2023

Winners and Runners Up

AI & Intelligent Automation Project of the Year
Sponsored by   Infinidat

WINNER



Turkcell

Turkcell is a converged telecommunication and technology services provider, founded and headquartered in Turkey. It serves its customers with voice, data, TV and value-added consumer and enterprise services on mobile and fixed networks. Turkcell names itself as the “Digital Operator” of Turkey and digital transformation is among one of the strategic company initiatives. As the leading digital operator of Turkey, also having operations in Belarus, Ukraine, North Cyprus.
As being the “Digital Operator”, Turkcell promotes being digital-first in its internal operating model and strategy as well. Employees are always empowered to innovate and dedicate time to research and development. Given that, as a result of this innovative culture, our IT teams developed an internal RPA platform, Turkcell Global Bilgi RPA, started to automate their manual, rule driven tasks via this in-house technology.
In this nomination, we want to propose our Culture Driven RPA Scale Out Program: RPA Marathon as an outstanding initiative serving to digital transformation, intelligent automation, cultural mind shift and upskilling of our employees. As it will be seen in the design, outputs and employee reflections, RPA Marathon has become one of the most comprehensive RPA programs that brought with cultural transformation and talent development as well as the digital transformation. So, it is not just one intelligent automation project, but the whole program is serving the initiative.

1 - How we started the RPA Marathon Project? Why RPA Marathon?
For the last 2 years, we have been positioning RPA technology as one of the important building blocks of our digital transformation journey. As Turkcell, we developed our own internal RPA technology, and it has been using since 2018. However, although we have our own technology, it had not been widely known and preferred as a potential automation solution. Only departments with technical background were using it. At the end of 2020, there were only 100 RPA automation scenarios running and 50 citizen developers. And it was far from where it should and can be.
Turkcell has more than 5K employees. Although, we are leading the market in terms of digital experience we provide to our customers our internal processes need to be fixed in terms of digital maturity. There are many Level 4 processes need to be connected due to functional silos and add-on activities to respond quickly the regulation changes. Therefore, our starting point was finding ways to increase the role of RPA in our digital transformation journey as an enabler with its ease of adaptation, quick win capability and low-cost nature.
This starting point end with the idea of RPA Marathon! We designed a program serving for digital transformation, cultural transformation, and upskilling at the same time.
2- How RPA Marathon Address this level of penetration?
THE DESIGN PRINCIPLES
Although, RPA Marathon is basically a technology driven initiative, we put our employees at the very center of the program. The design of the program answers the following questions in every step:
- How can we empower our own employees?
- How can we increase the participation and contribution of our employees?
- What skills and conditions do our employees need to contribute to this transformation program?
- How we can manage these efforts so that they have continuity, like a seed, that we plant.
Taking our employees at the center of our focus resulted in the most comprehensive, culture driven intelligent automation transformation program.

Let’s Look into Details of Each Lever of The Program:
- 1) Provide Platforms: We designed competition formats serve as a platform to create attraction, concentration, ensuring idea maturation and fast-track RPA scenario implementation.
o During Ideations, we explore candidate processes for RPA. We use these workshops as an opportunity to discover automation potential. Workshops managed based on design thinking approach, enable employees to identify and elaborate their automation ideas.
o Hackathons, are basically ensuring the concentration of employees till their automation scenarios are built and implemented. Approximately between 2-4 weeks, participants are directed to form teams of 3-5 people. At the end of hackathons, an internal judging committee is evaluating the output of each team.
As a result of these competitions, more than 1.4K automation scenarios have been implemented with outstanding efficiency and financial impact and a wide range of impact to our business from back-Office operations to customer faced processes, from Network continuity monitoring processes to ICT application operations processes, from supply chain and logistics processes to financial operations.

This competition part is where our program differentiates from most of the reskilling / upskilling programs. Employees could attend to hackathons if they completed the citizen developer program (see the next part.), hence they can directly find the opportunity to practice what they learn through the trainings.

- 2) Empowerment: As we stated earlier, what differentiates RPA Marathon from other intelligent automation programs, it is a people driven automation initiative. ICT experts and Continuous Improvement professionals are enablers in this program, but all production belongs to people from departments.

Empowering our employees is one of the critical building blocks of the program.

Citizen Developer Training Program:
Within the Marathon concept, each participant needs to attend 2_step_training on RPA development.

First Step: Introduction to RPA. It is an online training, lasts for 2 days, self-paced, consisting of basic principles of RPA and Turkcell’s RPA processes. To look into detail:
o RPA 101: What is RPA? What are the basic components. How to discover potential RPA Scenarios.
o RPA 102: Learn Turkcell RPA Studio and learn most popular and used RPA activities
o RPA 103: Learn the use of orchestrator and admin panel. How to go live of written RPA scripts.
o RPA 104: Learn use of Turkcell RPA studio and orchestrator based on the real-life sample automation scenarios.

Second Step: This is an in-class group training with an instructor. The aim is actually reinforcing the information learned in the first step with a model where participants design their own scenarios, can ask questions to instructor and learn from each other. To successfully finish this second step, designing at least one automation is a mandatory for each participant.
This 2-step upskilling program is all run by internal trainers. Participants are supervised to practice scenario development intensely during the trainings.

Mentorship: One of the things, that differentiates our program from others is our Mentor Community. As a complementary factor, it would be necessary to encourage the ones who lack of courage due to the they lack of practical know-how. We have created Mentorship mechanisms for them, where they can receive one-on-one support after intensive training. Our employees, who have started RPA earlier and have a level of RPA knowledge, are honored as RPA Mentor officially, they are assigned to teams and help them during Hackathons ensuring use of skill gained during trainings. This mentor ship mechanism, is also a factor that will serve for sustainability of these cross functional collaboration and the culture of cocreations.
Recently our empowerment model is awarded by ATD Group with Gold Award on Talent Development Innovation category.
- 3) Acknowledgement: It is a common fact that one of the key success factors of transformation initiatives is Top Management support. So, we include CLevel as the keynote participant at award ceremonies at the end of each competition. Teams which receive a degree as a result of judging committee evaluations, are announced during the award ceremonies and awarded by CLevel.
What is more as a complementary mechanism, people’s progress related with citizen development is recognized as badge. Badges have three degrees and requires a continuity on yearly bases which are
o RPA Mentor – performing mentorship during the year
o RPA Developer – requires at least 2 developments during the year
o RPA Champion – requires at least 5 developments during the year
These badges can be seen on the profile page of each employee at company intranet.
- 4) Inspire: During the program, we also want to show our employees what can be possible with RPA, what is available, what will be next trends in the area. We organized seminars with our internal leaders and Country Manager of Uipath, and also, we brought together our employees who have experienced and developed RPA technology and our employees who are curious about the technology but do not have enough courage to participate in our experience sharing sessions. In these sessions, our employees who lack courage to practice this technology can ask questions to their peers who have passed the way previously and try to understand how they can go further. More than 2000 people attended this organizations.

CHALLENGES and KEY SUCCESS FACTORS:
During the program we manage and still managing several challenges:
- 1) Motivating employees to participate and keep that motivation high| The whole program is designed to encourage and empower employees to contribute to this initiative. The awards, teamwork, mentorship, CLevel ceremonies, training and certifications, badges … whole program serves to overcome this challenge.
- 2) Ensuring continuity of the support of the mentors | Enlarge the mentor community for backups, acknowledge the efforts publicly, applies specific incentives to mentors
- 3) Ensuring that the maximum number of automation scenarios are developed | Employees with RPA development skills are buddied with the ones having less experience as a result of internal crowd sourcing approach.
- 4) Ensuring that everyone owns the initiative | Incorporate RPA penetration as a KPI into the scorecards of departments
- 5) Handling costs of robots and optimization | Designing an IT infrastructure ensuring re-use and utilization of robots by whole department and agreeing on a price structure that allow pay-as-you go. The structure is supported via online dashboards showing robot usage, utilization, working time and impact generated.

IMPACTS and RESULTS
For us, RPA is not just a technology, it served and will continue serving to our company’s Continues Improvement Journey under many angles. RPA Marathon implementations eventually grew in waves of influence:

- TALENT DEVELOPMENT:
o ~600 employees have completed online (phase 1) and – or in class RPA training program
o ~310 of them have been granted as RPA Citizen Developer. One of the best things is that, these people also attends Marathons as the developer of a team that combined from New beginners of RPA. So, it has been a fantastic way of knowledge sharing within the company.
o 10K hour of training have already been completed by our people. All the trainings are designed and given by our internal trainers who are also have different responsibilities in their departments.

- CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION:
o More than 2000 (out of 5000) attended at least one of the Marathon event.
o ~1000 employees competed in Hackathons, contributed to production with their ideas and development
o 100 employees have been awarded because of their outstanding ideas and performance during Hackathons
o 40 employees were granted as RPA mentor and they have been continuing to supporting teams during competitions, scenario development. It also has valuable contribution of cross functional collaboration and the culture of cocreation.
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION and OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE
o 1.487 automation scenarios are identified and developed via RPA technology and actively running on our processes and systems.
o 10.000.000 hours of work are performed by the robots so far. This means both optimization for our current work force, and also eliminating work force needs for some of the jobs that we cannot find time or resource before RPA.
o 100.000.000 ₺ of financial impact have been identified as a result of these automation scenarios.
The source of these financial impacts varies from:
 Generating revenue earlier thanks to shortening process time by Robots
 Eliminating of cost of some services that were bought from outsource vendors, but now executed by robots
 Preventing legal penalties by elimination of human dependency in the processes.

o On the Attachment 2 – you can find featured automation scenarios among this 1487 automation and their impacts. Namely:
 PROJECT #1: A tireless customer complaint tracking robot
 PROJECT #2: Robot for Customer First at the time of earthquake
 PROJECT #3: RPA Robots as Virtual Back Office Assistant Serving Sales Reps for 360° customer analysis
 PROJECT #4: Touchless KYC with Smart RPA Bots as Operations Agents
 PROJECT #5: Streamlining Legal Follow Up Process with Bots
 PROJECT #6: Campaign Definition Automation for Contracted Offers
 PROJECT #7: A Digital 3G Network Assistant Robot – A Servant to Sustainability
 PROJECT #8: Media Performance Tracking Robot
 PROJECT #9: Robot tracking our carbon footprint
 PROJECT #10: Robots assisting sales rep. during customers’ site visit
 PROJECT #11: Smart Order and Inventory Robot

• LOCAL and INTERNATIONAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
o 1) Speech at Strategic Transformation and Operational Excellence Summit’22 – IQPC
https://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/events-performanceexcellenceeurope/speakers/c-handan-aymaz-aymaz

Headline: UTILISING ENABLER TECHNOLOGIES AND CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION TO DELIVER SUSTAINABLE PROCESS IMPROVEMENT

Scaling a comprehensive RPA program throughout the company to multiply all metrics by three, including: Number of citizen developers Number of automated scenarios Number of robots
 Exploring the power of the “Marathon” concept and sharing the early successes from the program
 Introducing process mining as a part of the continuous improvement program
 Sharing concrete recommendations on how to position process mining within your process and digital transformation agenda and understanding both skill and mindset requirements for long term initiative

o 2) Speech at Intelligent Automation and Artificial Intelligent Summit’23

Headline: Cultivating the Revolution: Unleashing the Full Potential of RPA and Process Mining technologies through the Power of Culture.
https://www.intelligentautomation.network/events-intelligent-automation/speakers/handan-aymaz-associate-director
Scaling a comprehensive RPA Program throughout the company
 Is it possible to make everyone in the organization to be a transformation agent?
Understanding Process Mining as the new golden key for end-to-end data driven process transformation:
 How to position process mining as a part of continuous improvement journey
 Revisiting the definition of success for process mining initiatives and understanding technical, organizational and cultural requirements
 Proven improvement with process mining and the approach for value generation
o 3) ATD - RPA Citizen Developer Program /Talent Development Innovation – GOLD Award
o 4) Telco Intelligent Automation Council (TIAC) – Navigating Your Way to the Ideal Robotic Centre of Excellence Vodcast Series
 https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7099704953597796352?updateEntityUrn=urn:li:fs_feedUpdate:(V2urn:li:activity:7099704953597796352
 https://www.linkedin.com/posts/mercurial-minds_coe-strategies-for-smart-automation-activity-7100494968565223427-_ptJ?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop
 https://www.linkedin.com/posts/mercurial-minds_skillingreskilling-for-seamless-rpa-integration-activity-7099704953597796352-rOBp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop

SUPPLEMENTARY linkS and ATTACHMENTS:
- Please Click the link #1: Feedback from Our Employees.
- Please Click the link #2: PUBLIC VIDEO AT THE END of 2022 (2023 video is also in progress, will be live at the end of 2023)
- Please Click the link #3: A Sample Project Delivered as a Result of the Program – Project 1
- Please Click the link #4: A Sample Project Delivered as a Result of the Program – Project 2
- Attachment -1: SDC_Company Culture Initiative of The Year – Turkcell RPA Marathon Program Details
- Attachment -2: SDC_Company Culture Initiative of The Year – Featuring Automation Scenarios


RUNNER UP



QiO Technologies

Intel approached QiO after seeing some anomolies with their chip temperatures against workload. They wanted to use the signalling algorithm that QiO had to analyse the data. The solution brief attached is the resulting project, which was completed last year, using closed loop technology, which is the intelligent automation aspect of the project.

QiO Took telemetry data from the chipsets, analysed workloads and time patterns, and set the chips into various P and C states. These state changes reduce the energy consumption from the server, and reduce energy costs overall.

With high energy pricing, and increasing ESG reporting requirements, this project is the basis for which QiO can help all technology-intensive companies baseline their ITEE and ITEU reporting, and then, using the closed loop technology, also reduce their energy consumption from servers by up to 52%.

AI/Machine Learning Data Protection Innovation of the Year

WINNER



Infinidat

As cybersecurity continues to be one of the top concerns of CEOs and senior leadership teams, Infinidat made it a priority to enhance its InfiniSafe cyber storage resilience solution portfolio with cyber detection. Infinidat is now one of the very few storage vendors to offer cyber detection on primary storage. Infinidat equips enterprises with stronger cyber storage resilience capabilities to counter cyberattacks against their data infrastructure in the face of increasing cyber threats. InfiniSafe Cyber Detection is designed to help enterprises resist and quickly recover from cyberattacks. It provides highly intelligent deep scanning and indexing needed to identify potential issues. InfiniSafe Cyber Detection inspects the full breadth of files, applications, core storage infrastructure (such as volumes), and databases for signs of cyber threats for primary storage environments, helping ensure all data that needs to be recovered has integrity. InfiniSafe Cyber Detection uses advanced machine-learning models that provide 99.5% confidence in detecting cyber threats. This helps dealing with false positive/negatives and greatly reduces the effort in any additional forensics. Over 200 points of determination are included, using content-based analytics that inspect inside files for even subtle signs of attack. The post-attack dashboard (with forensic report) details the last known good copy of the data for rapid, intelligent recovery. 'Infinidat's innovations in hybrid cloud storage and cyber detection for primary storage are essential new solutions for our enterprise customers, said Dean Jamison, Co-president and Chief Technology Officer, Dynamix. With the move to hybrid cloud storage, the seamless path between on-premises storage and the cloud that InfuzeOS Cloud Edition brings is exactly what our enterprise accounts need. At the same time, with the business cost of cyberattacks approaching $10T, the capabilities of InfiniSafe Cyber Detection are just what the doctor ordered to help minimize the impacts of cybercrime on enterprises. These two new solutions result in a powerful portfolio of offerings that easily incorporate into our customers' infrastructure. Infinidat's strong momentum and continued release of award-winning solutions provides partners, such as Dynamix Group, with the right technology to meet the needs of our most demanding enterprise customers.' 'With today's announcement of InfuzeOS Cloud Edition and InfiniSafe Cyber Detection, Infinidat is addressing two of the largest concerns of our enterprise customers - hybrid cloud storage integration and cyber security, said Goran Jezic, CEO, Business Computer Systems. 'Infinidat continues to deliver enterprise customers tremendous technical and business value. Infinidat's InfiniSafe Cyber Detection helps enterprises recover from and avoid cyberattacks, while InfuzeOS Cloud Edition provides them with seamless hybrid storage cloud deployments. Infinidat's leadership position continues to be extended with announcements such as today's. Dave Vellante, Chief Analyst, Wikibon noted why our new cyber detection product is significant: 'Customer data shows that cybersecurity is the #1 priority for IT decision makers…; The company has a history of combining technical differentiation with business value and the new InfiniSafe Cyber Detection system and InfuzeOS Cloud Edition appear to continue this pattern. Customers increasingly demand simplicity and cost savings that can directly impact the bottom line and Infinidat's latest announcement aim to do just that.' Phil Godwin, COO and President, Clear Technologies sees Infinidat's expansion with InfiniSafe Cyber Detection as a strong benefit to his enterprise customers: 'Infinidat continues to expand its cyber storage resilience solutions by adding cyber detection capabilities for primary storage. Not only does Infinidat give us the solutions we need to click all our customers' critical selection boxes, but the company is also solidifying its leadership in enterprise storage. Infinidat drives the right solutions for our enterprise customers' needs.'



RUNNER UP



MSys Technologies

Q1. What is your product's / solution's key distinguishing features and/or USP? About the Client The client is a global Edge-to-Cloud company focused on turning insights into outcomes through their robust, cutting-edge software and transformative services. The company is a pioneer in implementing cloud computing solutions, networking products, and cutting-edge cyber security components to shape technology as you know it. The Business Situation Complicated data setups, scattered operational patterns, and occasional performance problems pose tough obstacles in managing infrastructure. The overload of unorganized data can waste resources and slow down productivity. Unclear resource insights can result in downtime, disrupting work processes and reducing efficiency. MSys' First-of-its-Kind Solution MSys' distinguished experts seamlessly integrated advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) and DevOps principles to forge a pioneering platform. The ground-breaking solution: Harnesses system telemetry data to holistically comprehend the optimal operating environment for each application within the infrastructure. With advanced ML techniques, predictive analytics, and recommendation engines, it preemptively identifies underlying patterns that may lead to issues. The seamless conflation of AI and DevOps simplifies IT operations, unlocking optimized application performance and resource planning for unparalleled streamlined efficiency and productivity. Some crucial features of the product are: AI-powered Intelligent Automation eliminates repetitive manual tasks, enabling a 2X productivity boost. The cloud-based portal delivers predictive analysis seamlessly, resulting in nearly 75% fewer environmental trouble tickets. Detailed insights allow the IT team to perform rapid diagnostics and resolution, reducing IT operational expenses by nearly 80%. Real-time data pipeline support makes data readily available across the organization to various teams. Intelligent software development operations ensure a fast and agile development environment. Cross-stack analytics helps pinpoint performance issues with storage, servers, and VMs and makes the infrastructure self-managing, self-optimizing, and self-healing. Q2. What tangible impact has your product/solution had on the market and your customers? The AIOps platform is the leading infrastructure management platform in the world and creates an uninterrupted experience for its customers. Here are some tangible impacts of the AI-powered platform: Measured availability of 99.9999% across the install base. Automated prediction and resolution of more than 85% of customer issues Enabled lower IT operational expenses by nearly 80% Saved more than 1 million hours with predictive analytics. Analyzed more than 1,000 trillion data points. Collects and analyzes data from more than 90,000 systems worldwide every second. Q3. What are the major differentiators between your product/solution and those of your primary competitors? Combining the strength of DevOps principles with AI-driven insights, the platform draws strength from its continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipelines. This enables seamless application development and deployment. The platform is further bolstered by reusable frameworks that provide a foundation for building scalable and modular solutions. Here are some key differentiators: ML and Predictive Analytics for Proactive System Management: The platform leverages machine learning and predictive analytics to analyze system telemetry and enables clients to predict and prevent system outages before they impact IT operations. Cross-Stack Visibility: The platform offers comprehensive visibility across the entire IT stack, including storage, servers, and networks. This holistic view enables quick and accurate troubleshooting, optimizing performance, and minimizing downtime. Scalability and Simulation for Effective Planning: With easy scalability and the ability to simulate what-if scenarios, the platform allows accurate sizing of new infrastructure and enables planning for new workloads with precise performance and bandwidth needs predictions. AI-powered Optimization of Development Processes: The platform utilizes AI to enhance efficiency in code volume, improve release rates, and significantly reduce built times for faster and more streamlined development cycles. Unified Management and Automation: The platform provides a centralized management interface, unifying diverse IT infrastructure components. This seamless integration with various systems streamlines management reduces complexity, and enhances operational efficiency. Global Intelligence and Collective Learnings: The platform benefits from global intelligence gathered across a vast customer base. The platform leverages collective learning to identify and address common issues, efficiently sharing knowledge and best practices to benefit all users. These key differentiators position the platform as a cutting-edge solution, equipping organizations with powerful tools to enhance IT operations and drive efficiencies. Q4. Please supply any supportive quotes and/or case study materials to demonstrate the value of this product/solution to your customers/partners. Case Study title: AIOps Platform to Accelerate Product Development Challenge: The client intended to accelerate productivity across software product development and fine-tune quality with the help of automation. Solution: MSys' built an AIOps platform to analyze system telemetry and address infrastructure issues with the server, storage, and virtualized resources with the following features: Supports Real-Time Data Pipeline: Our system seamlessly integrates with your data pipeline, ensuring that data flows smoothly and in real time throughout your organization. This means you can make data-driven decisions without delays. Intelligent Software Development Operations: Our platform leverages cutting-edge AI and machine learning algorithms to enhance your software development operations. It provides smart insights and recommendations to streamline development processes and improve code quality. Optimized Workflows: We help you fine-tune your workflows to eliminate bottlenecks and inefficiencies. This optimization results in smoother operations, reduced wait times, and improved productivity. Effortless Infrastructure Management: Our platform simplifies infrastructure management tasks, allowing you to allocate resources, scale, and maintain your infrastructure effortlessly. This reduces the administrative burden and frees your team for more strategic tasks. Rapid Diagnostics and Faster Resolution: We ensure that any issues are quickly identified with advanced monitoring and diagnostic capabilities. Our platform provides actionable insights for faster issue resolution, minimizing downtime and disruptions. Tangible Benefits: 99.9999% measured availability across install base Automated prediction and resolution of more than 85% of customer issues Enabled lower IT operational expenses by nearly 80% Every second, the product collects and analyzes data from more than 90,000 systems worldwide


AI/Machine Learning Innovation of the Year

WINNER



PC7 d. o. o.

PandaChat offers a meticulously designed suite of products to enhance users' operational efficiency. Whether your aim is to facilitate seamless communication with articles and websites or integrate cutting-edge AI-powered chatbots into your website, thus optimizing business processes, PandaChat provides the all-encompassing solution you need.
We invite you to view the video presentation and gain a deeper understanding of our project's journey: https://vimeo.com/873725224

Our PandaChat products are all transformative AI solutions, each designed to address distinct user needs and challenges. Their unique features, adaptability, and breakthrough potential set them apart from existing solutions, redefining user experiences and offering unparalleled benefits in their respective domains. Whether it's providing personalized support, streamlining news consumption, or safeguarding digital security, these AI solutions are all at the forefront of innovation, shaping a more efficient, engaging, and secure digital future. Learn more about PandaChat here: https://pandachat.ai/

PandaChat revolutionizes businesses across different industries, utilising all 5 PandaChat products:
- PandaChat Assistant - Understand any data instantly using AI
- PandaChat Brief - Summarize &ampamp chat with any website inside your browser using AI
- PandaChat Live - Integrate chatbots on your website in seconds
- PandaChat Code - Use Code as an AI assistant for development
- PandaChat Guard - Upgrade protection with cyber-security AI assistant

Many similar AI tools can be found on the market, but what really sets PandaChat apart is that it brings together several solutions that competitors offer as separate features. Its user-friendly interface and adaptability make it an indispensable tool across industries, effectively transforming complex tasks into manageable and efficient processes. In essence, PandaChat serves as the ultimate ally for users seeking to conquer the challenges of the digital age. With PandaChat, our commitment to innovation extends to the development of groundbreaking products like Hai News - an advanced AI-powered news interaction tool that transforms the way users access and engage with news content.

Let's now explore the advantages of PandaChat, underscoring the manifold benefits it offers to businesses. Across various industries, PandaChat's solution proves highly appealing, thanks to its unwavering commitment to data privacy and the utilization of locally stored Large Language Model (LLM) instances. Unlike certain other AI solutions that depend on cloud-based processing and storage, PandaChat's approach ensures that all data processing takes place locally, within the business's infrastructure



RUNNER UP



HCLTech

HCLTech Lucy – Leveraging Large Language Models for the Future of Work

Justify the Problem statement or Market Opportunity
Enterprises grow at an exponential pace and so do end-user and customer expectations. To transform end-use (employee and customer) experience and improve productivity and foster innovation, businesses aspire to deploy resources and offer multiple channels of communication. But the IT reality is different.
• Users must navigate through multiple systems and applications to get simple routine work done.
• Language inconsistency in a global business scenario and inconsistent response to the same or similar queries.
• Limited availability of resources causes high wait times.
Such experiences degrade the user experience, drain time and energy, and leave users dissatisfied. At the same time implementing and maintaining a 24x7 multi-lingual human service desk is very costly and resource-intensive.

Write a brief about your innovation
HCLTech’s conversational AI solution Lucy is a large language model-based solution that is trained on enterprise-scale data of tickets (close notes, ticket summaries, ticket summaries, etc.) and the outcome of the model is given a score to improve the quality of the outcome. Thus, the model learns and improves itself.
Lucy is a Conversational AI (Intelligent chatbot) solution that applies language models to real-time employee requests (IT, HR, etc.) to improve their handling. Human requests in natural language (for example - I want to reset my password, how many vacation days do I have to remain) are automated where possible. For other requests, it creates a ticket in the ticketing platform with additional contextual data which will be handled by an agent with augmented experience. By acting as the gateway to employee requests, its areas of focus of Lucy are automation and end-user experience.

Highlight the market Potential or Impact
Lucy is a Conversational AI (Intelligent chatbot) solution that applies language models to real-time employee requests (IT, HR, etc.) to improve their handling. Human requests in natural language (for example - I want to reset my password, how many vacation days do I have to remain) are automated where possible. For other requests, it creates a ticket in the ticketing platform with additional contextual data which will be handled by an agent with augmented experience. By acting as the gateway to employee requests, its areas of focus of Lucy are automation and end-user experience.
Another example is when Lucy encounters users’ queries like why their computer is slow. Lucy is integrated with HCLTech’s end-user experience monitoring solution WorkBlaze. It interacts with WorkBlaze, analyses user computer performance data and checks user experience scores, diagnoses the problem, and provides recommended actions. Once the user confirms, Lucy performs these actions to resolve issues. Lucy has been trained for over 5 years on 500 IT and non-IT use cases, so it works as an out-of-the-box solution that can be implemented very quickly.

Backup/Archive Innovation of the Year

WINNER



ExaGrid

ExaGrid has architected the industry’s only Tiered Backup Storage system. No other product in the industry is built specifically for backup with all of the appropriate backup features and integrations. Unlike primary storage, SSD, object storage, or deduplication appliances, ExaGrid’s appliances offer the following features and advantages:
• Front-end disk cache Landing Zone for fast backups (no inline data deduplication to slow backups down).
• Fastest backups for the shortest backup window due to:
o Unique front-end Landing Zone
o Integration with backup applications’ advanced protocols such the Veeam Data Mover, Veritas OST, etc.
o Integration with backup applications for automated job management for front-end load balancing such as Veeam SOBR, Veritas disk pooling, Commvault Spill & Fill, Oracle RMAN channels, HYCU Scale-out, etc.
o Data at rest encryption performed at the drive level versus in software
o Job concurrency – multiple jobs in parallel
• Fast restores
o All recent data is stored in the front-end Landing Zone in the backup application’s native format (not deduplicated) so there is no data rehydration performance hit
• Scalability, as each appliance has processor, memory, networking and storage capacity
o Linear scalability – backup window stays fixed-length as the data grows
o No forklift upgrades as each appliance has all resources
o Evergreen (no forced product obsolescence) as any age and any size appliance can operate together in a scale-out system
• Compressive security including
o Comprehensive monitoring, security checklist, IP-based Whitelist,
o Self-encrypting data drives, WAN encryption, SSH key support
o Https with TLS Certs, Security https, SMB signing
o Ransomware recovery (Retention Time-Lock) with the industry’s only non-network-facing tier (tiered air gap), delayed deletes, two-factor authentication (2FA), as well as industry-standard immutability
• Deep integration with backup applications
o Veeam Integrations: Data Mover, SOBR, FastClone
o Veritas Integrations: Veritas Single Target Disk Pool (disk pooling) Accelerator with Resynthesized full, OST, GRT, Instant Recovery, Opt Dupe, AIR
o Commvault: can further deduplicate Commvault deduplicated and compressed data and support Commvault Spill & Fill
o Oracle RMAN Direct: RMAN Channels
o HYCU: Scale-out
o ExaGrid support over 25 industry leading backup applications and utilities
• Comprehensive Disaster Recovery
o Encrypted/deduplicated WAN replication
o Cross protect
o Multi-site spoke and hub
o A to B, and A to B to C, tertiary copies
o ExaGrid Cloud Tier for DR for Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure

ExaGrid competes with standard disk or standard inline deduplication appliances. Against standard disk ExaGrid is faster for backups, more scalable, more cost effective, and has the most comprehensive security including a tiered air gap for ransomware recovery. Against deduplication appliances ExaGrid is faster for backups, faster for restores, keeps a fixed-length backup window as data grows, and offers better security and disaster recovery. ExaGrid’s win rate when in an opportunity is 75% demonstrating the strong differentiation of the solution.

