The Stevie Awards Blog

Who's Coming to The International Business Awards® on Saturday?

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Mon, Oct 15, 2018 @ 04:40 PM

For the first time in their 15 year history, The International Business Awards®, the world's premier business awards program, will visit London, England this coming Saturday, October 20 for the sold-out presentations of the 2018 Stevie® Awards.  The InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel will be the setting for the event, with more than 400 executives from over 30 nations expected to attend.

More than 3,900 nominations from a record 74 nations were submitted to the IBAs this year.  More than 270 professionals worldwide, working on 12 juries, determined the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners, who were announced in August.  That announcement was closely followed by the announcements of best-in-show Grand Stevie Award winners, and the winners of People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Companies, a worldwide public vote.

Saturday's presentations will be broadcast from the IBA website, from 7:00 pm local time (2:00 pm EST).

brettmacfarlaneSaturday's presentations will be followed on Sunday morning by several social events for IBA delegates.  At 8:30 am, Brett MacFarlane, Client Services Director with EVRY Strategic Design Lab at Method in London, will speak during a session called Breakfast with Branding, sponsored by Stevie Awards partner AD STARS.

The presentation will be followed by delegates' choice of two whirlwind tours of London.

Here's the list of organizations that will be represented at Saturday's event.

7 Stage Advisors
Accedia JSC
Ahjo Communications
AICPA
Airport Railroad
Al Jazeera Media Network
Amorette Ltd
AmRest sp. z o.o.
APAX Recreation
Arçelik
ASDA'A BCW
ATREVIA
Biggin & Scott Knox
Binary Digital Advertising Inc.
BoardPAC
Business Coaching Hanoi West CO., LTD
Canadian Tire Corporation
CEFIC
Central de Informação
Cisco Collaboration
Cisco Systems, GATS  IT
Cisco Systems, GIS
Cisco Systems, Global Virtual Engineering
Cogeco Peer 1
College Works Painting
Colquimica Adhesives
comm:up Kommunikation & Management GmbH
CROWDCONSULTANTS
Dani Communications
Deutsche Telekom Services Europe GmbH
DHL Express
Diligent Corporation
Directorate of Public Work of Sharjah
DRF Deutschland Fernsehen Produktions GmbH & Co. KG
Dubai Economy
Dubai Health Authority
ECi Software Solutions
Edelman Intelligence
Eff Creative Group
Egypt Express
Empire Eagle Food Co., Ltd.
endorfina events sp. z o.o.
Enerjisa Enerji A.S.
eNett International
Events DC
Federal Demographic Council
Federal Electricity & Water Authority
First Advantage
FIS
Flamingo Group
Garden of Words
GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications Inc
General Sport Authority
Gilan Holding /Publicity Genie
GRAFFITI
Graham Shapiro Design
GTT Communications, Inc.
GXEVER
Gyeonggi Province
Hanaroadcom
HansaWorld Ltd.
Hanyang University
HELLENIC PETROLEUM SA
Herbalife Nutrition
HeyMoments® The Experience Design Company
Horizon Communication Group
HOTEL SOULHADA
HUYA Bioscience International
I Am Enough
IBM
Informa Pharma Intelligence
ING Bank Turkey
IPRA
Ipsos
IRPC Public Company Limited
KB Kookmin Bank
KEPCO Nuclear Fuel Company
KORAIL
Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Korea Gas Safety Corporation
Korea Rail Network Authority
Korea Seven Co., Ltd.
Korean Culture and Information Service
KoROAD
KPR
KT KBN
LifeVantage
Limak Foundation
Link4Media
LLORENTE & CUENCA
Lumeon
Mariposa Consulting International
Megaworld Corporation & Foundation
Meralco
Merck KGaA
MicroHealth, LLC
Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs
Minor Hotel Group Limited
Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd
Mphasis
MTRNL
Natal Joint Municipal Pension Fund
Net World Sports
NeuroTransData GmbH
Ooredoo Group
Ortigas & Company
Pan American Energy
Paradigm Design Group
Pegasus Airlines
Penny Appeal
Philia Earth Limited
Philip Morris International
Port It Global Kenya
Port It Global Mexico S.A. de C.V.
PRecious Communications
Pru Life UK
PT ANGKASA PURA II (PERSERO)
PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (Persero) Tbk
PT Petrokimia Gresik
RAK Chamber
Resolute Forest Products
SABC Pension Fund
sahibinden.com
SCHUFA Holding AG - Project SPIRIT
Seocho Gu
Seoul Metropolitian Government
Shade Tree Auto
Smart Dubai Government Establishment
Solarwinds
Soohyun
Strategic Public Relations Group
Super Life Saver Board Game
SuperLife World
Syncron
Tata Consultancy Services UK
TELUS International
TemaCC - Talent Entertainment Management and Consultancy Company
Tezgahçilar
TH Food Chain Join Stock Company
Thai Life Insurance Plc.
The Female Social Network
The Saem International Co.,Ltd.
The Surgery
ThermoBrush
Thomson Reuters
Trainer Rx
Ulled Asociados C.R.P. S.A.
University of Greenwich
Velocity Global
Viettel Group
Virtusa Corporation
Wayfair
WebTalk sp. z o.o.
Westminster Abbey
Wharf China Estates Limited
Whirlpool Corporation
WP Engine

