2019 Channel Innovation Awards

Innovation may not always get the attention it requires when you’re busy running a business, but it’s been shown that if an organization fails to be innovative, a savvy competitor will always swoop in and steal the crown jewels out from under them.

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This has never been truer than it is today, when technology can turn anyone with a good idea and an Internet connection into a competitor. On Sept. 24, dozens of the most creative organizations operating in Canada’s IT channel gathered to celebrate the ideas that have taken business to another level. We’ve compiled all the moments in this handy slideshow. Winners walked away with either a Gold or Diamond award. All photos taken by Paul Darrow.


Lessons learned

IDC Canada’s Jason Bremner discussed how Canadian solution providers are evolving their business to meet the needs of Canadian enterprises. At this workshop attendees were the first to receive insights from IDC Canada’s and CDN’s joint 2019 Canadian Channel Survey. As digital transformation remains a top priority for businesses, solution providers that are growing and achieving higher margins on services stand out by operating differently.


Let the show begin!

The Emmy’s didn’t have a host for their 2019 but the Canadian Channel Innovation Awards did. Channel expert and president of the Canadian Channel Chiefs Council, Corinne Sharp, and IT World Canada’s managing editor Alex Coop take to the stage to kick things off.


A long journey

Publishing was one of the first industries truly disrupted by digitization. IT World Canada president Fawn Annan talks about how the company needed to innovate to survive. You can find out exactly how in the new book written by Annan and ITWC CIO Jim Love. Digital Transformation in the First Person is now available on Amazon.

Appropriately the theme of the night’s gala was the Road to Innovation. “We’re going to celebrate organizations that haven’t been afraid to take the road less traveled,” says Annan.


Best Security Solution – Gold winner, IDG Technologies

IDG Technologies president Paul Plesman and Greg Onoprijenko, director of cloud at Ingram Micro. IDG created The two-factor authentication solution is called OTPxs — “One-Time Password access.” It’s been patented in Canada and the US, and can be used for any situation requiring access authentication, like ATM and Point-of-Sale machines.


 

Best Security Solution – Diamond winner, Datex

Ed Leavens, president of Datex with Greg Onoprijenko, director of cloud at Ingram Micro. Datex’s DataStealth solution helped a customer use cloud services for multiple lines of businesses while maintaining their data privacy and compliance requirements.


Top Data Management Solution – Gold winner, Slalom

Alan Poon, Slalom’s client service partner for account/industry leadership, Hyun Choi, senior engineer, and Robert Chang, the company’s practice area director for data and analytics, accepts the diamond award from Greg Onoprijenko. Slalom’s client, a financial co-operative, was in serious need of an IT update.

Their inefficient data storage and inaccurate reporting systems were causing critical business delays. In just two months, Slalom solved all of these problems with a consolidated solution that allows users to quickly pull accurate reporting and tap new insights. The client used to spend three days creating reports. Now, Slalom says it gets done in a couple of hours.


Top Data Management Solution – Diamond winner, Shinydocs

Shindocs vice-president of sales Paul Kleinknecht accepts the diamond award from Greg Onoprijenko. Shinydocs’ toolkit helped a major global automotive manufacturer get a complete roadmap of its 700 terabytes of content across multiple repositories in less than 48 hours. 

That allowed the client to get rid of the obsolete stuff by deleting 700,000 documents in one day. Now that its data footprint is reduced, the company uses an automated system to classify content and turn it into useful business assets, instead of dark data.


Top Collaborative Solution Transforming Workplaces – Gold winner, VIEWitMEDIA

Doug Munroe, vice-president, business development for VIEWitMEDIA, accepts the gold award from ViewSonic general manager Deidre Deacon. VIEWitMEDIA provided an ePoster solution to a smartphone repair chain, to help bring customers into their stores. The solution gave the client a way to roll out unified advertising and communications across their entire chain of stores.

