Top Tech Companies Honored at 11th Annual Best of Tech Awards

Here’s who came out on top at the Nerd Oscars.

Seven different companies took home Best of Tech Awards on April 27, 2017, during OHTec’s 11th annual Best of Tech Awards night held at Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland.

Awards were handed out in the categories of: Tech Team of the Year; Tech Company of the Year; Most Promising Startup; Best Tech Workspace; Best Software Product; Best IT Services Company; and Best Healthcare Tech Product.

RELATED: Check out what attendees had to say about the “Nerd Oscars” on Twitter

“This year’s crop of finalists shows the deep bench of tech talent that exists in Northeast Ohio,” OHTec’s Executive Director Dean E. Brainard says. “At OHTec, we’re proud to support the work of these innovative companies and individuals and connect the fabric of the region’s IT community together through a variety of collaborative and educational efforts.”

A list of the winners and finalists are below:

Tech Team of the Year
Winner: PolyOne

With its world headquarters based in Northeast Ohio and through the dedication of 7,000 employees in more than 30 countries, PolyOne Corporation (NYSE: POL) is a leading global provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions. The company’s IT Department focuses on transforming technology into value as a high performing member of the PolyOne team.

Finalists

• Accellis Technology Group
• Dakota Software
• n2y LLC

Tech Company of the Year
Winner: Futuri Media

Futuri Media is a global leader in audience engagement technology and tools to help broadcasters and publishers drive audience and revenue growth. Launched in 2009 with its award-winning Listener Driven Radio (LDR) audience engagement platform, Futuri Media now holds 11 published or pending patents and has been named to the Inc. 5000 List of America's fastest-growing private companies for three consecutive years.

Finalists

• MRI Software
• n2y LLC
• Hyland

Most Promising Startup
Winner: Wheedle

Wheedle is a ticketing and marketing platform, designed specifically for the hospitality industry, which allows businesses to get more customers in the door by promoting their events and experiences. Wheedle ticketing turns ordinary experiences into in-demand events, allowing event hosts to create and sell tickets, promote the event, and manage the guest list.

Finalists

• Votem
• Heureka Software
• Revenue Conduit

Best Tech Workspace
Winner: Accellis Technology Group

Founded in 2001, Accellis Technology Group, Inc. has built a tier-one nationally recognized technology services business by focusing on one simple principle—deliver great service first. The company hires bright, friendly technology resources and backs them with the tools and resources to make their jobs simple and let them focus on service. One customer, one business, and one person at a time.

Finalists

• Technology Recovery Group
• FIT Technologies

Best Software Product
Winner: OEC

Founded in 2000, OEC develops parts ordering solutions for the global automotive industry. The company’s customer base includes more than 13,000 auto dealers and more than 100,000 repair facilities in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. Nearly 100% of revenues are generated domestically; 1% internationally.

Finalists

• MRI Software
• Hyland
• Dakota Software

Best IT Services Company
Winner: Bluebridge Networks

Headquartered in Cleveland, BlueBridge Networks boasts best-in-class Datacenter Services, including Work Group Recovery, Virtualization, Cloud Computing, Disaster Recovery and Managed Storage and Security Services, maximize the opportunity for businesses to get their messages across, save on costs and remain highly available for their customers. With a network of state-of-the-art, geographically diverse collocation facilities located in Cleveland, Mayfield Heights, and Columbus, BlueBridge maintains the highest standards for uptime, quality and service, backed by the most powerful Service Level Guarantees in the industry.

Finalists

• FIT Technologies
• Vizion Solutions
• Level Seven

Best Healthcare Tech Product
Winner: OnShift

OnShift delivers cloud-based human capital management software and proactive services to solve every day workforce challenges in healthcare. Its suite of products for hiring, scheduling and employee engagement drives quality care, lower costs and higher performance by empowering providers to staff consistently and efficiently. Intuitive design, predictive analytics and customer success management are why thousands of post-acute care and senior living organizations rely on OnShift.

Finalist

• iRxReminder LLC

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  • Next up: Trust Can Lead to Employee Retention
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  • Trust Can Lead to Employee Retention

    Most organizations focus on salary as a major reason people stay or leave their companies. In most cases, it’s not even in the top five reasons for an employee leaving the organization. According to a study done by Deloitte, one third of employees will look for a new job as the economy continues to improve. Even more unsettling, 48% of the reason people say the reason for the move is the lack of trust in their employers.