Entries for the 2019 IBAs will open in early February.  Join the mailing list for the entry kit and it will be sent to you then, as soon as it is available.

Get the Entry Kit

Turning Frowns Upside Down in the Dental Industry

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Fri, Oct 05, 2018 @ 10:56 AM

Dental health is extremely important to growth, as well as overall health. The proper development of jawbones and muscles affects speech patterns, as well as supporting an attractive appearance, and these are just some of the many benefits of having access to a proper dental plan.

Staying on top of your dental health by informing your doctor about noticeable issues is, unfortunately, easier said than done. For a third of Americans, having access to the most basic dental care is hugely problematic, and it largely boils down to cost.

Steven C. Bilt, CEO of Smile Brands Inc., bit into this problem and cofounded Smile Brands in 1998 and OneSmile in 2015. He eventually combined the two businesses and now oversees 5,500 employees and affiliated providers at approximately 400 U.S. locations. Bilt is also a founding member and former president of the Association of Dental Support Organizations.

Smile brands“Our CEO, Steve Bilt, is a master at creating an effective corporate culture,” says the company’s chief marketing officer, Jody Martin. “He believes that, to be successful, the mission has to be motivating, both personally and financially to employees; inclusive to all employees, not just a few; and continually reinforced in a variety of ways.”

Incorporating recognition and a mindset of giving is also integral to the Smile Brands culture.

“At Smile Brands, every employee wears a blue ‘Smiles for Everyone’ wristband, and we continually celebrate everyday miracles. This includes calling out employees who do amazing things,” says Martin. “We also have the Smiles for Everyone Foundation, which provides donated dentistry to people in need here and abroad.”

Bracing Themselves

The cofounders of Smile Brands reacquired the company in August 2016 after prior ownership drove the business to the brink of bankruptcy. Despite this rocky start, Smile Brands won Stevie Awards in The American Business Awards® and the Stevie Awards for Great Employers.

“The team worked tirelessly on a highly successful turnaround,” says Martin. “Winning the Stevie Awards helps to validate all that hard work and the fact that Smile Brands stands apart in terms of financial strength and company culture.”

Bilt also reached a 97 percent approval rating, based on the past year’s Glassdoor reviews from Smile Brands employees and affiliated dental providers. Those numbers are sure to keep Smile Brands grinning from ear to ear!

A Simple Concept

As Smile Brands Inc. grows in to one of the largest providers of support services to dental groups in the United States, dentists can spend more time caring for their patients and less time on the administrative, marketing, and financial aspects of operating a dental practice.