It also gave them a kiosk that was designed to look like a large cell phone. That, along with the high-quality images and video, turned out to be pretty popular in attracting new customers. A test store in a Walmart recently tracked 250 per cent over expectations.


Top Collaborative Solution Transforming Workplaces – Diamond winner, Compugen

From left, account executive Ray Kebbi and director of advanced solutions Dane Hobbins of Compugen, accept the award from Deidre Deacon. The Solution Transforming Workspaces diamond winner Compugen collaborated with Parkland School Division 70 on a project to bring the world to students in isolated communities north of Edmonton, Alta. through telepresence.

Using Cisco Webex Board and collaboration tools, isolated classrooms were transformed into learning centres where students can interact with other schools around the world and take virtual field trips to see art galleries or museums, or even speak with astronauts on the International Space Station.


Being Human in a Digital World 

The Being Human in a Digital World podcast is hosted by Valerie Fox, chief innovation consultant, The Pivotal Point in conversation with Jonathan Moneta, Founder and Creative Director, MakeLab Studio, and designer and award winning futurist Maggie Greyson.


Top Open Source Solution – Gold, CPU Services

Centreon’s North American CEO Romain Le Merlus‏ accepts the gold award on behalf of CPU Services. The Quebec-based company, with expertise in technology, infrastructure, and product deployment, wanted a new monitoring tool to better meet the needs of clients. After some investigative work, and connecting with the open source community, they decided to go with a Compugen solution.


Top Open Source Solution – Diamond, Benchmark 

Luc Villeneuve, president of Benchmark with Romain Le Merlus. Benchmark used Centreon’s platform to help monitor the full scope of clients’ increasingly complex IT. It uses the platform to help clients innovate and bridges legacy infrastructure to the newest cloud technologies. With the data it provides, Benchmark shares insights on opportunities for improvement with clients.


Top Government Solution – Gold, Toronto Police

Ian Williams, manager of analytics and innovation, and Debbie Verduga, senior data visualization and open data specialist, with Anthony Martiniello, Dell channel sales leader. The Toronto Police Service developed a Public Safety Data Portal to improve efficiency and transparency.

The portal provides unprecedented access to location-based police information, allowing residents to see where crimes and traffic collisions have occurred, and much more. It also makes for greater openness about policing, building public confidence in the job they’re doing.


Top Government Solution – Diamond, Mobia Technology Solutions

Mobia’s healthcare lead Todd MacCallum accepts the award from Anthony Martiniello. Mobia developed Surgecon, which helps emergency departments deal with surges in the number of patients, and to become more efficient overall.

The solution integrates recognized patient flow strategies, and reports real-time information to improve key performance indicators, like the time it takes to do an initial assessment. Mobia says this is the only ER solution that automatically informs clinicians about changes in the department as they happen.


Top Solution Supporting Business Agility – Gold, Compugen

Compugen joined forces with HP to transform WOW Mobile’s customer experience by implementing a solution leveraging an all-in-one P.O.S. and touch-enabled display.

Now, customers can electronically sign contracts on a touch screen, and contracts are emailed immediately after transactions are completed. The process is now quick and pain-free for customers, and WOW! associates can now help assist more customers in less time.


Top Solution Supporting Business Agility – Diamond, WebSan Solutions Inc.

WebSans’ managing director Andrew King  accepts the award from Anthony Martiniello. developed a solution that gives the client better visibility into sales and inventory, and to manage retail locations. The app was built using Microsoft technology to help the client’s service team to optimize their store visits.

Notes on store visits are now kept in a central place so that any sales rep has access to the information. Plus, the customer service team back at the office has live updates so they can act instantly on any request by the sales team.


Top Solution Provider Supporting Sustainability – Diamond, Compugen Finance

Compugen Finance says it’s the first company in the world to offer carbon credits to its clients that recycle technology. Its groundbreaking Green4Good program takes IT assets that are no longer needed by one company and turns them into good-as-new technology for others. Recycling technology reduces the carbon emissions that come from creating new products.

