Miami Heat: 2011 Tech Innovator Awards

2011 Tech Innovator Award Winners

For the past eight years, the CRN Test Center has honored companies and products that take an innovative and interesting approach to solving today’s IT problems. With products for cloud deployment to digital signage to managed services, the winners help solution providers solve particular problems and differentiate them as trusted client advisers.

A good many products come through the Test Center, and at this week's NexTI Conference in Miami, Test Center Managing Editor Ed Moltzen and Technical Editor Eddie Correia recognized vendors who who stood out in the past year for their out-of the-box thinking.

Cloud Solutions: WebSphere Cast Iron Cloud

This year’s Tech Innovator Award winner in Cloud Solutions is IBM for its WebSphere Cast Iron Cloud Integration. The Test Center likes this winning solution because it enables companies to easily connect their public, private and on-premise applications, which is certainly no small task. This solution is an innovative ’connectivity in context’ approach to integration that simplifies and accelerates the process for solution providers and IT Departments. Accepting for IBM is Shaun Jones, vice president, of IBM's worldwide business partner and midmarket marketing, left, with the Test Center's Edward F. Moltzen.

Runner up on the cloud category was Aerohive, which was recognized for HiveManager, a cloud-based network management system that can manage and monitor potentially thousands of wireless access points from a central, virtual console. Additional out-of-band tool capabilities include policy configuration and firmware upgrades.

Displays: Projection And Digital Signage

Winner of the combined display categories of Digital Signage and Projection was Panasonic. The company has exhibited innovation through the flexibility of its 3D Plasma display, suitable for applications in commercial, digital signage, education, home theater and other markets. The versatile 2D/3D unit can accept terminal boards with various interfaces depending on the signage application. For projection, we recognized Panasonic for the image-quality and energy-saving innovations in its series of one-chip DLP projectors. Its super-high resolution projectors conserve energy and reduce maintenance costs by automatically adjusting brightness based on ambient light. Taking the stage was Stoney White, Panasonic's senior business development manager, left, with the Test Center's Edward J. Correia. There were no runners up in these categories.

Intermec Takes The Lead In Handhelds

The Tech Innovator Award for Handhelds this year goes to Intermec, for its CK71. This company continues to innovate in ultra-rugged handheld computers for warehouse and distribution environments -- environments which are often as vital to an enterprise as any. Its latest example of innovation is the CK71, which is about one-third smaller than competing products while being faster, lighter and more functional, as well as connected. Accepting for Intermec was Jeff Hovorka, product marketing manager and principal of computer strategy at Intermec, right, with the Test Center's Edward F. Moltzen.

Runner up in handhelds was Psion for its Omnii XT10, the first device to be developed through the company's open innovation collaborative business model. The Omnii XT10 is a versatile, rugged and adaptable platform designed for logistics, supply-chain, transportation and other demanding users.

Need toner? Call The eConcierge

The winner of this year’s Tech Innovator Award for Managed Services is Xerox for its Xerox eConcierge printer monitoring and supplies replenishment service. Compatible with its branded devices as well as those of competitors, this innovative service breathes new life into printer maintenance by letting resellers take on administrative duties while increasing recurring revenue. Receiving the award was Michael McCann, vice president of U.S. field and sales operations at Xerox, right, with the test Center's Edward J. Correia.

Runner up in the managed service category was eGestalt for its Secure GRC, a service that gives resellers a cloud-based way to keep customers in compliance with PCI, HIPAA and other regulations without themselves having to become experts.

Beware Hackers: A Shark Awaits On The Riverbed

Exactly what events led to your company's most recent malicious network intrusion? Cascade Shark can tell you. The winner of this year’s Tech Innovator Award for Networking, Enterprise goes to Riverbed for a product that delivers real-time and back-in-time forensic analysis and reporting of network and security events, making it not only possible but easy to perform such flow analysis and packet-based troubleshooting. Accepting for Riverbed was Randy Schirman, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Channels, left, withe Test Center's Edward F. Moltzen.

Special mention in enterprise networking goes to F5 Networks for its Viprion 2400 application delivery controller. F5's latest appliance introduces a method of combining virtualization with multi-tenancy to accelerate application delivery performance, and was runner up.

One Ringy-Dingy: This Is The Operator 1.1

The 2011 winner in the Networking, VoIP is Kerio Technologies for its Operator 1.1. The latest version of this company’s software and hardware IP PBX for small and medium business grabbed our attention for innovations such as enhanced SIP security, auto-provisioning for common phones and email and voice mail integration. Coming to the stage was Jim Ringham, Kerio's global product marketing director, left, with the Test Center's Edward J. Correia.