ExaGrid customers are vocal as there over 300 published customer success stories on the ExaGrid website (https://www.exagrid.com/exagrid-customers/success-stories/), and ExaGrid has an over 95% customer retention rating along with an NPS score of 81.


RUNNER UP



Infinidat

Today, ransomware, malware, and cyberattacks put an enterprise’s data at significant risk. Infinidat’s modern data protection and cyber resilience solution, InfiniGuard®, plays an essential role in your overall cyber security strategy. InfiniGuard offers unmatched backup and lightning-fast recovery performance, at scale, for all of your modern data protection needs and is enhanced by our InfiniSafe cyber recovery technologies to ensure you are always ready in the event of a cyberattack, natural disaster, or basic human error.

InfiniGuard provides industry-leading performance for modern data protection and backup with in-line ingest rates of up to 180TB/hr* and unmatched recovery performance at scale, be it a single file or large-scale DR or cyber recovery needs. A comprehensive cyber resilience strategy requires well-defined best practices to ensure data validity, as well as near-instantaneous recovery of your backup repositories, regardless of size. InfiniSafe technologies do just that, in minutes, making it easy for data validation and DR recovery testing.

To meet and exceed customer expectations for performance, cyber resilience, availability, and efficiency, Infinidat offers a broad set of guaranteed SLAs for its storage and cyber resilience platforms. The company added two guarantees for the InfiniGuard solution: guaranteed recoverability of InfiniSafe immutable snapshots, and guaranteed recovery time of those immutable snapshots in 20 minutes or less on secondary storage. In one of Infinidat’s end-user webinars Infinidat demonstrated the recovery of a 20PB Veeam backup repository in 11 minutes and 55 seconds

With the increased need for cyber resilience and modern data protection, the enhanced InfiniGuard platform includes two dedicated repositories. The InfiniSafe repository is dedicated to cyber resilience, delivering up to 35PB of effective capacity for use with InfiniSafe’s immutable snapshots. The backup repository is dedicated to modern data protection and backup/recovery, providing up to 50PB effective capacity. Additionally, InfiniSafe immutable snapshots now have double the retention period (up to 60 days).

* Overall system performance with two DDEs in use, 90% DeDupe rate.

“Data protection and cyber security are among the top priorities for enterprises worldwide,” said Phil Goodwin, Research Vice President, Infrastructure Software Platforms, IDC. “End-users continue to search for solutions that can raise the bar in providing full cyber storage protection with confidence. By expanding upon Infinidat’s primary storage guarantees with the launch of its InfiniGuard cyber storage resilience guarantees, the company now offers a comprehensive suite of guarantees that can provide a significant value-add to their customers.” 

“Infinidat has done it again, giving us the ability to dramatically lower the total cost of ownership for our customers\' enterprise storage environments,” said Stan Wysocki, President, Mark III Systems. “Coming out with storage solutions that have a significantly higher capacity, yet the same footprint, while simultaneously improving cyber storage resilience, has immediate benefits for substantial CAPEX and OPEX reductions and a more cyber secure environment for our customers. We love the direction that Infinidat is taking its solutions, and we love the guarantees, which make the company not only our vendor, but also our partner.”

“The challenges and risks of cyberattacks are top of the agenda in enterprise data center environments and the new Infinidat cyber storage resilience capabilities − with InfiniSafe on InfiniGuard, enable us to offer a solution based on innovative technology from one of the leading enterprise storage solutions providers. In the event of a cyberattack the key is to mitigate downtime, with recovery of the immutable data fundamental to getting an organization operational and online. Infinidat’s new InfiniSafe cyber storage guarantees for InfiniGuard ensure both the immutability of InfiniSafe snapshots and guarantees swift recoverability of those immutable snapshots,” said John Greenwood, Chief Strategy Officer at Virtual Effect.



Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) Innovation of the Year

WINNER



virtualDCS

What are your product’s/solution’s key distinguishing features and/or USP?

As a Channel-first solutions provider, virtualDCS has created 'CloudCover', an innovative suite of as a Service solutions, designed around modern business priorities. By utilising our services partners can differentiate themselves from other backup vendors and MSPs with our unique holistic approach to data protection.

Our holistic solution:
We believe that being prepared for a crisis relies on having a holistic view of your data landscape and how it is being protected. If you look at the problem as a whole, a single treatment for data protection and recovery should be an intuitive approach to risk mitigation and incident resolution.

CloudCover services are primarily designed for service providers and their customers, enabling them to have this holistic approach to Backup and Disaster Recovery.

Uniting all services, and backed by Veeam software, we have now developed the CloudCover Service portal - a single pane of glass solution, fronting our innovative services portfolio and allowing our customers and partners to have full protection, management, and visibility of all aspects of their data environments.

The portal and CloudCover suite include:
- CloudCover Service portal - A single view and admin portal for all Veeam services.
- CloudCover 365 - A completely web-driven portal for all aspects of Microsoft 365 backup.
- CloudCover K8s – A Cloud adjacent service, allowing for the backup and failover of Kubernetes workloads powered by Kasten by Veeam, running on our platform.
- CloudCover Local - On-premise licence deployment, support and managed service.
- CloudCover Backup - Cloud Connect to our infrastructure.
- CloudCover Replication - Protecting VMware, Hyper-V and Apple workloads.
- CloudCover CDP - Continual Data Protection both from on-premise and the Cloud.
- CloudCover Shuttle - Large portal encrypted hard drives available to rent for both seeding and data recovery.
- CloudCover Cyber Protect - Safeguarding customer data from a complex and ever-growing threat landscape.

More information on these services can be found at the following URL: https://www.virtualdcs.co.uk/services

What tangible impact has your product/solution had on the market and your customers?

CloudCover services, when combined with the CloudCover Service portal, offers a single place for service providers to manage their customer’s backup solutions.

Utilising Veeam’s powerful APIs we draw on our Channel experience to enhance the power of services such as the Veeam Service Provider Console, Veeam Backup and Replication, Kasten by Veeam and Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 to offer a simple end-user experience.

Currently, we see the major weakness across all industries is a lack of visibility since Data Protection is often deployed in silos (e.g., standalone solutions for M365/VM estates/K8s etc) that are managed through different tools with different interfaces.

Not only does virtualDCS solve this problem through the single pane of glass offering, but it also provides visibility of what’s protected and the status of each service, as well as acting as an entry into our innovative portfolio.

What are the major differentiators between your product/solution and those of your primary competitors?

First-to-market
In addition to the unique USPs of each service within the CloudCover suite (https://www.virtualdcs.co.uk/services), no other Service Provider has created a Veeam-led single pane of glass solution, covering the breadth of Veeam services. It is unique to the marketplace.

This innovation is reflected in the fact that virtualDCS was awarded a Veeam Innovation Award from Veeam itself and went on to win ‘Best in Show’ at VeeamON in Miami this year.

Holistic data protection
Our holistic approach means both the customer and service provider can easily see their protected services in one place and monitor their backups for any issues. The CloudCover Service portal also clearly demonstrates which services customers are not utilising, and which they may benefit from as part of a comprehensive data protection strategy.

Channel support
As a Channel-first Cloud solutions provider, the success of virtualDCS is dependent on the success of its partners which is why we have a comprehensive partner program in place, including sales, technical and marketing support.

Our partner portal hosts valuable resources for our partners around CloudCover services and is a core function within the partnership. Each CloudCover solution has its own dedicated resource area within the portal, containing custom content from our marketing team.

Content within the portal is designed to help partners generate market awareness around the services, to help spot opportunities and close deals. These resources cover different skill levels, and sectors, and are designed to help partners navigate themselves through the sales opportunity. Resources include, Battlecards, Call scripts, white-labelled documents, a partner news feed, competitive analysis and more.

Account Managers also provide comprehensive sales training around services, detailing the market opportunity, unique selling points and triggers that sales teams need to be aware of to help spot opportunities and close sales.
Please supply any supportive quotes and/or case study materials to demonstrate the value of this product/solution to your customers/partners.

virtualDCS was the first ever company in Europe to win a Veeam Innovation Award from Veeam itself and then went on to win ‘Best in Show’ at VeeamON Miami this year, with over 5000 community-led votes.

Resources and quotes to support the innovation of this solution can be viewed at the following:
- https://www.itrportal.com/articles/2023/05/31/uk-tech-firm-first-in-europe-to-win-global-software-giants-innovation-award/
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6Vri39_z8w (VeeamON 2023: Veeam Innovation Awards Best in Show)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTrwwKNxh9c Veeam Innovation Award Winners 2023 - Best in show

Pamela Napier, senior manager of Cloud UK, Veeam said:

“Having worked with virtualDCS for the last 15 years, we know how much they take pride in innovating to maximise the potential of Veeam’s services. We actively encourage ‘Partnering with Partners’ across our ecosystem to ensure our mutual customers get the best possible solutions for their data protection and ransomware recovery needs. Creating the CloudCover Service Portal is a great example and we’ve seen first-hand how it’s benefitting the channel, as well as the wider IT partner community.”

Jason Buffington, vice president of market strategy at Veeam in the US, said:

“We were inundated with high-quality nominations from around the world, but the CloudCover service range and depth across the entire Veeam portfolio really stood out. The combination of the technical capabilities within the platform and virtualDCS’s commitment to innovation will undoubtedly benefit their partners and their end-users. It’s a perfect example of a partner company creating solutions that astound and delight us. Veeam is proud to recognise virtualDCS for that this year.”


RUNNER UP



Infinidat

InfuzeOS powers Infinidat’s unique software-defined storage (SDS) architecture. It drives the performance, availability, cyber storage resilience, ease of use, and economic benefits of our storage platforms, InfiniBox®, InfiniBox™ SSA, and InfiniGuard®. InfuzeOS’ SDS architecture delivers these powerful capabilities without dependence on proprietary hardware or components. InfuzeOS Cloud Edition delivers the award-winning InfiniBox platform experience on public cloud compute and storage resources.

Neural Cache enables the lowest latency of any storage platform in the industry, as low as 35 microseconds with our InfiniBox SSA – critical for highly transactional workloads.

InfuzeOS Cloud Edition is supported in an Amazon Web Services (AWS) deployment. Customers can deploy a full version of InfuzeOS that resides in their AWS environment. The InfuzeOS Cloud Edition solution expands Infinidat’s activities as an AWS Partner Network member, including its existing AWS Outposts Ready designation.

This cloud-native deployment is functionally equivalent to the on-prem InfuzeOS that enables InfiniBox platforms and is managed by the same familiar and easy-to-use interfaces. This hybrid cloud solution delivers the same best-in-class automation, ease of use, enterprise-class data services and cyber storage resilience that differentiate Infinidat as an enterprise storage leader.

The principal benefits of InfuzeOS are threefold. First, InfuzeOS delivers powerful, self-managed, self-healing, continuously optimised storage across Infinidat’s platforms. Infinidat’s ease of use and management, driven by InfiniOps, brings a level of intelligence that means IT staff within an enterprise can be focused on business instead of managing the storage infrastructure. Second, InfuzeOS provides data services to expedite the integration of Infinidat capabilities across an enterprise’s IT processes, reducing CapEx and time-to-market. Finally, InfuzeOS delivers added assurance with guaranteed performance, 100% availability, and cyber storage resilience. All InfuzeOS features are built-in and provided at no additional cost. In fact, a recent IDC white paper shows that Infinidat customers reduced their OpEx 48% over five years with InfiniBox.

Infinidat’s differentiators are - A) High-end enterprise focus-only solutions, B) Comprehensive licensing model – no piecemeal charging for features/functions making us very easy to transact with. C) Multiple recurring revenue models with cloud-like consumption. D) Software-centric design architecture using off-the-shelf hardware components with comprehensive enterprise-class data service such as snapshot, immutability for cyber resilience, 3 and 4 site replication, autonomous automation so almost no end-user management needed of the platforms, E) ONLY vendor to offer primary storage cyber resilience guarantees for partners to offer to end users, F) Most comprehensive cyber resilience solution, which is included for free, that guarantees recovery of an immutable snapshot in ONE MINUTE OR LESS on the InfiniBox platforms and in 20 MINUTES OR LESS on the InfiniGuard platform, G) Extensive AIOps technology both in the storage array and integrated with 3rd party AIOps vendors (VMware, ServiceNow, RedHat etc), H) Technical advisors assigned to all accounts at NO charge.

“Infinidat’s extension of its operating system to hybrid cloud environments with InfuzeOS Cloud Edition enables use cases that are primed for hybrid cloud storage, ranging from disaster recovery and backup to dev ops to burst capacity to cloud storage. The expansion of InfiniSafe is giving enterprises advanced cyber storage detection and rapid recovery capabilities. Infinidat continues to extend its storage portfolio to provide the functionality that its customers expect and need with hybrid cloud, autonomous automation, cyber storage resilience, or cyber detection capabilities,” said Dave Pearson, Research VP at IDC.

“Infinidat\'s innovations in hybrid cloud storage and cyber detection for primary storage are essential new solutions for our enterprise customers, said Dean Jamison, Co-president and Chief Technology Officer, Dynamix. With the move to hybrid cloud storage, the seamless path between on-premises storage and the cloud that InfuzeOS Cloud Edition brings is exactly what our enterprise accounts need. At the same time, with the business cost of cyberattacks approaching $10T, the capabilities of InfiniSafe Cyber Detection are just what the doctor ordered to help minimize the impacts of cybercrime on enterprises. These two new solutions result in a powerful portfolio of offerings that easily incorporate into our customers\' infrastructure. Infinidat\'s strong momentum and continued release of award-winning solutions provides partners, such as Dynamix Group, with the right technology to meet the needs of our most demanding enterprise customers.”

“With today\'s announcement of InfuzeOS Cloud Edition and InfiniSafe Cyber Detection, Infinidat is addressing two of the largest concerns of our enterprise customers - hybrid cloud storage integration and cyber security, said Goran Jezic, CEO, Business Computer Systems. “Infinidat continues to deliver enterprise customers tremendous technical and business value. Infinidat\'s InfiniSafe Cyber Detection helps enterprises recover from and avoid cyberattacks, while InfuzeOS Cloud Edition provides them with seamless hybrid storage cloud deployments. Infinidat\'s leadership position continues to be extended with announcements such as today\'s.

Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) Project of the Year

WINNER



Schneider Electric and on365

Loughborough University is today ranked world number one for sports-related subjects, and is home to the UK’s largest concentration of world-class sporting facilities – with an attending body of 19,500 students across its 523-acre campus. IT is fundamental to its operations, from its high-performance computing (HPC) servers, which support analytical research projects, to a highly virtualised data centre environment that provisions critical applications including finance, administration, and security.

To overcome a series of data centre challenges including requirements for a complete redesign, modernisation of legacy cooling systems and improved cooling efficiencies, and greater visibility of its distributed IT assets, Loughborough worked with on365 and Schneider Electric to undertake a major modernisation project at its Haslegrave and Holywell Park data centres, primarily to ensure greater continuity of its critical systems.

Delivered in two phases, which would minimise the chance of downtime and ensure a robust and resilient system was in place should any failures take place, the project saw on365 innovatively modernise the Haslegrave facility by replacing an outdated raised floor and deploying an EcoStruxure Row Data Center solution – an integral part of Schneider Electric\'s EcoStruxure™ for Data Centers architecture an IoT-enabled system. The deployment of this, integrated row-based data centre solution has significantly improved the overall structure, enabling an efficient data centre design.

During the upgrade, on365 also brought other parts of the infrastructure under the IT department’s control, using new InRow DX (direct expansion) units to deliver improved cooling reliability and provide it with greater ability to cope with unplanned weather events, including heat waves, which had adversely affected its IT and cooling operations in the past.

Use of the EcoStruxure Row Data Center solution also created new space for future IT expansions and extended a ‘no single points of failure’ design throughout the facility. This made the environment more suitable for a new generation of compact and powerful servers, and the solution was replicated at Holywell Park thereafter. Further improvements in resilience and efficiency were also achieved by replacing legacy UPSs with Schneider Electric’s Galaxy VS UPS with lithium-ion batteries, which offers up to 99% energy efficiency, without compromising availability.

Alongside the new EcoStruxure Row Data Centre, pre-engineered, configurable and scalable row solutions encompassing racks, power, cooling and management systems the university also upgraded the software used to manage and control its infrastructure. An early adopter of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Data Center Expert software, Loughborough has now deployed the company’s EcoStruxureTM IT platform, providing it with enhanced levels of visibility and data-driven insights that quickly help to identify and mitigate potential faults before they become critical.

The major challenge was having a well-structured preventative maintenance program is vital to ensure that the data centre and IT systems are optimised and operationally efficient was a major challenge as well having site of the systems 100% of the time. To address this, they signed a new three-year Schneider Electric services agreement delivered via on365, to give the university 24x7 access to expert maintenance support, reflecting its ongoing commitment to protecting the investments in its new infrastructure, and ensures the equipment is fully operational, reliable, and quality maintained.

The university also utilised a large distributed, edge network environment, which has in-excess of sixty APCTM Smart-UPSTM single-phase UPS’s protecting it. As part of its services agreement, all critical power systems are monitored and maintained via EcoStruxure IT, providing real-time visibility and helping IT personnel to manage the campus’ network more efficiently.

The project saw Schneider Electric and on365 modernise the universities IT infrastructure with new energy efficient technologies, including an EcoStruxure Row Data Center, InRow Cooling solution, GalaxyTM VS UPS and EcoStruxure IT management and monitoring data centre infrastructure software, enabling the university to harness the power of resilient IT infrastructure, data analytics and digital services to support new breakthroughs in sporting research.

Looking forward, Schneider Electric and on365’s work with Loughborough University has been invaluable and will play a key role in its future IT sustainability strategy. By modernising its infrastructure with the latest in resilient and energy efficient technologies and harnessing the power of both data analytics and predictive maintenance, the university has seen tangible benefits futureproofing its campus to support new breakthroughs in sporting research.

It is for these reasons Schneider Electric and on365’s work at Loughborough University deserves SDC’s Business Continuity/ Disaster Recovery Project of the Year.


RUNNER UP



Assured Data Protection

Assured Data Protection (Assured) is a provider of IT managed services provider for cloud data protection solutions, and holds the distinction of being the first and largest MSP of Rubrik data management services. In addition, it was the first MSP to receive official Rubrik Authorised Support Partner (RASP) accreditation.

Assured brings more than 100 years of industry experience in managing data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity solutions as a managed service provider. The company delivers tailored services based on the Rubrik cloud data management platform to meet individual client needs in an affordable and achievable manner. It supports enterprises with data needs ranging from 5TB to multiple petabytes across any number of sites, from on premises private clouds to hybrid cloud approaches.

Assured has a strong heritage in providing backup and disaster recovery services to the enterprise. Its customers span a wide range of commercial segments, including financial services, legal, pharmaceuticals and the public sector.

The challenge
In 2022, Assured Data Protection began working with The Pioneer Group, a partnership of people and organisations working closely to deliver community-driven housing solutions, youth services, family support, health and employment. The Group was formed over 10 years ago to grow affordable housing and community support services across North East Birmingham.

According to Mohammed Sarfraz, the IT Network Administrator at The Pioneer Group, The Pioneer Group was using an outdated, unreliable backup solution, which failed to provide a robust or quick enough service. “With our previous backup supplier, we made the move from tape to off-site backups, which was a huge jump for us,” said Mohammad. “But then technology moved on and our solution provider failed to keep up. It just wasn’t good enough for what we needed for our backup and DR. Following a failure, we found it could take up to a day and a half just to restore everything back.”

With the Pioneer Group’s team consisting of over 130 employees, it was inefficient to have an outdated, unreliable IT system that halted work for two days at a time - or more - when its system experienced failures. As the Pioneer Group provides vital services to people in need, it was essential that the team is reachable as possible. This was a frustrating experience for all involved.

The Pioneer Group approached Assured Data Protection (Assured) to help them solve these issues. Assured is a trusted Rubrik partner that has been delivering Rubrik as a managed service for several years. Its managed service helps customers - and other Managed Service Providers - adopt Rubrik or scale their existing Rubrik operations.

The solution


After approaching Assured for help, it was clear that the Pioneer Group needed a new managed backup, DR and VDI provider.


Assured’s Recovery Specialists worked closely with the Pioneer Group team to create a tailored solution, utilising Rubrik across the entire group. The Assured team helped the Pioneer Group overcome its pain points by providing:
· Fully managed Rubrik as a Service from Assured, including backup, DR and VDI
· Daily, automatic email report on the status of all backups, powered by AssuredView
· Assured’s custom-built management system
· A knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly team of experts

The results
As a result of Assured’s help, the Pioneer Group has seen:
· 50% TCO Savings
· 20% cost savings compared to other solutions on the market
· 100% peace of mind that The Pioneer Group is fully cyber resilient

Mohammad Sarfraz, the IT Network Administrator at The Pioneer Group commented:

“Assured Data Protection is excellent. They were able to create a tailored solution for us to be able to utilise Rubrik across the entire group. We can now restore a VM with the click of a button, and I am saving at least two hours out of my day which means I am freed up to work on other tasks. Our TCO has reduced by at least 50% compared to our previous solution when considering time and money across the IT team. I would also say it is at least 20% cheaper than other solutions we looked at, even considering Assured is fully managed, the others were not. Now that Assured manages our backup and DR, we have peace of mind that we are fully cyber resilient, meaning the business will continue to be up and running with zero down-time.”

Cloud Company of the Year

WINNER



iQuila Ltd

In the ever-evolving realm of digital connectivity, the ability to create dependable, secure, and swift connections is paramount. iQuila, standing as a vanguard in the world of Defined Networking, has revolutionized the manner in which devices and global locations interact and connect. At the heart of iQuila's prowess lies our proprietary Virtual Extended Network (VEN) protocol. This state-of-the-art protocol goes beyond the standard boundaries of connectivity. Imagine the stability, speed, and security of a direct physical hardware connection, and then envisage this being replicated to any device or location worldwide. The VEN protocol accomplishes precisely this, forging pathways that recreate the connectivity characteristics of a tangible, direct connection. However, the innovation doesn't stop there. With the majority of modern networks grappling with layer 2 traffic complexities, VEN effortlessly manages this challenge. The protocol deconstructs layer 2 traffic into discrete Ethernet frames, optimizing both speed and reliability. In our continuous pursuit for excellence and broadened horizons, iQuila has aligned its cloud infrastructure with one of the most renowned and resilient platforms in the digital world: Microsoft Azure. This strategic partnership ensures that our clients benefit from unparalleled uptime, robust security measures, and seamless scalability. Today, with our services spanning across more than 14 countries, we are not only providing groundbreaking networking solutions but also cementing our reputation as global leaders in the domain. Our footprint is a testament to our commitment to bridging gaps, erasing borders, and fostering seamless connectivity in a world that demands nothing less. As we present iQuila for this esteemed award, it's a reflection of our journey, innovation, and the relentless pursuit to redefine what's possible in the world of networking. 2023: A Year of Significant Growth In 2023, iQuila witnessed substantial growth and enhanced its cloud offerings through strategic partnerships with global tech companies, ultimately benefiting our valued customers. Enhanced Security through Quantum Encryption in Partnership with Quantum Dice In a groundbreaking collaboration, iQuila has partnered with Quantum Dice to incorporate the most robust encryption method available today. This partnership allows iQuila to offer best-in-class encryption solutions. This innovative technology offers global connectivity while ensuring robustness and low latency. Our partnership with Quantum Dice introduced Quantum Encryption, fortifying data against evolving cyber threats. We are actively addressing the challenges posed by quantum computing, positioning ourselves as pioneers in cloud security. Currently QRNG encryption is available for private Cloud, however it will be made available to public Cloud users as well in 2024. Lower Latency, Faster Global Connectivity through Microsoft's Azure Network In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, uninterrupted global connectivity is vital for both businesses and individuals. iQuila Cloud is now proudly hosted on Microsoft's global Azure network. Our solution harnesses the low-latency capabilities of the Azure network to deliver unparalleled connectivity and collaboration opportunities. A standout feature of iQuila Cloud is its low-latency layer. This technology significantly reduces data travel time between users and data centres. Whether you are engaged in video conferencing, accessing extensive datasets, or sharing files, iQuila Cloud's low latency guarantees a seamless experience, rendering lag and buffering a thing of the past. Extended layer 2 Connectivity via Cellular Routers in Partnership with Cradlepoint iQuila forged a partnership with Cradlepoint (Ericsson), the world's leading cellular router manufacturer. Our collaboration empowers mobile workers, IoT devices, and branch locations with seamless connectivity, addressing challenges such as latency, VPN limitations, and encryption overhead. This joint solution ensures organizations can access core services and enhance performance, regardless of their location. iQuila's VEN protocol and Cradlepoint routers revolutionize connectivity, particularly in critical scenarios like emergency services. John Nye, VP, Technology Partners & Alliances at Cradlepoint 'Cradlepoint customers are building networks that extend beyond the traditional enterprise or branch networks to environments that include mobile and IoT. Solutions such as iQuila will help our customers remain connected and secure as their workforces continue to evolve.' Summary Collectively, these three innovations underscore our commitment to shaping the future of cloud technology. They highlight our dedication to security, global connectivity, and seamless cloud services that transcend geographical boundaries. iQuila represents more than just a cloud company we are at the forefront of a connectivity revolution, poised to redefine how the world connects, collaborates, and communicates on a global scale. The Future Looking ahead to 2024, we are actively pursuing new partnerships behind the scenes. Expect exciting announcements in the near future. We are incredibly enthusiastic about what lies ahead and anticipate an even more exciting year in 2024.



RUNNER UP



Hyve Managed Hosting

Hyve Managed Hosting is a global managed cloud hosting provider headquartered in Brighton, UK. We offer our customers managed enterprise cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud solutions, dedicated and bare metal servers, as well as colocation services in multiple data centres worldwide, most recently in Dublin and Singapore. Due to the demand for global cloud hosting services and support in recent years, we’ve grown exponentially, utilising data centre sites in Madrid, Miami, Singapore, Zurich, Los Angeles, Bogota, Geneva and Tokyo.

Our business approach is built on the vision of our directors and co-founders, Jake Madders and Jon Lucas, who believe that everyone should have access to tailored technology solutions and world-class support. By managing our customers’ core IT infrastructure from start to finish, we take the stress out of the process so they can focus on tasks that drive progress.

Alongside our primary portfolio of cloud hosting solutions, we offer a one-stop-shop for managed hosting services, including cybersecurity protection and disaster recovery – ensuring customers are prepared for all eventualities in an increasingly sophisticated threat landscape.

With our customers in mind, we developed three core standards that we pride ourselves on being able to deliver, ensuring that our offering is comprehensive, so that customers are able to concentrate on what they do best. These standards include offering first-class support, using only the very best technology and building hosting solutions that are cost-effective for customers.

We believe that this customer-centric approach has had a positive impact on the industry as a whole. With the all round service we offer, managed service providers are becoming more aware of how important it is to offer the very best hosting architecture to keep up with the growing requirements of customers, while delivering high levels of service and support, for a predictable and fair price.

For our customers, our offering helps to remove the headaches of managing complex IT infrastructure, so that they can focus on their regular business activities, while our cloud experts assist with managing their platforms. This approach has enabled us to partner with a growing list of new customers over the past few years, while retaining customers that have been with us from the beginning.