Compugen Finance’s CarbonBank program captures those carbon offsets, so that its clients can use the credits to reduce their carbon footprint. One of its clients, a major financial institution, called it an innovative way to help organizations achieve their environmental goals. Pictured above, Compugen Finance’s Brent Smiley, director, ITAD programs.


CDN Award for Diversity and Inclusion – Gold, Clear Concepts

Phil Proctor, managing partner for Clear Concepts, accepts the gold award from Corrine Sharpe. Clear Concepts has been a trusted technology partner to Mustimuhw Information Solutions Inc. — or MIS — for over 10 years. MIS is an indigenous company that offers software solutions to the First Nations health sector. The Mustimuhw Community Electronic Medical Record solution supports over 270 First Nations across seven provinces.

From community health and immunization management to mental health, home care, medical transportation, and patient access, the solution gives front-line workers more time to do what they do best: care for community members. Using the power of cloud, Clear Concepts helped lower upfront costs to ensure that more communities can have access to the program.


CDN Award for Diversity and Inclusion – Diamond, Tickit Health

Tickit Health co-founder Daniel Penn accepts the award from Corinne Sharp. Tickit’s platform uses gamification, pictograms, and icons to guide teens through comprehensive questionnaires that include sensitive subjects like mental health, substance use or abuse, and sexual activity.

The language is youth-friendly, accommodates those with literacy challenges, and is culturally appropriate; it has been adapted for North American First Nations and for Aboriginal populations in Australia, and is also in use at institutions such as Boston Children’s Hospital, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles Health Services, and Toronto’s SickKids.


Next Generation Channel Innovator Award – Gold, SnapAP

Pictured above SnapAP founder CEO JD Drapeau (middle) and VP business development Sionne Roberts (left), accept the award from Lance Bailey of Samsung. SnapAP provides a “Procure to Pay” software platform that saves time and money in Accounts Payable.

In the past, this had to be integrated with the client’s back-end systems. Over the last year, they’ve innovated – – moving it to the cloud and developing technology to ensure real-time data transfer. Now, client onboarding can be done in one day and clients save up to 90 per cent in the costs of managing their Accounts Payable.


Next Generation Channel Innovator Award – Diamond, Tidal Migrations

Tidal Migrations created a Cloud Migration Enablement Program to help clients wrap their heads around cloud and get their faster.

The idea is to provide its integrator partners with a scalable migration practice. It includes a unique, business-centric way to evaluate application workloads and to assess what the target state should be for each application. Pictured above, chief value officer and head of channel, Jason Hurlbut (middle) accepts the award from Samsung’s Lance Bailey.


Disruptor of the Year – Diamond, SmartOne

SmartOne president and founder Ted Maulucci accepts the award from Jeff Davey, solution engineering manager at VMWare.

By connecting homes on a common network and software platform, SmartOne offers next-generation community-based services. Residents can view cameras throughout their communities, have shared parking systems, and a community mobile platform. Anything from property management services to medical sensors can be integrated on the community network.

This great company is also working with academic researchers across Canada to build next-generation care services. With access to the platform, researchers are using sensors with machine learning and AI to help develop new health services.

Additionally, Maulucci delivered an inspiring speech that delved into the mindset of an up-and-coming entrepreneur and urged everyone in attendance to continue innovating and creating new things to help grow the Canadian tech ecosystem and more importantly, improve the lives of the country’s citizens.


Top Solution Provider of the Year – Shinydocs

The CIA Awards’ final piece of hardware went to Shinydocs. Shinydocs last year earned CDN’s CIA Diamond Award for Best FinTech Solution. More recently they captured the 2019 Open Text Extension Partner of the Year.

Shinydocs CEO Jason Cassidy accepts the Solution Provider of the Year award from Ingram Micro’s Greg Onoprijenko.



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Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.