The 2019 Pipeline Innovation Awards

By: Scott St. John, Pipeline

Once again the town of Nice, France on the flowery fringe of the French Riviera played host to the annual Pipeline Innovation Awards. Nice rarely disappoints, and this year was no exception.

I started my trip with a quaint stroll to stave off the impending jet lag. Weaving through the parks adorned with tasteful pieces of art nouveau, winding down through the cobblestone pedestrian streets of Old Town — everything seemed to slip away.  Nice truly embodies the spirit of the Pipeline Innovation Awards. An ever-blooming marriage between the new and old. The promise what can be nestled in the comfort of antiquity. A prolific union between what was and what will become. 

Browsing through the bursting blooms of color at the Flower Market, one could almost forget the reason for being there. For me, the feeling was fleeting. I was there to recognize and appreciate a select group of innovators who had traveled from around the world to Nice and through the rigorous evaluation process of the Pipeline Innovation Awards.

The 2019 Pipeline Innovation Awards were fueled by the advancement and combination of technologies to create something new, awesome, and inspiring. Pipeline received hundreds of nominations this year—more than any other and a 225 percent increase over the previous year. Competition in the much-coveted Most Innovative Technology Provider category, which also boasts a prize valued at over fifty thousand dollars, was up 30 percent. Both are positive signs for the industry, as innovation appears to be a key industry trend and is taking root on a global scale.  

Nice, France - Flower Market (Old Town)
Figure 1 - The Flower Market in the Old Town of Nice, France

Nominations are open all year to anyone who has innovation to showcase, and are received from companies—large and small—as well as by customers, partners, suppliers, and Pipeline. Contestants were able to select from more than 10 categories of technical innovation, in which they competed to be the most innovative. Contestants could even submit new categories for emerging areas of innovation. This year's categories spanned key technical areas such as Analytics, Assurance, BSS, Cloud, Customer Experience, Data Aggregation, OSS, Network Technology, and other timely topics.

From the hundreds of nominations Pipeline accepted this year, 48 moved forward to the semi-finalist stage of the competition. Semi-finalists completed extensive submission questionnaires for each category they entered and provided gigabytes of supporting material to illustrate their innovation. The completed questionnaires were mathematically scored based on over 30 different facets of innovation to objectively identify the top two innovators within each category. These top two finalists in each category were presented to the esteemed judging panel, comprising service providers, analysts, and other key industry stakeholders who buy, recommend, and invest in innovative technologies.


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