Wireless Leadership Awards at BlackBerry World

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Wireless Leadership Awards 2011

The nomination process for the Wireless Leadership Awards at BlackBerry® World™ is still open for one more week has since been completed. These coveted honors have been garnering increased attention over the past five years, so in order to get a better understanding of this year’s program, I recently sat down with Lisa, who manages the program overall.

For those who don’t know, what exactly are the Wireless Leadership Awards, and how did it start?

We love our BlackBerry platform customers, and the Wireless Leadership Awards are something we do to show our customers some love! Customers who can demonstrate how BlackBerry® products have had a positive impact on their business are eligible for a Wireless Leadership Award. The first time we held the Wireless Leadership Awards was in 2006. Basically, we kept hearing about innovative BlackBerry smartphone projects and exciting business results that our customers were achieving, and we decided we needed a way to showcase these stories, and so began the first awards at WES 2006.

Since then, we’ve seen so many amazing things that our customers are achieving through their BlackBerry solution deployments. It’s really exciting to see all the entries come in, not to mention the depth and breadth of apps they are developing and using in so many different industries.

Over the years I’ve worked with clients and independent software vendors on hundreds of great projects. It seems a rather daunting task to choose only one leader!

There is no way we could choose just one customer! To make the job easier for the selection committee, we have a few categories. Historically we’ve had the Innovation in Private Sector category, Innovation in Public Sector category, and the Business Impact category. We recognize two finalists and one winner in each of these categories. To be selected as one of these three finalists from hundreds and hundreds of entries is really quite an honour. On top of that, we give our customers some excellent prizes and they are invited to attend an exclusive party at BlackBerry World!

And I understand that this year you’re adding yet another category?

That’s right! The new category is called the Attendee Choice Award. We’re putting the BlackBerry World attendees in the driver’s seat as the judges for this award. Our reasoning for this new category was two-fold: first, we wanted to give attendees a way to get involved in the awards. Second, our customers have been creating really exciting apps for their own customers. We wanted to have a special category to specifically highlight these types of apps.

So when you’re looking at the nominations, what distinguishes a possible nominee for a Wireless Leadership Award?

The selection panel for the Wireless Leadership Awards includes Research In Motion® (RIM®) Senior Management, previous Wireless Leadership Awards recipients, and industry analysts. The selection panel likes to see entries that demonstrate how BlackBerry solutions have helped the organization to achieve their business goals, whether the goal is improved customer satisfaction, cost savings, increased efficiency, higher sales or something else.

The Wireless Leadership Awards are all about achievement and innovation. The most compelling entries are those that are doing really innovative things to help employees or customers achieve success.

What exactly is the process for becoming a potential nominee or winner?

It’s easy – visit the WLA page on the BlackBerry World website. From there you’ll find the link to the WLA web entry form. Just follow the step by step instructions to enter company information and complete the entry form in full. The form will prompt you to insert information about BlackBerry solutions and qualitative and quantitative results/benefits. There is also the ability to attach supporting material, like screen shots or reports. The web form allows you to save your entry and come back later to finish and submit it – just remember to submit before the deadline of March 14th, 2011.

(UPDATE 3/15/2011: The nomination period has now closed. Thanks to all for participating!)

Who were some of the 2010 Wireless Leadership Awards recipients?

There were some pretty amazing finalists and winners last year:

  • RIDGID TOOL, a Division of Emerson, created a custom CRM solution, RIDGID 360, for their sales reps in the field.
  • Florida Department of Children and Families created an app that helps them to keep children safe by giving caseworkers a mobile solution to capture and update critical information about children in foster care.
  • Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust pioneered an approach to patient visits that saves its midwives significant time and enhances patient care during and after pregnancy.

And finally, what do Wireless Leadership Awards recipients win?

Wireless Leadership Award winners receive travel and accommodations to BlackBerry World 2011, as well as BlackBerry smartphones and BlackBerry Solution Services packages featuring BlackBerry Training and the BlackBerry Certification Program. The award winners’ prize package is valued at approximately $30,000 USD. Finalists will receive two full conference passes to BlackBerry World 2011 as well as a BlackBerry smartphone and a BlackBerry Solution Services package, which is valued at approximately $10,000 USD. For full details, please see the official terms & conditions on the last tab of the official BlackBerry World WLA webpage.

The value, however, isn’t simply in the prize package. The biggest thing is really the recognition at BlackBerry World. From the Wednesday General Session Keynote to the exclusive awards reception featuring RIM executives and key partners, becoming a Wireless Leadership Award winner or finalist is a great spotlight to shine on your company.

Thanks, Lisa – this was a great interview. This program is a great way to highlight leaders who are moving beyond the technology and the gadgetry and really making a difference in their organizations. Anyone who wishes to apply or to nominate a colleague should submit their information as soon as possible.

Good luck to all applicants, and to the panel with an undoubtedly tough selection process! Submissions must be received by March 14th, 2011!

About Roger B.

Joining Research In Motion® (RIM) in 2001, Roger has worked in BlackBerry® Alliance Marketing, vertical segment marketing and product marketing. By leveraging this diverse background, for the past few years Roger has been involved with market research, analyst relations, and other research initiatives. A graduate of the Ivey Business School and MIT’s Executive program in Strategy & Innovation, Roger has been involved in technology marketing for the past 15 years working in Asia, Europe, and North America. Passionate about the impact technology has on people and processes, he brings this vast array of experiences together as a lead contributor to the “BlackBerry For Business” social media presence.

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