    Most organizations focus on salary as a major reason people stay or leave their companies. In most cases, it’s not even in the top five reasons for an employee leaving the organization. According to a study done by Deloitte, one third of employees will look for a new job as the economy continues to improve. Even more unsettling, 48% of the reason people say the reason for the move is the lack of trust in their employers.

    So how does lack of trust occur at an organization? Those answers aren’t that simple. But, it does show up in many forms. How about when someone does an excellent job on a major project and doesn’t receive the appropriate credit? During the interview process they were told the organization is growing and will have opportunities for growth but doesn’t have anything happening over the long-term? When a manager says to their group that they want something done a certain way and won’t limit the amount of creativity to get to the end of the project, but in the next meeting tells everyone to stop doing it that way and do it their way? Or when someone comes up with a great idea to bring new revenue streams to the organization and better help the customers, but it’s viewed as ridiculous and unattainable?

    Now what? Maybe it’s time to look at your organization in the mirror and ask yourself some tough questions and make some changes to meet the loss that will continue to occur while the economy recovers; especially in IT. You must quickly restore what has been broken.

    Start with being consistent. If you say something, don’t change your mind and do a 180. If you happen to feel a change needs to be made, make it with the group and get a consensus as to whether or not to make the move. When you say to someone you want them to grow, help them grow. You are not in the ivory tower and must be accessible. Great leaders know how to make time for their employees.

    Care for them like family. Be a servant to your flock. This doesn’t mean be a push over, but it means live and work to serve others. When you are treating your employees like you’d want to be treated and are serving their needs, they will trust you more to be their leader. If you ever happen to go to war, there will be people behind you. Your flock will also begin to help each other and become your problem solvers when times get tough. They will also go the extra mile for you because you do the same for them.

    Lastly, communicate your mission and translate the company’s mission as well. Employees inherently want to always try and do their best for the organization, give them the benefit of understanding the mission and what’s expected of them. If they don’t know what they are supposed to be doing or why, what do you expect them to accomplish? They’d just be working for themselves and would feel lost as to why they should try harder for you and the company. In this communication role, listen to the employees too. You need to adjust to their needs as much as you can. Remember, this isn’t about you anymore; this is about serving others and their needs.

    Bottom line on this, be authentic and start seeing retention through the lens of trust rather than on more money and benefits. If you see that your retention analytics have continued to get lower and lower, then it’s time to make a change.

    Reference: http://www.6seconds.org/2013/09/11/trust-retaining-talent/

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  • Next up: Turning Doubt into Confidence: Women in Technology
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  • Turning Doubt into Confidence: Women in Technology

    Doubt – that sense or feeling of uncertainty you get when thinking about the future. Especially that rush of doubt you feel when taking a leap of faith to change careers. Doubt in oneself, doubt in one’s financial state or doubt in the ability to live outside one’s comfort zone. It’s a common thing everyone struggles with when making decisions about the future, specifically the right career path. Turn your doubt into confidence on October 8!

    Doubt – that sense or feeling of uncertainty you get when thinking about the future. Especially that rush of doubt you feel when taking a leap of faith to change careers.

    Doubt in oneself, doubt in one’s financial state or doubt in the ability to live outside one’s comfort zone. It’s a common thing everyone struggles with when making decisions about the future, specifically the right career path.

    Turn your doubt into confidence on October 8!

    While some of these examples are out of our expertise to lend a helping hand, one thing we can help you do is turn doubt into confidence when it comes to choosing a career path.

    I know, you are probably thinking, “Wow, did Hyland add ‘therapist’ to its portfolio along with developing award-winning software?”

    No, we didn’t. However, working at a leading technology organization, I’m excited to share that we’re hosting our inaugural “Women in Tech” event at Hyland Software’s headquarters on Saturday, October 8, from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.


    Explore your technology career options

    The free conference is open to collegiate and career-level women who are interested in learning and exploring degrees or careers in Information Technology (IT). The conference will educate women in Northeast Ohio (or if you happen to be visiting the region) about different career paths in the technology industry and provide an outlet to hear from and network with women about what a day in their roles looks like.

    We’ve planned an informative half-day event, in partnership with the Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing (OCWiC), with presentations and panels from software developers, testers and IT specialists to answer questions. Our goal is to help educate attendees and promote female leadership in the technology industry. By hosting this event, we hope to spark interest in technology careers and help women break the glass ceiling by having an open dialogue about different career paths and opportunities.

    Again, registration for the event is free. Sign-up today and confirm your seat!