Also worthy of note was Snom Technologies and its Snom One IP PBX. From the "If it's free, it's for me," play book, this year's VoIP runner up offers a full featured voice management system that works with Linux, Mac OS X and Windows hosts and is free for up to 10 users. The system includes conferencing, auto attendant, hunt groups, voice mail-to-email, hot desking, simultaneous desk and cell-phone ringing and much more, all administered through a Web browser.

Sleek, Sexy Samsung

Samsung's Series 9 portables represent the state of the art in ultra-lightweight, ultra-powerful computing in a sleek, sexy design. For its innovative approach to power with passion, it was the winner of this year’s Tech Innovator Award for Portables. In terms of physical specs, these systems compete with Apple's MacBook Air, but were the first with the added performance of the latest Intel dual core i5 and quad-core i7 processors. Accepting for Samsung was Richard Hutton, senior manager of channel marketing, right, with the Test Center's Edward F. Moltzen.

Always a tough competitor in rugged portable computers, runner-up Panasonic and its ToughBook 53 help define a new category of semi-rugged laptops. With a credible claim of 10-hour battery life, the 5.6 pound ToughBook 53 is designed for claims adjusters, inspectors and other professionals whose job is to be mobile.

HP Sweeps Three: Printing/Imaging, Wireless, Workstations

Hewlett-Packard swept the categories of Printing/Imaging, Wireless Network and Workstations. For the latter, the industry heavyweight has once again proven its ability to design high-powered, purpose-built CPUs in small, affordable enclosures. The focus this year was on the Z210, a multi-core graphics workstation for CAD, engineering, video production with an innovative, easily serviceable design. For the imaging/printing category, the company offered LaserJet Enterprise M4555fskmm, with innovations such as a color touch screen control panel and Open Extensibility Platform. For wireless, HP raised the bar on WiFi communications with its MSM460 Mobile Access Solution. Welcomed to the stage was Jeff Schwartz, senior global product manager of Mobility and Wireless at HP, left, with the Test Center's Edward J. Correia.

Runners up were OKI Data Sign Director for printing/imaging, Dell Precision R5500 Rack Workstation for workstation and Ruckus ZoneFlex 7363 Dual Band for wireless.

Dell C6145: On The Edge Of Power

For its ability to break through major performance barriers, this year’s Tech Innovator Award for Servers goes to the Dell PowerEdge C6145. Designed with virtualization in mind, this server is by far the fastest, most powerful mainstream enterprise iron that's ever come through the CRN Test Center. Actually two servers in one 2U chassis, the C6145 can pack up to 96 AMD processor cores, 1TB of memory and 10 PCIe expansion cards, all of which share power and storage mechanicals. Accepting for Dell was Todd Werner, director of channel mid-market sales, right, with the Test Center's Edward F. Moltzen.

Runner up in the server category was the Intel Server S1200BT family of general purpose server/system boards. Its innovative design makes it suitable as a basis for building application servers for small to medium businesses with either a pedestal or rack layout.

Health Alert For Nurses: Get This Software

In the Enterprise Management software category, this year we recognized a health care solution provider. Health Alert for Nurses from Extension Inc. stood out as important middleware that stores patient information and aggregates it in context with alerts to a nurse's device of choice to improve timeliness, efficiency and quality of care. In such an important vertical, this company delivered innovation. Accepting for Extension Inc. was Todd Plesko, Chief Executive Officer, right with the Test Center's Edward J. Correia.

With efficiency of power consumption top-of-mind, runner-up Emerson Network Power received recognition for its Avocent Data Center Planner. The visual environment for power infrastructure planning and management helps companies optimize power consumption requirements by identifying the location, capacities and projected growth of data center assets.

For Productivity Software, We 'Liked' SmartPrise

With the lines between business and social media forever blurred, this solution provider developed a clever tool that allows for direct integration between mobile devices and social contacts and communications, as well as an off-the-shelf or custom CRM system such as or Microsoft Dynamics. For this year’s Tech Innovator Award for Software, Productivity, we hit the ’like’ button on ZSL for its SmartPrise Social CRM. Accepting was ZSL executive vice president Shiv Kumar, right, with the Test Center's Edward F. Moltzen.

Runner up in the productivity software category was Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials. The cost-effective solution enables everything that's needed by the small business for file and print sharing and data protection for up to 25 users with integration to e-mail and other online services.

