The 2012 CRN Tech Innovator And Enterprise App Awards6:58 PM EST Tue. Nov. 06, 2012
At UBM Channel's NexTI Conference in Las Vegas last week, resellers gathered from far and wide to exchange ideas and network with fellow solution providers, acquire new skills and see demos of hardware and software by some of the most innovative companies in the world.
They also were on hand to witness awards presented by CRN Test Center Managing Editor Edward Correia and Associate Editor Katie Hoss. For nearly a decade, the CRN Test Center has been honoring the industry's top manufacturers with its Tech Innovator award for enterprise products that increase productivity and reduce cost and complexity through innovation and advancement of technology. This year also marked the second annual presentation of the Enterprise App Awards, which recognize outstanding achievements by developers of mobile apps for the enterprise. Here's a look at the winners, including the CRN Test Center's 2012 Editor's Choice for the most innovative product of the year.
In the view of Test Center editors, no single software product in the market today combines a remote access gateway, connection broker, support for Linux and Windows desktops, power management and VM management in a single solution as well as this product does. It's also the first and only completely free desktop-as-a service solution in the industry. Congratulations went to this year's winner for cloud solutions, VDIworks DaaSManager. Accepting for VDIworks was Amir Husain, president and CEO of VDIworks.
This year's winning LCD/signage display product is well suited for the growing number of outdoor digital applications we're seeing today. The IP66-rated display is designed to resist excessive heat, extreme cold, and dust and water damage without requiring an additional enclosure. It's built with a corrosion-resistant aluminum casing, and its trans-reflective liquid crystal technology provides good visibility in bright, outdoor locations. Congratulations go to Panasonic for its LFP 30 Series LCD display. Accepting for Panasonic was Mark Wright, senior area sales manager.
In the category of projection display, we recognized an LED technology that's rated to deliver 20,000 hours of lamp life at extremely low power consumption. It's packed into a 3-pound device along with HDMI and other inputs, one gigabyte of file storage plus SD and USB inputs for presentations without a PC, 3D-readiness, automatic keystone correction and integrated speakers. It's a portable LED Projector with widescreen viewing and incredibly sharp and vibrant images. We congratulate ViewSonic for its PLED-W500 ultra projector and invited director of sales Colleen Brown to receive the award.
This year's winner in the handheld device category is an asset and inventory scanner that fits easily into a shirt pocket. It can be controlled wirelessly from an iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone or similar mobile device and even a PC. It weighs just 15 ounces, can easily read poorly printed or damaged bar codes and has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery to handle up to 5,000 scans on a single charge. This year's Tech Innovator award for handhelds went to the WWS100i from Wasp Barcode Technologies. Accepting for Wasp was Bryan Keepers, director of sales.
In the category of Managed Services, the industry's first and only standards-based remote monitoring and management platform provides unmatched business enablement and automation. It delivers advanced remote control of client devices, an integrated MSP Runbook and an extensive array of attended and unattended remote control routines. Congratulations go to N-able Technologies for N-central 9. Accepting was N-able president and COO JP Jauvin.
Moving on to enterprise networking, this industry-leading switch vendor provides "fabric in a box" technology that offers high density, low latency and energy efficiency. It eliminates the challenges and expense of energy-hungry, multibox and multitier solutions. Congratulations go to Extreme Networks for its BDX 8. Accepting was Greg Cross, Extreme Networks' director of public relations and Sandra Creek, the company's senior director of channels.
This year's winner in voice-over-IP Networking caused us to rethink the category for unified communications and video collaboration to include this company's all-in-one audio and video device. As the first communications tool to combine a full HD webcam with a high-quality, omni-directional full-duplex speakerphone in a single USB device, this year's winner enables small groups to conveniently and affordably collaborate, often using standard tools and protocols they already have. Congratulations go to Logitech International and its BCC950 ConferenceCam. Accepting was Joe Sorrentino, Logitech's director of regional sales and marketing, and Ziva Nissan, senior B2B video product manager.
The next category is PCs, portables, ultraportables and netbooks. As one might imagine, there were a large number of highly qualified product applicants this year. The one we chose is a second-generation ultrabook developed for consumers and business users seeking superior performance, elegant styling and ease of use in an ultra-thin, lightweight package. With third-gen Intel processors and Windows 7 or 8 operating system's innovative software features, this year's winner helps users stay running and connected anywhere, anytime. Congratulations go to Samsung's Series 9 Premium Ultrabook. Accepting for Samsung was Richard Hutton, director of channel sales and marketing.
The winner in the PC workstation category identified a shift toward smaller workspaces, meeting a need that customers themselves hadn't yet recognized. The result was the world's first 27-inch all-in-one workstation. This innovative unit's display tilts down into a horizontal position and flips open like the hood of a car for servicing. Every piece and part was engineered specifically for this unit, right down to the hydraulic hinges that hold the cover open. The chassis enables technicians to simply swap out parts and make upgrades easily, quickly and without tools. The unit we're referring to is the Z1 from Hewlett-Packard. Accepting for HP was Jeff Wood, vice president of worldwide product management.
That brings us to the printing and imaging category. In the first six months of its availability, this category's winning device had produced the company's most successful product in 20 years. And it's no wonder -- it's the first and only hardware solution for printing from iPads and iPhones. It works with more than 4,000 printers, uses no software, no apps and no configuration; simply open it, plug it in and print. Congratulations go to Lantronix for its xPrintServer. Accepting the award was David Harlow, senior manager of global channels.
