Posted tagged ‘Recognized Innovator Awards’

TSW Best Practices Opens with my Innovation Tour!

May 7, 2012

TSIA’s Technology Services World Best Practice Conference kicked off today at the Santa Clara Conference Center. The conference opened at 12:45 with my Innovation Tour. The tour is a presentation of all the finalists in the Spring 2012 Recognized Innovator Awards, which are presented to partners of TSIA at our Spring and Fall conferences. Partners submit applications for consideration, and case studies documenting business results are required. Winners are selected by a panel of TSIA members and industry experts.

The content for TSW 2012 Best Practices focused on “Defend, Optimize and Innovate,” allowing member companies to improve core operations while looking for new approaches to streamline operations and generate incremental revenue. Technology firms cannot accomplish these initiatives alone, and the Recognized Innovator Awards showcase the role TSIA partners play in enabling the success of today’s global service organizations.

Following are the award categories and finalists:

Innovation in Products: Innovative products that enable service operations to better compete through means such as increased productivity, cost reductions, increased revenues, improved customer satisfaction, or improvements to other key performance or financial metrics. The Finalists are:

  • Clarabridge, whose innovative text and sentiment analytics allow companies to accurately analyze customer feedback
  • Coveo, whose Insight Solutions for Customer Service turn disparate data from all content sources into actionable insight about your customers

Innovation in Services: Innovative services that help companies to meet and exceed business goals for service operation by allowing partners to manage specific areas of the business. The Finalists are:

  • ServiceSource, whose suite of cloud applications and managed services better connect and automate clients’ recurring revenue ecosystems.
  • SYKES, whose new Sales Assist offering blends proven support program excellence with sales program goals to create a new revenue stream for clients.

Innovation in Consulting: Innovative consulting services that help technology firms meet and exceed business goals. The Finalists are:

  • Value and Pricing Partners, whose TPS Pricing RapidAct™ provides PS leaders with guidance on their rates position relative to peers, and how to immediately improve rates performance to drive bottom line results.
  • Verghis Group, who designed a new approach to metrics, based on research from fields as diverse as aquaculture, championship weightlifting, traffic engineering and firefighting.

The winners will be announced on Wednesday during the closing awards ceremony. Hope to see you there!

Announcing the Spring 2012 Recognized Innovator Awards

February 3, 2012

TSIA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the Spring 2012 Recognized Innovator Awards, which honor TSIA partners for outstanding innovation in products and services. Awards are judged by a panel of TSIA members and industry experts, with awards presented during the closing ceremonies of Technology Services World (TS W) in Santa Clara on May 7th, 2012.

The theme for TSW Spring is Best Practices, and we are putting together an amazing agenda of content, including presentations by past STAR Award winners, TSIA members with impressive stories to tell, case studies of innovative technology deployments, and data, trends, and hot topics from TSIA Research.

The Recognized Innovator Awards showcase the role TSIA partners play in enabling the success of today’s global service organizations. With 47% of TSIA members indicating they plan to bring in consultants for assistance with some area of their operation in the next 2 years, clearly companies are looking for innovative consulting and managed services, in addition to enterprise hardware and software. To better reflect this reality, and the wide array of products and services offered by TSIA members, the Recognized Innovator Award categories are very inclusive:

  • Innovation in Products. Services operations, including education services, professional services, support services and field service, are all looking for a competitive edge: something that allows them to make a unique claim in the market. Often, companies look to innovative technology to provide that competitive edge. The Recognized Innovator in the Products category will provide documented case studies showing how their innovative products enable service operations to better compete through means such as increased productivity, cost reductions, increased revenues, improved customer satisfaction, or improvements to other key performance or financial metrics.
  • Innovation in Services. The economic downturn has forced companies to come to terms with core verses context: what specific processes should we continue to own because we add measurable value, and which processes could be outsourced to a service provider who can accomplish the processes more efficiently for less cost? The Recognized Innovator in the Services category will provide documented case studies showing how their innovative services are helping customers meet and exceed business goals for service operation by allowing partners to manage specific areas of the business.
  • Innovation in Consulting. As documented in JB Wood’s Complexity Avalanche, complexity isn’t rising just for our customers, but for service operations as well. New technology must be identified and implemented. Employees must be trained on new standards and practices, from ISO and ITIL to KCS and loyalty programs.  Service lines must overhaul packaged service offerings and pricing to respond to the revolving needs of customers. And across all service divisions, companies need assistance in auditing operations and creating an action plan to improve. The Recognized Innovator in the Consulting category will provide documented case studies showing how their innovative consulting services have helped technology firms meet and exceed business goals.

If you are interested in being a judge for the awards, let me know.  The application packets will be sent to judges the end of February, and you will have 2 weeks to complete your judging. Judges will be recognized at the awards ceremony and in the written research that recaps the winners. If you would like to be a judge, please send an email to me atjohn.ragsdale@tsia.com.

Fall 2011 Recognized Innovator Awards: Why They Won

November 10, 2011

One of the highlights of Technology Services World is announcing the winners of the Recognized Innovator Awards.  These awards are presented to partners of TSIA; partners submit applications for consideration, and case studies documenting business results are required. TSIA Research identifies a panel of judges for each round of awards, including technology-savvy association members and several industry experts. Judges rated the applications using four criteria: is it innovative, is it unique, is the innovation exemplary of the category, and what is the business impact from the innovation.

In an earlier post, I provided backgrounds for each of the finalists. In this post, I will provide a bit of insight into why the winners won, using comments provided by the judges.

Recognized Innovator for Products: Kopin

Kopin’s Golden-i is a hands-free, wireless, mobile computing headset, providing users on-demand access to nearly all digital information. Information is viewed on an “All Weather”, “Sunlight Readable”, virtual 15 inch full color PC screen, which appears as a standard laptop display 18 inches from the user’s eye. To achieve “Hands-Free” operation, Golden-i employs advanced noise canceling natural speech recognition and a six axis head gesture tracking interface. Golden-i further enables hands free control of multiple remote devices at one time, allowing businesses to significantly improve worker productivity, safety and the efficiency of their workforce.

Judges comments on Kopin’s application included:

  • This is truly an innovative product. I was really impressed with the uses and capabilities.
  • Great innovations and great presentation of technical details.
  • Tremendously innovative and original product that can have a huge impact, especially for field service personnel.
Recognized Innovator for Services: Convergys
Convergys Corporation is a global leader in relationship management. Convergys provides solutions that drive more value from the relationships clients have with their customers. Convergys turns these everyday interactions into a source of profit and strategic advantage for their clients. For more than 30 years, Convergys’ unique combination of domain expertise, operational excellence, and innovative technologies has delivered process improvement and actionable business insight to marquee clients all over the world. In their application, Convergys provided two case studies in which they enable transparent multilingual support to channel partners and distributors using a team of English-speaking agents in the Philippines.
Judges comments on Convergys’  application included:
  • Interesting use of partner capabilities.  Focus on support and on the core competency of solving the technical issue – let someone else deal with the distraction of language.
  • The process descriptions are very nicely captured.
  • Nice solution to the classic multilingual support coverage problem(s).
Recognized Innovator for Consulting: Verghis Group
The Verghis Group is a management consulting firm focused on senior service and support leaders. The firm’s founder, Phil Verghis, is an internationally-recognized expert who has helped dozens of support and services executives devise winning strategies. The application from the Verghis Group detailed multiple client projects and business challenges, with four specific areas of innovation cited from client projects: Innovation one: Clear alignment from vision to the individual; Innovation two: Let the ‘doers’ do; Innovation three: Focus; Innovation four: Savvy Support (No more ‘tiers’ model).
Judges comments on Verghis Group’s application included:
  • Fantastic approach!
  • I like the concepts here.  The idea of empowering the individual contributors to own the process is an excellent may to build passion.
  • Again excellent execution, combination of state of the art approaches.
  • I really appreciate the comprehensiveness of this submission, the clear story full of content and proof points.
We give one additional award as part of the RIA program, Best Innovation Demo. Attendees of my Innovation Tour, which opens the TSW conference, vote for best demo. To me, this is a very important award, because few companies are good at articulating their innovations, let alone demoing them! The award for Best Innovation Demo went to DB Kay & Associates, a finalist in the Innovation in Consulting Category. Attendees loved David Kay’s focus on results and best practices, and they were intrigued by his discussion on introducing gamification concepts into support.
I would like to extend my thanks to the judges for the Fall 2011 Recognized Innovator Awards:  Alon Bar, Amdocs; David Bickford, The Via Group; Meredith Calvert, Callidus Software; Joe Clarke, Cisco; Brent Flanders, Perceptive Software; Edwin P. Gehres, Aprimo; Chris Karp, Tektronix; Carlos Pignataro, Cisco; Ann Reichert, Mitek Systems; Bill Rose, Bill Rose Inc.; Gonzalo Salgueiro, Cisco; Anton Vukovic, Siemens Enterprise Communications.
Congratulations to the all the winners! And as always, thanks for reading!

