Announcing Recognized Innovator Award Categories for Spring 09
2009 is the SSPA’s 20th anniversary, and we are gearing up for our annual Spring conference, Technology Services World, to be held April 4-6 here in Silicon Valley. My favorite part of these events is our Recognized Innovator Awards, presented to technology partners for innovation in specific categories. This round of awards represents the first time the program has been open to partners across the SSPA and our sister associations, TPSA and AFSMI.
It is no surprise that ROI will be front and center in every technology decision this year. Based on inquiries, purchases have slowed but still continue, particularly in area with well-known ROI stories, such as knowledge management and remote support. To help showcase how different areas of technology can impact employee productivity, operating expenses and incremental revenue, the categories for the Spring 2009 Recognized Innovator Award: Back to Basic Edition are:
Innovation in Collaboration. One of the big promises of Web 2.0 was enabling collaboration across the enterprise, and among community experts, customers and partners. After two years of unprecedented spending on Web 2.0, companies are now looking for the business value. The winner in this category will have documented case studies showing how embracing collaboration has boosted productivity for service and support, including actual savings to the bottom line. Examples could include:
- Savings from assisted support deflection using discussion forums or other online community features.
- Enhanced productivity or project success due to peer-to-peer or peer-to-customer desktop sharing, remote control, Web chat, etc.
- Eliminated travel or onsite appointments because of online meetings, remote support or Webcasting.
- Reduced operational costs through service partner collaboration, such as successful outsourcing initiatives.
Innovation in Infrastructure. The underpinnings of service and support have greatly evolved in the last decade, with new deployment options (SaaS), better integration (SOAP, XML APIs), and less expensive ownership (open source). Often seen as a challenge by companies trying to absorb the new technology, this next-generation infrastructure also offers companies immense cost savings potential. The winner in this category will have documented case studies showing how infrastructure improvements are being leveraged to cut operating expenses or improve employee productivity, including actual savings to the bottom line. Examples could include:
- Increased employee productivity through integrated applications/data/processes, such as consolidated agent portals.
- Faster implementations or “time to money” due to innovative deployment models, such as SaaS or appliance-based.
- Reduced customer-operating expenses for a technology implementation due to embracing open source components or operating systems.
- Enhanced operational efficiencies due to high volume, multi-tenant integrations.
Innovation in Revenue Generation. Service and support has made a clear shift from cost center to profit center since the tech crash of 2001, and services are now the revenue engine for more companies. This shift has required a complete overhaul to people, process and technology, and there remains much work to be done. The winner in this category will have documented case studies showing how their technology or services are being leveraged to boost service and support revenues. Examples could include revenue increases from:
- Solutions for offer management, i.e., multi-channel up sell/cross-sell.
- Technology or services that can be sold as premiere support offerings, such as preventative maintenance, proactive support, remote monitoring.
- Technology or services leveraged to create a catalog of for-fee services, such as remote maintenance, upgrades, tune-ups, security, etc.
- Sophisticated reporting to identify profitable projects, or proactive notification of project cost overruns or delays.
For more information, or to submit an application, check out this link.
This announcement also means I’m starting my search for judges. Judges for the Recognized Innovator Awards are technology savvy SSPA, AFSMI and TPSA members, and well as industry insiders from the community at large. If you are a reader of this blog, you qualify! If you are interested in being a judge, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!