At a glance:

- Two decades of experience
- Growth across locations in Europe, North America, and Asia
- Awarded Investor in Customers Gold 2022 for “world-class” customer service
- 4.9 “Excellent” rating on Trustpilot
- 96 Net Promoter Score (customer loyalty)
- Guaranteed 99.999% network and power uptime for customers
- Industry-leading 20-minute ‘Rapid Replacement’ hardware service-level agreement (compared to a 1-4 hour - industry standard)
- Great Place to Work certified

At Hyve, we credit much of our success to our competitors. Their success has inspired ours, driving us to aim beyond product and service quality, to develop three standards of excellence that we feel differentiates us in an increasingly crowded market:

1. We become an extension of our customers’ businesses

First and foremost, our goal is to be a partner rather than an isolated provider. This means taking the time to understand our customers’ business requirements, pain points, and opportunities – even uncovering opportunities they may not have noticed themselves.
The cloud computing industry is a place where, especially when working with public cloud hyperscalers, customers can often feel detached from their provider. This often manifests in solutions being deployed that aren’t the most optimal in terms of resource use and cost savings, and companies can struggle to access support when issues do arise. At Hyve, we pride ourselves on our personal approach to customer service, which means that we really get to know each individual organisation that we partner with, so that we become an extension of their business.

To achieve this, our teams work one-to-one with customers, operating in a non-tiered support structure. As a result, customers are never passed around multiple support tiers with anonymous engineers and they never have to waste time dealing with automated call centres. Instead, our customers get a personal Customer Experience Manager who knows their solution inside-out and a technical team ensuring that everything operates effectively and at full capacity.

In terms of response time, our industry-leading 20 minute support and hardware replacement SLA means that customers can rest assured that if there are any issues with their platform, these will be rectified by our support team swiftly.

Here’s how long-time Hyve customer Pete Leahy, Application Support Analyst at TK Maxx, puts it:

“Hyve has a friendly and highly technical team available to extend all possible help at any time. Excellent services. All our issues have been solved quickly and with the appropriate priority, and I am especially impressed by the transparency and response time.

“Overall, my experience with Hyve’s support service has been extremely positive.’

2. We hand-pick the best tech

Our experienced teams know what to look for and we only choose the very best hardware and software from top manufacturers such as Cisco, HPE, VMware, and Juniper. To get the most out of this high-end technology, we teach our certified engineers to plan, migrate, optimise, and manage solutions to suit the individual needs of our customers.

We are also extremely proud of our cloud platform. With our high availability infrastructure, we’re able to guarantee 99.999% network uptime. This reliability lets us deliver quality cloud services to customers 365 days a year, 24/7.

Joseph Lee-Brown, Head of Digital Creative at Just Cashflow says:

“Site downtime could make us look unreliable to our customers. Hyve went above and beyond the call of duty to help us set up, one weekend we booked in migration on a Sunday, and we got everything sorted so that no-one saw any drop in e-mail or the site, and it all went over seamlessly.”

3. We maximise cost optimisations for customers

A common misconception regarding cloud services is that highly personalised solutions cost more. Public cloud solutions seemingly offer all the benefits of working with a large technology brand, at a fraction of the cost. But while large public cloud providers offer low-cost entry points as businesses start to scale, costs can then rise exponentially and personalised support is often missing.

Rather than ‘off-the-shelf’ public cloud infrastructure, we offer genuine cost savings by tailoring our solutions, so customers don’t pay for resources they won’t use. Similarly, we offer fixed monthly billing with our predictable pricing model, which means that unlike public cloud hyperscalers, our customers aren’t hit with costs that increase with usage.

Andrea Haywood, Finance Commercial Director at Wavex says:

“After researching meticulously into the market and weighing up all of our different options, Hyve came out on top. We needed a solution that was flexible, convenient and cost efficient. Hyve ticked the boxes for all three.

“We are now able to benefit from a service and pricing model far more suited to our business needs. We get this while remaining at one of the best connected and secure data centres there is.

“And it’s not just time we’ve saved by working with Hyve. Their more flexible and cheaper contract has meant we have saved a significant amount of money. They asked what we needed and then delivered it at an affordable cost – it’s as simple as that.”

We hope this entry has demonstrated our commitment to customer success and made us a worthy recipient of the Cloud Company of the Year award.

Thank you for your time and consideration

Hyve Managed Hosting

Cloud Platform Innovation of the Year

WINNER



iQuila Ltd

In the ever-evolving realm of digital connectivity, the ability to create dependable, secure, and swift connections is paramount. iQuila, standing as a vanguard in the world of Defined Networking, has revolutionized the manner in which devices and global locations interact and connect. At the heart of iQuila's prowess lies our proprietary Virtual Extended Network (VEN) protocol. This state-of-the-art protocol goes beyond the standard boundaries of connectivity. Imagine the stability, speed, and security of a direct physical hardware connection, and then envisage this being replicated to any device or location worldwide. The VEN protocol accomplishes precisely this, forging pathways that recreate the connectivity characteristics of a tangible, direct connection. However, the innovation doesn't stop there. With the majority of modern networks grappling with layer 2 traffic complexities, VEN effortlessly manages this challenge. The protocol deconstructs layer 2 traffic into discrete Ethernet frames, optimizing both speed and reliability. In our continuous pursuit for excellence and broadened horizons, iQuila has aligned its cloud infrastructure with one of the most renowned and resilient platforms in the digital world: Microsoft Azure. This strategic partnership ensures that our clients benefit from unparalleled uptime, robust security measures, and seamless scalability. Today, with our services spanning across more than 14 countries, we are not only providing groundbreaking networking solutions but also cementing our reputation as global leaders in the domain. Our footprint is a testament to our commitment to bridging gaps, erasing borders, and fostering seamless connectivity in a world that demands nothing less. As we present iQuila for this esteemed award, it's a reflection of our journey, innovation, and the relentless pursuit to redefine what's possible in the world of networking. Connecting Data Centres Across the Globe In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, uninterrupted global connectivity is vital for both businesses and individuals. iQuila Cloud is now proudly hosted on Microsoft's global Azure network. Our solution harnesses the low-latency capabilities of the Azure network to deliver unparalleled connectivity and collaboration opportunities. Global Reach, Local Impact iQuila Cloud is not just another cloud platform it represents a game-changing advancement in global connectivity. With strategically positioned data centers across the world, iQuila Cloud ensures minimal latency for users, whether they are in New York, Tokyo, or anywhere in between. Low Latency layer A standout feature of iQuila Cloud is its low-latency layer. This technology significantly reduces data travel time between users and data centres. Whether you are engaged in video conferencing, accessing extensive datasets, or sharing files, iQuila Cloud's low latency guarantees a seamless experience, rendering lag and buffering a thing of the past. Powered by Azure Network iQuila Cloud's robust infrastructure is built upon the secure and reliable Azure network. Leveraging the global Azure backbone means you can confidently rely on iQuila Cloud for mission-critical applications, data storage, and more, with the peace of mind that comes from Azure's world-class security and reliability. Collaboration Without Boundaries With iQuila Cloud, collaboration transcends geographical constraints. Teams from around the world can collaborate as if they are in the same room, thanks to seamless connectivity and low latency. This opens up a world of opportunities for businesses to access global talent, expand their markets, and innovate without limitations. Business Benefits For businesses, iQuila Cloud translates into increased productivity, reduced operational costs, and enhanced customer experiences. Whether you are managing a multinational corporation or a startup with global aspirations, iQuila Cloud's connectivity solutions can provide you with the competitive edge you seek. Unlimited Possibilities iQuila Cloud's potential extends beyond the business realm. Whether it's online gaming with friends on the other side of the world or streaming your favorite 4K content without interruption, iQuila Cloud empowers a new era of connectivity possibilities that enrich our digital lives. The Future of Connectivity In an increasingly interconnected world, iQuila Cloud stands at the forefront of the connectivity revolution. With its low-latency layer and reliance on the Azure network, it is poised to redefine how we connect, collaborate, and communicate on a global scale. Conclusion iQuila Cloud is not merely a cloud service it serves as a gateway to a more connected world. Its low latency, Azure-backed infrastructure, and global reach position it as the preferred choice for seamless connectivity, whether for business or personal use. Bid farewell to connectivity issues and embrace the future with iQuila Cloud.



RUNNER UP



PeaSoup Cloud

Modernising Cloud Platform Innovation with Liquid Immersion Cooling

Key Distinguishing Features and Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
PeaSoup is a pioneer in cloud platform innovation, well-known for its advanced features and unique approach to modern business challenges.

Its key distinguishing features and USP include:

Connected Cloud Architecture
At the core of PeaSoup's innovation lies a unified cloud architecture, seamlessly integrating and managing diverse cloud environments as a cohesive entity. This visionary approach eliminates silos, enhances agility, and simplifies multi-cloud management.

Liquid Immersion Cooling Technology
PeaSoup leverages revolutionary liquid immersion cooling technology to ensure optimal performance and energy efficiency. By immersing hardware in a biodegradable non-conductive liquid, it dissipates heat more effectively, extending hardware lifespan and reducing environmental impact.

• Heat dissipation capacity of 50kW
• Up to 45% less power consumption
• Estimated annual saving of 2 tonnes of CO2 per server!
• Scope 3 supplier
• A truly sustainable cloud platform

Hyperconverged Cloud Infrastructure and Liquid Immersion Cooling Fusion
PeaSoup introduces a paradigm shift in cloud infrastructure with its innovative combination of hyperconverged architecture and liquid immersion cooling technology. This pioneering approach not only redefines cloud capabilities but also enhances environmental sustainability.

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Here's how this integrated solution delivers unparalleled advantages:

PeaSoup's fusion of hyperconverged cloud infrastructure with liquid immersion cooling embodies a new era in cloud computing. This innovative approach raises the bar for performance, sustainability, and operational efficiency, establishing PeaSoup Cloud as a frontrunner in cloud platform innovation.

Resource Optimisation
PeaSoup's hyperconverged cloud infrastructure, combined with liquid immersion cooling, results in optimal resource utilisation. The cooling technology maintains hardware at the best temperatures, ensuring consistent performance without thermal stress and bottlenecks.

Enhanced Performance
Liquid immersion cooling eliminates the constraints of traditional air cooling, enabling hardware components to operate at their highest performance levels. This synergy with the hyperconverged architecture translates into exceptional application response times and user experiences.

Efficient Scalability
Scaling resources is effortless with PeaSoup's integrated approach. Liquid immersion cooling efficiently dissipates heat even as resources are added, ensuring that scalability doesn't compromise performance or hardware lifespan.

Cost Savings
The combination of hyperconverged infrastructure and liquid immersion cooling leads to substantial cost savings. Efficient resource usage reduces the need for excess hardware, while the cooling technology minimises energy consumption and prolongs hardware lifespan. PeaSoup is actually about 70% more affordable than Azure or AWS.

Sustainable Innovation
PeaSoup's commitment to innovation extends to environmental responsibility. Liquid immersion cooling significantly reduces energy consumption and carbon footprint. This aligns with the growing demand for sustainable technology solutions. PeaSoup cloud infrastructure (ECO-CLOUD) is a clean reliable ecological cloud service without carbon offsetting or greenwashing.

High Availability and Reliability
The fusion of hyperconverged infrastructure and liquid immersion cooling enhances hardware reliability. Consistent cooling eliminates overheating-related failures, ensuring high availability and minimising downtime risks.

Extended Hardware Lifespan
Liquid immersion cooling technology not only enhances performance but also extends hardware lifespan by reducing wear and tear caused by heat-related stress. This directly contributes to a lower total cost of ownership.

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Tangible Impact on the Market and Customers

PeaSoup's impact on the cloud market and its customers is profound:

Agility Redefined
PeaSoup's cloud architecture empowers businesses to respond swiftly to dynamic demands. Customers attest to reduced time-to-market and enhanced adaptability to market shifts.

Cost Efficiency Amplified
Integration of hyperconverged infrastructure and immersion cooling leads to substantial cost reductions. Streamlined management and resource optimisation make cloud adoption economically favourable.

Revolutionary Cooling
Liquid immersion cooling technology significantly improves hardware performance and longevity. Customers benefit from sustained high performance while reducing their carbon footprint.

Confidence in Compliance
PeaSoup's data sovereignty features are a boon for regulated industries. Customers effortlessly align with data compliance requirements, thanks to the platform's innovative design.

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Major Differentiators from Competitors
PeaSoup distinguishes itself through:

Hyperconverged Cloud and Liquid Cooling Fusion
The fusion of hyperconverged infrastructure and liquid immersion cooling is unique to PeaSoup. This combination delivers unmatched performance, efficiency, and sustainability.

Data Control and Cooling Innovation
PeaSoup's commitment to data control and its incorporation of liquid immersion cooling technology have redefined industry standards.

Data Sovereignty and Compliance
A pinnacle of PeaSoup's approach is its emphasis on data sovereignty and compliance. The innovative design allows customers to retain control over their data's physical location, facilitating compliance with regional data regulations.

Cloud Security Innovation of the Year

WINNER



Hornetsecurity

Our laser-sharp focus on Microsoft 365, the fastest growing email sending service in use by businesses worldwide, coupled with our constant attention to pre-empt and respond to Channel Partner feedback makes Hornetsecurity’s 365 Total Protection truly worthy of this award. Backed by our inhouse Security Labs, our cloud-first approach since inception, and ongoing innovation, 365 Total Protection is the only solution on the market to cover all aspects of security, compliance, and backup for Microsoft 365, all managed via once central platform.

It now also includes ongoing automated training that MSPs can roll out to customers as a service. This way, Hornetsecurity caters for prevention, protection, response and recovery are integral, all of which are essential to data security and business continuity. With our new Security Awareness Service, we empower MSPs to help organisations to ensure their data stays safe through developing a sustainable security culture.

The rationale:

We have always stressed to our partners and customers that they must be vigilant. We have contributed to enhancing cybersecurity awareness by providing educational blog posts, ebooks, webinars and reports, maximizing the research conducted by our inhouse Security Labs. However, we also recognised that security awareness training would add value to our portfolio, as part of our goal to be a one-stop vendor for next-gen security, backup and compliance for our partners for Microsoft 365. This is why we decided to launch a product in October 2022 to meet this goal, Security Awareness Service, as part of the 365 Total Protection suite.

The offering, including USPs:
There are two types of security awareness training products. With the first generation of products, the CISO or IT Administrator must send phishing simulations and monitor statistics. It’s a more time-consuming, manual approach. The second generation of products automate the process, freeing the administrator from any manual work as everything is done primarily from the vendor side. We opted for the latter approach and, in May 2022, acquired IT-Seal, a German company that focuses on establishing a sustainable security culture.
It’s important that everyone gets as much training as necessary, not too little, but certainly not too much. Overplay can have detrimental effects too, because if users receive all kinds of phishing emails, they get bored and the training then has little effect.
That’s why our Security Awareness Service does this in a convenient, ongoing, automated way that is also tailored to the different roles within an organisation, with a patented Spear Phishing Engine at its core.
It is also easy to set up and use, unlike other solutions that are too complex and too maintenance-intensive for customers.
Security Awareness Service can measure and compare the human security level across industries the innovative Employee Security Index (ESI®). This measure indicates how secure your company is. Customers can choose the level of employee security they want to achieve, and then manage the provision of training and phishing simulations based on that. The higher you want to score, and the more you are exposed to certain threats or fall for phishing simulations, the more training you receive.
Our MSPs are endorsing the addition of security awareness training to our portfolio. Ease of use is of essence to them, not only as it means they can serve their customers faster and better, but also because transacting with one vendor saves them time and money.
This service is integrated within our control panel, as is the case with our other solutions, so that everything can be managed and monitored centrally. This gives our MSPs further opportunities, coupled with ease, convenience and efficiency.
Customers include Deutsche Bundesbank, Schwan Stabilo, kohlpharma and many others.

About Hornetsecurity Group
Hornetsecurity is a leading global provider of next-generation cloud-based security, compliance, backup, and security awareness solutions that help companies and organizations of all sizes around the world. Its flagship product, 365 Total Protection, is the most comprehensive cloud security solution for Microsoft 365 on the market. Driven by innovation and cybersecurity excellence, Hornetsecurity is building a safer digital future and sustainable security cultures with its award-winning portfolio. Hornetsecurity operates in more than 30 countries through its international distribution network of 8,000 channel partners and MSPs. Its premium services are used by more than 50,000 customers.

Learn more at https://www.hornetsecurity.com/en/services/365-total-protection-enterprise-backup/ and https://www.hornetsecurity.com/en/services/cyber-security-awareness-service/

View case studies at: https://www.hornetsecurity.com/en/case-studies/



RUNNER UP



Infinidat

As cybersecurity continues to be one of the top concerns of CEOs and senior leadership teams, Infinidat made it a priority to enhance its InfiniSafe cyber storage resilience solution portfolio with cyber detection. Infinidat is one of the very few storage vendors to offer cyber detection on primary storage. Infinidat equips enterprises with stronger cyber storage resilience capabilities to counter cyberattacks against their data infrastructure in the face of increasing cyber threats.

InfiniSafe Cyber Detection is designed to help enterprises resist and quickly recover from cyberattacks. It provides highly intelligent deep scanning and indexing needed to identify potential issues. InfiniSafe Cyber Detection inspects the full breadth of files, applications, core storage infrastructure (such as volumes), and databases for signs of cyber threats for primary storage environments, helping ensure all data that needs to be recovered has integrity.

InfiniSafe Cyber Detection uses advanced machine-learning models that provide 99.5% confidence in detecting cyber threats. This helps dealing with false positive/negatives and greatly reduces the effort in any additional forensics. Over 200 points of determination are included, using content-based analytics that inspect inside files for even subtle signs of attack. The post-attack dashboard (with forensic report) details the last known good copy of the data for rapid, intelligent recovery.

With intelligent autonomous automation that Infinidat developed, the InfiniBox® and InfiniBox™ SSA II that reside on-premises simply see the public cloud as if it is another InfiniBox platform. This seamless integration extends the “Best Storage Solution of the Year” award-winning InfiniBox and InfiniBox SSA II platform experience to the cloud, delivering the same best-in-class automation, ease of use, enterprise-class data services and cyber storage resilience that differentiate Infinidat as a technology leader.

Use cases for InfuzeOS Cloud Edition include:

- Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
- Backup
- Test/Dev Ops and application integration, and Proof of Concept
- Burst Storage and Storage Tiering

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the first supported public cloud platform for InfuzeOS Cloud Edition in a single node InfiniBox configuration. Customers can deploy a full version of InfuzeOS that resides in their AWS environment. The InfuzeOS Cloud Edition solution expands Infinidat’s activities as an AWS Partner Network member, including its existing AWS Outposts Ready designation.

The launch of InfuzeOS Cloud Edition signified a bold move to extend the unmatched Infinidat user experience, encompassing ease of use, autonomous automation, and powerful enterprise data services across a hybrid cloud storage environment. With Infinidat’s operating system now in the public cloud, we can provide a consistent core-to-cloud experience through our full support for hybrid cloud deployments. Simultaneously, we’re addressing concerns about cyberattacks by adding cyber storage detection to our award-winning InfiniSafe cyber storage resilience technology with the introduction of InfiniSafe Cyber Detection. This adds an essential tool for enterprises to enable comprehensive cyber storage resilience and recovery for enterprise primary storage. Infinidat is now the ‘go-to’ enterprise storage solution provider for the automation of hybrid cloud storage and cyber storage detection.

“Infinidat’s extension of its operating system to hybrid cloud environments with InfuzeOS Cloud Edition enables use cases that are primed for hybrid cloud storage, ranging from disaster recovery and backup to dev ops to burst capacity to cloud storage. The expansion of InfiniSafe is giving enterprises advanced cyber storage detection and rapid recovery capabilities. Infinidat continues to extend its storage portfolio to provide the functionality that its customers expect and need with hybrid cloud, autonomous automation, cyber storage resilience, or cyber detection capabilities,” said Dave Pearson, Research VP at IDC.

“Infinidat\'s innovations in hybrid cloud storage and cyber detection for primary storage are essential new solutions for our enterprise customers, said Dean Jamison, Co-president and Chief Technology Officer, Dynamix. With the move to hybrid cloud storage, the seamless path between on-premises storage and the cloud that InfuzeOS Cloud Edition brings is exactly what our enterprise accounts need. At the same time, with the business cost of cyberattacks approaching $10T, the capabilities of InfiniSafe Cyber Detection are just what the doctor ordered to help minimize the impacts of cybercrime on enterprises. These two new solutions result in a powerful portfolio of offerings that easily incorporate into our customers\' infrastructure. Infinidat\'s strong momentum and continued release of award-winning solutions provides partners, such as Dynamix Group, with the right technology to meet the needs of our most demanding enterprise customers.”

“With today\'s announcement of InfuzeOS Cloud Edition and InfiniSafe Cyber Detection, Infinidat is addressing two of the largest concerns of our enterprise customers - hybrid cloud storage integration and cyber security, said, Goran Jezic, CEO, Business Computer Systems. “Infinidat continues to deliver enterprise customers tremendous technical and business value. Infinidat\'s InfiniSafe Cyber Detection helps enterprises recover from and avoid cyberattacks, while InfuzeOS Cloud Edition provides them with seamless hybrid storage cloud deployments. Infinidat\'s leadership position continues to be extended with announcements such as today\'s.

Cloud Storage Innovation of the Year

WINNER



CTERA

CTERA was founded in 2008 by IT security veterans, who anticipated the digital transformation that cloud computing would bring to enterprise IT, and the challenges it presented for infrastructure management, data governance, privacy and security. In a world where data flows between clouds, offices, and endpoints, CTERA has focused on building a secure enterprise file services platform that centrally manages the file storage, control and governance needs of the modern enterprise.

The CTERA Enterprise File Services provides multi-cloud file services with edge caching and multi-site synchronization. CTERA’s Enterprise File Services unifies local file sharing with cloud hyperscale storage, empowering enterprises to modernize every aspect of their distributed file services delivery: remote offices, work-from-home, VDI, and mobile – without compromising performance or security.

CTERA fundamentally understands the value of data privacy, security, compliance, and access controls. CTERA enables not only enterprises to harness the benefits of cloud-based file management without the security compromises associated with traditional cloud offerings but provides military grade encryption enabling defense forces worldwide to enjoy the benefits of CTERA.

The enterprise move to the cloud introduces data privacy concerns and forces IT to recreate ACLs and file permission policies for a new platform. For this reason, CTERA is focused on enabling cloud adoption for enterprises without having them sacrifice their privacy or security over their data.

CTERA Enterprise File Services delivers fast edge-to-cloud synchronization (over 30TB/day per site) secure geo-segmentation, embedded antivirus, and built-in data discovery and migration from legacy file storage and sets a new bar for multi-cloud global file systems, offering the most feature-rich, fast, and secure platform in the industry.

In December 2022, CTERA announced v7.5 of its Enterprise File Services Platform, known as CTERA 7.5. With CTERA 7.5, the company has introduced Cloud Storage Routing, which takes its multi-cloud technology to the next level. It also includes many features and updates, including enhancements in data management, deduplication, and security and compliance.

With CTERA’s mission to evolve enterprise storage from an IOPS-centric approach to the new world of multi-cloud DataOps, this release is now the industry gold standard.

CTERA Cloud Storage Routing enables organizations to use multiple cloud storage providers and on-premises object storage systems, with policy-based control over data placement. Data can be routed to be stored in different places globally, with granularity based on tenant, user, or even individual directory.

There are several reasons why intelligent cloud routing is the future of data storage:

Data sovereignty
With increasingly strict rules around where data is stored and how it is moved, including differing laws and regulations across countries and regions, data sovereignty has become mission-critical for many organizations. With the potential for fines and other legal consequences for non-compliance, many customers will simply not be able to do business with entities who do not have effective data sovereignty policies in place. With CTERA Cloud Storage Routing, organizations can maintain data sovereignty, as well as compliance with GDPR and other regulations.

Massive cost savings
By giving organizations the ability to select the cloud provider that exists nearest where the data creation is, huge cost savings can be realized.

Business efficiency
An organization needs quick access to data to function efficiently. Until now, this hasn’t always been possible, with data often stored in different places and especially when utilizing cloud data storage providers. CTERA 7.5’s intelligent cloud storage routing provides low-latency access to data, ensuring that IT teams have access to the data they need, when they need it.

CTERA Direct – a high-performance, low-latency, direct-to-cloud data transport protocol forms the foundation of intelligent cloud routing. Created to overcome data transfer challenges across different cloud environments and high-latency links, it adheres to a zero-trust philosophy ensuring maximum performance and security.


RUNNER UP



DTiQ

About DTiQ:
DTiQ offers state-of-the-art video surveillance to improve loss prevention and operational excellence efforts for restaurants, retail, and convenience store locations. With over 20 years of experience, DTiQ successfully enhances over 8 million consumer experiences daily while protecting trillions of dollars in assets. DTiQ’s team of over 450 dedicated employees works with 45,000-plus locations, including brands such as Adidas, Burger King, Dairy Queen, Hard Rock Café, McDonald\'s, Pandora, Subway, Swarovski, Taco Bell, Vineyard Vines and Yankee Candle.
DTiQ’s AI-driven loss prevention data analytics ensure transactional integrity and spot trends and anomalies associated with internal employee theft, external theft, slips and falls, robberies, crime and more.

About RISA:
Collecting and storing evidence is a critical component of any investigation – however, due to time restraints and costs associated with searching, storing and retrieving video footage across locations, many businesses fail to alert authorities when a crime is committed. Remote Incident Support Archiving (RISA) allows users to archive video of any event and easily share it with the necessary authorities with a password-protected link. With off-site storage, the solution uploads surveillance to DTiQ’s secure video cloud, ensuring that video is saved if a business’s DVR is damaged or stolen.

Using a customer’s existing cameras, DTiQ’s RISA solution ensures video content is infinitely stored in the cloud to: keep critical incident footage safely backed up make content easily accessible at any date and retrieve incident video that is shareable by email and links. DTiQ’s powerful business intelligence dashboard is hosted in the cloud, allowing users to analyze data, view videos, and examine exceptions from any location. Additionally, the solution’s compiled view provides users with a full 360-degree view within one video link that shows various time-stamped angles with each incident file. Rather than sharing multiple videos with authorities, users can send one link that shows an incident from all angles, saving law enforcement time and effort during their investigation.

One of the most common issues is how much time processes like sharing, saving, and looking through video take out of a business’s daily routine. Users can submit a request through the solution to be able to quickly access, share, and save any historical video footage.
When an incident or accident occurs at a retail or restaurant location, the direct manager generally drops everything and visits the location to ensure the video is properly moved from the local server and preserved for safekeeping. Saving and sharing video footage is typically a difficult time-consuming process. One person could lose 1.5 hours of productivity for each incident by traveling 30 minutes each way to a location and spending 30 minutes to save the video. This solution provides upwards of $180 in productivity costs saved per video incident, on average.

DTiQ\'s Remote Incident Support Archiving (RISA) solution provides managers with a quick and easy way to save and share video footage without needing to step foot on site. Video footage is saved in the cloud where it will not be overwritten and can be shared via email with police, legal teams and internally without the need for any media player to review.
DTiQ\'s Remote Incident Support Archiving (RISA) solution provides a number of financial and strategic benefits. With RISA, managers can reduce the burden on IT for video requests, avoid missing footage on general liability events, improve operations, minimize theft and risk, alert authorities of crime quickly and easily, and significantly improve employee behavior and safety for its customers and employees.

DTiQ’s RISA solution provides managers with infinite cloud storage and the ability to share files quickly with authorities. Rather than sift through incident footage, managers can submit a request and receive a stitched video of all camera views shown in just one video link, instead of a set of individual videos. DTiQ’s competitors do not have this unique feature. The ability to view one 5-minute video with nine camera views time-stamped instead of nine separate 5-minute videos of different views saves managers and law enforcement significant time. Additionally, law enforcement is not allowed to download links by a third-party, such as a competitor platform. DTiQ’s solution provides an MP4 format to ensure law enforcement can easily review the footage without disruption.