Announcing the Recognized Innovator Award Finalists: Innovation Tour Today at TSW

October 24, 2011

Today is the opening day of Technology Services World, and I’m looking forward to my favorite part of the event, the Innovation Tour of the finalists for the Recognized Innovator Awards. These awards are for TSIA’s partners, who submit applications for consideration, and case studies documenting business results are required. The applications are judged by a panel of judges consisting of tech-savvy TSIA members as well as industry insiders, with 2 finalists selected in each category.  Today at 12:45 in the Tech EXPO, each of the finalists will present a 6 minute demo of their solution or service, with the audience voting for one additional award: best innovation demo. Winners will be announced Wednesday during the closing award ceremony of the conference.

The Fall 2011 Recognized Innovator Finalists are:

For Innovation in Products:

  • Kopin.  Kopin’s Golden-i is a hands-free, wireless, mobile computing headset, providing users on-demand access to nearly all digital information. Information is viewed on an all-weather, sunlight-readable, virtual, 15-inch, full-color PC screen, which appears as a standard laptop display 18 inches from the user’s eye. To achieve hands-free operation, Golden-i employs advanced noise-canceling natural speech recognition and a six-axis, head-gesture-tracking interface. Golden-i further enables hands-free control of multiple remote devices at one time, allowing businesses to significantly improve worker productivity, safety, and efficiency.
  • Stone Cobra. Stone Cobra offers software and professional services for critical business solutions. The firm is taking an innovative approach and building a System of Engagement. Stone Cobra’s Engagement Apps are “built on the shoulders of giants,” leveraging all the value from the various existing Systems of Record and adding into the mix the best practice processes, closed-loop feedback, point-in-the-flow interactions, modern user experience, and productive and engaging software that understands the human being sitting behind the computer. With the focus on innovative and engaging interactions, Stone Cobra’s Engagement Apps are deeply collaborative, highly effective, and astoundingly efficient.

For Innovation in Services:

  • Convergys. Convergys Corporation is a global leader in relationship management. For more than 30 years, Convergys’ unique combination of domain expertise, operational excellence, and innovative technologies has delivered process improvement and actionable business insight to marquee clients all over the world. In their application, Convergys provided multiple examples of innovation in services, including a global technology company who needed to improve efficiency and reduce the costs of delivering email and web support services in multiple languages to channel partners and distribution firms around the world. Convergys partnered with an on-demand language translation service to create a process that provides transparent multilingual support to channel partners and distributors using a team of English-speaking agents in the Philippines. The Convergys solution provides partner services to the company’s expanding international markets with 40% less staff while exceeding all key performance indicators and client expectations.
  • SYKES. SYKES is a global leader in providing customer contact management solutions and services in the business process outsourcing (BPO) arena. SYKES provides an array of sophisticated customer contact management solutions to Fortune 1000 companies around the world, primarily in the communications, financial services, healthcare, technology, and transportation and leisure industries.  Insight Analytics is SYKES’ approach to Customer Experience Analytics. This is “human analytics,” in stark contrast to the prevalence of speech mining and text analytics technologies and the associated hype. This methodology relies on experienced analysts who can interpret a customer experience, and find opportunities to improve it beyond coaching representatives on their empathy or troubleshooting skills.

For Innovation in Consulting:

  • DB Kay & Associates. DB Kay & Associates, Inc. is a consultancy that helps support organizations implement knowledge management, self-service, and social support initiatives. Knowledge Centered Support (KCS) is DB Kay’s core business, and they’ve contributed to KCS over the past decade as active members of the Consortium for Service Innovation. In their application, DB Kay provided multiple examples of innovative knowledge-related projects with customers, with special focus in two areas. In the first, extending knowledge management (KM) to field service organizations, DB Kay worked with a TSIA member to break down the wall between field and support service knowledge by giving field staff easy access to content using a 3G-enabled iPad, allowing field staff to easily “capture in the workflow” to contribute to the knowledgebase and overcome cultural barriers that separated the groups. The 2nd area is gamification of KM. Gamification is the application of game design to engage people outside of games, and DB Kay is in the early days of taking this new idea from the MIT Media Lab, the Institute for the Future, and other think tanks into TSIA member support organizations.
  • Verghis Group. The Verghis Group is a management consulting firm focused on senior service and support leaders. The firm’s founder, Phil Verghis, is an internationally recognized expert who has helped dozens of support and services executives devise winning strategies. He’s been a top-level support executive himself, he’s written a book on customer-centric management, and he has hands-on experience with implementing new metrics, new systems, new business models, and new market development initiatives. The application from the Verghis Group detailed multiple client projects and business challenges, with four specific areas of innovation cited from client projects. Innovation One: Clear alignment from vision to the individual; Innovation Two: Let the “doers” do; Innovation Three: Focus.

All attendees of today’s Innovation Tour will receive a report detailing the innovations from each finalist. Note that after voting for ‘best innovation demo,’ we will also hold a drawing for prizes–so don’t miss the Innovation Tours! See you there!

Announcing the Fall 2011 Recognized Innovator Awards

June 28, 2011

TSIA is pleased to announce the categories for the Fall 2011 Recognized Innovator Awards, which honor TSIA partners for outstanding innovation in products and services. Awards are judged by a panel of TSIA members and industry experts, with awards presented during the closing ceremonies of Technology Services World (TSW) in Las Vegas on October 26, 2011.

The content for TSW Las Vegas is focused on three main content threads, which address the top concerns of executives across services disciplines: Growing Services Revenue, including new markets, new service offerings and pricing strategies; Managing Services Profitability, including cloud’s impact on services financials and navigating VSOE; and Driving Services Efficiency, including innovations in services delivery and operations.

Clearly technology firms cannot accomplish all of these initiatives alone, and the Recognized Innovator Awards showcase the role TSIA partners play in enabling the success of today’s global service organizations. With 47% of TSIA members indicating they plan to bring in consultants for assistance with some area of their operation in the next 2 years, clearly companies are looking for innovative consulting and managed services, in addition to enterprise hardware and software. To better reflect this reality, and the wide array of products and services offered by TSIA members, the Recognized Innovator Award categories for Fall 2011 are very inclusive:

