Spirit of Innovation: The 2014 COMET Awards

As the applause gently dissipates, servers usher in the first course comprised of a caramelized quail leg on a bed of provincial greens in a reduced ginger broth and herb dressing.
The Big Data & Analytics category included Microsoft and comScore, both with truly innovative approaches to mining the mountains of data that enterprises are facing. Microsoft continued its rebellious streak by shaking off the perception of the Microsoft you once thought you knew. Their submission showed great flexibility and interoperability including with competing products; this on the heals of their announcement stating support for which competes with its own Microsoft Dynamics CRM product.  More importantly, Microsoft's submission showed how internal and external data sources could be instantly transformed into useable business intelligence that can then be immediately shared across enterprises. ComScore asserted its Subscriber Analytix solution which literally processes billions of records per day which includes categorizing four terabytes of data per hour to enable 5-minute response time for customer service operators.

In the Security and Assurance categories there was a wide range of submissions which included companies like Subex, whose products enable operators to prevent billions of dollars in fraudulent activity; but the finalists in this category came down to a standoff between CSG International's Invotas security offshoot and Nakina Systems NI-Guardian solution.  Invotas provided a formidable innovation not only providing threat detection for a wide range of threats such as phishing, botnet, suspicious perimeter activity, cyber attack, internal LAN and VPN threats - but also enabling its users to create a security playbook to combat these threats in a semi- or fully-automated method. Nakina's NI-Guardian solution protects organizations from the threat from within, acting as a proxy between users and the systems and equipment to which they have access with full logging including video recording. Notably, based on Nakina's in-depth OSS technology, the solution can also detect when physical assets are removed and replaced and validate whether the software has been changed in any way after the event. This solution has been deployed in operator networks where non-domestic network equipment manufacturers have access to network devices to ensure there is no illicit tampering. Both Invotas and NI-Guardian provide real-world protection from today's internal and external security threats and would actually complement each other nicely in an organization's security operations center (SOC).

Pipeline's Paula Zimmerman (left) with Renee Stromberg (right), Vice President-Marketing for Tail-f, who was the recipient of the 2014 COMET Award for Innovation in Technical Developments

The winners and runner-ups for the first four of ten categories are announced to rounds of applause and cheers from the crowd:
  • In Innovation in Networking Technology:
    • Nokia wins
    • Aptilo is the Runner-up
  • In Innovation in Technical Developments:
    • Tail-f wins
    • Nokia is the Runner-up
  • In Innovation in Big Data & Analytics:
    • comScore wins 
    • Microsoft is the Runner-up
  • In Innovation in Security & Assurance:
    • CSG International wins 
    • Nakina Systems is the Runner-up
As the applause gently dissipates, servers usher in the first course comprised of a caramelized quail leg on a bed of provincial greens in a reduced ginger broth and herb dressing. The clanking of Le Negresco's fine china and silverware is all but drowned out entirely by the boisterous conversations that immediately begin to spark around each table.


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