    This blog originally appeared here

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  • Next up: Twitter Chat: Equity, Economy and Climate Resilience
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  • Twitter Chat: Equity, Economy and Climate Resilience

    As an advisory council member of the Cleveland Emerald Cities, I recently participated as one of several panelists in a Twitter Chat that addressed Equity, Economy and Climate Resilience. The Chat focused on the importance of infrastructure in community resilience and in building community wealth.

    As an advisory council member of the Cleveland Emerald Cities, I recently participated as one of several panelists in a Twitter Chat that addressed Equity, Economy and Climate Resilience. The Chat focused on the importance of infrastructure in community resilience and in building community wealth. The Twitter Chat was hosted by the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab), a center for planning and development within MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

    The questions we explored during the chat were:

    • What are some examples of resilient infrastructure and technologies that are contributing to community climate resilience?
    • How might resilient infrastructure contribute to community wealth?
    • What are some examples of resilient infrastructure that are contributing to community wealth?
    • What are some examples of local hiring, contracting or other policies that support the development of resilient infrastructure?
    • What partnerships around local hiring and contracting are contributing to community wealth while building resilient infrastructure?

    Check out the highlights from the chat below:

     

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  • Next up: Twitter Tech Week Takeaways
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  • Twitter Tech Week Takeaways

    Nearly 2,000 people attended various OHTec Tech Week events this year. And a lot of these folks took to Twitter to discuss the events they attended. Curious what people had to say? Take a look below:

    Nearly 2,000 people attended various OHTec Tech Week events this year. And a lot of these folks took to Twitter to discuss the events they attended. Curious what people had to say? Take a look below:

     

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  • Next up: Two Energy Focuses within One Small Business
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  • Two Energy Focuses within One Small Business

    A problem often faced by small business owners when looking to tap into their energy savings potential is being on the same page as their employees. Without teamwork between the owner and the employees, the business might not be able to identify ways to reduce utility expenses. 

    A problem often faced by small business owners when looking to tap into their energy savings potential is being on the same page as their employees. Without teamwork between the owner and the employees, the business might not be able to identify ways to reduce utility expenses.

    One such example of this difficulty of communication between owner and employees can be seen within a local, owner-operated hair salon. The owner meticulously works to reduce the energy usage within the salon. Setting back the thermostat when the salon is closed, making sure lights aren’t on when parts of the salon are unoccupied, and turning off all curling irons and hair dryer heaters at the end of the day; all measures taken by the owner in an effort to achieve the most energy savings possible.

    However, although the owner is conscientious of reducing energy usage when possible, the employees of the salon may not be as aware of what small behavioral changes can be made in order to reduce the utility bills of the salon. Another difference between the owner and employees is the focus they have while at the salon. The owner’s focus is around the whole business operation, while the employees focus may be more process and client oriented. Although the energy savings is seen more by the business as a whole, these extra dollars can be shifted within the budget and can be seen by the employees as well.  

    In order to achieve the maximum savings potential for the business, the difference in focus between the owner and employees must be addressed. One method in which the whole business can work together to address energy is a “treasure hunt.” A treasure hunt involves the cooperation of both the management and employees in order to chart out the energy usage of a business. If the business is process or manufacturing heavy, these high usage machines and equipment are collectively mapped out. After finding the energy usage in the business, the next step is to work together in order to find different areas that can reduce energy usage. By involving the entire team with this process, a treasure hunt creates a sense of unity in achieving your energy efficiency goals.

     Another effective way to address this issue of teamwork is by installing energy conservation measures that do the work for you. One such measure that can be installed is an internet thermostat. This type of thermostat allows you to control the levels of the thermostat even when away from your business. This measure makes it easy to be sure that your HVAC system is running at a minimal level for times when temperature control isn’t necessary.  

    Another easy step to take to reduce energy usage is to incorporate it into the daily routine of the business to unplug items that are not in use, but are still using some electricity. By making this operational change, your business can achieve savings without spending a dime.

    About 12% of total energy conservation measures suggested by the audits completed through the COSE Energy Program were purely operational. These operational changes provide savings for your business without any initial investment whatsoever. These operational changes, such as light and HVAC management, can provide significant savings on both electric and natural gas.    

    Along with communication between the owner and employees as well as the installation of measures that allow for greater control over the energy usage for a business, the difference in focus between parties can be bridged. A small business participating in the COSE Energy Program can achieve an energy savings of about 25-30%. This level of savings on energy can allow a small business to shift these dollars to other key areas of their operating budget. By aligning focus between owner and employees, your business can reach these savings goals and increase efficiency!

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