Testimonials from our satisfied customers can be found below:
- “Another tool I love is RISA. It’s so helpful to contact DTiQ’s Support team directly and request a copy of video footage rather than having to take the time to find and download it myself. The fact that they can mail a watermarked copy of video footage to directly is so valuable. We receive several misfuel claims from our gas pumps and the video allows us to understand what really happened. We can review the interaction between employees and customers and determine if we communicated accurately with customers. We can also verify drive-offs and keep proof of those incidents on hand. Recently we caught some folks talking about a drug deal at one of our locations! We submitted the video and audio footage to the sheriff’s department for investigation. So, considering incidents like that, DTiQ has helped us play a bigger part in our community also.” – A DTiQ convenience store customer
- “A customer left their laptop while at checkout and when they came back, the laptop was gone. We were able to use RISA to find the thief who took the laptop from the checkout desk and fled the scene. The RISA footage helped us identify the thief, who was a commercial driver, and match the thief to the Commercial Driver License (CDL) identification number displayed on their truck. The laptop was later found and returned to our customer and the truck driver was then reported to law enforcement. Without RISA, the customer’s laptop would have never been found.” – A DTiQ convenience store customer

Cloud Transformation /MSP Project of the Year

WINNER



Node4

EMiR Software (Solutions in IT) is a market leader in specialist business management software. Our software, EMiR, is available as an on-premises or cloud-based solution. It is designed for electrical and mechanical engineering businesses that install and service large-scale industrial and commercial equipment — such as hydraulic pumps and rams. The software supports vital infrastructure around the world, including hospitals, power stations, chemical plants, food manufacturers and utility companies.

“We developed a solution that allowed customers to access their own dedicated virtual server, or fleet of virtual servers, via a private cloud platform. We installed our EMiR software and Microsoft Office in each customer environment and offered the option to include any other software that clients might require. Customers would then pay a monthly per-user fee. In return, we’d free them from day-to-day system admin responsibilities and manage the entire environment — delivering first-line hardware support and 24/7 x 365 availability.” - Gary Downes, Managing Director at EMiR Software

This arrangement initially worked well. But as our business and solution continued to develop, we outgrew our original IT services provider. The amount of unscheduled downtime and service interruptions increased to unacceptable levels — impacting our infrastructure and causing problems for clients. It was frustrating for us as we had no control over the issues and could not fix them directly.

How did the solution address the challenges, and were there any particularly innovative aspects that made it stand out?

We chose Node4 after assessing several cloud service providers, noting that Node4 stood out in terms of pricing, support, speed, performance and flexibility. Rather than trying to push us into an off-the-shelf product like many vendors, Node4 devised a bespoke solution and pricing structure that matched how we serviced and billed our customers.

Following a seamless migration, all our cloud-based customers have been relocated to virtual servers in one of Node4’s data centres. Customers still have a managed private cloud environment containing our software, Microsoft Office and any other software they’d like to run on their networks. But with Node4 on board, customers now benefit from improved performance and resiliency that come from superior backup, recovery, antivirus protection and security functionality.

“Node4’s network monitoring capabilities are on a different level, too. We get automated hardware, software and key service alerts — plus daily performance reports for each server. And we’re immediately notified about potential IT security breaches or cyber threats. Node4 deals with these before customers are even aware of an issue. It’s all extremely impressive, proactive and responsive — making our lives a hundred times easier.” - Gary Downes, Managing Director at EMiR Software

What significant challenges were faced during the project, and how were they overcome?

There was only really one project challenge, and that came from the complexity of having to seamlessly migrate 14 international cloud-based customers — with data stored across 21 servers — from the incumbent IT solutions provider to Node4’s infrastructure.

We create and manage bespoke IT environments for each of our clients. Each environment is unique, with specific, industry-related operational, security and compliance components. They have varying amounts of users, as well as diverse IT security requirements, and storage, backup and disaster recovery infrastructure. This made each customer migration a project in its own right.

Working closely with our IT team, Node4 developed a meticulous and thoroughly researched project plan. They mirrored all the servers and tested different scenarios to ensure the suggested migration sequence did not create performance or availability issues for any clients. Once the migration plan was agreed, Node4 created a project and process document for each customer.

“Node4 completed the migration project without any issues. There were no tickets raised by customers and no data transfer or migration inconsistencies. The project succeeded due to Node4’s personal touch and meticulous — almost military — planning. Node4 took the time to understand the needs of each of our 14 customers. It takes a lot of commitment at an account management level and a supportive, enlightened business culture behind them to go that extra mile. But that’s what made the project work. That kind of commitment and customer service is rare amongst MSPs, and I think it makes Node4 stand out from the crowd.” - Gary Downes, Managing Director at EMiR Software

“Josh Bottomley, our project lead, was a finalist in one of the categories in this year’s British Pump Manufacturer Association (BPMA) awards. This was a big deal for us as it meant our primary industry formally recognised the exceptional planning and attention to detail that went into ensuring 24x7 uptime throughout this migration project.” - Gary Downes, Managing Director at EMiR Software

What tangible benefits has the organisation seen from the project’s implementation?

Round-the-Clock support

Node4’s private cloud platform delivers the 24/7 x 365 support we and our clients always need. Although our previous provider had out-of-hours alerting, they didn’t start working on any fixes until 8 a.m. GMT the following morning. But with Node4, the alerts are monitored and dealt with round the clock, so issues never escalate or cause outages.

Speed and Performance Gains

We continue to be impressed by the superior speed and performance of Node4’s infrastructure — and clients have noticed, too. These days, when our IT team demos the cloud-based version of EMiR to clients still using their own hardware, they are always blown away. This makes it much more certain that they’ll migrate to the cloud-based version when their current infrastructure reaches end-of-life.

Delivering Flexibility and Agility

Node4’s public cloud infrastructure also gives us much more direct control over our servers — allowing us to add users, licences, RAM, or disk capacity. Administrative changes that used to take the previous provider around 48 hours to deal with are now handled in-house within an hour. There’s no need to raise a ticket and wait for our provider to respond, making for more efficient operations and a smooth customer experience.

Summing up

“Having Node4 as our trusted IT provider and MSP partner means we’re more confident when promoting the benefits of our cloud-based solution. We’ve also been able to take on more of a leadership and educational role, which helps our sales and marketing efforts and elevates our standing within our sector. For all these reasons, I believe we have built a strong foundation that will enable our business to continue growing and evolving.” - Gary Downes, Managing Director at EMiR Software


RUNNER UP



Daisy Corporate Services

Royal Holloway University London (RHUL) is one of the University of London's 17 member institutions, founded in 1886 to promote the education of women. Today, it ranks among the top 25 universities in the UK, with nearly 12,000 students and staff spread across the two main campuses in central London and Egham, Surrey. RHUL's legacy infrastructure sat at the heart of its IT environment, delivering critical data services to thousands of staff and students from across its data centres. Over a long period of time, RHUL invested in various platforms that could not fully realise their potential due to legacy workloads and inherent migration challenges. Generations of hardware, with various legacy dependencies attributed to them, meant that maintaining efficient day-to-day support and management was more difficult than it had to be. This was impacting RHUL's ability to easily develop and scale to meet its future academic needs. With a significant data centre footprint and increasing awareness of its energy usage, regaining control of its infrastructure's energy consumption was another growing concern. As a trusted advisor to RHUL with a more than twenty-year relationship, Daisy engaged with the RHUL leadership team to perform a series of consultative discovery and assessment programmes. The outcomes from this work allowed Daisy to gain a clear understanding of RHUL's business priorities and technical requirements: - Simplify - Reduce the complexity of running multiple infrastructure generations and rationalise them to a single common platform. - High availability - Provide a single resilient data centre design, stretched across each physical campus, providing workload mobility and cross-site load balancing. - Remediation of technical debt - Introduce an environment where the service provider ensures the ecosystem remains well maintained, freeing up essential RHUL resources to 'keep the lights on'. - Fixed project migration - Contracting to an outcome-based solution with a fixed price to cover all scoped professional services. - ROI - based on the existing platform, the current monthly running costs, including overhead for maintenance, would match the approximate monthly cost of a brand new 'Infrastructure-as-a-Service'. - Environmental - Provide significant carbon footprint savings and provide value back for the disposal and trade in of legacy equipment. To meet RHUL's requirements, Daisy implemented a new virtual infrastructure solution based on HPE dHCI technology: HPE ProLiant DL Servers and HPE Nimble Storage. This extensive technology refresh was developed under a HPE GreenLake programme, presenting a consumption model that was delivered as-a-service. RHUL is the first UK educational institution to implement HPE GreenLake. To remediate all technical debt, the removal of legacy equipment and services was consolidated to form a single 'right sized' ecosystem by design. This utilised the capabilities of HPE dHCI, which is a highly scalable platform that supports growing compute and storage workloads. The solution also offers an improved level of resiliency, with 99.9999% availability. It uses HPE Peer Persistence to provide synchronous storage replication and VMware Metro Cluster to ensure that a single cluster is load balanced between each data centre. Installation services were provided by HPE to provide the immediate landing zone, whilst Daisy developed and implemented the cloud transformation and migration programme to migrate four separate virtual environments across two independent hypervisor technologies. RHUL has now been able to replace its legacy infrastructure with a state-of-the-art hybrid cloud platform. This shift is almost cost-neutral when compared to what RHUL would have spent in maintenance and power usage supporting its old environment. In fact, RHUL was able to forecast a saving of 5% from initiating the project, contrasted to what it would have spent by doing nothing. The hybrid solution not only solved RHUL's current infrastructure headaches but has also addressed many other business priorities - including support, management, education, cost, and sustainability. - Simplicity - A single, modern, easy-to-manage platform with enterprise levels of resiliency, availability, intelligence, proactive reporting, management, and automation. - Flexibility - 20% variable infrastructure that provides immediate support for seasonal demands that can be consumed on a daily pay-per-use basis. - Improved environmental impact - The new solution successfully reduced RHUL's data centre footprint by 75%, reduced the number of VMWare sockets by 85% and achieved energy savings of over 72%. - Streamlined management - Future management tasks are made painless with the help of improved analytics, support from an 'as-a-service' Service Delivery Team and well-trained staff. - Sustainability - Legacy equipment has been fully decommissioned, sanitised, and disposed of using ISO accredited processes with all residual value being paid back to RHUL. - Budget predictability - By contracting an outcome with guaranteed pricing and fixed pricing bands for the length of the contact, RHUL's budgeting has been simplified. Overall, HPE GreenLake has delivered immediate commercial benefits to RHUL and a return on investment in months rather than years. With no upfront charges and well-defined costs, this 'as-a-service' model has enabled RHUL to futureproof its infrastructure and better meet seasonal demand. Commenting on the success of the project, Zoe Faiz, Assistant IT Director at Royal Holloway University of London, said: 'A modern, world-class university needs server infrastructure future-proofed for the cloud age. We're delighted to have upgraded a critical part of our IT environment so seamlessly with Daisy and HPE. The predicted power and software licensing savings will keep us leaner and greener, and better able to support our staff and students.'


Company Culture Initiative
Sponsored by   HCL Group

WINNER



Giacom

At Giacom we provide over 2,000 channel partners with an innovative, comprehensive and value creating product portfolio that’s future proofed. This includes Connectivity, Mobile, Voice, IP Communications, Cloud and Product Supply.

We recognise that creating a positive and productive corporate culture is not just about giving our people the tools and technology to do their jobs effectively and deliver great service to our customers. It\'s also about ensuring they\'re fully supported within a constructive working environment.

Our people are at the heart of what we do and play a vital role in the success of our business. We value everyone highly, from frontline sales staff to technical support teams and back-office admin. We want to empower them to achieve excellence, but we also want them to feel that working at Giacom is an enjoyable and rewarding experience. That means encouraging initiative and developing talent, as well as recognising and rewarding exceptional performance.

Promoting inclusivity is an important part of our corporate culture. We’ve created a bespoke Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) strategy which reflects our brand philosophy, ‘We make life better, together’. We value diverse perspectives and recognise the unique talents of individuals. We take pride in celebrating all cultures and cultural events. We’re also officially a Disability Confident accredited business. To ensure our assets are accessible to everyone, we’ve made sure our communication methods are inclusive by using subtitles for videos, holding more face-to-face meetings, font size or sound level adjustments, etc.

Our corporate culture is also centred around collaboration and innovation, inspiring our team members to thrive and consistently deliver their best work. We encourage open communication, so we’ve created various channels to give team members a voice and keep them up to date, including our regular virtual ‘Team Talks’, feedback surveys, online forums and weekly bulletins on our specially designed internal comms platform ‘My Hub’.

To ensure we’re maintaining and constantly improving our workplace culture, every six months we run our ‘Your Say Survey’ to gain further valuable feedback.

Our long list of award wins over the years is solid evidence that our company culture is way ahead of our competitors. Last year, we were thrilled to win Comms Business’ ‘The Workplace’ award, IT Europa’s ‘Diversity Initiative of the Year’, Channel Champion’s ‘Service Provider People & Culture Team’, and to be nominated for eight other workplace awards.

Our commitment to employee wellbeing, continuous learning and inclusivity makes us a workplace where employees feel valued, inspired and motivated to achieve greatness. We are immensely proud of our company culture. Its positive impact is a key driver in the success of our business.


RUNNER UP



Turkcell

Turkcell is a converged telecommunication and technology services provider, founded and headquartered in Turkey. It serves its customers with voice, data, TV and value-added consumer and enterprise services on mobile and fixed networks. Turkcell names itself as the “Digital Operator” of Turkey and digital transformation is one of the strategic company initiatives. As the leading digital operator of Turkey, and also have operations in Belarus, Ukraine, North Cyprus.
As being a “Digital Operator”, Turkcell promotes being digital-first in its internal operating model and strategy as well. Employees are always empowered to innovate and dedicate time to research and development. Given that, as a result of this innovative culture, our IT teams developed an internal RPA platform, Turkcell Global Bilgi RPA, started to automate their manual, rule driven tasks via this in-house technology.
In this nomination we want to propose our Culture Driven RPA Scale Out Program: RPA Marathon as an outstanding initiative serving to digital transformation, cultural mind shift and upskilling of our employees. As it will be seen in the design, outputs and employee reflections, RPA Marathon has become one of the most comprehensive RPA programs that brought with cultural transformation and talent development as well as the digital transformation. On the main and supporting documents, specific examples are selected from the implementations from hackathons were run between October’22 – August ’23.

1 - How we started the RPA Marathon Project? Why RPA Marathon?
For the last 2 years, we have been positioning RPA technology as one of the important building blocks of our digital transformation journey. As Turkcell, we developed our own internal RPA technology, and it has been using since 2018. However, although we have our own technology, it had not been widely known and preferred as a potential automation solution. Only departments with technical background were using it. At the end of 2020, there were only 100 RPA automation scenarios running and 50 citizen developers. And it was far from where it should and can be.
Turkcell has more than 5K employees. Although, we are leading the market in terms of digital experience we provide to our customers our internal processes need to be fixed in terms of digital maturity. So many, Level 4 processes are broken due to functional silos and add-on activities to respond quickly the regulation changes. Therefore, our starting point was finding ways to increase the role of RPA in our digital transformation journey as an enabler with its ease of adaptation, quick win capability and low-cost nature.
This starting point end with the idea of RPA Marathon! We designed a program serving for digital transformation, cultural transformation, and upskilling at the same time.
2- How RPA Marathon Address this level of penetration?
THE DESIGN PRINCIPLES
Although, RPA Marathon is basically a technology driven initiative, we put our employees at the very center of the program. The design of the program answers the following questions in every step:
- How can we empower our own employees?
- How can we increase the participation and contribution of our employees?
- What skills and conditions do our employees need to contribute to this transformation program?
- How we can manage these efforts so that they have continuity, like a seed, that we plant.
Taking our employees at the center of our focus resulted in the most comprehensive, culture driven intelligent automation transformation program.

Let’s Look into Details of Each Lever of The Program:
- 1) Provide Platforms: We designed competition formats serve as a platform to create attraction, concentration, ensuring idea maturation and fast-track RPA scenario implementation.
o During Ideations, we explore candidate processes for RPA. We use these workshops as an opportunity to discover automation potential. Workshops managed based on design thinking approach, enable employees to identify and elaborate their automation ideas.
o Hackathons, are basically ensuring the concentration of employees till their automation scenarios are built and implemented. Approximately between 2-4 weeks, participants are directed to form teams of 3-5 people. At the end of hackathons, an internal judging committee is evaluating the output of each team.
As a result of these competitions, more than 1.4K automation scenarios have been implemented with outstanding efficiency and financial impact and a wide range of impact to our business from back-Office operations to customer faced processes, from Network continuity monitoring processes to ICT application operations processes, from supply chain and logistics processes to financial operations.

This competition part is where our program differentiates from most of the reskilling / upskilling programs. Employees could attend to hackathons if they completed the citizen developer program (see the next part.), hence they can directly find the opportunity to practice what they learn through the trainings.

- 2) Empowerment: As we stated earlier, what differentiates RPA Marathon from other intelligent automation programs, it is a people driven automation initiative. ICT experts and Continuous Improvement professionals are enablers in this program, but all production belongs to people from departments.

Empowering our employees is one of the critical building blocks of the program.

Citizen Developer Training Program:
Within the Marathon concept, each participant needs to attend 2_step_training on RPA development.

First Step: Introduction to RPA. It is an online training, lasts for 2 days, self-paced, consisting of basic principles of RPA and Turkcell’s RPA processes. To look into detail:
o RPA 101: What is RPA? What are the basic components. How to discover potential RPA Scenarios.
o RPA 102: Learn Turkcell RPA Studio and learn most popular and used RPA activities
o RPA 103: Learn the use of orchestrator and admin panel. How to go live of written RPA scripts.
o RPA 104: Learn use of Turkcell RPA studio and orchestrator based on the real-life sample automation scenarios.

Second Step: This is an in-class group training with an instructor. The aim is actually reinforcing the information learned in the first step with a model where participants design their own scenarios, can ask questions to instructor and learn from each other. To successfully finish this second step, designing at least one automation is a mandatory for each participant.
This 2-step upskilling program is all run by internal trainers. Participants are supervised to practice scenario development intensely during the trainings.

Mentorship: One of the things, that differentiates our program from others is our Mentor Community. As a complementary factor, it would be necessary to encourage the ones who lack of courage due to the they lack practical know-how. We have created Mentorship mechanisms for them, where they can receive one-on-one support after intensive training. Our employees, who have started RPA earlier and have a level of RPA knowledge, are honored as RPA Mentor officially, they are assigned to teams and help them during Hackathons ensuring use of skill gained during trainings. This mentorship mechanism is also a factor that will serve for sustainability of these cross functional collaboration and the culture of cocreations.
Recently our empowerment model is awarded by ATD Group with Gold Award on Talent Development Innovation category.
- 3) Acknowledgement: It is a common fact that one of the key success factors of transformation initiatives is Top Management support. So, we include CLevel as the keynote participant at award ceremonies at the end of each competition. Teams which receive a degree as a result of judging committee evaluations, are announced during the award ceremonies and awarded by CLevel.
What is more as a complementary mechanism, people’s progress related with citizen development is recognized as badge. Badges have three degrees and requires a continuity on yearly bases which are
o RPA Mentor – performing mentorship during the year
o RPA Developer – requires at least 2 developments during the year
o RPA Champion – requires at least 5 development during the year
These badges can be seen on the profile page of each employee at company intranet.
- 4) Inspire: During the program, we also want to show our employees what can be possible with RPA, what is available, what will be next trends in the area. We organized seminars with our internal leaders and Country Manager of Uipath, and also, we brought together our employees who have experienced and developed RPA technology and our employees who are curious about the technology but do not have enough courage to participate in our experience sharing sessions. In these sessions, our employees who lack courage to practice this technology can ask questions to their peers who have passed the way previously and try to understand how they can go further. More than 2000 people attended this organizations.


CHALLENGES and KEY SUCCESS FACTORS:
During the program we manage and still managing several challenges:
- 1) Motivating employees to participate and keep that motivation high| The whole program is designed to encourage and empower employees to contribute to this initiative. The awards, teamwork, mentorship, CLevel ceremonies, training and certifications, badges … whole program serves to overcome this challenge.
- 2) Ensuring continuity of the support of the mentors | Enlarge the mentor community for backups, acknowledge the efforts publicly, applies specific incentives to mentors
- 3) Ensuring that the maximum number of automation scenarios are developed | Employees with RPA development skills are buddied with the ones having less experience as a result of internal crowd sourcing approach.
- 4) Ensuring that everyone owns the initiative | Incorporate RPA penetration as a KPI into the scorecards of departments
- 5) Handling costs of robots and optimization | Designing an IT infrastructure ensuring re-use and utilization of robots by whole department and agreeing on a price structure that allow pay-as-you go. The structure is supported via online dashboards showing robot usage, utilization, working time and impact generated.

IMPACTS and RESULTS
For us, RPA is not just a technology, it served and will continue serving to our company’s Continues Improvement Journey under many angles. RPA Marathon implementations eventually grew in waves of influence:

- TALENT DEVELOPMENT:
o ~600 employees have completed online (phase 1) and – or in class RPA training program
o ~310 of them have been granted as RPA Citizen Developer. One of the best things is that these people also attend Marathons as the developer of a team that combined from New beginners of RPA. So, it has been a fantastic way of knowledge sharing within the company.
o 10K hour of training have already been completed by our people. All the trainings are designed and given by our internal trainers who are also have different responsibilities in their departments.

- CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION:
o More than 2000 (out of 5000) attended at least one of the Marathon events.
o ~1000 employees competed in Hackathons, contributed to production with their ideas and development
o 100 employees have been awarded because of their outstanding ideas and performance during Hackathons
o 40 employees were granted as RPA mentor and they have been continuing to support teams during competitions, scenario development. It also has valuable contribution of cross functional collaboration and the culture of cocreation.

o 1.487 automation scenarios are identified and developed via RPA technology and actively running on our processes and systems.
o 10.000.000 hours of work are performed by the robots so far. This means both optimization for our current work force, and also eliminating work force needs for some of the jobs that we cannot find time or resource before RPA.
o 100.000.000 ₺ of financial impact have been identified as a result of these automation scenarios.
The source of these financial impacts varies from:
 Generating revenue earlier thanks to shortening process time by Robots
 Eliminating of cost of some services that were bought from outsource vendors, but now executed by robots
 Preventing legal penalties by elimination of human dependency in the processes.

o On the Attachment 2 – you can find featured automation scenarios among this 1487 automation and their impacts. Namely:
 PROJECT #1: A tireless customer complaint tracking robot
 PROJECT #2: Robot for Customer First at the time of earthquake
 PROJECT #3: RPA Robots as Virtual Back Office Assistant Serving Sales Reps for 360° customer analysis
 PROJECT #4: Touchless KYC with Smart RPA Bots as Operations Agents
 PROJECT #5: Streamlining Legal Follow Up Process with Bots
 PROJECT #6: Campaign Definition Automation for Contracted Offers
 PROJECT #7: A Digital 3G Network Assistant Robot – A Servant to Sustainability
 PROJECT #8: Media Performance Tracking Robot
 PROJECT #9: Robot tracking our carbon footprint
 PROJECT #10: Robots assisting sales rep. during customers’ site visit
 PROJECT #11: Smart Order and Inventory Robot

• LOCAL and INTERNATIONAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
o 1) Speech at Strategic Transformation and Operational Excellence Summit’22 – IQPC
https://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/events-performanceexcellenceeurope/speakers/c-handan-aymaz-aymaz

Headline: UTILISING ENABLER TECHNOLOGIES AND CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION TO DELIVER SUSTAINABLE PROCESS IMPROVEMENT

Scaling a comprehensive RPA program throughout the company to multiply all metrics by three, including: Number of citizen developers Number of automated scenarios Number of robots
 Exploring the power of the “Marathon” concept and sharing the early successes from the program
 Introducing process mining as a part of the continuous improvement program
 Sharing concrete recommendations on how to position process mining within your process and digital transformation agenda and understanding both skill and mindset requirements for long term initiative

o 2) Speech at Intelligent Automation and Artificial Intelligent Summit’23

Headline: Cultivating the Revolution: Unleashing the Full Potential of RPA and Process Mining technologies through the Power of Culture.
https://www.intelligentautomation.network/events-intelligent-automation/speakers/handan-aymaz-associate-director
Scaling a comprehensive RPA Program throughout the company
 Is it possible to make everyone in the organization to be a transformation agent?
Understanding Process Mining as the new golden key for end-to-end data driven process transformation:
 How to position process mining as a part of continuous improvement journey
 Revisiting the definition of success for process mining initiatives and understanding technical, organizational and cultural requirements
 Proven improvement with process mining and the approach for value generation
o 3) ATD - RPA Citizen Developer Program /Talent Development Innovation – GOLD Award
o 4) Telco Intelligent Automation Council (TIAC) – Navigating Your Way to the Ideal Robotic Centre of Excellence Vodcast Series
 https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7099704953597796352?updateEntityUrn=urn:li:fs_feedUpdate:(V2urn:li:activity:7099704953597796352
 https://www.linkedin.com/posts/mercurial-minds_coe-strategies-for-smart-automation-activity-7100494968565223427-_ptJ?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop
 https://www.linkedin.com/posts/mercurial-minds_skillingreskilling-for-seamless-rpa-integration-activity-7099704953597796352-rOBp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop

SUPPLEMENTARY linkS and ATTACHMENTS:
- Please Click the link #1: Feedback from Our Employees.
- Please Click the link #2: PUBLIC VIDEO AT THE END of 2022 (2023 video is also in progress, will be live at the end of 2023)
- Please Click the link #3: A Sample Project Delivered as a Result of the Program – Project 1
- Please Click the link #4: A Sample Project Delivered as a Result of the Program – Project 2
- Attachment -1: SDC_Company Culture Initiative of The Year – Turkcell RPA Marathon Program Details
- Attachment -2: SDC_Company Culture Initiative of The Year – Featuring Automation Scenarios

Data Management/Analytics Innovation of the Year

WINNER



@RACK

Our @RACK Mobile Data Destruction System (MDDS) is a powerful, mobile, and fast data destruction system that processes HDDs, SSDs, and other storage devices. This product gives all our clients and potential users the complete in-house/on-site data destruction control without the use of 3rd parties. Our product greatly simplifies the in-house procedures and completely removes chain of custody breaches. The product has been specifically built to facilitate the following sectors/organisations in their duty to protect private information and data: Data centres, Defence and security sectors, Financial institutions, Healthcare, Government and public agencies, Private organisations. @RACK MDDS offers the the following features to all users: •;;;; Auditable chain of custody •;;;; Generate data audit certificates •;;;; Supports HDDs and SSDs •;;;; Revenue generation for Data Centres without hassles •;;;; Seamless Internal control of your own data •;;;; Tested and approved industry technology standard •;;;; In-house total data destruction with no third-party data processing •;;;; Compact and reliable technology •;;;; Self-management and training for engineers The benefits of using @RACK MDDS by our customers includes the following: •;;;; Compact, powerful and rugged •;;;; Simple and easy to operate •;;;; Designed in compliance with industry standards for media destruction •;;;; Cost-effective and durable system •;;;; Seamless Internal control of your data within the same environment •;;;; Compliance with stringent regulatory standards for all users •;;;; Safe waste containment and disposal system •;;;; Free product life cycle maintenance and customer services The @RACK MDDS also complies with all management standards including the DoD, NSA, NIST, NCSC / CESG, among other EMEA regulations that guarantees the safety and security of all our clients and stakeholders. Our team of sales, customer agents, and engineers are always ready and exceptional in providing our customers with unmatched presales and post-sales customer service experience for total satisfaction throughout the system life-cycle.



RUNNER UP



Vodafone

We are proud to present Vodafone Business IoT Data Analytics, an innovative AI/ML-powered data product that leverages IoT connectivity data to provide valuable insights for businesses across diverse verticals. They key USP is that it uses unique data sets from within Vodafone leverages our expertise in analysing and interpreting network-generated data is powered by AI/ML developed by our in-house Data Science Team and runs on our own analytics platform. We have built our solution in-house over the years, developing strong know-how and giving us the flexibility we need to create new capabilities in response to customer demand. We are also in a strong position to create product bundles and identify opportunities to optimise costs and investments across our product lines. Moreover, competing solutions require mobile network operator to offer a value-add. As our product is built on data that runs in our systems, we have an “unfair advantage” that is hard to replicate.
Our solution helps our customers (existing and new) gain deeper understanding of the performance of their connected devices to support and enhance their core business processes and their own customer experience, which relies on this connectivity. It allows them to detect potential regulatory risks, fraud, faults, and operational issues in their connected devices that can severely impact their customer-service operations and revenue opportunities.
1. One of our new customers, a leading European company in the digital payment landscape, was in the past served by one of our strongest competitors for several years. They decided to switch to Vodafone IoT also thanks to our IoT Data Analytics product. The have been experiencing real challenges in finding idle devices and those used for other purposes (fraud risk). These problems were particularly important to them as they hampered their strategic growth plans. Thanks to the wide range of anomaly detection capabilities, were able to show them how it easy it is (few clicks) to identify devices displaying unusual behaviour.
2. We have recently won repeat and new business from one of our key Energy & Utility vertical customers, a leading operator in the transport and dispatching of natural gas. In our connectivity proposal we also presented our AI/ML solution to help them address the challenge of identifying the devices to replace in the field. This is important since the devices they connect are often found in difficult areas to reach (e.g.: mountains) that require use of significant operational resources.
3. A customer of ours in the HO.RE.CA industry (cafés, pubs, restaurants, hotels, catering) leases their devices to users in multiple regions. A cornerstone of their business model is being able to know if devices are where they are expected to be. However, they realised cases of fraud – devices changing location permanently and/or re-sold on the markets – were on the rise. Our solution offers a way to know where devices are located, with history of locations on a map. This is of great value as it allows for an easier way to manage contractual commitments and to reduce operational effort in enforcing them and ultimately costs.
4. One of our largest fleet management customers wanted to stay on top of costs, as they planned to grow their business. As our product can provide a simple way to monitor data usage across regions and bundles, and to identify outliers, we were able to showcase the benefits of our solution, winning business for Vodafone.
5. Permanent roaming is a key concern for companies deploying devices all over the world, particularly in countries where specific restrictions exist (e.g.: no more than a certain number of days). This is because if a device is found exceeding the allowed threshold, it can be blocked/switched off by local authorities, which can require companies owning those devices to deploy significant financial and operational resources to resume business for them and their customers. The ask for support has become stronger from our customer base, especially within Automotive, and our product can offer users the ability to identify those devices that spend longer than they should have in a determined country(ies).


