Josh MacKinnon has been working at BAI Communications in Toronto since early 2013 as Director of Engineering Systems, where he is directly responsible for the engineering and implementation of the networks in Canada. Josh also represents the wider BAI Group as the Director of Wi-Fi technologies where he is involved in the strategic direction and business development initiatives at a global level when these opportunities are related to Wi-Fi projects.
We recently caught up with Josh to see how his role has evolved as well as some of the highlights from the past year.
What does a day in the life of your job look like?
One of my favourite things about my job is that every day is different. We’ve built a sustainable platform for innovation based on underlying network infrastructure that allows us to layer new business opportunities on top of our network. Currently, in the industry we are immersed with the Internet of Things (IoT), but really, we are entering the realm of the ‘Internet of Everything’. Every day we are realizing new uses for our networks that will enhance our customer’s experience and meet their ever-expanding needs and desires – this really makes my job exciting.
In addition to project development, I spend a lot of time collaborating with various BAI colleagues around the globe to provide me with a wealth of insight I can apply in Canada. I also speak with different transit agencies, which allows me to understand the needs of transit industries globally, helping us to serve our customers.
What’s your career highlight to date?
The highlight of my career is the ongoing feedback we receive from our customers. This includes our carrier customers who have said that because of BAI their cellular networks are better than ever. We also hear from the general public, who say how having Wi-Fi and connectivity in the subway systems significantly improves their commuting experience. Hearing positive commentary about how bringing connectivity to the city has made Toronto a better city, technologically advanced and an exciting place to live is extremely rewarding.
However, the thing that makes me most proud is something I didn’t really expect – it is when people don’t say being connected is great because it allows them to keep an eye on hockey scores, but because it has helped them in times of crisis and emergencies. Playing a pivotal role in people’s lives is by far the highlight of my career.
What’s your favourite thing about your job? How do you face challenges in your job?
My favourite part of my job is that when we do face big challenges, we have an incredible group of people who come together and work towards a common goal. We recognise we’re all working together as a team rather than as individuals and this is what we use to address these challenges.
As we reflect on 2018, what was the most exciting thing that happened in BAI Communications?
2018 was a massive year for BAI Communications as we rebranded the Canada and Hong Kong businesses. This is part of our mission to align local operations around the world and expand our global footprint.
Our global teams bring cross-border experience and the rebrand better reflects the collaborative, dynamic and multi-market operation that BAI Communications currently delivers. This collaboration has always been one of our strengths and I really feel this rebrand reinforces BAI’s position as a leader in the delivery of high-quality communications infrastructure across the globe that connects people, enriches communities and advances economies.
This collaboration was also demonstrated in 2018 with a workshop held in Seattle, bringing together engineering capabilities from across the group (with attendees from Transit Wireless and BAI in Toronto Sydney, London and Hong Kong) where we worked with our partner, Amazon Web Services, to establish our global roadmap for IoT.
Similarly, how do you think BAI will progress in 2019?
Building off the momentum from the rebrand and from some of the exciting projects completed in 2018, I think BAI is in a great position to take on more exciting projects in 2019. With the ‘Internet of Everything’, we are seeing so many new applications, particularly those related to the use of data and machine learning to understand origin and destination information, travel patterns and predict transit system congestion so that it can be mitigated and provide an even better experience for customers. Our technology will become increasingly relevant in continuing to improve cities and the lives of citizens around the globe.