Prizes and contests for innovative projects. World Vendors Experience

It’s good when the company has the resources to promote innovative solutions in the market, to talk widely about its success in implementing innovative IT projects. But in practice, this is far from always the case. Often, recognition is very difficult. It so happened that our team was involved in the organization of the award IT Stars – Award for courage in introducing innovations (in the article we will talk about it a little more). Naturally, we wanted to understand what kind of competitions in the field of information technologies exist at the international level, and we interviewed several major global vendors with whom we cooperate, what they are doing to support innovative initiatives. We bring to your attention this short review. Of course, it does not pretend to be complete, but we hope that it will be of interest to the readers of Habr.

Innovative projects often require large investments and by no means always show a quick payback. At the same time, the entire industry is ultimately interested in the fact that more and more new solutions appear on the market. Today we decided to conduct a little research on how different companies support innovative projects. For those who are interested, below are a number of awards, contests and nominations from the world’s leading IT companies.

Cisco Partner Summit Global Awards

For those companies that work closely with Cisco, there is the opportunity to present their achievements at the next global partnership summit. Cisco Partner Summit takes place every November in the USA, and this is the largest partner event of the vendor.

The main goal of the summit is to reward, educate and improve the skills of partners. To do this, a lot of presentations take place at the event and reports are read, which are then available to authorized partners on the SalesConnect portal. But beyond that, the Cisco Partner Summit Global Awards are presented every year at the Cisco Partner Summit. They are awarded to partners who create better solutions or achieve better results. So, in the “portfolio” of Cisco there are awards for building data centers, transforming, introducing innovations, building ecosystems, as well as developing new architectures, software integration, and developing IoT-class technologies. This award is aimed primarily at already established companies that are ready to offer the market truly comprehensive projects and new solutions.

In 2019, Cisco EMEAR companies won awards such as the operator Orange Business Services, which became the best corporate partner of the company in our region, STC for its architectural development, Logicalis for achievements in the IoT field, TIM managed service provider, and many others. The full list of awarded companies can be found Online.

HPE Digitize

HPE Digitize Conference (HPE Digitize) is held by Hewlett-Packard Enterprise in Moscow. In 2019, the event was held for the third year in a row. Company partners creating innovative solutions together with HPE or based on HPE technologies talk about their projects. In preparation for the event, the company selects the best projects of partners and invites integrators to tell about their achievements.

To participate in HPE Digitize, you need to create something new or unique using HPE solutions. For example, according to the results of 2018, among the projects was the modernization of the infrastructure of the Baltika brewery in St. Petersburg, as well as the transfer of the infrastructure of UTair to the cloud. Particular attention was paid to the experience of Russian bankers, providers and system integrators in the application of innovative HPE solutions.

Huawei ICT Competition

Every year, Huawei holds a competition called ICT Competition. In 2019, this event was held for the fourth time under the motto “Connection, Glory, Future”. Its participants came to China for the final competition, held on the basis of their own campus of the Huawei training center. And if earlier the competition was mainly accepted by teams from universities of different countries, now, according to the company, any participants, including non-profit organizations and companies that decided to do something innovative, can put up a project. The main thing is that the new approach be truly revolutionary. But of course, he must use Huawei technology.

In 2018-2019, the competition was held in two directions – practical and innovative. In the field of practice, the company’s experts evaluated real achievements that are either already implemented, or are at the prototype stage. In this area, the so-called Practice Network Track and Practice Cloud Track were highlighted, where teams presented their solutions in the field of network and cloud technologies. The most innovative solutions (Innovation competition) were also separately considered. At the same time, the manufacturer provides participants with full access to all educational materials, provides advice and support on the use of Huawei technologies.

The Innovation Competition was dedicated to fundamentally new solutions that open up opportunities for the expanded use of Huawei technologies. For example, one of the finalists proposed a solution for the agricultural complex using the IoT platform from Huawei.

All new items presented at ICT Competition of different years will be published on the ICT Knowledge portal. The company positions this platform as a place for the exchange of knowledge and innovative experience in using its technologies.

Intel Capital

Intel annually awards the creators of innovative, industry-relevant solutions within the company and beyond. Thus, the annual Innovator of the Year award for employees of the corporation is awarded for the most significant contribution to the development of areas of strategic importance for the company. In 2018, the Russian engineer Aleksey Davydov became the innovator of the year at Intel from Nizhny Novgorod, holder of 144 patents in the field of communications, including wireless connections and 5G.

Reward Top Intel Innovators Acknowledges Intel Software Innovator program participants for their outstanding technological expertise and, just as importantly, for their contribution to community development and their willingness to share experiences.

Microsoft Partner of the Year

If you are actively developing your solutions in the Microsoft ecosystem, then the prize Partner of the year can be obtained from the software giant. The most interesting projects and solutions are selected during an expert selection, for which last year 2900 applications from 115 countries were submitted. At the same time, in addition to regional achievements in the work of partners, the use of Azure cloud technologies, the development and implementation of business applications, the creation of a new formation workspace, and the latest in software management are evaluated.

Microsoft awards prizes both at the regional level, highlighting the best partners in different countries and industry partners. For example, in 2019, Annata became the best Microsoft partner in the automotive industry, PowerObjects in financial services, PTC in manufacturing, and so on. These can be large or small companies, but most importantly, they should implement something new based on Microsoft technologies. The full list of finalists of the last competition can be found here.

But that is not all. Microsoft evaluates companies’ achievement in digital transformation, learning and social impact. All projects implemented on the basis of Microsoft technologies can be announced for the competition next year. By the way, LANIT Network Academy was awarded Microsoft’s highest award in 2010 in the category Learning Solutions.

If you have information about similar competitions and prizes of other vendors, give links to these projects in the comments.

And without reference to the vendor?

What prompted us to study various IT contests and awards? All of the above prizes are corporate projects. Vendors encourage their partners or those who use / can use the technology of the manufacturer. There are several more IT awards that are established by IT publications, clubs and companies that celebrate major projects in various industries. With all the merits of these awards, the principles for choosing winners are ambiguous, since the selection of winners is carried out by representatives of one organization. Therefore, an idea was born in our company to make a prize that would not be tied to any one market participant, so that a committee of winners would be selected from authoritative representatives of integrators, vendors, customers, and the media.

Everyone involved in IT implementation is always at risk. This risk increases many times if the technologies used are new. There are a million reasons why something might go wrong, and you are well aware of them. (HereBy the way, you can read an interesting review of the largest foreign IT projects that did not take off). The second important feature of the award that we planned was to become a criterion for the innovativeness of the project and implemented technologies. And another crucial point – the award must be received by both the project customer and the contractor. Without their well-coordinated work, the project cannot take place.

After a long and thorough preparation, such an award started. She got the name IT Stars and is dedicated to the memory of LANIT founder George Gens, who just belonged to the idea of ​​its creation.

This year the prize will be awarded in seven categories. Four of them are project ones: “Innovative project of the year in the public sector”, “Innovative project of the year in the business sector”, “Smart solutions in the regions of Russia”, “Innovative project with a social focus”. Two nominations – for technologies, products, solutions: “Innovative IT Solution / Product of the Year”, “Import Substitution” and one personal – “For Outstanding Achievements in IT Development in Russia (IT Star)”.

Nominees for the prize may be nominated by companies, educational institutions and non-profit organizations. By the way, you can apply for the George Stars Gens IT Stars Award Online until February 14, 2020. You can submit your project too.

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