From a point of view of impact, having developed our AI/ML product has given Vodafone the ability to sell more than just connectivity. This is something the organisation had been trying to do for years. We are now able to change the conversation we have with our customers and really address the most pressing challenges they face in running their business by offering a value-added service. As a result, we are already winning customers from our main competitors (gaining market share), signing new logos, generating incremental revenues, and mitigating the decline in connectivity revenues (ARPU), all of which is in line with our Vodafone IoT’s strategic objectives. Other benefits our solution has brought – we hired and trained over a dozen graduates and apprentices from all over the UK and beyond, giving them an opportunity to work on impactful customer-facing work and liaise directly with leading companies in the Automotive and Utilities vertical.
Other measures of success also include:
- evidence and positive feedback from external customers of need for the product,
- tangible impact on our organisation as reported by internal users using the capabilities of the project to carry out activities such as revenue recovery and loss prevention

Through Vodafone IoT Data Analytics, we aim to support our organisation’s growth in IoT by helping win new contracts, expanding our presence in new industries and uncovering new opportunities as a result of building out our data business. Doing that will require a change in the way we approach data and data related decisions to facilitate the rapid development of AI-ML powered capabilities. Delivering new increments of the product will effectively change the way we operate in Vodafone.

Data Security/Compliance Innovation of the Year

WINNER



AT-RACK LIMITED

@RACK has its foundation in the security and defence sector. We are notable for designing, manufacturing, and selling the most advanced and cost-effective range of data destruction technologies in the UK. @RACK MDDS is an innovative, mobile, powerful, and fast data destroyer that erases and crushes both HDD and SSD storage devices. The system is compact, durable, secured, and safe to operate giving you a guaranteed media destruction process. The innovative applications range from the secured process of erasing hard drives and backup tapes, erasure of broadcast audio and video tapes for recycling purposes, and the physical destruction of hard disk and solid-state drives - all securely done within your own environment with no 3rd parties involved. @RACK MDDS has been built with unique features to fit into all data centres, defence and security sectors, financial institutions, government and public agencies, and private sector requirements in compliance with all management standards. @RACK MDDS truly makes our clients the master of their own data destruction needs in controlling, erasing, and destroying their data all in one place. No more Data breaches No more data compromises No more litigations No more 3rd-party for your data destruction! Our product won the DATA CENTRE SECURITY INNOVATION OF THE YEAR award! @RACK MDDS offers the the following features to all users: •;;;; Auditable chain of custody •;;;; Generate data audit certificates •;;;; Supports HDDs and SSDs •;;;; Revenue generation for Data Centres without hassles •;;;; Seamless Internal control of your own data •;;;; Tested and approved industry technology standard •;;;; In-house total data destruction with no third-party data processing •;;;; Compact and reliable technology •;;;; Self-management and training for engineers The benefits of using @RACK MDDS by our customers includes the following: •;;;; Compact, powerful and rugged •;;;; Simple and easy to operate •;;;; Designed in compliance with industry standards for media destruction •;;;; Cost-effective and durable system •;;;; Seamless Internal control of your data within the same environment •;;;; Compliance with stringent regulatory standards for all users •;;;; Safe waste containment and disposal system •;;;; Free product life cycle maintenance and customer services The @RACK MDDS also complies with all management standards including the DoD, NSA, NIST, NCSC / CESG, among other EMEA regulations that guarantees the safety and security of all our clients and stakeholders. Our team of sales, customer agents, and engineers are always ready and exceptional in providing our customers with unmatched presales and post-sales customer service experience for total satisfaction throughout the system life-cycle.



RUNNER UP



GFI Software

GFI Software, the global leader in software solutions for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), have launched its newest product , GFI AppManager™. This innovative cloud-based platform provides GFI’s global partner network of MSPs and resellers with a revolutionary “single-pane-of-glass” solution to easily manage communications, security, and networks, all from one unified dashboard. For the first time, MSPs can now use one interface to manage all their accounts and products streamlining their management of their customers’ solutions.

With GFI AppManager, fleet management is simplified and streamlined, covering a deep breadth of IT capabilities and SMB needs. MSPs can instantly push configurations to any and all appliances under management, making it easy to administer the array of installed solutions across multiple locations. GFI AppManager also offers real-time monitoring and alerting, allowing MSPs to be notified about failures or impending failures, ensuring they can take immediate action to resolve any issues. In addition, GFI AppManager provides coverage for IT solutions ranging from mail servers to firewalls to endpoint security, and is fully extensible through a simple API to add unlimited support for other solutions.

With over 20 years providing award-winning IT solutions for SMBs, GFI uniquely understands the importance of a comprehensive IT management solution for MSPs,” said Eric Vaughan, CEO, GFI Software. “The unveiling of GFI AppManager represents a major milestone in our commitment to providing our partners with cutting-edge technology and the ability to impact our partners and their end users\' success in managing their critical IT systems. AppManager represents a truly innovative, end-to-end unified and extensible platform that organizations can rely on to streamline their IT operations, proactively address security risks, and maintain compliance with industry standards.”

GFI AppManager is designed to help partners enable their end users to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to security. The platform offers proactive monitoring of vulnerabilities and threats across users, networks, and applications, helping IT teams to avert potential security breaches. With GFI AppManager’s RADAR™ feature, native threat intelligence and response capabilities are automated by machine learning, so IT teams can quickly respond to any potential threats, minimizing risk to an organization\'s critical systems and data.

Additionally, GFI AppManager helps organizations stay compliant with important regulations such as GDPR, NIS2, and ISO27001. The GFI AppManager solution provides comprehensive reporting and gap analysis capabilities, allowing IT teams to quickly identify areas where they may be non-compliant and take the necessary steps to remedy the situation.

Data Security/Compliance Project of the Year
Sponsored by   Infinidat

WINNER



Data Dynamics

Business Need
Data consolidation across multiple locations globally
Identification of sensitive information from the millions of files spread across the globe
Ensure data protection for sensitive data identified and plan remediation for enhanced data compliance and governance


RUNNER UP



A10 Networks.

Turkey’s leading integrated telecommunication operator, Türk Telekom, has deployed A10 Thunder TPS® from A10 Networks to deliver DDoS protection services for its business customers. The service is protecting critical infrastructure from DDoS attacks, enhancing service access reliability for subscribers using on-premises DDoS protection solution from A10 Networks.

As one of the first ISPs to invest in cyber security service offerings in Türkiye, Türk Telekom aims to protect its business customers with a full range of service options. With its hybrid protection model in managing DDoS services, Türk Telekom is the only service provider in Türkiye that provides backbone-level protection against application-layer attacks with its DDoS 7 services.


In today’s world, where the number of DDoS attacks rise continually at a significant rate, Türk Telekom started offering an advanced DDoS protection solution, capable of separating legitimate traffic from illegitimate, to provide consistent and reliable service availability for customers. With this solution, the company achieved enhanced protection of its own network backbone, automation and high capacity.

“As a leading cyber security service provider in Türkiye, we understand our customer’s needs and improve our product portfolio continuously to ensure strong security and resilient infrastructure with our unique managed security experience,” says Zeynep Özden, Türk Telekom marketing and customer experience assistant general manager.


“A10’s superior detection and mitigation capabilities supporting a DDoS scrubbing service, in addition to high performance and scalability, is very attractive to Türk Telekom. Türk Telekom is protecting its customers’ critical infrastructure from cyber security threats and maintaining service availability with a resilient infrastructure built on A10 technology,” said Dhrupad Trivedi, president and CEO of A10 Networks.

Digital Transformation Project of the Year
Sponsored by   Hornetsecurity

WINNER



Daisy Corporate Services

Digital Transformation has become an imperative for organisations to stay relevant in today's economy and Daisy Corporate Services has been helping many of them on this journey. This raises the key question: What makes one transformation project stand out above the rest?

There's the scope of course, as well as evidence of improved efficiencies and other tangible benefits - but how about economic impact outside of their organisation? I think so. That's why I'm nominating Daisy's work with logistics company Culina group as Digital Transformation Project of the Year.

If it wasn't clear already, lockdown heavily emphasised the importance of logistics companies in our everyday lives. From stocking our supermarkets, to delivering essential medicines and everything in between, we rely on companies like Culina Group to act as a critical link in the UK supply chain, ensuring the flow of goods. That's why it benefits us all for them to be at the top of their game - leveraging digital technologies to play that role efficiently, sustainably and flexibly.

That's where Daisy comes in. Culina wanted to reduce costs to improve the stability of their business, allowing their staff to do more with less effort. Naturally, they faced a number of challenges in order to achieve their digital transformation goals, and they brought us on board to overcome them:

- Part of their transformation involved setting the foundation for a move to cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. The first brick in this foundation involved improving their internet performance and that would involve introducing a more robust and reliable network. We did this by transitioning them to SD-WAN, providing direct internet access, traffic prioritisation, performance monitoring, active/active redundancy, security enhancements and by conducting capacity planning to ensure the network remains performant even as usage grows.

- They wanted to enable remote working, reducing the need to send teams to various sites in response to issues and requests. The goal here was to improve operational efficiencies, improve work-life balance and reduce costs. In this case, this involved implementing SD-WAN technology, providing reliable direct internet access, offering secure connectivity options, monitoring and prioritising performance, reducing network outages and delivering training and support services.

- Scalability and simplification of their existing network was another challenge. As a company focusing on growth, they wanted something that would seamlessly onboard new sites and acquisitions. The new SD-WAN offers centralised control and visibility. Instead of manually configuring each new site, templates can now be applied, ensuring consistency and reducing the effort required for site setup. Zero-touch provisioning is a feature of SD-WAN that allows new network devices to be automatically configured and added to the network without manual intervention. This feature streamlines the onboarding process for new sites and acquisitions.

- They also wanted to consolidate the number of suppliers they use, while also saving time and effort by dealing with a single point of contact.

- Finally, a key challenge was around workload. They needed a simplified environment that would free up the network team's time and capacity and in turn improve staff retention. Some of the things we've mentioned previously impact on this, but to avoid repetition, we also provided training and support, as well as simplifying their environment overall, including providing them with a single user-friendly interface for configuring, monitoring, and troubleshooting the entire network.

So those where the challenges, but what was innovative about the solution? Quite a few things in fact - particularly that the solution was a holistic transformation, which recognised that digital transformation encompasses more than technology. It also addressed employee wellbeing, cost savings and sustainability, highlighting the multifaceted nature of transformation.

The solution we offered was innovative in it's use of state-of-the-art networking technologies, focusing on a comprehensive transformation that prioritises sustainability, resilience and enables implementation of cloud-based procurement strategies now and in the future.

Core to the transformation was implementation of SD-WAN. The transition from their traditional Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) was a groundbreaking move that delivered enhanced flexibility, cost-efficiency, and network management capabilities, showcasing a commitment to embracing innovative technology solutions. This also gave Culina bolstered network resilience, minimising and mitigating potential downtime - something which is crucial in the logistics industry.

Beyond the technical delivery, the project's focus on reducing Culina's carbon footprint aligned with global sustainability goals. It demonstrated innovation in addressing social responsibility and long-term sustainability through cloud-based solutions.

However, as much as I'm sure we all agree on the importance of increased flexibility, wellbeing and simplicity, it's hard to measure some of these empirically, we have number of measurable benefits Culina has seen since the implementation, however due to confidentiality we are unable to publish that information on this public website. These did include:

They have since seen substantial cost reductions, such as both immediate and ongoing. One immediate saving was on phone lines. They also saw savings from optimising the network infrastructure and transitioning to SD-WAN, which is typically more cost-efficient compared to traditional MPLS setups. Our SD-WAN's efficient routing and management of network traffic eliminated the need for expensive dedicated connections for every site.

By enabling remote working, they also reduced travel costs.

The transition to Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions allowed Culina Group to minimise CAPEX related to hardware replacement.

As an added bonus, the project's focus on sustainability and reduced carbon footprint indirectly leads to potential long-term cost savings. By adopting eco-friendly practices and reducing the need for frequent hardware replacements, Culina Group aligns with environmental objectives and is likely to benefit from reduced environmental compliance costs in the future.

Beyond cost savings, Culina also saw improved network performance, allowing them to expedite adoption of cloud and SaaS solutions. Daisy is even offering sustainable recycling and repurposing for their traditional equipment, ensuring electronic waste is dealt with in an eco-friendly way through our WEEE recycling centres.

Overall, the collaboration between Daisy Corporate Services and Culina Group epitomises the essence of digital transformation excellence. It addresses critical challenges, embraces innovation, and delivers tangible benefits that enhance operational efficiency and sustainability.

Chris London, Head of Sales Specialists at Daisy Corporate Services said 'This new project will see us roll out SD-WAN across the Culina Group that focuses on security, with enhanced application control and performance. A flexible Enterprise Agreement will allow Culina Group to remain agile and expand critical infrastructure at pace. The new network supports the cloud first strategy, consolidates suppliers, and provides them with a strong foundation for future growth.'




RUNNER UP



HCLTech

Simplifying XLA pathways for a Canadian energy company
Enabled Co-existence of CSAT and View on Enterprise User Experience
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Summary
The customer is a global integrated energy company. It specializes in the extraction and production of energy from a mix of sources, ranging from oil sands to renewable fuels. The customer was recently struggling with continuous service line fluctuation and witnessing challenges like a very low response rate, inability to strategize IT initiatives due to lack of visibility on the Voice of Employees, difficulty in reaching out to a multilingual user base, apprehensions around coexistence of two different survey models and Chaos of rollout under multi GSI model. There was absolute non-availability of User Experience data due to poor survey response rates and the absence of an Experience Management platform. Moreover, the lack of visibility on user experience data, prevented the identification of bottlenecks, leading to the formation of remedial actions and initiatives based on non-standard parameters. With multi GSI model, it was difficult to measure the respective performances, thus ending up with an unclear roadmap to improve the happiness of the employees and reduce productivity losses from the environment.
HCLTech transformed and supported the end-user experience journey in the customer environment by leveraging eSense (Digital Experience Management Platform) to Measure and Manage Perceptions of Users with Digital Surveys. The introduction of the solution has enabled the survey base to be increased to 100 percent and digital surveys are now being sent on 100% of resolved Incident and Request tickets, leveraging the existing ITSM platform.
The Challenge
• The implementation of eSense was planned to be taken up in the Service Transition phase of the client environment. As is the general norm during such a phase, response rates and satisfaction scores were very low. Therefore, the biggest risk here was to introduce a new user-experience program and also ensure that the critical satisfaction SLAs are met.
• The baselining process of the enterprise had to be carried out from scratch as the previous system had no visibility of the different personas of the end-users.
• A multilingual user base of 30,000 was a prominent challenge which was demanding similar support services in French along with English.
• The Multi GSI (Global System Integrator) model was creating chaos and proving to be ineffective in having a unified end-user experience program across all GSIs.

objectives
• To deliver 90% on an NPS-based survey scoring system. This was a competitive target to achieve along with improvement in both the quantity and quality of survey responses.
• To ensure the Co-existence of CSAT as a contractual obligation with a unified view of End-user experience management within the enterprise.
• To Simplify pathways to XLAs with a variety of end-user experience indicators (XI’s).
• To help identify employee personas at the enterprise level and accordingly adapt to data-driven improvement initiatives to effectively increase the happiness score while reducing user productivity loss.

Solution
• HCLTech implemented its unique digital experience management solution eSense, which is based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) system that is used to arrive at the \'Happiness Score\' from the digital surveys triggered through the respective ITSM integration. Another critical component of the solution is the Experience Management Platform (XMP) Dashboard that enables real-time analysis of the collected data.
• HCLTech eSense helped customer identify and baseline the \'lost work time\' and \'happiness score\' to estimate their IT experience. baselining helps in understanding the current/existing scenario of the customer environment and defining where we want to be in the future (short/long term), in terms of the performance parameter of the IT department.
• The XLA foundation in eSense has been laid out based on four factors, namely, the 10-point-based Survey Scale, the Happiness Score, the Estimated Lost Time and the Happiness Benchmarks.
Impacts
• Enterprise survey response rates doubled in 2-3 months duration of time and HCLTech survey response rates increased by 200% for the same duration.
• HCLTech satisfaction scores outperformed the set target of 90%.
• HCLTech delivered 82 as the Happiness Score vs. the industry benchmark of 77 and 2hr 11mins of estimated lost time vs. the industry baseline of 3hr 09mins.
• With HCLTech service implementation expertise, we were able to ensure a reduction of 228 Kgs of carbon footprint emission in one year and we are proud to have achieved this sustainability benchmark.
• 50% (approx.) of the enterprise users are classified into four personas, namely - Doer, Prioritizers, Triers and Supported basis the IT usage and IT knowledge, as mapped from the survey questionnaire. With this data, we are now able to propose planned investments around Self-help tools/services as Doers are the highest in the enterprise. Doers, who try to solve problems themselves can effectively utilize self-help and self-service tools. Hence, justified and mapped campaigns/initiatives could be programmed as per the specific parameters at play in the environment.

Digital TransformationCompany of the Year

WINNER



CSL Group

For over 25 years, CSL has been the leading European provider of Critical Connectivity. Today, they have over 2.5 million connections supporting business and mission-critical IoT applications across Europe. Having pioneered the transition from wired to wireless connectivity in the security and health sectors, CSL has a unique heritage and track record in the delivery of Critical Connectivity. They now play a crucial role in the Critical National Infrastructure Ecosystem and are taking their capabilities into the broader IoT market. Having partnered with all European Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), their solutions have been deployed at scale in markets including critical national infrastructure, automotive and retail.


They know that business and mission-critical end users depend on solutions that provide the highest levels of security and reliability. That is why their expert team constantly innovates to provide the most resilient and cyber-secure connectivity solutions on the market. 


CSL has recently won several new contracts with major utility and retail companies. They are running a digital transformation programme with the UK's largest water and wastewater company, transforming over 2,000 remote sites into fully connected, digital operations. All of which can capture and process data for the 2.6 billion litres of drinking water, and 4.4 billion litres of wastewater they process daily.


In addition, CSL was chosen to deliver a UK-wide retail transformation by a leading multinational lottery operator that will enable small to medium-sized retailers to benefit from the digitalisation of their stores and provide Critical Connectivity to power lottery terminals in major retail outlets.


 


https://www.csl-group.com/uk/news/vodafone-chooses-csl-as-uk-national-lottery-project-partner-.html


https://www.csl-group.com/uk/blog/csl-experts-in-critical-connectivity.html


 



RUNNER UP



Iceotope Technologies Limited

Iceotope is reimagining data center cooling from the cloud to the edge. Using industry standard form factors, Iceotope's Precision Liquid Cooling solutions offer extreme cooling performance, simplified maintenance, and significant cost reductions. We prioritize simplicity and practicality to craft innovative responses to real-world challenges. The results are impactful, sustainable solutions redefining data center cooling.


Excellence in Service Award
Sponsored by   ExaGrid

WINNER



Hyve Managed Hosting

At Hyve Managed Hosting, we host and deliver core IT services, becoming an extension of our customers’ businesses, so that they can focus on the tasks that matter. Headquartered in Brighton, UK, Hyve offers managed enterprise, private and hybrid cloud solutions, dedicated servers and colocation services in multiple data centres across EMEA and worldwide.

A truly global operation

We’ve been operating in the IT services and solutions market in the UK for over 20 years, and have been expanding across the EMEA region for the last 10 years. We’ve grown in tandem with the rapid rise in demand for global IT hosting services and support, with a presence in data centres across Singapore, Dublin, Madrid, Zurich, Geneva and Tokyo. Global by nature, thanks to our partnership with Equinix, we are able to deploy services worldwide, which means that we can provide our best-in-class customer service and support to customers across EMEA and all over the world. Not only are we able to offer customers the cost advantages of dealing with a single provider in multiple territories, but they’ll also have the major boost of an internationally co-ordinated approach to strategy, service and support.

More recently, we opened our European headquarters in Germany in 2021, giving us a base to serve customers across Europe more effectively, while retaining the personalised approach to customer service that we’ve been providing since day one.

Activities across EMEA have been complemented by expansion in the US, where our core values and small team ethos has been recognised in a US market where personalised customer service is key. This has been reflected in rapid growth in the region.

Customer service as our key differentiator

Our customer service has always been our key differentiator. If we were to have any chance of being seen in the vast crowd of competitors, we had to go beyond standard product offerings and service quality to differentiate ourselves somehow. Consequently, we focused on going the extra mile to support our customers.

Bespoke by nature, all our projects and deployments are delivered with service front of mind as we build specific solutions based on customers requirements. While our performance, pricing, and infrastructure features attract customers, it’s the exceptional customer support that makes them want to stay.

To support our claim to quality service, we have a 4.9 rating on Trustpilot and many excellent reviews (see attached) that highlight our extra-mile support. We also have a 96 Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures the loyalty of customers to a company.

Supporting the National Television Awards

One example of a project that highlights this first-class, personalised service and support is in working with the National Television Awards, hosting their website to handle the increased traffic during peak voting times. We have fine-tuned a bespoke, load-balanced cloud solution for NTAs partner Indigo Television, dynamically scaling resources during multiple rounds of online public voting running up to the ceremony.

As a huge number of votes are cast online during two stages leading up to the ceremony, ensuring both reliability and scalability of the NTAs website during these periods is critical. We hosted two virtual servers for the NTAs on our managed enterprise cloud platform and, through understanding the customer’s specific needs and remaining in constant communication, upgraded cloud resources for their website on demand over the summer, to ensure everyone who wants to vote can, and that it remains a fair and consistent process.

This year, the server resources have been increased by 24 times their usual levels within the two voting windows to accommodate the increased heavy traffic from the members of the British public participating in the votes. Resources are then dialled back to usual levels (providing traffic has subsided again too) in between voting stages in order to cut out unnecessary resources from the cloud solution and lower costs for the customer.

As well as creating a bespoke, scalable cloud solution for the NTAs in order to guarantee 100% uptime, Hyve’s support team is on hand to continuously monitor the servers even after resources have been increased to their new levels. This team sets alert thresholds for the servers and if the NTAs website experiences unprecedented levels of traffic, Hyve can proactively increase resources again. The ability to scale cloud resources dynamically on virtual servers also helps streamline the voting period, as nothing new needs to be introduced beyond their existing hardware, meaning they don’t need new logins or IPs when voting commences.

“We are running a high-profile event where every member of the British public has the chance to vote for the best of the nation’s TV,” said Kim Turberville, Executive Producer at the National Television Awards.

“It’s essential that everyone who wants to vote is able to, so it’s all hands on deck in the lead up to the ceremony. Having Hyve available 24/7 as an extension of our team gives us peace of mind that one of the most important facets of the whole process is going to run without a hitch, and we stick with them year in year out because they deliver a cloud solution that works for us during voting without having to pay for resources we don’t need the rest of the year.”

There are three main aspects to our personalised customer service approach:

Extra mile support culture -

Hyve Managed Hosting offers non-tiered personal service and support through small teams that work with customers one-to-one. Instead of being passed around multiple support tiers with anonymous engineers, our customers have a personal Account Manager and a team of technical engineers to ensure their solutions operate effectively and at full capacity 24/7.

This means that customers never need to deal with automated call centres, scripted replies, or engineers who don’t have the technical knowledge about how our services work. Instead, they talk to qualified Hyve staff.
“The quality of support provided by Hyve has always been particularly impressive,’ said Rafiq, IT Manager at Queen Victoria Hospital, NHS.

I have dedicated account managers who I know and can call if I have questions or any problems. Their responsiveness – even outside of normal working hours is of great benefit.”

Best of breed hosting architecture, industry leading hardware SLA -

Hyve utilises only the very best hardware and software from the world’s leading manufacturers including VMware, HPE, Juniper, and Cisco. We have certified engineers who help plan, migrate, optimise, and manage a platform to perfectly match customer requirements.

Our solutions are also resilient, guaranteeing 100% network and power uptime. Where most hosting companies offer between 1–4-hour hardware replacement SLA as standard, we guarantee an industry-leading 20-minute “rapid replacement” hardware SLA.

Hyve’s helpdesk system is very efficient,’ Rafiq continues. ‘Front line contacts are technical experts and understand us as a customer and the technology we are using. I deal with lots of technology suppliers from many different businesses and Hyve are consistently strong performers – they have a great ‘can do’ approach.

Excellent value for money -

Support comes in many forms, and we consider working with our clients to tailor our solutions to their operations as proactive support. By optimising resource spending and cost savings based on customer needs, we can provide purpose-built infrastructure for very specific requirements at a far lower cost than, for example, paying-as-you-go public cloud.

We always try our best to become an extension of our customer’s team and support their operation from start to finish. Here are some examples of how we’ve supported our customers with their IT infrastructure to ensure maximum performance.

Becky Bone, Website Editor at RSPCA said:

“We’ve been using Hyve for over a year now for a wide range of websites, all with different requirements and issues, and we’ve always found Hyve amazingly fast to respond, incredibly helpful, proactive and enthusiastic, and they’re always willing and able to offer far more than their contract officially allows! And did we mention how fast they are?”

Thanks for considering Hyve for the Excellence in Service award, we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Hyve Managed Hosting


RUNNER UP



on365

On365 is one of the UK’s leading providers of resilient and energy efficient critical physical infrastructure and utility services, working from the desktop to the server room to the data centre. Founded in 1984 its business was predominately around UPS and secure power solutions, and it wasn’t until the turn of the century when they moved into the market for critical IT and Data Centres. Their first clients in this space included the likes of Harrods, focusing on UPS and cooling solutions. Following on from Schneider Electric’s acquisition of APC in 2008 and customer demand increasing exponentially, their business has grown into a market leader for data centre and uninterruptible power systems.

As one of Schneider Electric’s key UK service partners to date, and the country’s only ‘dual partner’, where on365 achieved ‘Elite Partner’ and \'EcoXpert Power Services Partner’ status, the company has access to the people, the resources and relationships to meet the needs of large facilities customers, including major hospitals, life sciences hubs and universities.

It is a partnership which has enabled on365 to service their clients in several unique ways:

• Taking a holistic view: Being recognised as a specialist in both secure power and power infrastructure expands the on365s offering, a true USP being the first Schneider Electric partner who can take this overarching view.

• Increased efficiency: Using on365s dual-partner capabilities also benefits the organisation’s customers in terms of efficiency - dealing with fewer people and building a closer relationship with a single partner.

• The most local global company: Well-rounded partners like on365 help Schneider Electric maintain strong, local customer relationships, whilst using the company’s global resources to explore new areas and innovations.

David Pownall, VP Services at Schneider Electric UK&I, commented on the relationship: “The team at on365 is a stellar example of how combining local expertise with Schneider’s global reach can unlock new efficiencies, innovations and opportunities for partners and their customers. Their goals of providing a truly holistic view of customers’ electrical infrastructure and using this to meet their sustainability and efficiency goals align so closely to those of Schneider Electric. This dual partnership truly shows the rare and unique capabilities on365 possesses, and the ways Schneider Electric can help take our partners to the next level.”

Throughout this year, on365 has worked to deliver excellence in service for multiple customers, including Loughborough University, a world leader in sporting academia. Having begun their relationship with the institution over 12 years ago, on365 worked with Schneider Electric to modernise the universities IT infrastructure with new energy efficient technologies.
They delivered the project in two phases which saw on365 firstly modernise the Haslegrave facility by replacing an outdated raised floor and deploying an EcoStruxure Row Data Center solution – an integral part of Schneider Electric\'s EcoStruxure™ for Data Centers architecture an IoT-enabled system. The deployment of this, integrated row-based data centre solution has significantly improved the overall structure, enabling an efficient data centre design.

