Masses of Innovation

‘These innovation entries streamline my product research each year and I have bought product after reading these entries.’

Security & Assurance: Amdocs made another entry with its Real-Time, Preventive PBX Hacking Fraud Solution which targets exposure to international revenue share fraud occurring from PBX hacking. “In addition to the traditional [fraud analysis] reactive IRSF detection, it enables real-time prevention of PBX hacking” by blocking of IRSF calls before they are established. This innovative solution uses “real-time Complex Event Processing analysis of the VoIP signaling” to detect and action fraudulent patterns. Subex Secure is a managed subscription “security solution designed specifically for Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.” Non-invasive data collection agents route events for analysis in the cloud where associations provide notification of actionable cluster events. These are either automatically defended or given to security teams via workflow.

Most Innovative Technology Provider: This year the aforementioned, multi-entry companies: Amdocs, Apptium, Ericsson, and NEC/Netcracker submitted in this illustrious category. Additionally, offering a collection of services on its service development platform, such as Unified Communications, IoT, NFV/VNF, and specifically the Kandy Wrappers API aggregator, GENBAND entered their encompassing solution here. But this category is different than the rest, looking at the pervasiveness of innovation within an organization beyond the products it creates.

Judges, Buyers and Investors

Pipeline accumulated a select list of the most important companies an innovator must impress. Pipeline's awards reputation as the benchmark of innovation has won over key individuals from these companies who become judges of the program, and several serve year over year because of the exposure it provides to the industry's technical advancements. All judges are external and independent of Pipeline.  And this year, the judges came in three distinct categories.

The largest category is technical executives from communications service provider companies who purchase and use information, communication and entertainment (ICE) products.  Many household name service providers have agreed to be judges in 2016.  The judges' individual identities remain confidential until the red-carpet awards reception in Nice, France. Paraphrasing typical comments of these judges in prior years, ‘I am amazed at the quality of the entries…the comprehensiveness of the answers… and value explanations provided in the categories I judge’ and 'These innovation entries streamline my product research each year and I have bought product after reading these entries.’

The second category of judges is comprised of highly-experienced industry analysts who make their living evaluating and recommending products and services. These come back year after year as judges because reading a Finalist entry multiplies and short circuit hours of research. These judges are of value to the contestants as they use the information they acquire from reviewing the extensive entry forms to introduce operators to the most innovative technology suppliers.

The third category of judges, and unique to Pipeline and new this year, are companies who invest in innovative tech companies. It was Pipeline’s own innovative spirit that brought these judges to the fold. These investor companies are necessary, as each year big suppliers buy up smaller past winners of Innovation Awards. The industry needs to fund new innovative suppliers each year to keep the value chain intact, to promote competition, and spur innovation. Lotus Innovations, Moonlight Capital, KREM Group, and Rhapsody Ventures were all new judges in 2016. Lotus Innovations saw so much value in this program that they asked to be the Premier Sponsor for the 2016 Pipeline Innovation Awards.

Judging the Finalists

The Finalists entries and supplied supplemental information are read, objectively evaluated, scored, and selected by the judging committee. All the Finalists receive deep exposure to the judges and each judge selects which of the two finalists in each category they feel is the most innovative. From those summations of collective scores, only 10 winners will be chosen by the esteemed Judges Panel to win their respective categories. These winners join the pantheon of past winners who have benefited from the program.

Speaking of past winners, Amdocs, a multiple winner over the years, expressed its commitment to innovation by also becoming a sponsor of the 2016 awards program. Amdocs is a big company and, as such, works hard at maintaining innovation in its ranks.  We know it evaluates innovative new companies for inclusion in its portfolio.  But Amdocs also values innovation as a process and has created a branch, the Amdocs Innovation Lab, to foster internal innovation and integration of external innovation into its services.

Winning is not Pipeline's endorsement of a product, technology, or innovation – but an independent endorsement of the award judges. Winning provides a special validation by the individuals who recommend, buy, and use this technology to deliver the most advanced communications and entertainment services in the world. The Innovation Award winners enjoy a unique recognition and credibility surrounding their technical innovation which past awards recipients have leveraged to win multiple new deployments as a direct result of the credibility the program provides.

While Pipeline has no involvement in the selection of the winners, it does gain significant insight into the most recent technical advancements through its moderation of the program. This insight dovetails into Pipeline's editorial themes and is incorporated into the massive volume of feature content we produce each year. Lastly, Pipeline, in receiving and further discussing the impressions of all the individual judges, makes one decision itself.  Being the only fully-informed entity of all the judging responses in all the categories, Pipeline selects the Winner and Runner-up of Editor’s Choice award category. Any company that entered, not just Finalists, can become an Editor’s Choice.

It was a heated contest this year, making it difficult for judges to select several winners this year. Innovations in Security & Assurance and Most Innovative Technology Provider both came down to a single vote.  See full coverage of the awards red-carpet reception next month, including those that won or placed in each category.


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