This year's winner in the Server category shattered performance records of all that had come before. It's designed for virtualization, high-performance computing, medical imaging, email service and other workloads hungry for storage and I/O performance. This rack-based powerhouse combines extraordinary memory and storage capacities with highly impressive I/O performance, reinforcing it with availability and serviceability features and unparalleled management tools, to deliver outstanding value and rock-solid reliability to the enterprise. This year's winner in the Server category was Dell and the PowerEdge R720xd server. Accepting for Dell was Thomas Garvens, executive director of Enterprise Server Development.
Software for enterprise management is next. This vendor has re-invented discovery by merging tools for discovering software, hardware and associated dependencies in a unified solution. It includes just-in-time discovery, providing clients with near real-time discovery updates on cloud environments. It supports multitenancy, allowing clients to manage multiple client environments in one dashboard. Through automation, it reduces the time spent on manual discovery by more than 50 percent, lowering the risk of service disruptions. Congratulations go to HP for CMS 10. Returning to the stage to accept the award for enterprise management was Jeff Wood, HP's vice president of worldwide product management.
The Storage category was next. This year's winner took some of the best technologies of the past and combined them with bleeding edge technologies of today to create a storage system that not only delivers fast and steady storage performance, but does so with an interface that's easy to manage and expand, and with hardware that integrates with existing systems without disrupting enterprise workflow. Congratulations go to Oracle for its ZFS Storage Appliance. Accepting for Oracle was Nick Kritikos, vice president of worldwide Alliances and Channels.
Next is the all important category of security. In today's threat-filled world, IT administrators want a unified threat management system that's bulletproof, one that locks out threats first and asks questions later. This year's winner in the Security category is one such solution. It's the industry's first UTM specifically designed to fully integrate gateway and endpoint security in a single hardware or virtual appliance, providing complete protection managed from single console regardless of location and simplifying the challenges of BYOD. This year's winner for security is Sophos and its UTM 9 appliance. Accepting for Sophos was Colin Martin, senior director of sales in the Sophos Networking Security Group.
The final Tech Innovator award was in the virtualization category and also happened to be the CRN Test Center's Editor's Choice. Trailing in the virtualization market almost since there was a virtualization market, this company has worked hard for years to build a system with capabilities that are almost beyond belief. For example, imagine migrating an established LAN and its users from behind a company's firewall to the cloud using drag-and-drop with virtually no user downtime. With its data-center abstraction layer, companies can deploy and manage virtualized applications, full desktops, servers and even orchestrated Web services using a GUI, a command prompt or natural-language scripting. And as the company's competitors are learning, simple, core-based pricing is the method most preferred by resellers and the industry. So we congratulate this year's Tech Innovator award winner for virtualization and the 2012 Editor's Choice award. Both go to Microsoft and its Windows Server 2012. Accepting for Microsoft was Jeff Woolsey, principle program manager lead, Windows Server.
A runner up in last year's cloud solutions category is this year's winner for wireless networking. This innovative, free VMware virtual appliance brings the "Zero-Configuration Networking" protocol pioneered by Apple into the enterprise to address the ever-increasing BYOD worker and keep related costs and complexities in check, transparently bringing the AirPrint, AirPlay, file sharing and other services native to the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch into enterprise networks. Congratulations to Aerohive Networks for its Bonjour Gateway. Aerohive was not present at the conference to accept its award.
It might seem odd to recognize a telecommunications system in the category of productivity software. But this year's winner is not your average PBX. Its system integrates as tightly with Microsoft Office apps as anything else we've seen -- including Microsoft's own solutions. This unified communications tool integrates presence, enterprise instant messaging, voice and video chat, screen sharing and file transfer. It can even show when co-workers are on or off the phone. Congratulations go to ShoreTel for ShoreTel Sky Communicator. The company was not present at the conference to accent its award.
Next were the Enterprise App Awards, in which we recognize outstanding achievement by developers of enterprise mobile apps. Our first winner built an app designed to address the challenges presented by the "bring-your-own-device" trend. It's a device management solution that allows businesses to separate and safeguard company data deployed onto employees' personal mobile devices and keeps company communications private. It works with virtually any service provider and runs on major mobile operating systems with a walled-off, protected work mode for access to a controlled set of email, calendars and the company's custom apps. Our first Enterprise App Award of the day went to Toggle from AT&T. Accepting for AT&T was Scott Doepper, senior application sales executive.
From industry stalwart to relative newcomer, this developer was recognized by the Test Center for its creative and unique solution to a problem that plagues just about every sales force of any size. This specialized product enables companies to track, control and deploy a uniform set of materials to sales people using Apple's iPad. A server-based component stores and converts catalogs, presentations, PDFs and other source files -- even videos -- in a single Web-based content management system, where it can be centrally maintained and deployed. It links with Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics for tracking and uses a clever shopping-cart metaphor for emailing leave-behinds to the customer, in which they can be printed out in any way the user chooses -- off the reseller's nickel. We think you'll be hearing a lot about this product, and we offer congratulations to FatStax for its FatStax for iPad solution. Accepting for FatStax was company co-founder Rusty Bishop.
Great for commuters, sales and field service workers and literally anyone who drives, Waze takes an innovative approach to crowdsourcing that uses motorists' real-time feedback to help others find "waze" around traffic jams. From the same name developer, Waze for Android and iOS at its core is a turn-by-turn GPS navigation app that links drivers with a central server that monitors the progress of people using the app. When a slowdown occurs, a pop-up asks if it's traffic-related, and categorizes the slowdown by accident, hazard or other. That intel is fed to the server, which reroutes approaching traffic around the jam. Brilliant. The brainchild of software engineer Ehud Shabtai, Waze even caught the attention of Apple CEO Tim Cook, who mentioned it by name when he apologized to iOS 6 users for Apple's Maps app.