VNXe Gives SMB Storage Flex, Muscle

The systems in this category that won Test Center attention offered the high performance, high availability, scalability and snapshot data protection of high-end systems at an SMB price. EMC's Flex-based administration make set-up and maintenance a snap, and the power and flexibility of the its VNXe storage system were strong strong enough to garner it this year's Tech Innovator Award for Storage. Accepting for EMC was Doug Wood, vice president and general manager for of Entry Systems at EMC, right, with the Test Center's Edward J. Correia.

Runner up in the storage category allows admins to forget RAID and never mind iSCSI. They won't be needed to administer the Drobo B800i SAN Storage for Business, an eight-bay iSCSI array for multi-host storage area networks. Honorable mention goes to the company formerly known as Data Robotics for innovation in its embedded systems for SANs and in creative company naming.

Real Prize For Virtual Storage

This product, nominated in our virtualization category, scales up to meet demands of apps and servers, scales out to support multiple servers and workload requirements and scales deep to extend its capabilities to work with heterogeneous storage. The winner of this year’s Tech Innovator Award for Virtualization is Hitachi for its Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform. Accepting for Hitachi was Sean Moser, Vice President, Storage Software Product Management, left, with the Test Center's Edward F. Moltzen.

Runner up in the virtualization category was Virtensys for its VIO-4010, which provides VMware administrators access to high performance solid state drives through PCIe resource sharing between hosts.

Editor's Choice: Samsung's Galaxy Of Innovation

Attaining the status of innovator in the IT industry requires perseverance, patience, investment and unyielding competitiveness. With the world shifting ever more rapidly to mobile technology, it’s difficult to just keep up, let alone jump into a leadership position.

Only because of a lifetime of innovation and engineering excellence was it was possible for this Samsung product to become a leader. The ability to create a brilliant, smartly designed and well engineered tablet and platform that’s accessible to all developers, solution providers and customers is a testament to this year's Tech Innovator Editor’s Choice Award, which goes to Samsung for its Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Returning to the stage to accept for Samsung was channel marketing manager Richard Hutton, center.

There was no runner up in the Editor's Choice category.

'Is Everybody Appy?'

A first here at the NexTI Conference in Miami, we also introduced the Enterprise App Awards, in which we draw special attention to companies that have delivered enterprise-class solutions to new platforms or form factors.

In its inaugural year, more than 50 companies were nominated for the award, which we affectionately refer to as ’The Appies.’ Three Appies were awarded this year, in recognition of the top mobile apps for business, and for outstanding achievement in driving enterprise IT into the hands of the mobile marketplace.

Appie award recipients were Siemens' Mike Fasciani and Jeff McNiece, far right and far left, Kyle Benson of Citrix, middle left, and Digium's Angie Reed.

Everything's Xen With Citrix On The iPhone

The first enterprise app we recognized for delivering enterprise applications to mobile devices was the Citrix Receiver App. This tool for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone/iPad connects those devices directly to desktop, extending business apps to any user on nearly any device, and does so with enterprise-level security. Accepting the Appie for the Citrix Receiver was Kyle Benson, the company's senior manager of world wide channel development, right, with the Test Center's Edward F. Moltzen.

Digium's Switchvox Mobile Office Phone

The CRN Test Center has long liked the straightforward and capable solutions we’ve seen from Digium, and have praised the company's valuable contributions to the Asterisk open source community. With the groundswell of movement in the market to mobile devices, We liked Digium’s Switchvox Mobile app for its ability to extend its solution from the enterprise to iPhones, BlackBerries and Android devices, including its innovative Switchboard interactive dashboard. Enabling customers to seamlessly bring their enterprise communications with them – in the palm of their hands – is a strong example of leveraging the mobility revolution. Accepting the Appie on behalf of Digium was Angie Reed, product marketing manager, right, with the Test Center's Edward J. Correia.

OpenScape Mobile Extends Siemans Enterprise SIP

Out next Appie winner showed that a lot of attention was paid when it came to ease of use. OpenScape Mobile was built to leverage all the nuances of new mobile platforms, including gestures and interfaces, while extending Siemans Enterprise Communications SIP-based VoIP capabilities. OpenScape Mobile works with Siemens’ OpenScape Voice communications, and its first release supports both Android and Apple’s iOS mobile operating platforms. Accepting the award on behalf of Siemens Enterprise Communications, were Jeff McNiece, left, VP of OpenScape Product Development, and Mike Fasciani, right, senior VP and general manager of OpenScape UC Server.

We look forward to seeing you at future CRN and UBM Channel events.