This is an important step in the dental industry because new research continues to show links between chronic oral infections and heart and lung diseases, stroke, low birth weight, and premature births. Smile Brands aims to further build and to bundle comprehensive general dentistry with specialty care and to streamline experiences for both dental care practitioners and patients.

Even with all these moving parts, everything still comes back to one foundational and simple concept: smiles for everyone.

Tags: company of the year

Stevie Awards for Women in Business Announce Finalists in 15th Annual Competition

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Oct 04, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

World’s Top Honors for Women Professionals to Be Presented in New York on November 16, with First Edition of Women|Future Conference

Finalists were announced today in the 15th annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business, the world’s top honors for women entrepreneurs, executives, employees and the organizations they run.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business are produced by the creators of the prestigious American Business Awards® and International Business Awards®. The Stevies are widely considered to be the world’s premier business awards.

SAWIB pic 2This year’s Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists will be announced at an awards dinner at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York City on Friday, November 16. More than 600 women and their guests from around the world are expected to attend the presentations, which will be broadcast live on Livestream.

Visit http://www.StevieAwards.com/Women for a complete list of Finalists by category.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business event will be complemented by a new one-day educational and networking event called the Women|Future Conference, also at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel on November 16.  Tickets for both the conference and the awards dinner are now on sale.

More than 1,500 entries were submitted this year by organizations and individuals around the world for consideration in more than 90 categories including Executive of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Startup of the Year, Women Helping Women and Women-Run Workplace of the Year.  New categories for 2018 included Achievement in Equal Pay, Achievement in Developing and Promoting Women, and Achievement in Promoting Work-Life Balance.

Among the many extraordinary organizations and women who have been recognized as Finalists, the following organizations stand out as those with five or more Finalist nominations: Award Winning Accelerator, Brisbane, QLD, Australia; Bob Woodruff Foundation, New York, NY, USA; DHL Express, worldwide; The Female Social Network, Sydney, NSW, Australia;  iTalent Digital, San Jose, CA, USA; Jeunesse Global, Lake Mary, FL, USA; Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), Englewood, CO, USA; Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers, Kenmore East, QLD, Australia; Plan International Canada, Toronto, ON, Canada, Simpson Healthcare Executives, LLC, Old Lyme, CT, USA; Tata Consultancy Services, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India; Tavuun Welfare Association, Karachi, Pakistan; The Welsh Air Ambulance Charitable Trust, Llanelli, Wales, United Kingdom; and Zingbox, Inc. Mountain View, CA, USA.

Nominations were submitted by organizations in 33 nations including Angola, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Kenya, Maldives, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.

Finalists were determined by the average scores of more than 200 professionals around the world, organized in five juries.

Tags: women awards

Call for Entries Issued for 13th Annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Sep 27, 2018 @ 09:30 AM

Top Sales Awards and Customer Service Awards Winners to Be Recognized in Las Vegas

The Stevie® Awards, organizer of the world’s premier business awards programs, has issued a call for entries for the 2019 (13th annual) Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Entry kits and complete details on the competition are available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/Sales.

All customer service, contact center, business development and sales departments, teams and professionals worldwide are eligible to be nominated, in addition to new products and services and solution providers used by those professionals. The 2019 awards will recognize achievements since July 1, 2017.

SASCS 2018 pic 5

The early-bird entry deadline with reduced entry fees is October 17, 2018. The final entry deadline is November 14, but late entries will be accepted through January 10, 2019 with payment of a late fee. Finalists will be announced in mid-January, and the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements revealed during a gala awards banquet on February 22 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service feature more than 150 sales awards, customer service awards, business development awards, new product awards and solution provider awards categories. Entrants may submit any number of nominations to any number of categories, which include:

