Nominations Now Open for the 2014 ‘NextGen’ Technology Awards

The SIIA Software Division announced today that 18 cutting edge companies in the technology industry will be recognized in the 2014 NextGen program.

SIIA’s NextGen program provides exposure to early-stage companies delivering game-changing solutions. The program aims to bring awareness to 6 verticals: Mobile, Social, Big Data, Security, Healthcare, and Financial Services. Nominating companies will be judged by a group of industry experts who will determine which company is the Most Innovative, Most Disruptive, and who is the overall NexGen winner of the category.

Much of the discussion about market disruption has focused on large, brand name businesses, but there is tremendous innovation taking place at companies that get little attention. NextGen companies– chosen by a Selection Committee comprised of M&A, VC and advisory executives–are young businesses that offer cutting-edge software and services.

NextGen winners will be announced on a progressive basis throughout 2014. Deadlines and awards presentations are as follows:

  • Mobile vertical nominations close January 31, and awards will be held Feb 12.
  • Social vertical nominations close March 31, and awards will be held April 11
  • Big data vertical nominations will close May 31, and awards will be held June 13
  • Security vertical nominations will close July 31, and awards will be held August 20
  • Healthcare vertical nominations will close September 30, and awards will be held October 17
  • Financial Services vertical nominations will close November 30, and awards will be held December 12

Rhianna Collier is VP for the Software Division at SIIA. Follow the Software team on Twitter at @SIIASoftware.

SIPAlert Daily – Learning the right mobile business model for you

I sat down next to Larry Schwartz, president of Newstex, at a roundtable at the recent SIPA Conference. The subject was tablets, and Schwartz showed me some of his company’s intricate and attractive mobile-design work—banner ads, interfaced rows of pictures, branded mobile apps.

“Things have changed a lot in the last 18 months,” he said. “There are a lot more self-serve tools. The hardest thing to figure out [for going mobile] is, how are you going to use it? What’s the purpose? What’s the model? There are some people who take all their time trying to find the perfect colors. Really.”

Schwartz will join Ed Keating, chief content officer for BLR, this Thursday in the second of SIIA’s Mobile Essentials Webinar series—Monetization and Business Models. SIPA/SIIA/ABM members can listen free by registering here. The first webinar made the business case; this one will help you build the right model.

Considering that this is just an hour of your time about something that might become a huge percentage of your business, it’s highly recommended. Mobile commerce now accounts for about one out of every 10 e-commerce dollars. Integrating mobile platforms into your overall business models and strategy is crucial.

A blog post on the comScore website at the end of last month listed five things that every marketer should know on this topic. It’s a helpful list:

1. Be there. “One out of every three monthly visitors to the average digital retailer website comes exclusively on mobile platforms. …retailers who do not (at a minimum) optimize their mobile browsing experience or introduce mobile apps are effectively turning away a third of their potential customers.”

2. Know thy customer. “Mobile apps drive smartphone retail engagement, while mobile browsing wins on tablets.” You probably don’t have the time or resources “to develop a fully optimized experience for every platform. Knowing how your customers engage with retail on their phones and tablets can help you better prioritize your efforts.

3. Prioritize. “Smartphones drive a higher share of m-commerce dollars than tablets, but less on a per device basis.” Tablets are gaining in numbers, however, so you’ll have an interesting decision on where to first focus your user experience.

4. Know thy content. “Retail category browsing can vary considerably by platform.” Basically it’s common sense but still important to think about. Is there a visual component to what you are selling or how you are selling? Perhaps you want people to see charts and graphs in your marketing? Speakers’ faces. That might do better on tablets, where apparel and home furnishing sales excel. Interestingly, health care is the only category listed that does better on smartphones, though it’s pretty close on books and consumer electronics.

5. Plan now. “M-commerce spending seasonality shows wider variance than traditional e-commerce.” It may be quiet now, but with holiday season lurking, expect a huge jump. “Consumers…are also increasingly comfortable using [their devices] to transact. Retailers with an advanced understanding of m-commerce will be able to most effectively deploy their assets and marketing resources during the year’s most crucial spending period.”

Schwartz went on to show me—on his tablet—a list of Time Inc.’s 25 top love story films of all time. It was impeccably designed. “They could easily do 100 and get sponsors for it,” he said. In other words, the sky’s the limit.

U.S. adults will spend more media time on mobile this year (19.8%) than on their laptops and PCs (19.5%). Tablets are sparking this trend. Last year, 10% of tablet time was spent watching videos; this year it’s 19%. Join us in this important webinar series. Register here now.


