RAM founder would have kept company going

Michael Schweitzer is turning over in his grave.

The founder and charismatic leader of the RAM Group, who passed on in 2003, lived the RAM Group and the Canadian IT channel.

I knew him for several years. He always was a friend to the media and to Computer Dealer News. It saddens

me to see his company become insolvent so quickly after his death.

I can tell you with 100 per cent certainty that this mess would not have happened under his watch.

Michael Schweitzer was a hard-working individual. His weekends and down time were spent thinking about RAM and the channel.

He also had a tonne of respect for his employees, something that was not evident at RAM after he left this Earth.

Don’t get me wrong. Michael was a stern taskmaster. He demanded only the best from his employees. But it wasn’t because of greed or a chance to be rich. He was already rich. Getting the best out of his employees was a matter of keep the greater good. He wanted everyone to prosper.

To see almost all of his employees given walking papers would have brought the man to tears, I believe.

I have met with and talked to several prominent people in this industry the past two days and all of them agree: This would not have happened if Michael was still alive.

He simply would never have taken on any debt. Michael was the classic stingy business man. Getting him to sign off on a 50 cent item was like pulling teeth. Before he spent a nickel he would think it over and over and over. And, probably would say no.

We can debate whether he would have given the OK to the U.S. expansion or to the American Express SAP BuinessOne deal.

If you look back on all of his acquisitions, they were all bought for a song. And, all of his acquisitions greatly increased the assets of RAM. One of his classic moves was buying Genicom for peanuts. Other leaders in the industry passed on this failing company during the downturn, but not Michael. He saw the company had attained Cisco Silver Partner certification, something RAM did not have. By acquiring Genicom, RAM would have this valuable authorization.

In just two years the Cisco business grew substantially and RAM was rewarded by being given one of Cisco’s top partner honours in 2004.

RAM was Michael’s life and it is sad that the people he entrusted to keep it alive were unable to continue his legacy.

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