The Interact team | June 16, 2021, 5:42 p.m.
June is proving to be a big month for Interact. Not only have we been shortlisted as Sustainable Project of the Year for our work with CEDaCI at the CRN awards, our team has managed to scoop a bronze, silver and gold at the Globee IT World Awards out of Silicon Valley. We talk to Director of Strategy Rich Kenny about what it means to win Bronze in ‘Start-Up of the Year’, Silver in ‘IT Project of the Year’ and his own achievement of Gold in ‘Chief Technical Officer of the Year’ (IT hardware) in his other role as Global IT Director at Techbuyer. The news reached local and industry press, including The Data Centre Alliance, the Yorkshire Times and the Harrogate Advertiser.
The awards focus on innovation in IT, which is why they were a good fit for Interact. Many of the world’s biggest innovators and companies enter the wide range of categories, such as business intelligence and analytics, cloud security, business continuity and management planning as well as the categories we were nominated for. The field includes some massive players and household names. This year alone, the winners and runners up include Google Maps, Pure Storage, IBM, WatchGuard, Fastly, and Atlassian. There are some incredible start-ups getting recognition too. The gold winner this year was an AI product that scans and reviews legal documentation to identify variance and opportunities. It was set up by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge and will dramatically increase the number of pro-bono cases lawyers will be able to take. It means you are paying for insights and experience rather than document review. The implications for justice are huge.
This year there were some incredible winners such as the CTOs of IBM and Luminance. Previous years include the CEO of Lenovo and CTOs of Cisco, Transport for London and Watchguard, which are some really impressive companies to be in the company of. Pure Storage won start-up of the year in 2013 and Nimble got an honourable mention. Darktrace came third in 2015 and Rubrick in 2014. Recently FinancialForce and Darktrace have won SaaS projects of the year. All of these IT companies have had impressive growth and are some of the most recognisable names out there now.
The award organisers select 65 individuals from hundreds of applicants. This year’s judges include the Technical Project Manager from American Express, the Technical Director of Capital One, Head of Engineering or Mitsubishi and Senior Product Engineers from Salesforce. I think it’s safe to say that these are people who know what good looks like. Recognition from people like these is really worth having.
I think it was the combination of the truly innovative use of machine learning combined with its application to help drive change in a key area. This is very attractive to the market because of the cost and carbon savings it represents but it is great for the bigger picture too. It enables the sector to make a reliable case for increased environmental sustainability and circular economy whilst at the same time having verifiable data and analysis to back this up. The other organisations in both the Start-up of the Year and SaaS Project of the Year are much larger than Interact. It is a big David and Goliath moment. Some of the companies in the start-up category are still recognised as new companies 3 years later, so have a large amount of trading history behind them. We have only just got going on our journey so it will be very exciting to see what we can do next!