  •         Sales Individual categories such as Senior Sales Executive of the Year and Sales Representative of the Year
  •         Sales Team categories like Global Sales Team of the Year and Online Sales Team of the Year
  •         Sales Achievement categories such as Sales Turnaround of the Year and Sales Training or Coaching Program of the Year
  •         Sales Distinction categories in 14 industry groupings
  •         Customer Service and Contact Center Individual categories such as Front-Line Customer Service Professional of the Year and Customer Service Leader of the Year
  •         Customer Service and Contact Center Team categories like Contact Center of the Year and Back Office Customer Service Team of the Year
  •         Customer Service and Contact Center Achievement categories such as e-Commerce Customer Service Award and Award for Innovation in Customer Service
  •         Customer Service Department categories in 12 industry groupings
  •         Customer Service Success categories in five industry groupings
  •         New Product and Service categories like Best New Business Intelligence Solution and Best New Marketing Solution
  •         Solution Provider categories such as Sales Consulting Practice of the Year and Incentive, Rewards or Recognition Provider of the Year
  •         Business Development categories such as Business Development Professional of the Year and Business Development Achievement of the Year - Hospitality & Leisure

New categories for the 2019 competition include Woman of the Year in Sales and in Customer Service. Among other new Sales Awards categories include Account Management Team of the Year, Sales Diversity and Inclusivity Initiative of the Year, Sales Recruitment Initiative of the Year, Social Selling Initiative of the Year, and Sales Distinction of the Year - Consumer Products & Services. There are four new awards for Innovation in Customer Service including Best Customer Feedback Strategy, Best Customer Satisfaction Strategy, Best Return on Customer Service Investment, and Best Use of Customer Insight. The new Customer Service Department of the Year category is for Consumer Products & Services. Among the new categories for New Products & Services are CRM Suite - Enterprise - New and New Version, CRM Suite - Mid-Market – New and New Version, CRM Suite - Small Business – New and New Version, and Sales Performance Management Solution - New and New Version.

2019 will see the return of the People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service, a popular feature of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service in which the general public may vote for their favorite providers of customer service, from among all finalist nominations in the Customer Service Department of the Year categories.

Winners of the 2018 edition of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service included Carbonite, Care.com Homepay, Chewy, CubeSmart, Dell Technologies, DHL Express Bangladesh, FieldEdge, John Hancock Financial Services, Loop Communications, Standard for Success, TravelZoo, and Zelis Payments, among others.

The 2019 competition will be judged by more than 150 professionals around the world.

Tags: sales awards, customer service awards

Winners of the 2018 People’s Choice Stevie® Awards for Favorite Companies Announced

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Sep 19, 2018 @ 09:42 AM

Winners were announced today in the 2018 People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Companies, a feature of The International Business Awards®, the world’s only international, all-encompassing business awards program which is now in its 15th year.

The worldwide public vote was conducted this summer, with the highest number of votes deciding the winners in a variety of industries. More than 22,000 votes were cast. All Stevie Award winners in the Company of the Year categories of this year’s International Business Awards were eligible to be included in voting for the People’s Choice Stevie Awards.

IBA peoples choice 2017The crystal People’s Choice Stevie Awards will be presented to winners at The International Business Awards banquet on Saturday, 20 October at the InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel.

Tickets for the event are now on sale. The winners of peer-adjudicated gold, silver, and bronze Stevie Awards will be presented with their awards along with the People’s Choice Stevie Awards. Stevie winners were selected from more than 3,900 nominations received from organizations and individuals in 74 nations.

The winners of the 2018 People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Companies are:

- Business/Professional Services: TELUS International
- Computer Software: Accedia JSC
- Diversified Services: Glance Technologies
- Entertainment/Internet/Media: DRF Deutschland Fernsehen Produktions GmbH & Co. KG
- Financial/Insurance: Cebuana Lhuillier
- Manufacturing: Makers Nutrition
- Other: College Works Painting
- Real Estate: Stockdale & Leggo
- Telecommunications: Azercell Telecom LLC
- Transportation: Egypt Express

Tags: international business, company of the year

How a Start-up Went From 0 to 4,000 in a Global Market

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Sep 18, 2018 @ 12:49 PM

Over one trillion dollars are spent annually on technology and IT services. Three software engineers went against the fastest-growing technology corporations in the world, like Google and Adobe Systems, and succeeded in claiming their piece of the global tech pie.