During the upgrade, on365 also brought other parts of the infrastructure under the IT department’s control, using new InRow DX (direct expansion) units to deliver improved cooling reliability and provide it with greater ability to cope with unplanned weather events, including heat waves, which had adversely affected its IT and cooling operations in the past.

Use of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Row Data Center solution also created new space for future IT expansions and extended a ‘no single points of failure’ design throughout the facility. This made the environment more suitable for a new generation of compact and powerful servers, and the solution was replicated at Holywell Park thereafter. Further improvements in resilience and efficiency were also achieved by replacing legacy UPSs with Schneider Electric’s Galaxy VS UPS with lithium-ion batteries, which offers up to 99% energy efficiency, without compromising availability.

“At the foundational level of everything which is data-driven at the university, the Haslegrave and Holywell data centres are the power behind a host of advancements in sports science, and our transition towards a more sustainable operation,” said Mark Newall, IT specialist at the University of Loughborough. “Working with Schneider Electric and on365 has enabled our data centre to become more efficient, effective and resilient.”

Alongside the new EcoStruxure Row Data Centre, which are Pre-engineered, configurable and scalable row solutions encompassing racks, power, cooling and management systems the university upgraded the software used to manage and control its infrastructure. An early adopter of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Data Center Expert software, Loughborough has now deployed the company’s EcoStruxureTM IT platform, providing it with enhanced levels of visibility and data-driven insights that quickly help to identify and mitigate potential faults before they become critical.

This, in conjunction with a new three-year Schneider Electric services agreement delivered via on365, has given the university 24x7 access to expert maintenance support, reflecting its ongoing commitment to protecting the investments in its new infrastructure, and ensures the equipment is fully operational, reliable, and quality maintained. The university also utilises a large distributed, edge network environment, which has in-excess of sixty APCTM Smart-UPSTM single-phase UPS’s protecting it. As part of its services agreement, all critical power systems are monitored and maintained via EcoStruxure IT management and monitoring data centre infrastructure software providing real-time visibility and helping IT personnel to manage the campus’ network more efficiently.

“As a passionate advocate for sports and academia, I’m proud to see this complex project delivered successfully with our partners at on365,” said Mark Yeeles, VP, Secure Power Division, Schneider Electric, UK and Ireland. “Loughborough has a prestigious reputation and prides itself on its students’ experience. Through its EcoStruxure Data Centre Solution, Schneider Electric and on365 will have played an important part in future-proofing its critical infrastructure, helping improve the reliability and sustainability of its IT operations.”

Looking forward, Schneider Electric and on365’s work with Loughborough University has been invaluable and will play a key role in its future IT sustainability strategy. By modernising its infrastructure with the latest in resilient and energy efficient technologies and harnessing the power of both data analytics and predictive maintenance, the university has futureproofed its campus to support new breakthroughs in sporting research.

It is for this reason we believe 0n365 should be awarded SDC’s Excellence in Service Award.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Innovation of the Year

WINNER



PeaSoup Cloud

We are excited to present PeaSoup, the UK-based cloud provider, as a nominee for the prestigious Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Innovation of the Year award at the SDC Awards. PeaSoup has truly redefined the landscape of cloud computing through its innovative approach to IaaS, leveraging cutting-edge technology to deliver exceptional performance, sustainability, scalability, security, and cost savings. Find the attached document for further details. Thank you!


RUNNER UP



CITIC Telecom CPC

Introductory video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ywllJ08FX4

What is your product\'s / solution\'s key distinguishing features and/or USP?
The AI-enhanced SD-WAN TrueCONNECT Hybrid gives enterprises unprecedented SD-WAN advantages. It offers an easier and more efficient way to manage and optimize complex modern topologies linking diverse business sites, systems, and mission-critical cloud platforms. AI enhancement is significantly boosting network reliability, crucial to the smooth functioning of a company reliant on mission-critical real-time financial transactions.
TrueCONNECT Hybrid AI-enabled SD-WAN utilizes AI, Big Data analytics and Deep Learning methods to proactively recognize and predict abnormalities, with dynamic event-based probability calculations that identify subtle changes and timings, continuously and automatically. Benefits include application experience-oriented analysis (end-to-end application performance), intelligent early warning and prediction (proactively identify anomalies to continuously maintain excellent network quality) and better business intelligence analysis (by assessing global optimal data flows).
As the first VMware Sovereign Cloud Partner, CITIC Telecom CPC’s AI-enhanced TrueCONNECT Hybrid builds upon the SD-WAN solution’s strong foundations, embraces the benefits of top-security cloud computing services and applications, formed through a partnership with VMWare.

What tangible impact has your product/solution had on the market and your customers?
The AI-enhanced TrueCONNECT Hybrid network transformation achievement was developed internally by CITIC Telecom CPC’s engineers and Information Technology Services & Data Science Team to enhance SD-WAN technology. It offers three areas of significant new values to customers:
The first is application experience-oriented analysis. The AI system dynamically perceives end-to-end application performance, including site responsiveness, link integrity, network paths, data packets, delays, jitter, etc., and intelligently correlates this multi-dimensional matrix of space, time, and applications to discover root causes of network problems and suggest solutions.
The second benefit is intelligent early warning and prediction, using baseline assessment and pattern recognition to proactively identify anomalies, to continuously maintain excellent network quality.
The third enhancement further evolves business intelligence analysis by assessing a global optimal data flow model, actively analyzing the operating status of the business. Using AI techniques, application network traffic and its impact on the customer experience is monitored for optimization potentials.

What are the major differentiators between your product/solution and those of your primary competitors?
The upgraded SD-WAN solution now utilizes various new techniques such as Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM), matrix relational operations, identification of relationships and structures between the network and business applications, and other Deep Learning and AI innovations, all to proactively and dynamically achieve behavior prediction and abnormal behavior recognition, offloading the burden from IT staff, while delivering unprecedented SD-WAN status visibility in real-time.
One of the resulting powerful new features is future projection. Customers can set parameters for applications, links, traffic, and services according to expected business changes. The system then shows possible evolution models. For example, prior to deploying a new financial application, IT staff can examine projected operating models such as transmission quality, transmission efficiency, and cost, in order to more accurately plan implementation strategies which maximize business outcomes.
Validated by the excellent market response for the AI-enhanced TrueCONNECT Hybrid, CPC additionally developed JUNO, a hardware device providing even further enhanced network analysis using higher-dimensional algorithm models. JUNO collects detailed data on SD-WAN devices connected on the customer’s LAN, including at the port level, and can initiate access quality tests on the customer’s internal applications systems. These provide additional deep traffic visibility to support the AI-enhanced TrueCONNECT Hybrid with more comprehensive SD-WAN analysis for added prediction ability, giving more specific analyses and finer pinpointing of problematic locations.

Please supply any supportive quotes and/or case study materials to demonstrate the value of this product/solution to your customers/partners.
Direct sales company: “We leveraged the high performance, efficient networking and reduced TCO of AI-driven TrueCONNECT Hybrid to increase bandwidth utilization efficiency by an estimated 30%. TrueCONNECT Hybrid is the foundation of our complicated topology, connecting our distributed points of presence across Europe, including linking up European warehouses, our e-commerce platform, and our cloud-based Warehouse Management systems. The continued enhancement of this critical SD-WAN solution makes it even easier to administer and more instrumental to our success.”
Financial and insurance industry customer:
AI-driven TrueCONNECT Hybrid is ensuring our enterprise operates smoothly and giving us the peace of mind to focus on our business instead of worrying about network performance issues. Our enterprise infrastructure now has much more efficient data transmissions, broadening our connection capabilities and simplifying network management. TrueCONNECT Hybrid is also ensuring excellent business application responsiveness, which is crucial to our field agents who are handling insurance policies and various other paperwork with customers, and they need to have reliable and responsive connections back to our company’s business application and data servers.”
With our industry-specific knowledge and experience gained from our clients confirms that our own developed AI-empowered TrueCONNECT™ Hybrid SD-WAN solution overcomes the challenges of “traditional” SD-WAN, including concerns about quality of service for applications, lack of network visibility and insight into user experiences, securing remote sites from potential security threats, and the limited technical skills and knowledge possessed by an enterprise customer’s own IT staff.

Introductory video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ywllJ08FX4

IT MSP/IT Systems VAR of the Year
Sponsored by   ExaGrid

WINNER



HCLTech

HCLTech Digital Transformation Innovation for Frontline Workers

Frontline workers are extremely crucial for any organization, and the pandemic only brought to focus what critical role these employees play in keeping the businesses and serving the communities. They are the backbone of various industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, retail, hospitality, and logistics.

Despite the crucial role they play, frontline workers face many challenges in their day-to-day work, such as lack of proper training, communication barriers, outdated technology, lack of access to important information to inadequate training and support. Hence, equally valid is the fact that despite the criticality, front-line workers\' experience has often been overlooked as companies accelerate the digitalization of products, services, and customer interaction.

The primary reasons are that the traditional workplace transformation approaches have been non-inclusive, siloed and not accommodative of the unique needs of frontline workers who follow different work patterns, and they work in very different kinds of workplaces, stores, factories, rigs, hospitals and so on. Also, it was largely believed only operation tech (OT) and not IT initiatives mattered for these employees.

Challenges Faced by Frontline Workers

Frontline workers are the first point of contact between the company and customers. They interact with customers and perform various tasks that are essential to keep the company running. Frontline workers often face several challenges that can affect their productivity and job satisfaction. Some of the most common challenges faced by frontline workers are:

1. Lack of Proper Training: Frontline workers often lack proper training to perform their duties efficiently. This can result in low productivity, poor customer service, and errors.

2. Communication Barriers: Communication is crucial for frontline workers, especially those who work in multilingual and multicultural environments. Lack of proper communication can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and errors.

3. Inaccessibility to critical information in real-time: In many cases, frontline workers do not have access to the information when required or it\'s not current enough making it obsolete, which can lead to miscommunication and confusion. For example, a healthcare worker may not have access to a patient\'s complete medical history, which can lead to misdiagnosis and improper treatment.

4. Outdated Technology: Frontline workers often use outdated technology, which can slow down their work, decrease productivity, and lead to errors. Also, the technology is too complex for most of the workers, especially in manufacturing where the workers might be less educated.

5. Lack of purpose-built devices: Each job role has a different requirement and provisioning the same type of device to all the users doesn’t help. A user requiring both hands to perform his duty can’t be expected to be able to use the laptop at the same time.

6. Inefficient support: Machinery, devices or handheld computers are business-critical for most industries hence, users must get high-quality and expedited support with devices and software when needed.

How HCLTech helps

To alleviate the challenges faced by frontline workers, HCLTech has come up with a unique innovation that has to address end to the end value chain of a frontline worker experience for many of our customers across the globe. The solution empowers and equips frontline workers with the latest technology contextualized to their unique needs and industry requirements, and efficient communication/collaboration tools, purpose-built devices, frontline support services, and AI, Automation, and NLP-centric platforms to perform their duties efficiently without compromising on safely & security.

Business & Social Impact: Industry Examples

This proposition is already benefiting frontline workers in various industries. Here are some industry examples:

1. Healthcare: Frontline workers in healthcare face several challenges, such as high workload, communication barriers, and outdated technology. HCL’s solution help organizations provide their frontline workers with the latest technology, such as mobile devices and cloud-based solutions, to improve their efficiency and productivity. For example, HCL has helped a leading healthcare organization in the UK to digitize its patient records and provide frontline workers with the latest technology to access patient information on the go within Microsoft Teams itself.

2. Manufacturing: HCL’s solution is helping manufacturing organizations provide their frontline workers with proper training and communication tools to improve their productivity and safety. For example, HCL has helped a leading automotive manufacturer in Europe to provide its workers with Teams based access to various ERP platforms to improve their efficiency and safety. HCL has also provided the customer with specialized rugged devices which can withstand falls and extreme temperatures. HCL is providing user experience quantification and monitoring service and proactively troubleshoots any problem before it happens productivity.

3. Retail: Frontline workers in the retail face several challenges, such as high workload, communication barriers, and outdated technology. HCL has implemented a combination of devices, software and solution that is helping retail organizations provide their frontline workers with tools to enhance the in-store experience of incoming customers while simplifying the collaboration between store employees. Customers are using HCLTech’s platform to capture customer feedback on the Microsoft Teams platform.

Key Benefits:

Eliminate security or productivity issues of a fragmented frontline IT environment.
Provide superior customer experiences when frontline workers have timely and real-time access to information.
Improve engagement and retention of the Frontline workforce with a set of modern digital tools.
Reduce total cost of ownership of devices, solutions and support over 5 years.

The world is starting to see the benefits of our innovation. An inclusive workplace transformation approach is the need of the hour, especially for industries with employees at the forefront of business.


RUNNER UP



NinjaOne

NinjaOne is committed to building high-performance, scalable, secure, and easy-to-use IT management products that monitor, remediate, and enable MSPs and IT professionals to deliver business continuity and drive profitability.

With NinjaOne, businesses can turn IT into a source of growth and innovation.

NinjaOne’s intuitive platform enables a modern IT management experience that supports a distributed and remote workforce, all from the cloud.

By reducing the cost of onboarding and training, proactively identifying and troubleshooting common IT issues, and simplifying complex IT tasks - IT can shift from being just a cost center to being a growth lever for businesses.

IT Operations and Management Innovation of the Year

WINNER



HCLTech

Best digital experience management solution - HCLTech WorkBlaze

Challenges that IT faces today in End User Computing:
• No monitoring of End User Devices from performance and UX perspective
• IT support for end users is usually more reactive than proactive
• Customer Satisfaction Index [CSAT] often fails to capture the true representation of end-user perception of IT
• Difficulty in identifying the adoption of specific services within a specific community
• Inability to accurately measure utilization of technology and inability to directly measure the user experience on the Cloud on a real-time basis

HCLTech Workblaze breaks the vicious cycle in which the IT teams are trapped by providing the real-time analytics, contextual employee feedback, and automated remediation that the organization needs to progress from reactive problem-solving to continuous, proactive improvement.

HCLTech WorkBlaze is a real-time analytics solution for employee experience management that measures, manages and improves the digital employee experience in real time. It continuously monitors business activity metrics, key performance metrics, configurations, and run-time attributes across a broad spectrum of devices in the workplace landscape from the end user perspective. These metrics are collected in real-time, are centrally stored and retained, and powerful analytics solutions are used to mine actionable insights. By correlating technical performance and employee sentiment, organizations can see the true experience of their estate.

It becomes the central experience hub with real-time, actionable insights into every employee – across devices, applications, operating systems, locations, and organizational units that help organizations. HCL Workblaze binds the technical capability with tightly knitted processes and sets up a dedicated “User Experience Office”(UEO) for every customer to transform their workplace from Reactive to Proactive.


Advantages:
• Quantify Digital Experience Score: By uniquely combining technical metrics with employee sentiment data, the Digital Experience Score gives organizations contextual visibility over the key drivers of employees’ routine digital experiences.
• Proactively digital experience: By applying powerful correlations and analytics to detailed event data, WorkBlaze helps you pinpoint the issue, the root cause, whom it’s affecting and how to solve it. It has out-of-the-box automation scripts that remediate issues before they become widespread in the environment.
• Enhanced Engagement: With hyper-targeted employee engagement, WorkBlaze can efficiently gather and correlate sentiment with technical data to discover unreported issues and measure overall experience. WorkBlaze also makes it easy to broadcast messages quickly to large groups and guide employees to solve issues themselves.
WorkBlaze defines success based on employee outcomes, not on IT operational efficiencies. It helps establish experience level agreements(XLA) for organizations that aim to quantify difficult-to-measure, intangible business benefits, such as increased employee satisfaction or enhanced experience.

The Results
WorkBlaze is deployed at Mondelez International which is one of the largest snacking companies in the world. It is deployed as an intelligent PC analytics solution for UX monitoring. (A detailed IDC written case study is attached)
The solution monitors endpoints and proactively identifies anomalies before they cause work disruption. It can also detect problems and issues in the adoption of technology for better end-user experiences. It helps with user profiling and optimizing the workplace stack for different personas.



RUNNER UP



Accenture

We implemented stackstate to deliver 4T datamodel merging topology, telemetry, time and traces in a complex cloud deployment to understand the root cause for the outages and noisy events. The outcome was reduction of incidents from 400 per week to less than 2 per week. This was enabled by inherent capability of stackstate to point out the root cause for the events across complex application clusters. The enablement of self service chatbots also helped to realize the zero tickets target setup by the stakeholder.


MSP/VAR Data Protection Innovation of the Year
Sponsored by   Schneider Electric

WINNER



Hornetsecurity

A channel-centric company, Hornetsecurity as MSPs to manage its solutions via a convenient multitenant Control Panel. Addressing channel needs, it launched Security Awareness Service in Oct to train employees using spear phishing simulations & AI-powered e-training. Launched in May, 365 Permission Manager is a user-friendly solution to manage permissions, enforce compliance policies & monitor violations within M365. Partner comments attached.



RUNNER UP



Quest Software

MSP/VAR Data Protection Innovation of the Year - Open to any innovative Managed Service(s) or VAR solution designed around cyber-security, data protection and/or compliance technologies available in the EMEA region.

How long has this organisation been involved in the IT services and solutions market in EMEA?

Since 1987, Quest has provided software solutions for the constantly evolving world of enterprise IT. In 2018 Quest launched QoreStor® a backup agnostic, software-defined secondary storage solution, that enhances Managed Services Provider data backup and storage service offerings and enables new profits.

Are there any key projects delivered in the last year that demonstrate this candidate\'s suitability for the award?

Just as in the IT world, solutions at Quest are constantly evolving. No matter what backup Managed Services Providers and their customers are using, QoreStor can increase profitability and connect data to the cloud, faster and easier. QoreStor also offers the ability to reduce storage costs and requirements by up to 93% through content-aware, variable block deduplication. Accelerated backup performance through protocol accelerators ensures 10-15 times faster replication times to the cloud for safer data archiving and disaster recovery.

In a previous release QoreStor introduced a data optimised cloud tiering solution leveraging native cloud storage. Following this, in 2023 we introduced QoreStor 7.2 with multi-cloud technologies. Extending the cloud tiering capabilities such that: multiple cloud storage vendors can be accessed through a single instance of QoreStor.

Also enhancing QoreStor’s immutability options for any solution that sends data to an S3 target by adding support for locking and versioning. This is additional to the capabilities of deduplication, compression and encryption augmenting any user’s ransomware protection. It also comes with full integration with Quest QorePortal for SaaS management.

All of this is surrounded by SAML based authentication supporting Azure AD, OneLogin and OKTA as well as Generic SAML Solutions.

What endorsements does that nominee have from their customers and/or their technology partners?

“QoreStor, from Quest Software, works in concert with BridgeHead’s RAPid™ to offer healthcare organisations a comprehensive data protection solution to safeguard their mission critical systems and data.”  John McGann BridgeHead
“QoreStor’s capability in providing over a 90 percent deduplication rate in a Veeam environment is convincing.” Says Martin Hörhammer, CEO, Medialine AG
“The reason we selected QoreStor was how quickly we were able to deploy our VMs in our Linux environment. It took us 5 mins vs 2 hours previously.” Chad Hille, Director of Engineering IntelliSuite IT Solutions

Please highlight any particular aspects of customer services delivered as part of the program(s).

The Quest Partner Circle Program received a 5-Star rating award as a result of their focus on better communication via monthly partner newsletters and a better portal experience for partners.

Networking / Communications Project of the Year

WINNER



Bridgeworks

WAN Acceleration technologies accelerate data transfers that eliminate data management challenges are known as ‘WAN acceleration’. Bridgeworks patented artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies accelerate organisations existing technologies and dramatically accelerate their Wide Area Networks (WANs). AI underpins the patented technology to provide process intelligence, mitigating latency and mitigate packet loss. Our solutions, such as Bridgeworks PORTrockIT, dramatically improve data throughput up to 98% of bandwidth – regardless of distance.

Hybrid cloud, object storage and metro clusters

Steven Umbehocker (SU), CEO and CTO of OSNEXUS Corporation explains why this is important to organisations that are accelerating their adoption of hybrid cloud strategies: “This can be in the form of object storage for backup, disaster recovery sites, and all this puts a greater importance on efficient use of the WAN. This is important across all sectors. However, it is especially important in sectors such as healthcare to protect data like PACS images.”

Critical: Recovery Time objectives

Recovery time objectives (RTOs) are critical to IT organisations, so it is imperative to have adequate WAN bandwidth and throughput to keep the remote replication to DR sites within the required RTO. OSNexus is also seeing increase demand for metro clusters where the storage is distributed across multiple sites to achieve zero downtime in the event of a site outage.

Umbehocker therefore adds: “That’s only possible when the latency is low enough to provide sufficient and adequate performance for the workloads. PORTrockIT solves these latency issues so that metro clusters and DR sites can be deployed across a much larger geographic area. If you have an earthquake in one zone, that larger metro cluster offers benefits. You can avoid downtime, enabling organisations to link their disparate sites together. There is much latency between New York and Tokyo, and so you need something like PORTrockIT to mitigate latency.”

With high latency and packet loss, he explains that data transfers are delayed and may need to be resent which reduces performance – the transfer rate. WANs are typically spanning portions of the public internet and/or shared dark fibre infrastructure that IT organisations don’t have much control over, and simply upping bandwidth doesn’t address the latency issues. What is required is a different approach to boosting WAN performance that is designed to specifically address the inherent latency issues and packet loss.

Before approaching Bridgeworks, OSNexus experimented with various network tuning options, including adjusting the frame sizes and queueing techniques, but these adjustments do not come anywhere close to the range of benefits offered by PORTrockIT. The company has a disaster recovery site between Seattle and Las Vegas, and so it found it helpful to include PORTrockIT into their automated test systems.


RUNNER UP



Daisy Corporate Services

Greene King is the country's leading pub company and brewer. It operates more than 2,700 pubs, restaurants and hotels in towns, villages and city centre high streets across England, Wales and Scotland.

To further enhance operational performance and customer experience across its pubs in the UK, Greene King embarked on an ambitious transformation project to create the pub network of the future.

Key to achieving this goal was for Greene King to offer a best-in-class WiFi experience to its customers and employees, with seamless sign-in across all pubs, the ability to log-in via social media, and unrestricted bandwidth. This would enable Greene King to:

•;;; Offer customers mobile vouchers and promotions in real-time
•;;; Better understand customer segmentation
•;;; Improve customer marketing capabilities

After a thorough evaluation of service providers and solutions, Greene King selected Daisy Corporate Services (Daisy) as its Expert Partner to provide WAN, LAN, WIFI and voice services.

The project was no small undertaking, requiring the comprehensive transformation of infrastructure and technology across Greene King's entire estate. Delivering a project of such scale required Daisy to create a unique change control process and to design a solution that could be adapted according to venue type, size and location. This needed Daisy to work extremely closely with its technology partners to deliver a solution roadmap that would meet Greene King's technology requirements and its aggressive timeline - Greene King wanted the solution live across 1,634 sites by the end of 2023.

The overall refresh of Greene King's estate-wide connectivity comprised of a state-of-the-art SD-WAN, a fully digital unified communications solution, and most importantly, a LAN and WiFi transformation.
Daisy provided:

•;;; A full indoor and outdoor Fortinet wireless solution
•;;; New internet connectivity - FTTP, Ethernet, SOGEA
•;;; Daisy DE-One 4G/5G cellular connectivity solution
•;;; High availability Fortinet SD-WAN
•;;; New Fortinet PoE LAN
•;;; Gamma Horizon cloud voice solution
•;;; Pre and post wireless, infrastructure and cellular surveys
•;;; Full installation, including cabling, rack and power
•;;; A fully managed service with proactive monitoring and robust SLAs

As with any large-scale transformation project, there are naturally some challenges on the way. In this case, equipment availability was a significant issue as the project coincided with supply chain constraints globally. However, Daisy worked extremely closely with Fortinet to ensure product delivery kept pace with Greene King's ambitious roll-out schedule.

As a result of detailed planning and efficient coordination with its partners, The pub network of the future is live and fully installed at more than 1,000 Greene King pubs. Greene King now has a more secure, resilient and high-speed network that meets its connectivity and customer experience requirements. Since August 2022:

•;;; Greene King's top download speeds have increased
•;;; Guest WiFi download speed has more than doubled
•;;; The new platform has supported over a million new users
•;;; Greene King has achieved an increase in marketing op-ins via the Greene King app

Commenting on the success of the project, Indhu Sathiaseelan, Head of Retail at Greene King, said: 'We have already started to see tangible results from the new network with both guest WiFi download speeds increasing significantly and the number of marketing opt-ins rising. We have also seen operational improvements with the new telephony systems and received great feedback from customers and employees. This is an ambitious project, and I'm pleased to have Daisy with us on this journey. The company's expertise and support has been invaluable, and at this point, we consider them an extension of our team.'

The pub network of the future is already making a difference to both Greene King's customers and employees - it has empowered them to interact in a more streamlined, efficient and effective way. The real upshot is happy customers who want to keep coming back!


Orchestration/Automation Innovation of the Year

WINNER



IP Fabric

What is your product's/solution's key distinguishing features and/or USP?
In terms of Automation/Orchestration, IP Fabric is uniquely placed to provide an unparalleled wealth of network data to enable network teams to understand their network’s behavior from end to end. The only way to automate your network safely is with a comprehensive way to validate the outcome of automated change, i.e. how the entire network behaves pre- and post-automated change. Many solutions still view this validation as a per-device project this is ineffective for enterprise IT automation. IP Fabric stands alone in the level of detail it provides and its end-to-end path simulation capabilities we validate the behavior of the enterprise network as a whole and focus on the outcome of change holistically. We call this technology automated network assurance and are the leader in this field.

What tangible impact has your product/solution had on the market and your customers?
Our customers, many of whom are market leaders in their industries, have accelerated and succeeded with automation and orchestration projects far beyond what they were capable of before implementing IP Fabric. IP Fabric tangibly de-risks the automation process with complete and accurate network visibility and assurance. Our intent check functionality means that you can implement intent-driven automation, validating continuously that your actual network state always aligns with your intention.

For example, Julien Manteau (Lead for Airbus Network Automation transverse program at Airbus) has reported that using IP Fabric as a central, complete network data source has served as a cornerstone for their automation strategy:

“IP Fabric allowed us to have a real feedback loop on network status with a transversal view. It enabled us to consolidate internal tools into a single source, with a proper diagramming feature and extensive network data collection.” - Julien Manteau, Network Solutions Architect Lead, Airbus.

Additionally, Jeremy Schulman (Senior Director of Solution Engineering, Infrastructure at Major League baseball) said “If I had the budget to buy only one product that would immediately benefit both traditional network engineers and accelerate network automation projects it would be IP Fabric.”

For the market in general, this means less skepticism of automation and better alignment between business and technical enterprise teams regarding how to prioritize automation and orchestration efforts.

What are the major differentiators between your product/solution and those of your primary competitors?
Open API programmability: Our open, API-first approach means IP Fabric can fit seamlessly into an enterprise networking tooling ecosystem, and vital network data can be easily democratized.

Unrestrictive Licensing: IP Fabric's straightforward license model differentiates us from close competitors no per-seat or per-technology licensing. This influences overall cost, implementation cost, time taken to implement, the immediate ROI, and ROI over time.

Usability: A focus on usability, and fitting into pre-existing network engineering workflows, separates IP Fabric from the competition. IP Fabric is built for network engineers, by network engineers, with their workflows and processes in mind. This is evident in the ease of use, and how quickly users are able to deploy and start getting value from the tool. IP Fabric is set up to inform the user of what they would likely need to know, rather than requiring a lot of input from the user to know exactly what they’re looking for.

Comprehensive Discovery: Our discovery process is close to how a network engineer would do it themselves and ultimately more comprehensive than competitors based on experience, the founders and NAE team understand the processes and needs of the user. IP Fabric does not use the brute-force approach to discovery used by other platforms, and therefore nothing slips through the cracks. Rather, IP Fabric collects information about the network via the CLI. Our technology uses the behavior of the device to understand how the device is connected to others around it.

Light-touch Deployment: Fewer resources are required to deploy and maintain IP Fabric than our competitors.

