by Barbara Brynko
profiles by Bill Grrenwood
At the start of 2009, we’re taking a quick look back to the triumphs and victories of 2008. That’s right, Information Today is announcing the winners of the 2008 People’s Choice Awards.
Despite the ebbs and flows of the economy and the many mergers and acquisitions last year, some enterprises kept the innovations coming and the information technology industry moving ahead. And the votes in this year’s People’s Choice Awards can attest to this fact.
We kicked off the two-part voting process online last year at ITI’s website (www.infotoday.com) for all interested parties. One round of nominations from members of the information technology industry created a sizable list of contenders—some past People’s Choice Awards winners and some newcomers. After the nominations were tallied, ballots were added online for the final votes. At the end of December, we disarmed the online voting process and moved ahead to recognizing this year’s winners in each of our 10 categories.
Below you’ll find the winners and a profile of each company, person, or product, along with one or two comments from the voters themselves. We also included honorable mentions for those that came close to winning the top award.
The people have spoken, they have cast their votes, and the winners can enjoy some well-earned recognition for their contributions to the IT industry in 2008. The awards in each of the 10 categories pay tribute to the excellence that the winner has achieved, whether through personal innovation or through quality products or services.
Congratulations to our winners. And thanks to those who took the time to cast their votes online. Stay tuned for more information on the 2009 People’s Choice Awards in the next issue. We’ll be shaking up the competition with a new category or two. Take a few moments to check out the winners below.
The People’s Choice Award Winners for 2008
Profiles by Bill Greenwood
TOP CONTENT MANAGEMENT
Winner: RSuite CMS
Product Basics: Really Strategies, Inc.’s RSuite CMS is an XML-based content management system that helps publishers facilitate the creation, management, reuse, and distribution of content. Featuring a drag-and-drop interface, the CMS includes search, retrieval, and content updating; content reuse at many levels; and editorial workflow tools. With it, users can configure content access, load DTDs, set up security features, and import and export content (www.rsuitecms.com).
Comments: “Best in class technology and the only complete CMS built for publishers.”
Honorable Mentions: Adobe Creative Suite 4, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server
TOP NEW INNOVATOR
Company Basics: Adobe, founded in 1982, is a provider of solutions that enable clients in financial services, government, manufacturing, education, publishing and media, telecommunications, life sciences, and other major industries to create engaging and interactive digital communications. Its products have had an impact on a number of industries, such as PostScript and PDF on the print industry, Dreamweaver and Flash on the web, Premiere and After Effects on film and TV, and Photoshop and Acrobat across various industries. The company also packages many of these products together in Adobe Creative Suite 4 (www.adobe.com).
Comments: “Adobe is pushing forward with its entire toolset at this point. Kudos for Adobe.”
Honorable Mention: Tim O’Reilly
TOP CONTENT CREATION
Company Basics: Facebook is an online social network used by millions of people. Initially, the site was open only to college students, but it has since expanded to include anyone with a valid email address. Designed to help people keep in contact with their friends, the site enables users to set up a profile, upload unlimited photos, share links and videos, and more. Facebook also opened up its platform, giving everyone the ability to create applications, and in April 2007, it unveiled a new chat function that lets users IM their friends in real time. The site was named Top New Social Networking Tool (Other) in the 2007 People’s Choice Awards (www.facebook.com).
Comments: “Provides great channels of communication.”
Honorable Mentions: ThomasNet, Gilbane, StumbleUpon
TOP SEARCH & RETRIEVAL TECHNOLOGY
Company Basics: Collexis is a provider of knowledge management and discovery applications that originally started as a European research project to enhance global medicine and grew into an international business. The company’s search engines link synonymous terms and terms in other languages to a query, increasing relevancy, and compute the “distance” between queries and results, enabling the display of partially matching documents. Collexis’ products include Expert Profiling, BiomedExperts, Mediator, Knowledge Dashboard, WoS Dashboard, and Grant Management Solution (www.collexis.com).
Comments: “Brilliant marriage of technology and content.”
Honorable Mentions: Copernic Desktop Search, X1 Technologies
TOP CONSULTING SERVICES
Winner: Really Strategies, Inc.
