IoT & Cloud Innovation Awards 2017

October 4, 2017

The winners of the IoT, Cloud & Cybersecurity Innovation Awards 2017 were announced at the NetEvents Global Press & Analyst Summit in San Jose, California, USA. These prestigious awards celebrate the year’s most significantly innovative start-ups and established companies in the fast-growing Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud/Datacenter and Cybersecurity arenas.
Six company categories were awarded this year, plus one special award:

The three “Hot Start Up awards” categories, judged by the Shark Tank panel of venture capitalists, included newcomers in Cybersecurity, IoT & Cloud/Datacenter.

The three “Innovation Leader awards” included the same categories for established organizations and were judged by an independent panel of 40+ leading technology press and industry analysts representing 35+ countries across the globe.

There was an additional special category – the “Innovation Idol Award” – presented for an individual who, in the judges’ opinion, had made an outstanding and inspirational contributions to the industry.

All money raised by this years’ awards, including profits and donations from the gala dinner evening, is being shared between three charities: Prostate Cancer Research, STEM and UNICEF. This year’s charitable contributions brought the total raised to-date to over $125,000.

The winner of the Innovation Leader – IoT Award – presented by Erin Dunne, Director of Research Services, Vertical Systems Group – was NetFoundry, which offers technology for building application-specific networks. The judges’ opinion liked NetFoundry’s approach to solving a set of problems in a practical way — over the top of the world’s existing networks — with an on-demand, intent based network, secure, instant SDN creating virtual “slices” for a variety of applications/uses which gave it the edge over the other finalists: Cloudera, GE (General Electric), and Zebra Technologies

The Innovation Leader – Cloud/Datacentre Award – presented by Mike Sapien, Principal Analyst, Enterprise Services, Ovum – went to Cohesity, which helps enterprises manage their growing secondary-storage challenges. The judges remarked that web-scale operations will be driven by storage. Cohesity helps to optimize this task and enable customers to take better advantage of the mounds of data that they are collecting. With storage often being a “race to the bottom” on cost, these economic factors are important.’ Cohesity faced strong competition from the other finalists Apstra, Infinera, Ravello Systems (Oracle), and Skuid.

The Innovation Leader – Cybersecurity Award – presented by Mike Spanbauer, VP of Research Strategy, NSS Labs – went to Darktrace who, in the judges’ opinion had the ability to detect ‘unknown’ threats using unsupervised machine learning shines a secure light into previously shadowy parts of the network. Darktrace adds core security value through the use of innovative AI-based technology, while at the same time reducing security solutions complexity. Darktrace had faced strong competition from the other finalists: Palo Alto Networks, Vectra, and Ziften.

For the three Hot Start Up categories, the finalists were short-listed by the media judges and then required to give a short elevator pitch in ‘Shark Tank’ style at the NetEvents Global Press & Analyst Summit before an audience of technology leaders, press and analysts representing over 35+ countries around the world. The finalist judging panel included Silicon Valley VCs and business angels.

For the Hot Start-Up – Cloud/Datacenter – Apstra was chosen to receive the award presented by Rajesh Ghai, Research Director, Telecom Network Infrastructure, IDC. Janice Roberts, Partner, Benhamou Global Venture Partners commented, on behalf of the VC judging panel: “It is time that CIOs change the way they think about networks given universal digital transformation…. we like the fact that Apstra is a pioneer – intent- based networking … It’s a hard problem and they are relatively early, but they have an exceptional team….”

For the Hot Start-Up – IoT Award – presented by Robert Haim, Principal Analyst – Business Analysis & IoT, ACG Research – OnDot Systems was chosen as the winner. Janice Roberts, Partner, Benhamou Global Venture Partners commented, “OnDot was chosen as the winner of the Hot Start-Up IoT award as a company with a global market opportunity with clear value propositions in a ‘mobile first’ world for both financial institutions and individual customers. In addition to enabling increased customer engagement, the advantages of personalized management and control of payments is both compelling and essential.”

For the Hot Start Up – Cybersecurity Award presented by Jason Bloomberg, President, Intellyx and Forbes contributor – Javelin Networks were chosen to receive the award. Hiro Rio Maeda, Managing Director, Draper Nexus commented, “We selected Javelin because of the root problem that they are solving. Most enterprises are still heavily dependent on Active Directory and once it’s compromised none of the other solutions could prevent further attacks. We are hopeful that Javelin could solve this root problem by their next-gen deception technology around Active Directory. It’s not complete but we believe their “innovative” approach has a great potential to evolve further.”

The special Innovation Idol Award – presented by Mark Fox, CEO of NetEvents – went to Professor David Cheriton, who commented: “David has made a tremendous contribution to the computer networking industry since arriving in Silicon Valley 36 years ago. David is a distributed systems and networking expert with keen insight into identifying big market opportunities and building the architectures needed to address these opportunities.

David has inspired many of his Stanford University students to progress and achieve great success – perhaps the most notable are Sergey Brin and Larry Page who, with guidance and initial seed funding from David went on to form Google. David also met Mendel Rosenblum at Stanford who in turn introduced him to Diane Greene, and went on to become the first investor and an early advisor to VMWare.

David has funded more than 20 companies. His latest venture is Apstra where he is developing an intent-based self-operating network for the Datacenter – his vision is gaining considerable attention from the international media community. As Innovation Idol, David joins an elite club of past winners which includes Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe, OpenFlow inventor Martin Casado, who can also be attributed with setting the industry down the SDN path, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Andy Bechtolsheim, plus last years winner Stuart McClure for his work in successfully leading the industry in applying Artificial Intelligence in security applications”.

The NetEvents Global press and Analyst Summit offers a stimulating and topical two-day conference program of hot debates, head-to-heads and presentations by visionaries and industry analysts. For vendors it provides an exceptional opportunity to meet these networking and communications industry gatekeepers and spend quality time together in an informal yet focused environment.

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