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Ronn LevineRonn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 as managing editor. Follow Ronn on Twitter at @SIPAOnline

Webinar: Mobile Will Transform Your Finance Operation – Are You Ready?

Cloud-based financial applications are helping businesses streamline the process of paying bills, projecting cash flow, and conducting business transactions. It is no secret that companies are taking the next step to deliver these solutions via mobile devices in order to help executives manage their businesses – anytime and anywhere.

Listen to this pre-recorded webcast as SIIA members Saugatuck Technology and explore the need for and the role of mobile financial management. Now is the time to learn:

  • How mobility has become a key driver
  • Advantages of mobile platforms
  • Risk & fraud issues with on-premise solutions
  • Importance of a loosely-coupled architecture
  • How to create a Boundary-free EnterpriseTM

Alex Bakker
Senior Research Analyst, Saugatuck Technology

Mike West
Vice President and Distinguished Analyst, Saugatuck Technology

Darren Linscott
Vice President of  Product,

Click here to view Saugatuck Technology’s presentation slides

Click here to view’s presentation slides

Webinar – Critical Success Factors for an Enterprise Mobile Strategy

Webinar Description

Organizations must fully develop an enterprise mobile strategy that considers both employee and customer facing aspects of today’s continually expanding use of mobile technologies. It is important to consider the customer experience as they launch new products, services, and applications. Grant Thornton LLP brings the perspective of working with both ISVs and the consumers of their products in a business advisory capacity. This recorded webcast focuses on several key aspects of an enterprise strategy:

  • Key criteria for an Enterprise Mobile Strategy
  • Application architecture- Is it ready for mobile
  • Planning for BYOD within the enterprise
  • Deployment interface
  • Importance of security

Click here to download the slides.

Tony Hernandez, Principal, Business Advisory Services, Grant Thornton LLP
Mike Barba, Manager, Business Advisory Services, Grant Thornton LLP

CODiE Awards Judges: A Conversation with the Coordinator

Nominations have closed for the 2013 CODiE Awards, and I am definitely excited about the variety and caliber of products in this year’s program. I know our judges are looking forward to reviewing the products as well. Our first round review is the core of the CODiE Awards. It is also the portion of the program that gives me the most interaction with the judges and nominees. I am constantly in contact with both groups, ensuring that everyone has a great experience.

What is the first round review?

For the first round review, two judges review each product in each category. For example, products nominated in two categories will be assigned four judges. During this first round, judges participate in product demonstration s given by the nominees. Two options are available for the products demonstrations:

– Live product demonstration: Nominations walk through their product webinar-style with the judges participating as they do the walk-through

– Recorded product demonstration: Nominees may already have a video product demo that can be sent to the judges to watch.

We recommend that the nominees keep the demos to under an hour. If it is a live demo, remember to leave time for Q&A with the judges.

The first round review also includes product access. It’s beneficial for the judges to get a feel for the product on their own, as a supplement to the guided demo. Product access can happen in several forms, including temporary online login information or by sending the physical product to the judge.

I also suggest sending as much additional information as you would like to the judges. This can be additional links to PDF’s, videos, news releases, etc.

Who are the judges?

We take great care in selecting the industry experts who volunteer as judges. Each division reviews every judge application to determine if he/she is qualified. We want to ensure there are no conflicts of interest.

For our software and content categories, the judges consist of industry executives and analysts, members of the media, bloggers, investors, and even some customers.
For our education categories, we use educators and administrators as our judges. They are the users of these products and can best determine what products may work the best in their classrooms.

Judging is a great experience because it gives the customers a chance to review the products and provide feedback that the companies can use to make improvements.

How can you help?

We are still looking for judges in several of our categories in Content, Software, and Education. If you are interested in judging or can recommend a colleague please complete our brief judge application.


Angel Scott Angel Scott is Awards Program Coordinator at SIIA. Follow the SIIA CODiE Awards on twitter at Share|

Mobile Privacy: Time for Collaboration, Not Legislation

Representative Ed Markey’s proposed mobile legislation, scheduled to be introduced today, is the wrong way to go. It would impose rigid privacy rules on the mobile industry that can only lead to stagnation and a loss of innovative dynamism.

And what a loss that would be for such a dynamic, growing industry. According to a recent study, there were over 44,000 app-related positions open in the U.S. in the last quarter of 2011, and overall, there were 45 percent more open app positions than in the previous year. Based on this number, the study found the app economy firms represented 311,000 jobs. Using a standard multiplier, this number grew to nearly a half a million jobs created by the app economy in both direct and indirect jobs since 2007.