Druva CEO and founder, Jaspreet Singh, anticipated the software management shift into the cloud, and developed cloud-based programming to organize, centralize, and protect information for businesses. Singh even pitched Druva’s cloud-based solution to NASA, who refused it at first because they did not believe software management would move to the cloud. But, Singh was right. Druva became a first mover in a cutthroat industry, and its information software solutions propelled the company into the global market in less than 10 years.

In Pune, India in 2008, Singh and two other engineers started Druva. The company provides data management and security service solutions for businesses. While many new businesses flounder in their initial months, this team grew to an impressive seven employees and 53 clients by the end of their first year.

DruvaSince its inception, Druva has worked to connect and to protect business data on servers and drives accessed from multiple mobile access points, such as smartphones and laptops, by employees on the move.

Druva worked to stay ahead of the technology innovation curve and became one of the first providers of cloud-based data management and security software. The software helps aggregate data, then unifies the backup, disaster recovery, archival, and governance capabilities onto a single, optimized data set.

It may sound complicated, but Druva simplifies a common business conundrum: Who has the information to complete the task, and how does the responsible employee access it? Placing servers, backups, and archives in the cloud means all data is in one place. Access is simple, trackable, and transparent, and information is readily accessible and visible to employees but protected from bad actors in the cyber landscape.

Having the information in one location and limiting and restricting access makes the data easier to protect and to preserve. By reducing risk and simplifying processes, most businesses experience a great cost savings.

Druva’s cloud management includes security-based data mining and other information governance options. This is useful, for example, when seeking archived legal records. With this increasing shift to the cloud, however, there has been a shift in responsibility.

“In the past, the security of the software after it was sold wasn’t our problem. If something broke or someone hacked into it, that was the customer’s problem,” Singh told TechinAsia.com. “In the cloud, everything is your problem. You even have to predict a failure from the customer’s side because now you have part ownership of the data. All these nuances led to an interesting new model.”

Excellence and innovation in customer service are part of that new model and solution. Druva received seven Stevie® Awards in the 2018 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service for their excellence and innovation in customer service in the Technology and Computer Software Industry categories.

  • Gold Stevie Winner: Customer Service Leader of the Year—Computer Software Industry
  • Silver Stevie Winner: Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year—Technology Industries—Computer Hardware & Software—100 or More Employees
  • Silver Stevie Winner: Contact Center of the Year (Up to 100 Seats)—Technology Industries
  • Silver Stevie Winner: Best Use of Technology in Customer Service—Computer Industries
  • Silver Stevie Winner: Customer Service Department of the Year—Computer Software—100 or More Employees
  • Bronze Stevie Winner: Customer Service Management Team of the Year
  • Bronze Stevie Winner: Award for Innovation in Customer Service—Computer Industries

Druva now services more than 4,000 diverse companies, both domestic and international. This includes major corporations and agencies, such as NASA, General Electric, Marriott Hotels, AIG, Deloitte, Pfizer, Black & Decker, McAfee, Live Nation, and Hulu. They are headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, United States, and employ 400 team members across the world. They currently have offices in Germany, United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, and India. Through hard work and dedication, the small start-up from Pune, India, has now become a global leader in cloud data protection and management.

As the technology industry races onward, a resilient business model and a flexible customer service team are imperative to success. In all they do, Druva highlights their core values: to embrace hard work, to strive for consistent performance, to work as a team, to collaborate to innovate, and to work with a customer-first attitude.

“The entire Druva team is energized to be part of winning groups,” says Druva employee Sunil Wadhwa.

Tags: sales awards, customer service awards

In HR Software, Nursing and Rehab Providers Find the Prescription for Wasteful Spending

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Sep 11, 2018 @ 12:12 PM

Increased efficiency. Unified processes. Lower costs.

This combination of benefits has led to rapid growth for SmartLinx. The U.S.-based company provides a workforce management suite that helps organizations, including long-term and post-acute care facilities, simplify everything from hiring and payroll to scheduling and time recording.

