I am writing to you today to thank you for the very well written and interesting article on RAM in your July 2 issue (Volume 20, Issue 10: System integrator shifts gears). Your continued interest in the company and longstanding relationship with Michael are both greatly appreciated.
the exception of one rather significant inaccuracy in this article, which I would like to bring to your attention, Howard Solomon managed to capture most of the key concepts of RAM’s newest business focus.
The article mentions that Michael Schweitzer’s (the founder of RAM) brother (Alan Schweitzer) had no interest in running an IT organization and is actually silent as to the fact that Alan did run the company during a very challenging year after Michael’s unfortunate death and continues to be quite an active participant in the ongoing success of RAM in his role as Chairman.
Whereas most of what Alan accomplished during his tenure as President of RAM is not for public consumption, certain facts are indisputable. Alan Schweitzer was alerted on a Sunday evening of the unfortunate passing of his brother and within just a few days had moved from New York to Toronto and had assumed all of the duties, authority and responsibilities of president and owner of RAM. With limited business experience but clearly the flair of an entrepreneur he systematically identified whom he should listen to for advice and whom he should provide direction to.
He also set a series of cultural and business goals focused on making RAM a truly great place to work. There should be no doubt that Alan made virtually all major decisions for RAM during this time.
As you know, one man, Michael Schweitzer previously ran RAM and when he died a vacuum was created. This leadership vacuum could have caused some very serious problems for an organization the size of RAM but through the immediate, thoughtful and collegial approach taken by Alan, he was able to take the best people and relationships developed by Michael and begin the process of accelerating RAM’s transition towards an entrepreneurial organization run by professional managers.
As a professional manager for over 20 years, who has worked with many entrepreneurs, I can tell you that considering the challenges he faced at the time, very few people could have ensured the maintenance of a healthy business while virtually changing the entire management team, securing new professional management (including myself, Richard Liechtenstein, vice-president of business development and Barry McKibbon, CFO) and having the confidence and vision to building a new business opportunity both domestically and in the U.S. with organizations like Amex and SAP.
Although Alan has not been involved in the IT industry in Canada for very many years, he has made many friends and business associates and it would be quite unfortunate for both RAM and the industry if his contributions are lost simply because he spent his time running the business rather than being interviewed by various industry periodicals.
Ken J. Killin BBM CA
President & CEO
The RAM Group Inc.
Computer Dealer News stands behind its July 2, 2004 page one article “”System integrator shifts gears.””