Rather than overregulating an industry that holds such potential for economic growth, Congress should be following the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s lead in supporting the industry. The Committee is holding a hearing today focused on apps and where the jobs are.

So if legislation isn’t the answer, what should be done?  Over the summer, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) launched an effort to nudge stakeholders into adopting codes of conduct for mobile transparency.  SIIA was supportive of this effort and remains so.  But after several meetings it appears that things may be starting to drift. Some scheduled meetings have been postponed. Fortunately, discussions between various industry stakeholders, as well as discussion between industry and consumer watchdogs, are ongoing.

The industry needs to get the substantive mobile transparency discussion moving again, if not through NTIA action then separately.

It’s also important to remember that consumers are not passive victims.  If they think they are being abused, they have a healthy capacity for self-defense. As the New York Times wrote last week “many consumers seem to be already taking steps to guard their personal information from data-grabbing apps. A study by the Pew Research Center, released Wednesday, found that among Americans adults who use smartphone apps, half had decided not to install applications on their mobile phones because they demanded too much personal information. Nearly a third uninstalled an application after learning that it was collecting personal information “they didn’t wish to share.” And one in five turned off location tracking “because they were concerned that other individuals or companies could access that information.”

This is good.  In the absence of government mandates, and industry codes of conduct, consumers are doing some sensible things to protect themselves.  But the lack of consumer trust is troubling and can only inhibit growth in the market.  If consumers just say no, the whole industry suffers.

The FTC is trying to help with some guidance.  Last week it published its recommendations for mobile application developers, suggesting that companies seek “express agreement” for consumer data they collect and share.  Nothing is binding on companies, however, and there is no indication that these recommendations are forming the core of industry codes of conduct or best practice.

Recommendations are good.  Consumer self-help is good.  But the world is looking to us to show that self-regulation can work as a viable alternative to government mandates.  To allow the multi-stakeholder efforts on mobile transparency to falter now would confirm their belief that only the government can set the rules of the road in this area.  It is time for the industry to step up and make progress on setting its own rules of the road.

Mark MacCarthy, Vice President, Public Policy at SIIA, directs SIIA’s public policy initiatives in the areas of intellectual property enforcement, information privacy, cybersecurity, cloud computing and the promotion of educational technology. Follow the SIIA Public Policy team on Twitter at @SIIAPolicy

Nominations Now Open for the 28th Annual SIIA CODiE Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2013 SIIA CODiE Awards. This year’s CODiE Awards feature 27 new and updated categories, reflecting the dramatic changes in technology and business models impacting the software and information industries.

The CODiE Awards have been the premier award for the software and information industries for 28 years. The awards program has three tracks organized by industry focus: Content, Software and Education.

Highlights of this year’s program:

Content: The Content CODiE Awards showcase the information industry’s finest products, technology and services created by, or for, media, publishers and information services providers.

* Fourteen new and updated categories reflect new technology and business models in the content industry including: Best Crowd Sourced Solution, Best Editorial Outsourcing Solution, Best Semantic Technology Solution and Best Social Media Platform
* The Content CODiE Awards will be presented Jan. 31, 2013 during the Content Division’s annual conference for information industry leaders, the Information Industry Summit

Education: The Education CODiE Awards showcase applications, products and services from developers of educational software, digital content, online learning services, and related technologies across the K-20 sector.

* The new Best Personalized Learning Solution category highlights the major educational shift toward individual, tailored learning plans for students. Three new top-level categories will reward the best of the best of PK-12, postsecondary, and overall education nominees.
* Education winners will be announced in San Francisco on May 6, 2013 during the Ed Tech Industry Summit.

Business: The Software CODiE Awards showcase applications, products and services that are developed by independent software vendors (ISVs) for use in business, government, academic, or other organizational settings.

* Twelve new and updated categories reflect the continued growth and evolution of cloud computing, mobile, big data, and video. Highlights include: Best Cloud Platform as a Service Solution, Best Big Data Solution, Best Mobile Device Application for Consumers, Best Mobile Device Application for Enterprise, and Best Video Tool.
* Software winners will be announced in San Francisco on May 9, 2013 during the software industry’s premier ISV conference, All About the Cloud.

Learn more about the nomination process.

Wendy Tanner Wendy Tanner is CODiE Awards Coordinator. Follow the CODiE Awards on Twitter @CODiEAwards

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