Company Basics: Really Strategies, Inc., a privately held company founded in June 2000, provides services ranging from content creation to delivery for more than 80 content publishers worldwide. The company offers products such as XML editorial tools, XML repositories, content management systems, and editorial and production systems as well as services such as workflow re-engineering; technology evaluation; DTD and Schema development; business, functional, and technical requirements development; and electronic product development strategy. Really Strategies is a favorite of People’s Choice voters, having won the Top Consulting Services and Top Content Management awards in 2006 and 2007 (www.reallysi.com).
Comments: “RSI knows content, knows publishing processes and can think of innovative ways to solve complex problems.”
Honorable Mention: BearingPoint
TOP NEW TECHNOLOGY
Winner: ThomasNet's Online CAD Solutions
ThomasNet’s latest innovations made engineers smile. In addition to offering ThomasNet.com (the website where engineers, purchasing agents, and others can find just about every industrial product or service), ThomasNet is helping industrial businesses improve their websites with ThomasNet’s CAD Solutions.
When engineers, purchasing agents, and others search for and buy industrial parts and products (from pistons to motors) online, they look for highly specialized sites that can answer detailed questions to meet all their specifications.
ThomasNet’s CAD Solutions for industrial companies’ websites helps companies do just that. Engineers building a product or machine who need a specific part can go to a supplier’s site, view and download the 2D and 3D CAD drawings, insert them into their own online designs, and assess their fit along a range of variables (depth, weight, length, tolerances, and more) on the spot. The CAD Solutions, which also increase the efficiency of communications between engineers and prospective suppliers as well as speed purchasing decisions, are compatible with software for engineering drawings that buyers use, such as Autodesk and SolidWorks.
The trio of online solutions—CAD Viewer, CAD Publisher, and CAD Media Solutions—can be integrated into an industrial company’s website so products can be specified seamlessly into any design and into any CAD system (www.thomasnet.com).
Honorable Mentions: Many Eyes, Inkjet Solar, Riverbed Accelerator
TOP NEW ENTERPRISE APPLICATION
Winner: Adobe Creative Suite 4
Company Basics: Adobe Creative Suite 4 consists of several software applications and services that work together to improve productivity and enable users to create high-quality work in print, web, interactive, video, audio, and mobile formats. The suite is available in four editions—design, web, production, and the master collection—that each include a different set of applications based on the user’s needs. Popular programs in the suite include InDesign CS4, Photoshop CS4 Extended, Acrobat 9 Pro, Flash CS4 Professional, Dreamweaver CS4, After Effects CS4, and Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 (www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite).
Comments: “Many new features that give power users what they want and need.”
Honorable Mentions: Salesforce.com, Microsoft Office, VMware ESX
TOP NEW ENTERPRISE
Company Basics: Secunia, a privately held Danish company, was formed in 2002 with the goal of keeping industry security standards high and vulnerabilities in check. Now, the company serves more than 5 million unique visitors each year with its vulnerability intelligence solutions, including the Secunia Enterprise Security Manager (ESM) and the Secunia Vulnerability Tracking Service (VTS). The ESM automates the distribution of vulnerability information within large organizations, getting information to the right people quickly, while the VTS works with a company’s CERT/CSIRT division to collect vulnerability intelligence information and distribute it via email or an internal database (www.secunia.com).
Honorable Mention: X1 Technologies
TOP INFORMATION SERVICES
Winner: Google News
Company Basics: Google News is a computer-generated news site designed to change the way readers select stories. Usually, an individual selects a publication before browsing headlines for a story to read, but Google News gives readers the ability to select a topic rather than a publication by aggregating headlines from more than 4,500 English-language news sources and grouping similar stories together. Google News also enables users to set up a page that delivers personalized news and alerts based on their interests (http://news.google.com).
Honorable Mentions: Wikipedia, My Yahoo!, Gartner, Google Alerts
TOP SOCIAL NETWORKING TOOL
Company Basics: Twitter, a privately funded startup based in San Francisco, is a real-time short-messaging service that set up shop in 2006. Users can post entries, all of which must be less than 140 characters, via mobile-phone texting, instant messaging, and the web, enabling them to keep up-to-date on their friends’ activities without being required to respond. This gives users the ability to flow in and out of their friends’ circles of information without additional demands being put on their time. Users can also choose where and when they want to receive Twitter updates, allowing them to turn off the service when they do not want to be bothered (www.twitter.com).
Honorable Mentions: Facebook, MySpace