developments in technologies.

The event this year was a departure from previous years as enterprises as well as vendors and industry professionals were called upon to contribute. There was a strong end-user presence and their contributions to the conference was key to understanding the entire scope of the ITS industry in the region.

Mohammed Sabunchi, director of IT infrastructure at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), who got on stage on the first day of the conference, discussed ways and means for enterprises to customise a solution for its specific needs.

"There is seldom a single off-the-shelf solution that meets an enterprise's needs. This means that organisations have to purchase multiple applications, integrate and then optimise them. An enterprise like ours requires a specialised and specific solution; we are dealing with leading international institutions who expect top notch service. It is vital that we give them just that with minimal, if any, interruption or problems," noted Sabunchi.

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