Among the organizations that saw substantial results from the SmartLinx universal software solution is the Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation. The New York, New York, United States, senior living facility was suddenly able to make payroll more efficient and streamline employee work practices within one platform. Ultimately, this saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in labor costs.

smartlinxNumerous organizations have experienced similar results across the United States. Oriol, a health care agency in Massachusetts, United States, was able to slash inefficient overtime costs. The Greek Rehabilitation and Care Center near Chicago, Illinois, United States, was able to reduce a process from 60 reported work hours down to just two minutes. Outcomes like this consistently help SmartLinx achieve high user retention rates and average more than 50 percent annual growth.

SmartLinx was also the first software company to offer a complete solution for Affordable Care Act compliance, and the company routinely expresses a commitment to staying ahead of all ACA regulations.

While health care and senior living facilities are a core part of the company’s business, its software also serves the needs of government agencies, hospitality programs, and manufacturing enterprises. With the SmartLinx software, companies are able to unify their processes and departments and make them more efficient, saving them significant money in the process.

SmartLinx was founded in 2000 and maintains 100 staff members. It operates from its headquarters in Edison, New Jersey, United States, and has a support center in North Charleston, South Carolina, United States.

A Focus on Customer Service

A personal approach with their partners only improves business relationships and increases success for SmartLinx, according to CEO Marina Aslanyan.

“We don’t work with ‘clients,’” she told Forbes. “We consider them our partners, and we provide services to them that allow them to transform their businesses.”

The company’s laser focus on customer service, which includes using scorecards to enable customer health monitoring and value confirmation, earned it the Bronze Stevie® Award for Best Use of Technology in Customer Service in the Computer Industries category.

It is not, however, the first time SmartLinx has crossed the stage at a Stevie Awards ceremony. In 2017, the management team won a Bronze Stevie Award for Innovation in Customer Service. In 2016, the firm earned a gold Stevie for Customer Service Management Team of the Year.

The company’s commitment to creating a satisfying user experience made this latest accolade all the more special, according to Darcy Grabenstein, a content manager at SmartLinx.

“The Stevie Awards, particularly those for customer service, underscore the priority SmartLinx places on customer success,” Grabenstein says. “They validate our efforts to ensure our customers are satisfied, not only with our products but with the support behind them.”

Two SmartLinx customer support team members also earned individual awards in the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service this year. Thomas VanAntwerp, a customer support team leader, won the gold award for Young Customer Service Professional of the Year in the Technology Industries segment, and Brandon Tahquette, a customer support specialist, won a silver award as Front-Line Customer Service Professional of the Year.

The leadership team consistently ensures innovation and diversity are part of the company’s culture. Grabenstein says the team regularly evaluates and advances technology concepts; targets industry challenges, such as those evolving in the ACA, senior care, and health care fields; and encourages growth, training, and sharing perspectives in the workplace. This fosters a healthy working environment and company growth.

“We are growing rapidly, but we are committed to maintaining the level of service our clients are accustomed to,” says Grabenstein. “We are committed to their success.”

Tags: customer service success, customer service awards, sales awards, sales turnaround, business developement

The Tech Department Behind TGI Fridays

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Sep 04, 2018 @ 11:45 AM

Although Alan Stillman didn’t invent the phrase “TGIF,” he knew how universal the feeling was, and he opened the first TGI Fridays restaurant in 1965 in New York, United States.

As the original casual dining bar and grill, TGI Fridays offers authentic American food and legendary drinks, and it’s all served with genuine personal service.

Bringing people together to socialize and to celebrate the liberating spirit of Friday was the restaurant’s founding premise, and from this was born the brand promise: in here, it's always Friday.