Please supply any supportive quotes and/or case study materials to demonstrate the value of this product/solution to your customers/partners.
“I don’t know any other tools capable of drawing diagrams automatically with this level of detail about protocol.” - Stephane Deroch Network and System Engineer in Automation & Virtualization at Air France-KLM


RUNNER UP



MIT Dynamic Technologies Limited

Discovery, Transformation and orchestration, or the gathering the data required for system migration has typically been costly, time-consuming, resource intensive and prone to error. The challenge has been compounded by difficulties accessing that data and having the expertise among the project team to acquire it from legacy PBX systems.

UCentric automated the voice audit, blending of other data sources, generation of 'snag lists' and then orchestration direct through API's or 'bulk loaders' to all cloud solutions.

UCentric Voice Audit is not only the breakthrough solution to these challenges, in some cases capable of reducing network build times from weeks to an hour, its real-time collation of data from multiple sources across multiple platforms and unique cross-referencing capability makes it the complete management tool for communications managers. UCentric Voice even simplifies the management of disparate systems, technologies and metadata.

MIT has developed this automated solution that can take vendor-agnostic backups from all the major on-premise voice platforms (e.g. Mitel, Nortel, Cisco, Siemens, Avaya etc.) and directly provision them onto a live cloud unified communications platform (i.e. Cisco Webex Calling, RingCentral, Broadworks etc.)

The USP for MIT is that it is completely vendor-agnostic, and requires little human intervention. This breakthrough solution is assisting top tier 1 carriers, manufacturers and systems integrations in both the UK and around the World in their efforts to migrate their own clients and win business from their competitors.

SDC Channel Champion Award

WINNER



Datto - Greg Jones


Greg is a multi award-winning MSP growth-hacking professional and leadership expert who delivers high-energy keynote presentations that challenge audiences to focus on what matters most when it comes to technology and business.

His presentations motivate audiences to think outside the box and challenge the status quo on what can be achieved with the right technology and business processes. Audiences love these pragmatic and practical strategies that can be easily implemented and lead to big business results.

Greg is part of Kaseya's EMEA go-to market senior Leadership Team as Vice President of Business Development. Greg is responsible for expanding and driving the success of Datto's partner program and unique MSP ecosystem across the EMEA region, including community, events, and marketing development funds


Greg's passions extend to the greater MSP community where he serves as Executive Council Leader for CompTIA, as well as acting as an advisor for their Advancing Women in Technology board and their Chair of the UK &amp Ireland Cyber Security committee.


He is also a leader of Datto's Diversity, Equity &amp Inclusion Council and is a Business Ambassador for Alder Hey Children's Charity, whose mission is to support the young patients, families, and the staff at Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust in the UK.

Greg has a strong background in the IT sector and works with MSPs (Managed Service Providers) of all sizes to bring about transformational change, as well as providing assistance in helping them achieve their goals.

Prior to joining Datto in October 2019, Greg was Chief Technology Officer for a large MSP in the Northwest of England. Greg started his management career in IT within the public sector after securing a senior IT management position within the local authority, and later went on to private consultancy for central government.


He was recognised by Channel Futures as one of just 14 top Channel Influencers in EMEA in 2023 for his dedication to the MSP community and was named Cyber Security Leader of the Year at the 2023 IT Europa Channel Awards. He also won the 2023 CompTIA UK&ampI Community Leadership Spotlight Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership and impact to the community.

Greg has become the go-to source on the development of technology and business processes. He is dedicated to driving business results with technology, and he believes we are living in exceptional times with regards to the possibility of what technology and business can achieve.

When Greg is not focused on business, he can be hard to find given his love of travel! You can be sure though that he'll probably be somewhere near a beach or on a mountain.




RUNNER UP



Pax8 - Michael Breeze

As Senior Director of Channel, EMEA at Pax8, Michael drives strategic initiatives to increase its presence within the EMEA IT channel. Michael is responsible for delivering the award-winning Pax8 partner program to new markets, expanding partner enablement programs globally, and building partnerships throughout the IT community. Under his leadership, Pax8 empowers international partners to achieve success with cloud technology through its advanced marketplace of innovative solutions. In his career spanning over 20 years, Michael has helped vendors, MSPs, and IT solution providers gain a competitive advantage and achieve scalable growth. Before Pax8, he spent time at Datto, helping them become an international market leader. Michael holds a B.A. in Business and is a chartered marketer with the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Michael enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children, traveling to festivals in his VW camper, or enjoying his passion for sport. Fun fact about me: When playing cricket I bat left handed and bowl right handed.


Security Vendor of the Year

WINNER



Splashtop Inc

based in Silicon Valley, Splashtop Inc. delivers next-generation remote access and remote support software and services globally, across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Africa. Splashtop's cloud-based, secure, and easily managed solutions serve customers that include everyone from multinational enterprises and academic institutions to small businesses, MSPs, and individuals.


https://www.splashtop.com/products/secure-workspace


https://www.foxpass.com/?utm_source=splashtop.com&utm_medium=referral&menu=1


 



Social Impact Initiative

WINNER



HCLTech

Enabling Sustainable digital workplaces

The transition from remote work to a hybrid work environment- aided by the deployment of digital platforms and technologies - has opened up a gateway of opportunities for organizational leaders to re-evaluate how business is conducted. Company executives will have to take a long-term strategic view of the issue in front of them by identifying and pursuing sustainability opportunities that hold the highest potential value.
Sustainability has become a top priority among executive leaders and Boards of Directors. A recent study of 301 corporate directors conducted by executive research firm Heidrick & Struggles in association with INSEAD across 43 countries, that was published in the Harvard Business Review, reveals that climate goals are “very important” for 75 percent of the respondents with regards to their organization’s strategic success.

Meanwhile, there’s increased pressure on C-level executives from investors, regulators and other stakeholders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A recent report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control indicates that nations are unlikely to meet agreed-upon goals for CO2 emissions without taking drastic steps.
Taken together, it’s become clear that customers, business partners and investors prefer working with companies that are taking active steps to cut down on their greenhouse gas emissions.
As members of the executive team continue to sharpen their focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG), this is also creating opportunities for technology leaders to identify and execute ways to differentiate their companies through their ESG initiatives. This includes the role that ESG can play in designing the future workplace.
For instance, what do sustainable organizations do differently than others? They strive to balance the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit to achieve long-term success and viability.

Value-creating companies are more likely than others to make sustainability an element of their corporate culture and train employees on how to integrate sustainability into their work.
So, what’s the way forward for enterprises?
The hybrid working model offers an opportunity to reduce carbon consumption by providing employees with the tools and resources they require to be more productive. However, IT leaders must define objectives and set benchmarks to create a sustainable and flexible workplace that benefits employers, employees, and the environment. Embracing advanced technologies such as virtualization, remote collaboration and support, hyper-automation, and UX monitoring also enables organizations to unlock new opportunities to dramatically reduce carbon footprints across the value chain.
Today, 40% of total emissions are coming from offices and commercial buildings. To aim for net-zero offices, enterprises should take positive strides toward low carbon footprint and low energy requirement workplaces that facilitate greener results. Yet these workplaces should be precision-designed to foster productivity, creativity, and collaboration without compromising on user experience.

At HCLTech our ACE framework for sustainable workplace is a 3 step program to get customer organizations started towards building environmentally sustainable workplaces – Assess: identify key contributors towards a shift to a more sustainable workplace Consult on building a roadmap for aligning with the organizational sustainability goals by comprehensively taking into account different workplace technology areas Evolve, where you start executing the initiatives and include employees to contribute towards these initiatives.
We offer a comprehensive consulting service for customers where we do a scientific validation of sustainability initiatives within the enterprise, assess key metrics in an environment that can drive sustainable IT, identify bottlenecks for these initiatives and recommend actionable insights to drive those sustainability initiatives.

The outcome is a sustainable digital workplace that is inclusive of employees/users, workspaces, and devices.
Devices – Carbon-neutral remanufactured devices with enterprise-grade performance
Workspaces – Realtime monitoring of energy consumption and E-waste management
Employees – Persona aligned device profiling & provisioning

There are multiple reasons why enterprises need to be good corporate citizens. For starters, it’s a way of demonstrating the organization’s commitment to the planet’s sustainability. From an environmental sustainability perspective, it can generate heightened brand recognition and improve the company’s reputation among consumers. Being environmentally responsible can also help companies increase customer loyalty, boost sales and accelerate their financial performance.


The economic benefits of an ESG-driven enterprise

One of the most valuable lessons that organizational executives involved in ESG strategies have learned is that sustainability and growth are not necessarily opposing forces that conflict with one another. Research shows that investing in sustainability initiatives provides numerous benefits beyond the environmental impact that’s delivered. Long-term business benefits include:
• Greater loyalty among employees who work for companies that are committed to sustainability (Cone Communications Millennial Employee Study)
• Morale is higher in 55% of companies with strong sustainability programs (Harvard Business Review)
• Employees in green-certified buildings experienced a 26% increase in cognition and 30% fewer sick days on average (Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health)
• Higher profitability - Eighty-eight percent of companies with solid sustainability practices were found to have better operational performance and cash flows than those that don’t (Oxford University)


While ESG is a shared responsibility across the C-suite, it’s clear that the onus is on technology executives to adopt digital solutions that create visibility of real-time GHG emissions and optimally operate energy management systems.

Fortunately, the advent of Green IT and other advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, automation, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is making it much easier for organizational leaders to monitor, track, streamline and analyze opportunities for improving corporate sustainability efforts. These technologies also help to improve operational efficiency, optimize LEED buildings and construction methods, and decrease resource dependency.

For instance, data generated by the carbon output from data center equipment, office space, factory floors, and other facilities can be analyzed to evaluate changes in operational efficiency and to identify opportunities to optimize operations. Meanwhile, AI and machine learning tools can help identify anomalies in operations that could be exacerbating carbon output along with opportunities for reducing the carbon footprint from workplace technologies, data centers, office spaces, suggested improvements for LED light efficiency, etc.


RUNNER UP



Safe Workplace

Safe Workplace is transforming work culture globally. Our easy-to-use platform empowers employees by providing a confidential, accessible route to report misconduct. Responding to evolving consumer preferences for messaging, we've created a secure space where trust, safety and respect thrive. Endorsed by giants like Amazon, we're proudly redefining HR management, combating underreported misconduct, and nurturing safer, more inclusive work environments

Software-as-a-Service Innovation of the Year

WINNER



iQuila Ltd

In the ever-evolving realm of digital connectivity, the ability to create dependable, secure, and swift connections is paramount. iQuila, standing as a vanguard in the world of Defined Networking, has revolutionized the manner in which devices and global locations interact and connect. At the heart of iQuila's prowess lies our proprietary Virtual Extended Network (VEN) protocol. This state-of-the-art protocol goes beyond the standard boundaries of connectivity. Imagine the stability, speed, and security of a direct physical hardware connection, and then envisage this being replicated to any device or location worldwide. The VEN protocol accomplishes precisely this, forging pathways that recreate the connectivity characteristics of a tangible, direct connection. However, the innovation doesn't stop there. With the majority of modern networks grappling with layer 2 traffic complexities, VEN effortlessly manages this challenge. The protocol deconstructs layer 2 traffic into discrete Ethernet frames, optimizing both speed and reliability. In our continuous pursuit for excellence and broadened horizons, iQuila has aligned its cloud infrastructure with one of the most renowned and resilient platforms in the digital world: Microsoft Azure. This strategic partnership ensures that our clients benefit from unparalleled uptime, robust security measures, and seamless scalability. Today, with our services spanning across more than 14 countries, we are not only providing groundbreaking networking solutions but also cementing our reputation as global leaders in the domain. Our footprint is a testament to our commitment to bridging gaps, erasing borders, and fostering seamless connectivity in a world that demands nothing less. As we present iQuila for this esteemed award, it's a reflection of our journey, innovation, and the relentless pursuit to redefine what's possible in the world of networking. Cradlepoint Partnership iQuila recently announced a Technical Alliance Partnership with Cradlepoint (Ericsson), the world's leading manufacturer of cellular routers. iQuila is now available to all Cradlepoint clients through their Net Cloud portal, featuring a simple 1-click installation process. Cradlepoint routers can connect to iQuila Cloud (public and private). Significance of the Partnership Mobile workers, including emergency services personnel, often encounter connectivity challenges in the field. Latency issues, VPN limitations, and encryption overhead can hinder crucial applications and protocols, impacting load, resilience, and VLAN distribution. These challenges pose serious risks, especially during crisis situations. iQuila's VEN and Cradlepoint routers address these issues by seamlessly connecting mobile workers, IoT devices, and branch locations to the network. iQuila empowers Cradlepoint edge devices to distribute layer 2 connectivity effortlessly, offering comprehensive VLANs, group policies, Active Directory integration, and top-notch security. This joint solution removes the constraints organizations face when operating outside their primary corporate location. Value of the Joint Solution iQuila VEN and Cradlepoint enable organizations to access core services and enjoy enhanced performance, regardless of their location. Branch offices, mobile workers, and fast-moving devices can access data, VLANs, applications, and protocols, transforming edge experiences. Installed on a container within the Cradlepoint router, iQuila VEN bridging software seamlessly extends a layer 2 network to the edge. It efficiently integrates remote networks, maintaining multiple VLANs and local subnets. Advanced AI is at the core of the VEN protocol, managing connections by constructing multiple data threads for greater resilience, higher bandwidth, and consistent performance. Emergency Services Use Case iQuila revolutionizes connectivity delivery by introducing a seamless and comprehensive layer 2 service that extends Q.802.1 VLANs from your infrastructure to the edge. This innovation ensures uninterrupted connections for SSID users, even as they move between vehicles, guaranteeing secure data access. The iQuila VEN protocol securely transmits required VLANs over multiple concurrent threads through an encrypted tunnel, enabling the simultaneous use of multiple SSIDs with varying access levels across your entire fleet. The inclusion of Quantum encryption maintains security, providing peace of mind. iQuila's VEN protocol also seamlessly integrates other blue light, public safety, and third-party services into the network, allowing for the presentation of their respective SSIDs throughout your fleet while maintaining best-in-class security measures. John Nye, VP, Technology Partners & Alliances at Cradlepoint 'Cradlepoint customers are building networks that extend beyond the traditional enterprise or branch networks to environments that include mobile and IoT. Solutions such as iQuila will help our customers remain connected and secure as their workforces continue to evolve.' These edits aim to improve the clarity and impact of your entry for the Software-as-a-Service Innovation of the Year award. Feel free to incorporate them as needed to strengthen your application.



RUNNER UP



Radix IoT, LLC

IoT Platforms proved their indispensable value amidst, and post-pandemic enabling remote management and monitoring of unmanned critical facilities, sustained business continuity while providing uninterrupted connectivity for a range of business applications. With IoT’s global proliferation, Mango OS, coupled with the Radix IoT platform, has become the market’s most comprehensive, “must have” set of tools for creating an inclusive, manufacturer agnostic IoT solution.

Mango’s seamless connectivity enables all technology types, shapes, and sizes–from HVAC components to solar equipment, factory/ industrial automation equipment, water management products and smart building enablement devices, telecommunications infrastructure, data centers, commercial facilities portfolio, renewables, and other verticals. Mango remains as the market’s only platform capable of seamless scaling from one site to thousands–and across geographically distributed locations–consistently vendor-agnostic and free of vendor-lock traps. Mango Series 4 expanded support for private clouds and critical infrastructure by offering massive scaling capabilities that led to the onboarding of 15 million datapoints into the ecosystem across a range of organizations and verticals.

Mango’s “plug-and-play” deployment seamlessly network-enables customers products or systems into a global platform. Remaining as the market’s single point of truth for data, via a single-pane philosophy, Radix IoT’s Mango platform has allowed a 35% reduction in energy maintenance spend for telecommunications customers. It has also enabled preventative maintenance to avoid costly downtime.

During the last two years of the pandemic, Mango’s expanding application base is due primarily to Radix IoT’s continued innovation and development to meet the needs of data centers and energy production customers primarily in the Americas and APR.

The addition of the Radix Cloud offering empowered customers to manage their own infrastructure and leave resilience and managed service concerns to Radix–reducing the need for in-house I.T. staff commitments for clients while assuring that ownership of data remains in the customers' hands.

Radix IoT’s indisputable competitive edge positions it as a leading, global provider of an unlimited, open-source, IoT Platform. As the market’s most cost-effective solution for aggregating, organizing, and harnessing real-time intelligence from globally distributed organizations’ connected systems, customization of Mango dashboards has greatly impacted all aspects of business operations. From enabling commercial property owners to achieve and maintain Green Star Rating verifications via access to real-time metering and reporting of energy consumption with Mango’s advanced alarming and tools for trending analytics through a web interface, to gaining deep data visibility and insight for custom reports to harness and organize data required to facilitate compliance reporting. Customers use Mango:
• To produce customized reports to identify building optimization potentials for reduced operating expenses for portfolios of buildings’ ESG reports.
• To create “bespoke solutions” when needed considering it “the best available solution in the market” noting its flexibility, open-web technology and interoperability with Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms that makes it a powerful solution.
• As a “special secret sauce” for projects demanding not just the standard data center monitoring software but customized to the customer’s specifications.

Mango’s cost-effective platform with unlimited scaling, and easy “plug-and-play” format, aggregates data from existing infrastructure so organizations large and small can collect, analyze, and store the telemetry from across all their connected systems nationwide and across the globe. The data used from within the IoT platform drives a range of outcome-based, real-time and historical insight asset management, production insights, customized reporting and alerting, digital operations and maintenance services among others empower organizations’ data-based business decisions which were not previously conceivable.

South African Water Works (SAWW) integrated Mango to efficiently manage and operate its vast distributed coverage area meeting water shortage challenges and successfully delivering nearly 120 million liters of safe drinking water to 450,000 residents daily. Mango saved the company 100 hours per week, drastically cut fuel cost, and wear and tear on vehicles by reducing in half the 250 kilometers of travel across their coverage area. The more proactive team, is now able to preempt potential problems and outages via Mango alerts across all their sites. We also helped develop a pilot Mango energy conservancy dashboard to help determine and reduce the company’s second largest cost–electricity. This led to the concept being recognized and adopted by additional municipalities–expanding Mango’s footprint in a region most challenged by utility availability.

Another OEM integrated Mango platform as part of its data center infrastructure management (DCIM), data center cooling optimization, monitoring, and facilities asset management offerings across APAC to meet the region’s booming digital transformation demands as DCIM investments continue to grow among the commercial real estate sector with high data storage, speed and power monitoring requirement.

Widening Mango Series 4’s unique features, we enabled OEMs to use the Radix IoT platform to private label deployment to monitor and manage millions of devices on a global basis for customers. Building technology companies and renewable and energy companies integrated Mango to better monitor thousands of solar farms across America, water and waste management sites in South Africa, and green efficiency of property management across Asia.

Integrating Radix IoT platform successfully created IoT network and business revenue streams which further expanded Radix IoT Mango solution's global footprint with five new partnership agreements across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, and N. America.

Special Recognition for Channel Security Services Award

WINNER



OpenText Cybersecurity

OpenText Cybersecurity provides smart, simplified security that enables trusted, cyber resilient environments for our channel partners, distributors, resellers and Managed Service Providers (MSPs). We help partners reduce risk, preserve trust and minimize disruption. From prevention, detection and response to recovery and compliance, we help partners build cyber resilience via a holistic security portfolio of smarter and simple solutions delivered through our unified end-to-end platform. This modern portfolio of complementary security solutions offers channel partners 360-degree visibility across endpoints and network traffic to proactively identify, triage and investigate anomalous and malicious behavior. The business has many different offerings that help partners to find information, no matter where it is buried, to effectively conduct investigations, manage risk and respond to incidents. Organizations rely on these products to proactively prevent and detect threats across ever-expanding attack surfaces. Our security solutions enable multi-vector data protection against malicious files, scripts, exploits, URLs and guard against phishing, spam, threat, and email compromise through robust M365 email security: - Endpoint Protection: Easily manage clients and secure users across all stages of a cyberattack with effective real-time protection. - DNS Protection: Stop up to 88% of malware at the domain by securing corporate and guest networks. - Security Awareness Training: Keep clients and employees safe by educating them on phishing attacks, malware, data compliance and more. - Email Security: Proactively defend and protect against email-borne threats with email threat protection and email encryption to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Our data protection and migration solutions provide organizations uninterrupted access to critical business data: - Cloud-to-Cloud Backup: Comprehensive, automatic backup and recovery for Microsoft 365 and other SaaS applications. - Endpoint Backup: Automatic, secure data protection for endpoints - Migrate: Structured, repeatable data migration from any source to any target with near zero data loss and no disruption in service. - Availability: Continuous replication for physical, virtual and cloud workloads with push-button failover for keeping critical systems online all the time. - Recover: Keep a secondary copy of the system in the cloud for instant failover in the event of an outage. OpenText Cybersecurity protects over 95 million end-users and has 45 million endpoint detection and response agents installed, securing over 23,000 MSPs. Innovation highlights for channel partners over the past 12 months include: - When it comes to managing cybersecurity, we understand our MSP partners need vendor solutions that help unify their security tools and streamline the operations of managing their customer base. The expansion of our OpenText Secure Cloud platform combines best-in-class email threat protection, email continuity, email encryption, cloud-to-cloud backup, and more. With our latest update, OpenText Cybersecurity MSP partners will be able to sell and manage endpoint protection, security awareness training, and DNS protection&mdashall from our unified, cloud platform. - The introduction of Webroot Standalone DNS Protection, a solution for DNS Protection that doesn't have any dependency on another product. Our new Standalone DNS Protection is fast and easy to install and delivers protection without requiring a Webroot EPP agent on every system. - New MDR solutions that reduce the risk and impact of ransomware attacks while empowering organizations to become cyber-resilient. - The launch of a new partner program: Accelerate. The Accelerate Partner Program provides partners with all sets of security and data protection solutions, assets, and resources under one single platform. The tiered program rewards higher levels of participation with more benefits, including market development funds and pre- and post-sales support. This was designed to make engagement and business relationships smoother, two factors that contribute to the success of a partner program. With the Accelerate Partner Program, partners have a fantastic opportunity to expand and scale their business. Additionally, Accelerate offers training and certification programs free of charge for partners.



Storage Company of the Year
Sponsored by   StorMagic

WINNER



ExaGrid

ExaGrid’s unique Tiered Backup Storage is the only storage solution built just for backup to improve backup performance, restore performance, scalability as data grows, security, ransomware recovery, disaster recovery, and the economics of backup, with low costs up front and over time. All other solutions are generic storage solutions or inline scale-up deduplication appliances. Over the past year, ExaGrid’s growth has accelerated and ExaGrid has expanded its sales and customer support teams worldwide while remaining Cash, EBITDA, and P&L positive.

ExaGrid supports over 4,000 organizations worldwide, in over 80 countries. ExaGrid’s customer support model is unique as all of its support engineers are ExaGrid employees, located in each region (United States, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific) that speak the local languages. ExaGrid’s industry-leading level 2 senior support engineers are assigned to individual customers, ensuring they always work with the same engineer. Customers never have to repeat themselves to various support staff, and issues get resolved quickly. As a result of providing of a product that is differentiated and just works, as well as providing industry-leading support, ExaGrid has a 95% customer retention rating, an extremely high NPS score of 81, and 99.2% of its customers are on yearly maintenance and support—statistics that are unheard of in the industry.

ExaGrid has 300 published customer success stories, each an in-depth 2-page story that includes the company and customer name, and gives insight into their experience using ExaGrid Tiered Backup Storage in their unique environment and working with the ExaGrid team. ExaGrid also has 150 Gartner Peer Insight reviews.


RUNNER UP



Infinidat

In the first half of 2023, Infinidat continued on the powerful trajectory of strong growth and execution with 29% year-over-year growth in bookings. Building on a robust 2022, Infinidat also delivered top-line revenue growth and profitable, cashflow-positive operating results in the 1H 2023 period.

“Infinidat experienced strong demand for our enterprise solutions in 1H 2023 and extended the trajectory of profitable growth we accomplished in 2021 and 2022,” said Phil Bullinger, CEO of Infinidat. “The comprehensive financial advantages and unsurpassed technical value of our enterprise storage platforms are resonating very well across enterprise IT teams contending with demanding SLAs, cyber resilience concerns, budget limitations and uncertainty, and operational complexity.”

Infinidat’s Infinidat’s InfiniBox™ SSA II – an all-flash storage array solutions and InfiniGuard® solution have redefined enterprise primary storage, backup, and cyber storage resilience.

- The InfiniBox SSA II is the industry’s fastest all-flash storage array with unprecedented 35 microseconds of latency, allowing enterprise customers to obtain optimal real-world application and workload performance, simplify substantial storage consolidation, increase efficiency, and dramatically reduce CAPEX and OPEX.
- The InfiniGuard is a purpose-built appliance designed to ensure that enterprises and service providers are protected against ransomware, malware, internal cyber threats and other potential cyberattacks.

In February, the storage industry analyst firm DCIG named Infinidat’s InfiniBox SSA II / InfiniBox® as one of the world’s top 5 high-end storage arrays. Being named one of the top 5 high-end storage arrays demonstrates Infinidat’s focus on the business and technical values essential to large enterprise storage deployments.
Infinidat was named a 2023 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice in the Gartner Peer Insights “Voice of the Customer”: Primary Storage. This is the fourth year that Infinidat has been recognized as a Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice based on the reviews and ratings of end-users across the globe.

The InfiniBox and InfiniBox SSA II platforms for enterprise primary storage deployments are not only the most cyber-resilient and most reliable storage solutions in the industry but also the highest performing. Additionally, from the earliest InfiniBox installations, Infinidat has earned a reputation for product quality and reliability from an enterprise community that has zero tolerance for downtime.

The IT analyst firm GigaOm named Infinidat as the industry Leader and Fast Mover in block and file-based ransomware protection for primary storage. GigaOm praised Infinidat for having a complete and balanced ransomware protection solution with InfiniSafe® technology, including AI-based, cyber detection capabilities to combat ransomware. This is the 2nd consecutive year that Infinidat has been recognized as a Leader and Fast Mover in block-based ransomware protection.

Infinidat was, also, recently ranked as one of the top 500 software companies in the world, according to The Software Report, which published their list of the Power 500 Software Companies of 2023 in January. The Power 500 Software Companies award is recognition of Infinidat’s competitive position in the enterprise storage market based on its broad and technically deep software-defined-storage approach.

The IT analyst firm GigaOm recognized Infinidat as a Leader and an Outperformer in primary storage for large enterprises. Infinidat is distinguished for its innovation and a software-defined storage platform approach that combines high capacity, scalability, flexible consumption models, advanced cyber storage resilience, and real-world application performance.

Infinidat’s channel partners have access to sell these award-winning solutions. To support these partners, Infinidat has a 5-star channel partner program. On March 27th, CRN, a brand of The Channel Company and the world’s largest channel-centric publication, announced that Infinidat had earned a 5-Star Rating for our channel partner program. For the second consecutive year, Infinidat’s Channel Partner Program has been recognized by CRN with the prestigious 5-Star Rating as a world-class, comprehensive partner program.

Top IT solution providers trust Infinidat to deliver, not only award-winning, innovative enterprise cyber-resilient storage solutions and superior business value for their enterprise storage customers, but also expert training, technical enablement, educational resources, marketing strength, and pre- and post-sales support. Infinidat has designed a program that empowers our partners to be successful in today’s competitive enterprise environment.
Infinidat’s channel program is led in the Americas by an experienced storage industry professional who won a prestigious award in early 2023. CRN named Mitch Diodato, Senior Director of Channel Sales for the Americas, to its 2023 Channel Chiefs list in February. Diodato helped contribute to the elevation of Infinidat’s channel partner program as a 5-star rated program and to the January 2023 launch of Infinidat’s new Infuziast Certification program. This was the 2nd year in a row that Infinidat was recognized with a Channel Chief award.

Ken Clipperton, DCIG Lead Analyst for Storage, noted:
“Large enterprises look to high-end storage arrays to provide a combination of high performance, high availability, cyber storage resilience, and comprehensive enterprise data services for all their business-critical data. The all-flash InfiniBox SSA II and hybrid InfiniBox arrays showcase Infinidat’s thorough understanding of these requirements, including guaranteed recoveries in less than one minute.”


In a joint public statement, GigaOm’s analysts Max Mortillaro and Arjan Timmerman said:
“Cybersecurity continues to be one of the top concerns of CEOs and their executive leadership teams. In response, Infinidat made it a priority to enhance its cyber storage resilience capabilities not only for block storage, but also for file storage, putting the company in a unique and very strong position,” said GigaOm’s analysts Max Mortillaro and Arjan Timmerman. “Infinidat equips enterprises with ransomware protection solutions to counter cyberattacks against their data infrastructure. It’s an absolute ‘must-have’ for enterprises to have this kind of protection for their primary storage.”