  • Innovation in Products. Services operations, including education services, professional services, support services and field service, are all looking for a competitive edge: something that allows them to make a unique claim in the market. Often, companies look to innovative technology to provide that competitive edge. The Recognized Innovator in the Products category will provide documented case studies showing how their innovative products enable service operations to better compete through means such as increased productivity, cost reductions, increased revenues, improved customer satisfaction, or improvements to other key performance or financial metrics.
  • Innovation in Services. The economic downturn has forced companies to come to terms with core verses context: what specific processes should we continue to own because we add measurable value, and which processes could be outsourced to a service provider who can accomplish the processes more efficiently for less cost? The Recognized Innovator in the Services category will provide documented case studies showing how their innovative services are helping customers meet and exceed business goals for service operation by allowing partners to manage specific areas of the business.
  • Innovation in Consulting. As documented in JB Wood’s Complexity Avalanche, complexity isn’t rising just for our customers, but for service operations as well. New technology must be identified and implemented. Employees must be trained on new standards and practices, from ISO and ITIL to KCS and loyalty programs.  Service lines must overhaul packaged service offerings and pricing to respond to the revolving needs of customers. And across all service divisions, companies need assistance in auditing operations and creating an action plan to improve. The Recognized Innovator in the Consulting category will provide documented case studies showing how their innovative consulting services have helped technology firms meet and exceed business goals.

If you are interested in being a judge for the awards, let me know.  The application packets will be sent to judges the end of August, and you will have 2 weeks to complete your judging. Judges will be recognized at the awards ceremony and in the written research that recaps the winners. If you would like to be a judge, please send an email to me at john.ragsdale@tsia.com.

Call for Judges: Spring 2011 Recognized Innovator Awards

February 8, 2011

It is that time again! I am building the judges panel for the Spring 2011 Recognized Innovator Awards, and I would love your help!

The categories for this round of awards are:

  • Innovation in Knowledge Management (KM). Creating, maintaining and leveraging content to speed issue resolution and project success is not only a core process within every technical support operation, but increasingly other services divisions are launching KM initiatives to share learnings from the field across a global operation. The Recognized Innovator in this category will provide documented case studies of how their technology and/or services are enabling service organizations to more easily publish knowledge and effectively use that knowledge to improve business results.
  • Innovation in Value-Added Services. As documented in “Complexity Avalanche,” Value-Added Services (VAS) programs enable customers to fully consume purchased products and services, helping them quickly receive full business value and speed the repurchase cycle. In addition, VAS programs are providing new revenue sources for budget-strapped service operations. The Recognized Innovator in this category will have documented case studies showing how their technology or services are being leveraged to boost service and support revenues through delivery of Value-Added Services.
  • Innovation in Social Collaboration. When evaluating the impact of social media and communities on service organization, it is important to separate the hype from business value. While customer social media strategies continue to struggle for staffing and a credible ROI story, leveraging social media tools and processes to enable enterprise collaboration—between employees AND between employees and customers—has emerged as way to effectively share information across the enterprise, identifying experts on any given topic and making their expertise available to others. The Recognized Innovator in this category will have documented case studies showing how their technology or services are being used to improve the capture, sharing and consumption of ideas and expertise across employee, partner and customer communities.

Awards will be presented during the closing ceremonies of Technology Services World Santa Clara on May 4th. I will recognize the judges during the awards presentation, and judges will be listed in the published research that recaps the winners.

As a judge, you would be responsible for only one category, approximately 5-10 applications.  I will provide a scoring sheet; judging will take less than an hour.  You will receive your applications and scoring sheet on Monday, February 28th, and have 2 weeks to complete scoring.

If you are in the service and support industry, as a practitioner, vendor or service provider, I would love to have you on my judges panel. If you are interested in participating, please send me an email (john.ragsdale@tsia.com), and I’ll add you to the list.

Thanks so much, and thanks for reading!

