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

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!

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One Comment on “Announcing the Recognized Innovator Award Finalists: Innovation Tour Today at TSW”

  1. […] 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. […]

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