The most innovative uses of technology by small and midsize organizations were recognized last evening by Cisco® as part of the 8th annual Cisco Growing with Technology Awards.
This year’s winners included a video-conferencing-based language translation company, a digital publisher of student-authored college guides, and a firm that provides robots to deliver medicine and supplies throughout hospitals.
The Cisco Growing with Technology Awards program was created to recognize small to midsize organizations that use networking technology in creative ways to promote products and services, deliver superior value to customers, improve internal operations, conduct online transactions and extend the geographical reach of their services.
„As Cisco continues to focus on listening to our customers, collaborating with our channel partners, and improving our technology solutions for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), it’s important to acknowledge those organizations that have dramatically improved their business through the use of technology,“ said Sue Bostrom, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Cisco. „The Cisco Growing with Technology Awards are a special way to showcase the spirit of technical innovation and entrepreneurship that embodies the global SMB marketplace.“
One grand-prize winner, two runners-up, and one honorable mention winner in each of five categories (Operational Excellence, Sales and Marketing, Non-Profit, Public Sector, and Customer Relationship) were selected from more than 570 applications received by Cisco for this year’s contest. Representatives from Cisco worked with a diverse panel of industry experts to narrow the broad field and select the 20 winning companies.
„Since our business focuses on mobile robots that roam throughout hospitals, delivering goods and supplies without a person pushing the cart, we are highly dependent on networking technology to remotely monitor and manage the robots for our customers,“ said Barry Skirble, CIO at Aethon, Inc., the Cisco Growing with Technology Award grand-prize winner for operational excellence. „Our internal operations depend on the remote connections to each customer using the Internet and Cisco technology. We have dramatically increased our operational efficiencies using the technology which allows us to remotely control and collect data from our centralized headquarters to more than 100 hospitals nationwide.“
The winners of the Cisco Growing with Technology Awards 2007 are:
Innovators in Customer Relationship
- Grand Prize: College Prowler (12 employees), Industry: Services & Media, based in Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Runners-up: Language Assistance Telemedicine, Inc. (8 employees), Industry: Healthcare, based in Houston, Texas; and Western States Insurance (393 employees), Industry: Finance, based in Missoula, Montana.
Innovators in Non-Profit
- Grand Prize: Shodor (12 employees), Industry: Education, based in Durham, N.C.
- Runners-up: Opportunity Access (3 employees), Industry: Charity, based in Media, Pa.; and Self-Help for the Elderly (627 employees), Industry: Charity, based in San Franciso, CA.
Innovators in Operational Excellence
- Grand Prize: Aethon, Inc. (102 employees), Industry: Healthcare, based in Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Runners-up: Coastway Credit Union (123 employees), Industry: Finance, based in Cranston, R.I.; and Think-and-Learn, Inc. (11 employees), Industry: Education, based in Saratoga, Calif.
Innovators in Public Sector
- Grand Prize: Warrensburg-Latham Unified School District (125 employees), Industry: Education, based in Warrensburg, Ill.
- Runners-up: Monte Cassino School (165 employees), Industry: Education, based in Tulsa, Okla.; and USD 231 Gardner Edgerton Schools (736 employees), Industry: Education, based in Gardner, Kan.
Innovators in Sales and Marketing
- Grand Prize: SecurElement (11 employees), Industry: Manufacturing, based in Malvern, Pa.
- Runners-up: SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Co. (220 employees), Industry: Finance, based in New York; and GPS Industries (98 employees), Industry: Services & Media, based Surrey, British Columbia.
Winners were recognized during an awards presentation ceremony last night at the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood Shores, California. Grand-prize winners receive $25,000 worth of Cisco networking equipment and services. The first runners-up receive $15,000 worth of Cisco networking equipment and services, and the second runners-up receive $10,000 worth of Cisco networking equipment and services.
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