Announcing Categories for Spring 2011 Recognized Innovator Awards

November 29, 2010

The TSIA Recognized Innovator Awards are presented at our Spring and Fall conferences to our TSIA partners, who submit applications and are judged by a group of TSIA members, expert alliance partners, and industry experts. Finalists are selected, and I lead Innovation Tours of the finalists booths at the conference Expo. Tour attendees also vote on Best Innovation Demo. I announced the winners today at the closing TSW Awards Ceremony. The Spring 2011 awards will be the first time we have included our new discipline, Education Services, as a focus area for the awards.

The categories for the Spring 2011 Recognized Innovator Awards are:

Innovation in Knowledge Management (KM). Creating, maintaining and leveraging content to speed issue resolution and project success is not only a core process within every technical support operation, but increasingly other services divisions are launching KM initiatives to share learnings from the field across a global operation. The Recognized Innovator in this category will provide documented case studies of how their technology and/or services are enabling service organizations to more easily publish knowledge and effectively use that knowledge to improve business results. Examples could include:

  • Field Service. Delivering knowledge to field agents through mobile enablement, as well as tools to capture information gleaned from field experiences to share with the field support and/or customer community.
  • Professional Services. Enabling services teams to easily capture libraries of lessons learned and best practices for reuse, as well as centralizing resources such as customization and integration templates to streamline future projects.
  • Support Services. Automating the process of capturing and publishing content, enabling customer collaboration for knowledge, and tools to enable support techs, as well as customers performing self-service, to easily find the answer to a question or help diagnose a problem.
  • Education Services. Capturing information to share with customers regarding the use and administration of technology, best practice libraries, FAQs and lessons learned.

Innovation in Value-Added Services. As documented in “Complexity Avalanche,” Value-Added Services (VAS) programs enable customers to fully consume purchased products and services, helping them quickly receive full business value and speed the repurchase cycle. In addition, VAS programs are providing new revenue sources for budget-strapped service operations. The Recognized Innovator in this category will have documented case studies showing how their technology or services are being leveraged to boost service and support revenues through delivery of Value-Added Services. Examples could include:

  • Field Service. Tools to allow repairs or preventative maintenance to be completed less expensively, such as remote diagnostic and administration tools.
  • Professional Services. Cost effectively delivering services projects to improve margins, or remote administration tools to allow customer projects to be delivered without travel.
  • Support Services. Services to improve marketing and sales efforts for premiere service offerings, as well as technology that enables premiere support programs such as proactive support and remote administration.
  • Education Services. Upsell potential with targeted classes for experts or for specific industries or types of companies, improving margins through use of tools such as computer based, online or remotely delivered training classes.

Innovation in Social Collaboration. When evaluating the impact of social media and communities on service organization, it is important to separate the hype from business value. While customer social media strategies continue to struggle for staffing and a credible ROI story, leveraging social media tools and processes to enable enterprise collaboration—between employees AND between employees and customers—has emerged as way to effectively share information across the enterprise, identifying experts on any given topic and making their expertise available to others. The Recognized Innovator in this category will have documented case studies showing how their technology or services are being used to improve the capture, sharing and consumption of ideas and expertise across employee, partner and customer communities.

  • Field Service. Tools that allow field service techs to post questions and share expertise on diagnostics and repair procedures with other techs around the globe, cutting resolution time for onsite repairs.
  • Professional Services. Technology or services that encourage PS consultants to share best practices and tips and tricks for implementing, customizing and integration products; also enabling collaboration between consultants and development for technology issues.
  • Support Services. Collaboration tools and processes to better enable global support teams to communicate emerging trends or newly discovered bugs, as well as improve communications with other groups within the company—such as development and QA.
  • Education Services. Enabling customers to collaborate on best practices for using technology can generate useful content for education, as well as internal collaboration to share information about training content and techniques that prove effective with a global audience.

Lydia Zaffini, our director of partner programs, and myself will give a webcast for all TSIA partners on February 4th at 9:30am to discuss the awards, explain the categories, talk about tips for applications, and answer any questions you may have. If you are interested in being a judge for the awards, please send me an email (john.ragsdale@tsia.com). Thanks for reading!


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