Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Three technology innovators who helped make wireless computing and database management possible and a pioneer in franchising for the computer reseller market are the newest members of the IT Hall of Fame.
Victor Hayes, the “Father of Wi-Fi,” dBASE designer C. Wayne Ratliff and Jim Ciccarelli, who helped transform the IT reseller franchise model, were inducted into the IT Hall of Fame today in a ceremony held at CompTIA’s Annual Member Meeting.
The IT Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions or provided outstanding service to the IT channel and individuals responsible for outstanding technology innovations. CompTIA revived the IT Hall of Fame in 2011 as a way to honor IT channel leaders and innovators.
Victor Hayes played a leading role in shepherding the development of the Wi-Fi technology used in millions of wireless networks in homes and offices around the world. He led the IEEE 802.11 Standards Working Group for Wireless Local Area Networks, which established the basis for Wi-Fi.
“What invention have we had in the last 20 years that’s provided as much economic benefit as Wi-Fi?” asked Todd Thibodeaux, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA. “It’s been one of the most transformational technologies we’ve had.”
Jim Ciccarelli, president of Connecting Point of America, helped pioneered a new franchise model within the computer retail industry. Under the leadership of Ciccarelli and others, the company became a billion-dollar reseller and distribution organization
“He created adaptable win-win arrangements that accelerated market expansion,” Thibodeaux said. “He also shifted the relationship to where the reseller became a valued customer.”
In a written statement from Ciccarelli that was read at the induction, he praised the reseller community as the “unsung heroes” of the 1980s. “This entrepreneur army opened stores in every big city and small town in America.”
C. Wayne Ratliff designed and wrote the Vulcan Database Management Program while working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1978. This program became known as Ashton-Tate’s dBASE, the first widely used database management software for the personal computer.
“I’ve been inducted before, into the U.S. Army at the age of 22,” Ratliff told the audience. “And though it worked out pretty well, it’s not nearly the honor that this is. Thank you.”
The three inductees were chosen by the IT Hall of Fame Selection Committee from a pool of nominees.
Click here to see all past inductees of the IT Hall of Fame.