SAN JOSE, Calif., October 20, 2005 - A California robotics company, an Illinois school district, and a Georgia legal services organization are among this year's winners of the Cisco Growing with Technology Awards. Cisco Systems® today announced the winners of its annual awards program, which recognizes small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and non-profit and public sector organizations for their unique adoption of networking solutions to drive business success.
One grand-prize winner and two runners-up in each of five categories were selected from more than 600 applications received by Cisco for this year's contest. Representatives from Cisco worked with a diverse panel of industry experts to narrow the broad field of entrants and select the 15 winning companies.
"The Cisco Growing with Technology Awards shines a spotlight on innovative companies and organizations who have improved their operations through their investment in information and networking technology," said Mark Quinn, Northern California District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration, and one of the contest's judges. "All winners clearly demonstrated that technology really does deliver added value and greater returns, and that it is critical to every part of their business."
The winners in each of the five categories of the Cisco Growing with Technology Awards 2005 include:
Innovators in Customer Relationship
- Grand Prize: Elliance (21 employees), based in Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Runners-up: A2Z Computer Service and Repair (4 employees), based in Durham, N.C.; and Walker Information (250 employees), based in Indianapolis, Ind.
Innovators in Non-Profit
- Grand Prize: Georgia Legal Services Program (165 employees), based in Atlanta, Ga.
- Runners-up: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (320 employees), based in Alexandria, Va.; and Scheurer Healthcare Network Organization (385 employees), based in Pigeon, Mich.
Innovators in Operational Excellence
- Grand Prize: InTouch Technologies (37 employees), based in Goleta, Calif.
- Runners-up: CorSolutions Medical (548 employees), based Rosemont, Ill.; and TimeOut Services (73 employees), based in Cupertino, Calif.
Innovators in Public Sector
- Grand Prize: Niles Township High School (800 employees), based in Skokie, Ill.
- Runners-up: Valley City State University (172 employees), based in Valley City, N.D.; and St. Joseph's Academy (123 employees), based in Baton Rouge, La.
Innovators in Sales and Marketing
- Grand Prize: Helio Solutions (60 employees), based in Santa Clara, Calif.
- Runners-up: Info Directions, Inc. (90 employees), based in Victor, N.Y.; and AKRAYA (105 employees), based San Jose, Calif.
Winners were recognized during an awards presentation ceremony last night at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, Calif. Grand-prize winners receive $25,000 worth of Cisco networking equipment. The first runners-up receive $15,000 worth of Cisco networking equipment, and the second runners-up receive $10,000 worth of Cisco networking equipment. In addition, winners may receive recognition through post-awards marketing outreach efforts.
An honorary award was presented to Jerry Bruckheimer Films this year for outstanding achievement in technology innovation. The 30 person company was recognized for its creative and resourceful use of networking technologies to cut operational costs, simplify internal operations, increase productivity and efficiency, and transform their business by changing the way they communicate with employees, partners, and clients. Bruckheimer attended the ceremony to accept the award in person.
"Selecting winners for the Cisco Growing with Technology Award was a challenging process for our judging panel since we received so many quality applications from organizations who have dramatically improved their business through the use of technology," said Peter Alexander, Vice President of Commercial Marketing, Cisco Systems. "The winners have proven that there is a direct correlation between a company's network and its ongoing business success."
For further details on the Cisco Growing with Technology Awards, please visit www.cisco.com/go/technology_awards.