Aside from that vertical focus, my MBA and entrepreneurial background give me a good perspective for assessing things that apply horizontally across any type of business. This is where my focus on strategy, go-to-market, organizational structure, customer satisfaction/retention, branding/positioning, value proposition, competitive standing, partnerships, fundraising, exits/M&A, etc. comes into play.
I was pleased to contribute this to the process, and it was fun evaluating the companies sent my way. While most of the 2012 International winners were outside my space, I'll give a quick shout-out here to the ones you'll probably be familiar with:
- Tekelec - Innovative Company, Silver
- Redline Communications - Comback Company, Gold
- Minacs - Customer Friendly Company, Bronze
You can read more about the competition and review the full list of 2012 International winners here.
Overall, I'm pleased to say that 8 of the 10 companies I evaluated made it to the winner's circle, and this process is a great way to get exposed to some interesting new players and technologies. A few have a focus in emerging areas that will be relevant to UC and CEBP, so don't be surprised if you hear about them at some point. Of note, I'll mention:
- Arkadin - mobile UCaasS - especially audio and video conferencing
- BlackLine Systems - enterprise SaaS to automate financial processes
- Vision Critical - engagement platforms to allow enterprises to build community with customers, suppliers, etc. to improve decision-making processes
- Mimecast - mobile security and data archiving
- Clarizen - collaboration and project management workforce platforms