Storage Hardware Innovation of the Year

WINNER



Pure Storage

Pure Storage eliminates HDD in 2023 with Pure//E Family of products Today, disk-based storage comprises the vast majority of stored data, and nearly all unstructured data. Furthermore, unstructured data capacity is expected to grow by 10x before 2030 for global organisations. For large-capacity, price-sensitive workloads that use current disk-based storage solutions, this growth is unsustainable. Disk has become too expensive to maintain, taking up large amounts of data centre space, requiring massive amounts of power. To deal with the limitations and expense of disk growth, enterprises have found short-term solutions by taking data offline to be archived on systems that take hours or even days to get back, ultimately slowing the pace of the business when the data is required. There are well known advantages of using flash over legacy disk-based storage, however, the main barriers to implementing flash have historically been purchase and operational costs. Thankfully this all changed in 2023, when Pure Storage took an innovative leap forward with the introduction of the 100% all-flash Pure//E Family of products, consisting of FlashBlade//E and FlashArray//E. Delivered at a comparable price to disk-based solutions with significant advantages including long-term total cost of ownership benefits, the Pure//E Family of products makes it possible to better manage everyday file, block and object workloads effectively, reliably and sustainably. //E stands for Efficiency. Without a solution like Pure//E, the challenges customers face today will only get bigger, and the ESG goals we set today will be harder to attain. Data is complex and disk is inefficient, and power and space hungry. These issues combined mean you have mounting issues for data centers, bottom lines, and the environment. That has all changed with the release of the Pure//E family, delivering against HDD: - One-fifth the space and power - 60% lower operational cost of legacy - 85% less e-waste - 10x-20x the reliability This is particularly compelling when you consider that data centre infrastructure represents over 1% of global energy consumption, and this share is growing. Organisations are examining their carbon emissions much more closely and many need to look at ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Flash has a vital contribution to this reduction in energy use. As a result of rising energy costs, energy consumption by information technology has become not just a concern from an environmental standpoint but now also a significant economic one. The secret to success - all-flash from day one and the Pure Storage Direct Flash Module The Pure//E family has been made possible by Pure Storage's development of the Direct Flash Module (DFM). DFMs allow all flash arrays to communicate directly with raw flash storage, increasing storage density. Pure Storage's holistic approach to building all-flash systems involves leveraging 'raw' flash to build DFMs, rather than rely on buying commodity solid-state drives (SSDs). By doing this, we get our flash at a different point in the supply chain from other solid-state array vendors. But the benefits of DFM are much more than just better supply chain economics: - Improved Density and Efficiency. Our DFMs deliver a storage density 2-3 times better and consume from 39% to 54% fewer watts per terabyte than our closest competitors today. - Smart Data Placement. Instead of each SSD making decisions about data placement and media management in a vacuum, our software, Purity, makes much smarter placement and scheduling decisions than a single drive could do on its own. - Outperform and Outlast. DFMs outperform and outlast their commodity counterparts. Fewer writes means less wear and thus longer drive life spans. Fewer writes also means more IO cycles are available to service 'real' client IO. - Improve Over Time. Because we perform all these media management tasks in software, we can improve this software over time. All Pure Storage systems connected to the internet securely phone-home telemetry data, and since we have deep insight into the health and activity of the underlying flash memory, we aggregate and analyze this data to improve how our software works in the real world. - Simpler and More Reliable. Because we perform all these activities at the array level in software, our DFMs don't need complex controllers and large amounts of RAM to do all this work on their own. Thus, our modules are simpler and therefore more reliable, in addition to being more efficient. What this means for customers is systems that have more performance, more consistently, and more reliability and longevity than other all-flash or hybrid systems designed around SSDs. Pure Storage's DFM innovations underpin the entire Pure//E family of products. Pure Storage is the only company capable of delivering DFM drives with capacities of 75TB. In the next couple of years Pure Storage will extend this leadership even further, adding 150TB DFMs within 18 months, and 300TB DFMs by 2026. FlashBlade//E - announced in March 2023 FlashBlade//E is an all-flash capacity-optimised unified file and object storage platform, designed to tackle unstructured data repository workloads that remain on disk-based storage systems. It is the ideal unified solution for unstructured data repository workloads in data protection, technical computing, AI and multiple other use cases across a multitude of industry verticals. Key benefits of FlashBlade//E: - Economical: FlashBlade//E is offered at under $0.20 per GB including three years of service. The platform starts at 4PB and with reliable performance. - Energy-Efficient: FlashBlade//E consumes up to 5x less power than the disk-based systems it will replace. The larger the system the greater the efficiency, helping organisations achieve their increasingly critical sustainability goals. - Simple, Reliable, Non-Disruptive: FlashBlade//E is built to flex and grow on demand with 10-20x more reliability than hard disk Why FlashBlade//E stands out in the storage market FlashBlade//E's highly competitive economics enable Pure Storage to position it as a viable alternative to disk and hybrid-disk solutions for unstructured data repository workloads. For the vast majority of unstructured data, disk-based storage solutions have been the only option. FlashBlade//E is a better way to manage unstructured data growth, operates at the lowest long-term cost, provides a best-in-class user experience while maintaining efficiency, long-term reliability and sustainably. FlashBlade//E significantly lowers operational costs, power, space and cooling while increasing data center efficiency and lowering long-term costs (In the end, there is very little reason to stay on disk). Introducing FlashArray//E - announced in June 2023 FlashArray//E is designed to relieve customers from the constraints of disk. It expands customers' options to tackle data growth starting at 1PB without the need for frustrating offline archives or expanding expensive disk systems. It extends the Pure//E family to support unified block and file while providing seamless capacity scaled up to 4PB. FlashArray//E enables customers to benefit from an 80% reduction in power and space, 60% lower operational costs, and 85% less e-waste compared to disk. Key benefits of FlashArray//E - Disk Economics at Any Scale: With FlashArray//E, the Pure//E family expands support capacity down to 1PB (previously from 4PB). With a continued offering under $0.20 per GB with three years of support, Pure//E delivers an always-available data repository built to handle exponential data growth with industry-leading energy efficiency (5x less energy than HDD) - Choice of Purchasing Models: In addition to traditional purchase, customers can deploy FlashArray//E and FlashBlade//E through Pure Storage Evergreen//One Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) subscription. Evergreen//One is an SLA-driven STaaS offering that provides pay-as-you-go economics and a cloud experience with the control of on-premises deployment. - Industry's Largest Flash Drives: FlashArray//E will include the upcoming release of the industry's largest 75TB QLC DFMs with built-in non-volatile RAM (DFMDs). Pure Storage anticipates DFMs to target 300TB Flash modules by 2026. Customers will see unmatched savings in power and space, providing 20x the reliability that DFM supplies and driving over 4x more energy efficiency compared to competing all-flash arrays. - Continuous Innovation, Without Extra Cost or Disruption: Through the Pure Storage Evergreen architecture, customers can continuously access new FlashArray data services at no additional cost, released monthly. Pure Storage's always-improving feature set ensures customers continue to receive more value and capability without disruption.



RUNNER UP



NetApp

NetApp has announced several innovative products and programs including a new modern block storage offering and a guarantee highlighting NetApp's best-in-class ability to recover from ransomware attacks. This announcement addresses critical customer challenges including increasing IT complexity, restricted IT budgets, increased urgency around sustainability, and the continued exponential growth of cyberthreats. NetApp's new ASA (All-Flash SAN Array) A-Series family simplifies the deployment of modern SAN infrastructure, while providing guaranteed availability and guaranteed efficiency with accompanying cost savings and leading sustainability. NetApp is also announcing a Ransomware Recovery Guarantee at a time when ransomware costs to global organisations are expected to rise from $20 billion in 2021 to $265 billion by 2031. 'In an increasingly complex world, organisations are looking for simplicity and security as a baseline,' said Sandeep Singh, Senior Vice President and GM Enterprise Storage. 'NetApp's leadership in storage technology helps customers solve data storage challenges with operational simplicity at scale, built-in security to manage and recover from ransomware threats, and Flash storage backed by guaranteed efficiencies to meet or exceed sustainability and savings goals.' Building upon NetApp's history of excellence and innovation in storage, today's enhancements to NetApp's portfolio include: NetApp ASA - Increased Simplicity for Modern Block Storage Leveraging more than two decades of data storage expertise and more than 20,000 SAN workload customers, NetApp is extending its leadership in NAS and Unified storage with a dedicated block storage line of products, enabling customers to collapse infrastructure silos and simplify their structured and unstructured data environments on-prem and in the cloud. The NetApp ASA A-Series is a new line of SAN-specific flash storage systems that delivers superior performance, scalability, data availability, efficiency, and hybrid cloud connectivity for business-critical applications and databases. Additional features include: ● 6 Nines data availability guarantee (99.9999%)* ● NetApp ASA delivers industry-leading effective capacity with industry-leading usable capacity combined with NetApp's 4:1 Storage Efficiency Guarantee* ● Building on NetApp's commitment to sustainability, NetApp ASA delivers up to 50% lower power consumption and associated carbon emissions than competitive offerings ● Modern data storage built on all-NVMe performance flash with NVMe/FC, NVMe/TCP, FC, and iSCSI protocols ● Continuous data access to all ASA arrays with symmetric active-active architecture typically found only on the most cost-prohibitive high-end arrays ● Storage Lifecycle Program, which offers customers non-disruptive upgrades to the latest storage controller technology every three, four, or five years at no additional cost ● Integrated data protection and hybrid cloud connectivity to ensure data is secure and can extend to AWS, Azure and GCP 'NetApp's latest ASA enhancements provide more flexibility to our existing mission-critical databases and adds data efficiency at a lower price, said Reinoud Reynders, IT Manager Infrastructure & Operations at UZ Leuven. The new data availability and efficiency guarantees gives us added confidence that NetApp is also the right partner for UZ Leuven as we scale.' NetApp Ransomware Recovery Guarantee The NetApp Ransomware Recovery Guarantee leverages the NetApp ONTAP unique and industry-only combination of key built-in security and ransomware protection features. ONTAP can automatically block known malicious file types, block rogue admins and malicious users with multi-admin verification, and provide tamper-proof snapshots that can't be deleted - even by the storage administrator. With ONTAP's industry-leading autonomous ransomware protection, attacks can be detected, additional snapshots are taken immediately, and recovery can occur in a matter of minutes. Given this unparalleled combination of technologies, NetApp will now warrant snapshot data recovery in the event of a ransomware attack. In the event that data copies can't be recovered with help from NetApp or partner assistance, NetApp will offer compensation*. In addition to the new NetApp ASA family and the NetApp Ransomware Recovery Guarantee, this launch is accompanied by: ● ONTAP One, the most comprehensive all-inclusive and built-in storage software, is now available for all AFF, ASA, and FAS systems. NetApp is also making the capabilities built into ONTAP One available to existing deployed systems under support. ● ONTAP May 2023 Release, which improves ransomware protection and management of consolidated workloads. ● StorageGRID 11.7 & StorageGRID SGF6112, a new version of the StorageGRID software with advanced capabilities for disaster recovery, updates for security and compliance, simplified user experience and more, plus a next-generation all-Flash object storage appliance with improved performance and density to support rapidly growing performance-hungry object workloads with large amounts of data, including AI, analytics, and data lakes. ● NetApp Advance has expanded, growing NetApp's portfolio of simplified buyer programs and guarantees, which continually evolve customer's storage environments with confidence. This announcement is strategic for NetApp, but also aligns to what ESG is finding within our research, which is that the data centre isn't going away,' said Scott Sinclair, Practice Director at Enterprise Strategy Group. 'Data demands are growing every day, players like NetApp recognise this and see the need for innovation everywhere. It's great to see more storage options from NetApp, the leaders in File, who pioneered the Unified movement.


Storage Management Innovation of the Year

WINNER



StorMagic

StorMagic SvSAN was validated with the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus platform in Winter 2022. The combination of HPE’s most compact ProLiant server and StorMagic’s hyperconverged software brings simplicity of management and 100 percent uptime to any application, even in the smallest edge locations.

“The HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus server delivers a powerful platform in a tiny form factor that is perfect for customers looking to save space at small sites,” said Maciek Szczesniak, Vice President and General Manager of SMB & Mid-Market at HPE. “StorMagic SvSAN on HPE servers delivers a robust, powerful all-in-one architecture for edge computing environments, with no server rack required. Solutions like this will help us deliver on our SMB strategy to deliver simplified offerings to fuel business growth.”

StorMagic SvSAN runs on any hypervisor as a guest virtual machine to enable complete, highly-available shared storage and virtualization with only two MicroServer servers per site. Its shared storage executes active-active synchronous mirroring to create a copy of data on both servers, eliminating downtime. HPE ProLiant MicroServer is easy to install, scale and manage. The solution delivers the reliability demanded by edge computing customers, has low power requirements and provides users with key features like high availability clustering, rolling software upgrades and data security, all in a compact unit.

“StorMagic is thrilled to further expand its partnership with HPE through the validation of their most compact ProLiant server ever,” said Brian Grainger, president of StorMagic Inc. and CRO, StorMagic. “Our joint customers will benefit from this footprint reduction at their small sites as well as the 100 percent uptime delivered by SvSAN.”

StorMagic is an active member of the HPE Complete Partner Program and the HPE Partner Ready for Technology Partner Program. HPE ProLiant MicroServer and HPE Edgeline systems validated with SvSAN are available today from HPE or StorMagic’s global network of reseller partners.


RUNNER UP



iXsystems

Powered by Linux, TrueNAS SCALE is an open, hyperconverged, unified scale-out storage platform ideal for demanding file, block, and object storage use cases. Linux, Kubernetes, and containers provide the key technologies for enabling embedded applications within TrueNAS SCALE, giving users the ability to consolidate platforms, reduce costs, simplify administration, and accelerate their application performance by eliminating protocol and networking layers. TrueNAS SCALE supports SMB and NFS File Sharing, iSCSI Block Storage, S3 object storage, the iX-Storj service for Globally Distributed Storage, and Cloud Sync for interoperability with public cloud storage. TrueNAS SCALE Bluefin has been tested by more than 20,000 TrueNAS Community adopters and provides important new capabilities, including cluster management APIs and a Kubernetes CSI Driver for using TrueNAS SCALE as the storage cluster. In addition to maturity from community testing ahead of broader adoption by Linux users, TrueNAS SCALE 22.12.1 includes performance improvements, the option for Kubernetes API passthrough for external orchestrators, and many general fixes and improvements. TrueNAS SCALE was recently recognized as a Digital Public Good (DPG), alongside other widely deployed Open Source infrastructure software including Fedora Linux. TrueNAS SCALE is freely available to all, including those who are otherwise unable to invest in traditional storage offerings to protect valuable data. DPGs, like TrueNAS SCALE, represent much more than code itself and are key to accelerating the attainment of sustainable development goals in emerging economic regions. This release includes many new features and improved functionality that span new applications for deprecated services, changes to SMB service, additional tools for troubleshooting, and web UI improvements. Changes include: - New applications for deprecated SCALE services Dynamic DNS, TFTP, OpenVPN, WebDAV, rsync daemon, and S3 MinIO. - Multichannel capabilities added to the SMB configuration form - Updates to the Dashboard R50 image - Updates to the latest Linux v5.15 kernel branch - Update Samba to 4.17.8


Storage Transformation Project of the Year

WINNER



Open-E

The driving force behind the project was the need to consolidate the data storage infrastructure and prepare it for further data volume increase. Post Bellum had several NAS servers from various manufacturers offering varied capacities and features, and they collected 550TB of raw data, mainly video files with the witness interview recordings. Moreover, the amount of data was rapidly growing, with an average annual increase of more than 300 TB. The solution addressed the challenges by providing a scale-up architecture that allows easy capacity expansion based on financial resources, using commodity, non-proprietary x86 hardware that avoids vendor lock-in, and supporting snapshot and cloud services. The solution also offered the possibility of using a cluster data storage solution for high availability and reliability. The solution was powered by Open-E JovianDSS, a ZFS and Linux-based data storage system that supports storage capacities that can exceed dozens of PBs of data. The solution was provided by Abacus Electric, a long-term Open-E Platinium Partner and one of the top Czech data storage providers. The major challenges faced during the project were the limited budget of Post Bellum as a non-profit organization, and the need to ensure excellent performance and almost unlimited scalability for their data storage. These challenges were overcome by the cooperation of Open-E and Abacus Electric, who decided to give up part of their profit to support the project, and by choosing a solution that leverages the Software Defined Storage approach and the ZFS file system. The tangible benefits that Post Bellum has seen as a result of the project's implementation are: A consolidated and simplified data storage infrastructure that reduces operational costs and complexity A scalable and flexible solution that can accommodate future data growth and expansion A reliable and secure solution that protects their valuable data with snapshots and cloud backup A high-performance solution that enables fast access and processing of their data Post Bellum is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that documents the witnesses' memories of significant events and phenomena of the 20th century. The mission of this organization is to pass these testimonies, collected in the 'Memory of the Nation' ('Paměť n&ampaacuteroda') archive, to a broader audience and the next generations. Post Bellum was founded in 2001 in Czechia. Since then, they have expanded their operations to other regions as well - the documentary teams work in Myanmar (Burma), Cuba, Belarus, and other places across the globe.



RUNNER UP



Data Dynamics

In the highly competitive landscape of financial services, a Fortune 400 investment banking company recognized the imperative to enhance its operational efficiency. Central to this effort was the need to optimize data storage strategies while curbing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The exponential growth of data, coupled with the escalating expenses of traditional file storage, prompted the company to explore innovative solutions that would not only streamline data management but also foster substantial cost savings. In pursuit of these goals, the company turned to Data Dynamics and its Unstructured Data Management platform, which emerged as the optimal solution to address their complex data challenges.
Data Dynamics\' Unstructured Data Management platform proved to be a game-changing proposition for the investment banking services company. At the forefront of their requirements was the efficient movement of data from conventional file storage to more flexible and cost-effective object storage. The traditional file storage model had become unsustainable due to its mounting costs and limited scalability, threatening to impede the company\'s growth trajectory.
The implementation of Data Dynamics\' solution ushered in a new era of intelligent data management. Through its data-driven migration capabilities, the platform enabled seamless and strategic movement of data from file storage to object storage. This transition was executed with precision, ensuring that critical data remained accessible while redundant, outdated, or trivial data was systematically and transparently transferred. This intelligent approach to data migration minimized disruptions, ensuring business continuity during the process.
One of the most significant outcomes of this transformation was the substantial reduction in the company\'s Total Cost of Ownership. By shifting to more cost-effective object storage, the investment banking firm achieved remarkable savings, optimizing their financial resources for other strategic initiatives. This financial gain was underpinned by the platform\'s ability to maximize the usable data capacity within the storage infrastructure. By efficiently identifying and migrating relevant data, the platform ensured that storage resources were utilized judiciously, eliminating wastage.
Moreover, the Unstructured Data Management platform provided the company with heightened visibility into their data landscape. This transparency translated into better data governance, improved compliance adherence, and enhanced decision-making capabilities. By optimizing data storage and improving accessibility, the company was better equipped to meet the demands of a dynamic financial services industry.
In conclusion, Data Dynamics\' Unstructured Data Management platform proved to be the catalyst for the transformation of a Fortune 400 investment banking services company. By offering a solution that intelligently facilitated the migration from file storage to object storage, the company achieved two critical objectives: efficient data management and substantial cost savings. This success story highlights the platform\'s ability to not only address immediate data challenges but also empower organizations to align their data strategies with long-term business objectives.

Vendor Channel Program of the Year

WINNER



Schneider Electric

In the last year partners have come under greater pressure to become more sustainable, helping customers reduce energy, emissions, and waste. New research found 69% of partners state customer environmental considerations are now driving IT investment decisions.

Further, many resellers have begun to shift from hardware sales to become IT Solution providers, offering managed power, edge computing, and cloud migration services, expecting vendors to modernise partner programs to reflect these changing business models. Research from Canalys found 65% of partners wanted to strengthen relationships with vendors, 60% want to improve profitability, and 50% want to build expertise.

Sustainability has become another key opportunity for partners to catalyse growth via data centre modernisation and energy efficiency. According to 451 Research, 97% of customers are asking for contractual sustainability commitments from suppliers. Here Schneider is leading by example, creating sustainable data centre technologies, and working with partners to drive sustainability throughout the sector.

Schneider Electric is the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, and since inception it has worked with its channel partners to solve infrastructure challenges across data centres, electrical, and IT environments. As a channel-first organisation, its longstanding commitment to partners has helped create opportunities to capture market share, providing the tools, support, and training to capitalise on new trends.

Today its IT channel spans 100,000 IT Solution Providers across 160 countries, in the UK, it has 9330 partners. Its Partners have been integral to its success and will play a vital role in building a greener, more sustainable future. In line with these changing dynamics, Schneider Electric announced the launch of its new mySchneider IT Partner Program.

Built on 40 years of collaboration, feedback, and adapting programs to meet changing business requirements, the program supports partners with a simplified structure and specialisations for data centres, IT solutions, software, and services.

It includes new sales tools, training, and enablement resources, and benefits that enable partners to certify at all levels - combining multiple specialisations to identify, resell, and/or install solutions within the SMB or Enterprise market spaces.

Furthermore, it provides a clear sustainability strategy via Green Premium™ solutions, offering sustainable performance and circularity by design. These technologies help partners to meet demands for sustainability by being designed to comply with strict environmental regulations, including RoHS and REACH.

Benefits include:
• New Structure: partners can progress from ‘Enrolled’ to ‘Elite’, using a metrics to increase core competencies.
• New Interface: simplified dashboard offers visibility for sales and progress against specialisations.
• Enhanced Training Paths: including design tools, training, and resources to help partners diversify their business models.
• myRewards: tailored for partners including financial incentives to help identify, develop, and close new business.
• Sustainability: Access to Green Premium™ solutions, providing transparency and reduced environmental impact.

Via the launch of the new program, its ESG and sustainability commitments, and its mission to help partners deliver greater energy efficiency and sustainability for customers, Schneider Electric has also seen its partner base grow by 20% in Europe.

Key examples of its work with partners includes Datacentre UK, who specialises in designing data centres for the public and private sectors including healthcare, and education. Partnering with Schneider Electric for almost 20 years, it first participated in the APC Gold Partner programme, then certified through its Elite Partner Program, and was named \'Best Performing Partner\' at Schneider’s Elite Partner Awards in 2022.

Its partner status validates its expertise in delivering design, build and installation services, modernisation projects, energy efficiency programs and lifecycle services such as monitoring, management, and replacement of mission-critical systems.

In 2021, Datacentre UK delivered a new Schneider Electric prefabricated data centre to the Northern Care Alliance, one of the UK’s largest NHS Trusts, encompassing four hospitals with 24,000 staff who deliver critical healthcare to over seven million people.

The system underpins the Alliances’ hybrid cloud mandate, meeting its carbon reduction targets, while providing a low-latency environment for applications including AI, genomics, and personalised medicine. Designed, built, and maintained by Datacentre UK, it incorporates Schneider Electric Galaxy UPS with Lithium-ion, Uniflair™ cooling, with APC™ PDUs and its NetShelter racks.

“Our strategic partnership with Schneider Electric has been integral to our growth, and our Elite Partner status instils confidence in our customers, helping us win tenders and major projects,” said Paul Almond, Managing Director, Datacentre UK. “Schneider’s position as the global leader in data centres ensures we can create turnkey solutions that deliver efficiency and reliability without compromise. To put that into context, last year we turned over £5.4m revenue, and our work with Schneider accounted for just under 50%.”

In addition to its net zero commitments, which include accelerating its 2030 goal of carbon neutrality in its extended ecosystem to 2025, the company’s Schneider Electric Sustainability Impact program has also had a hugely positive effect on businesses’ across the spectrum of digital infrastructure, including its partner ecosystems.

For example, since 2018, Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure solutions and services have helped customers save and avoid 440 million tonnes of CO2, more than 90 million being saved in 2022 alone. Further, it has worked with its top 1000 partners and suppliers within its ‘Zero Carbon Project’ to reduce 50% of their emissions by 2025. To-date the companies participating have reduced their CO2 by 10%.

With a diverse partner program that spans 40 years, and an ethos for helping partners upskill and drive growth, Schneider Electric’s commitments to its channel partners are clear to see. For these reasons we believe it is a strong contender for the SDC ‘Vendor Channel Programme of the Year ‘award, 2023.


RUNNER UP



Infinidat

In early 2023, Infinidat launched a series of new initiatives, extensions, and updates to its channel partner program worldwide. Infinidat continues to invest heavily in providing support for partners, with channel revenue contribution up 52% year-to-year globally.

New additions include a significantly enhanced EMEA and APJ channel program and a new sales enablement and training program − the Infuziast Certified Partner Program − along with regional program enhancements, such as channel partner advisory boards. Infinidat has also expanded its channel base with 22 new partners and distributors and extended the Infinidat channel sales team with the addition of seven new channel partner managers worldwide. Furthermore, in EMEA and APJ, Infinidat added a new, very seasoned director of channel sales, accelerating Infinidat’s momentum with its EMEA and APJ channel partners.

The following outlines the major enhancements and expansion to Infinidat’s partner programs going forward:

- Enhancements to the EMEA and APJ channel partner programme - Infinidat is enhancing its EMEA and APJ channel program with new tiering levels for partners an enhanced deal registration process new backend rebates a redesigned criteria for MDF a not-for-resell program redesigned the enablement program on the InfiniVersity partner portal and increased joint marketing efforts.
- Infuziast Certified Partner Program - Infinidat is introducing its major new sales enablement and training program, starting in the first half of 2023 in the Americas and in EMEA and APJ in the second half of 2023. Channel partners, ranging from sales consultants to technical personnel, will be able to earn certification through this new program, which also includes a rewards component.
- Personnel Update - In 2022, Infinidat announced a new leader for the channel across EMEA and APJ, with the appointment of James “JT” Lewis as Infinidat’s Director of Channel Sales for EMEA and APJ. The company also added seven new channel partner managers to the global Infinidat sales team to support the expanding number of partners and distributors around the world. Continuing as the channel sales leader in the Americas is Mitch Diodato, Senior Director of Channel Sales for the Americas.
- Partner Advisory Boards - Infinidat will establish partner advisory boards for the channel in the Americas, EMEA, and APJ in 2023.
- Partner Tech Clubs - Infinidat will set up partner tech clubs for engineers, solution architects and solution advisors in EMEA and APJ.

Infinidat’s channel momentum has steadily grown over the past year, fortified by the following accolades and advancements:
- Gartner named Infinidat a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Primary Storage
- The Infinidat Partner Program earned a 5-Star Rating from CRN
- Infinidat’s channel leader was named a CRN Channel Chief for 2023
- GigaOm recognized Infinidat as the industry leader in ransomware protection for block storage and file storage
- Infinidat was included on the prestigious CRN 100 list
- InfiniSafe technology was recognized in the 2023 CRN Tech Innovators Award competition
- Infinidat revamped its partner portal to rave reviews.

“Infinidat runs one of the most robust partner programs in the industry. Their program enriches our experience as a partner, and I’m very excited about the company’s new Infuziast sales enablement and training program,” said Dean Jamison, Co-president and Chief Technology Officer at Dynamix. “Infuziast will better equip us to increase our business and reward us in a clear and compelling way. Infinidat is making all the right moves to expand and enhance its support of channel partners, and I look forward to what the company is rolling out for the channel in 2023.”

“We’re proud of the expansion and deepening of our channel partner programs, particularly those in EMEA and APJ, and we know channel partners are very excited about what we are introducing in 2023,” said Eric Herzog, CMO of Infinidat. “2022 has been a banner year for our channel-centric progress that has garnered several industry awards and recognition. However, with the exciting new additions and enhancements we are bringing to Infinidat’s channel partner experience, 2023 will be even stronger.”

“I am very encouraged by what Infinidat is doing to demonstrate its strong commitment to the channel in Germany and around the world. All of the new program elements that the company is introducing in 2023, ranging from sales enablement and training extensions to tiering levels to increased joint marketing efforts, are a win for all Infinidat channel partners,” said Jan Veith, Director of Sales and Business Development at H&G Hansen & Gieraths IT Solutions GmbH. “Infinidat is continually refreshing its multi-dimensional channel partner program, constantly bringing something new and exciting to the table. This is a great time for us to be selling Infinidat’s cyber storage solutions because the level of channel support is more comprehensive than other players in the market.”

Sponsors for 2023

ExaGrid
Schneider Electric
Infinidat
Hornetsecurity
StorMagic
HCL Group