The Most Innovative Products Of 2010

Innovation Through Cloud Solutions, Managed Services And More

CRN's Tech Innovator Awards honor IT vendors who are changing the technology landscape through product innovation and the support they give their solution provider partners. Check out which vendors stood out cloud computing, managed services, networking, virtualization and other categories.

Cloud Computing

Winner: CTera CloudPlug and C200

As users look to the cloud as an easier way to deploy technology and as a way to reduce capital expenditures, CTera has come up with an interesting solution: Take a hybrid approach. Specifically, this product combines plug-and-play network storage with point-click-and-pay cloud storage in a hybrid device.

LCD Signage

Winner: Blackbox iCompel

When a product is focused solely on one thing, it’s easy to devote all its attention to being the best. Such is the case with Blackbox. Blackbox’s iCompel is an all-in-one signage product that’s built around a dedicated appliance running open-source software with browser-based administration and management.

Display Technologies

Winner: HP Projection Companion

It wasn’t that long ago that presenting ideas to a large group meant lugging around a heavy projector—and hoping that nothing broke in your travels. Hewlett-Packard kills two birds with one stone, creating an S-VGA projector that uses a break-resistant LED and weighs less than a pound. That’s smaller than some laptop power supplies.


Winner: Motorola ES400

The Motorola ES400 combines voice, data, e-mail, messaging, GPS, bar-code scanning and digital capture and versatile WAN capabilities—letting workers take action, not just action items. The ES400 unites high-octane performance, reliability and business-readiness and includes a customizable GUI, always-on enterprise access and switchable network access.

Managed Services

Winner: Apparent Networks Pathview Cloud

Apparent Networks’ Pathview Cloud is a solution that provides realtime monitoring of performance by carriers and hosting providers to keep solution providers on track with best practices, whether IT is on site or in the heavens. It’s monitoring technology to the nth degree.

Networking: Enterprise and Data Center

Winner: Cisco OTV

What’s OTV? It stands for overlay transport virtualization, a tongue twister that simply means the ability to treat multiple physical data centers as a single logical data center. With Cisco’s OTV, workloads that were once restricted to a local Layer 2 domain can be shifted via a Layer 3 network such as the Internet to other physical data centers for processing, regardless of location.

Networking Voice

Winner: Avaya IP Office 6.0

With its easy administration and tight integration with IBM Lotus Notes and Microsoft’s Outlook and Communicator, Avaya’s IP Office 6.0 can let users control office communications via an IP phone, cell phone or laptop. It also offers capabilities for all types of workers—office, mobile, telecommuting, reception or customer service/call center.

Networking Wireless

Winner: Ruckus ZoneFlex 7300 Series

Ruckus’ ’smart antenna’ technology and easy-to-administer software sets it apart from rivals in the 802.11n arena. Ruckus’ ZoneFlex 7300 offers stellar bandwidth, remarkable ease of use and ease of management to ensure the high-end wireless technology is within the reach of SMBs.

PCs, Workstations, PC Platforms

Winner: Intel Core i5

Intel provides speed, performance, energy efficiency and—this is key—consistency that will provide a solid backbone for the next wave of PCs. The Core i5 is a fast, powerful, versatile and economical processor that allows users to perform tasks such as composing digital music, editing digital photos or playing the latest games.


Winner: Lenovo ThinkPad x100e

The CRN Test Center hasn’t been a big netbook fan, but Lenovo has given it reasons to make an exception. The company’s ThinkPad x100e is fast, its screen is large and bright, and the keyboard provides enough room to make it a suitable alternative to a full laptop for travel. Lenovo has packed the reliability and business-readiness of its ThinkPad lineup into a netbook form factor.

Printing and Imaging

Winner: HP LaserJet Pro CM1415fnw

HP has been a leader in printing and imaging for years and is synonymous with innovation. HP’s color multifunction device lets users print, copy and scan and includes a touch-screen interface. What’s more, users can print wired and wirelessly or with a USB port on the front panel.


Winner: Sophos Endpoint Security and Data Protection Version 9.5

The cost of a data breach in 2009: $204 per compromised customer record, according to the Ponemon Institute. That’s in addition to the tarnishing of a company’s brand. Sophos’ solution protects against malware and insider attacks with a cloud-based architecture that offers realtime threat protection, runtime behavior detection, live URL filtering and host intrusion prevention systems, analyzing more than 50,000 new malware samples daily.


Winner: Intel Server Board S3420GP

With a market that can be segmented countless times, with limitless solutions and requirements that change every day, Intel’s Server Board S3420GP is so flexible it can support every type of server from file-and-print to storage to appliances.

Software Enterprise Management

Winner: Zimbra Appliance

In an industry hungry for virtualization that can take advantage of emerging technologies, Zimbra has innovated once again to deliver an open-source solution—e-mail and collaboration—delivered as a VMware virtual appliance. As a result, solution providers can deploy a private e-mail and collaboration cloud in less than 10 minutes.

Software Productivity -- SMB

Winner: LotusLive iNotes

The CRN Test Center has found that LotusLive iNotes provides—as a hosted solution—the functionality and security that has made Notes an on-premise standout over the years. With this product, IBM is showing the industry how solutions can be built that truly leverage the scale of the cloud, while maintaining an ease of deployment to make it a powerful offering for enterprises of all sizes.


Winner: Cisco Small Business NSS 300

Cisco is a leader in the networking industry but has parlayed its expertise into network-attached storage. The Cisco Small Business NSS 300 simplifies configuration and management, on-disk encryption as well as flexibility. Cisco has covered all the bases with this product: protocols, topologies and platforms.


Winner: Kaviza VDI In A Box 3.0

As server and storage virtualization has taken hold, the next opportunity is in desktop virtualization. Kaviza has made great strides with a product that delivers virtual desktops with any of the infrastructure requirements—so it works pretty much from anywhere to, well, anywhere. VDI In A Box consolidates provisioning and management features into a virtual appliance so managers can set up their VDI environments with one piece of software and a local server—getting a system up and running in hours.

Editor's Choice

Winner: ION Computer SR-71

The Tech Innovators Editor's Choice award is given to a product that stands out for providing innovation, of course, but also robust opportunities to the solution provider community.

ION provides an eye-popping offering with its SR-71. As the industry moves toward a storage model that includes Solid State Drive technology, the SR-71 combines dozens of SSDs into a single, rackable server. The Test Center has found this to be one of the highest-performing systems it has ever seen in its lab.