To share the Friday experience all over the world, TGI Fridays proudly serves guests in over nine hundred restaurants in more than sixty countries. Making every day feel like Friday wouldn't be possible, however, without creating a place where friends feel free to get together. TGI Fridays takes pride in their nearly 74,000 skilled and knowledgeable team members who help serve their guests each and every day.

tgi fridays

Connected Experiences

Technology is revolutionizing the restaurant industry, and the influx of mobile capabilities, tablets, online ordering, and even AI-driven automation in the food and beverage space continues to accelerate and to create more meaningful and connected dining experiences.

Chief Experience Officer at TGI Fridays, Sherif Mityas, affirms the impact they’ve felt since winning a Gold Stevie Award®, especially as it pertains to their IT department.

“This is an amazing award for our team and for the organization as a whole. Being recognized as the best IT department of the year in The American Business Awards® is truly an honor, and it has created an immense sense of pride for every team member in the organization.”

By incorporating technology into the dining experience for their guests, TGI Fridays continues to make a concerted effort to create an innovative mindset for their entire brand. In many ways, according to Mityas, they consider themselves a “technology company that happens to sell beer and ribs.”

The team has also been recognized as a two-time winner of the CIO100 award (by CIO Magazine), a Digital50 award winner, and the Most Innovative Team (by the International Franchise Association).

Be Better, Do Better

TGI Fridays doesn’t just celebrate the Friday brand in their restaurants; they also pass that mentality to their staff members. As such, they allow all IT team members to leave early on Friday, which gives people time to enjoy their friends and family and, in turn, to be better and more productive at work.

Their IT team also comprises men and women from all walks of life and backgrounds. Ranging in age from twenty-two to seventy-five, the team members are over 60 percent women, and the minority workers hail from over twelve countries.

“It’s truly an exceptional team that does great things together for the benefit of our millions of guests around the world every day.”
 
A never-ending drive to be better and to do more has allowed a relatively small group to accomplish great things. One of the keys to their success is never settling for how things are expected to be.

“We're always challenging the status quo and asking what’s next,” says Mityas.

Tags: tech awards, it awards, The American Business Awards, innovative technology, awards technology

Lightcast.com Helps Independent Content Producers Find Success on Roku and Fire TV

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Aug 28, 2018 @ 04:51 PM

Over the past decade, there’s been a sea change in the way people consume video content. Today’s viewers can download and stream multimedia on their computers, as well as on mobile apps, social media sites, and a variety of connected TV devices, such as Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV.

Thanks to the proliferation of outlets—and a steep drop in production costs—you no longer have to be a major broadcast network or media conglomerate to gain viewers. Now, even small businesses, state and county governments, and churches are using these non-cable outlets, commonly referred to as “over the top,” or OTT, to reach a whole new audience.

While the barriers to entry are certainly less insurmountable than in the past, independent producers still need the tools to upload, manage, and publish their video and audio content on a wide range of media platforms. Lightcast.com has been helping clients overcome this exact challenge since its inception in 2010.

The company, which has offices in the United States (Charlotte, North Carolina) and Europe, bills itself as the one-stop shop for all its clients’ publishing needs. In addition to providing transcoding services—it creates more than a dozen renditions of each video in different bitrates—it offers a fully functional content management system and the ability to distribute multimedia using one of the world’s largest server networks.

It also helps organizations monetize their content by creating advertising, pay-per-view, and subscription strategies. By eliminating the need to work with video ad networks—what it calls the industry middlemen—the company claims content creators can boost their net revenue.

The “Democratization” of Video

“The shift away from mere streaming on websites to OTT has kept all streaming providers and online video platforms on their toes,” says the company’s managing director, Andreas Kisslinger. “Lightcast.com, in particular, has really enjoyed, welcomed, embraced, and promoted this change as we see the new publishing channels and platforms as a huge opportunity for media publishers.”

lightcastFor Kisslinger, the changes in the media landscape enable organizations of all stripes to amplify their messages and to expand their reach.

“It’s a chance for democratization of information flow, creativity, and entrepreneurship among independent producers, of which many are highly successful,” he says.

Lightcast, whose Media Cloud solution won the Gold StevieⓇ Award  in The American Business Awards® for New Product or Service of the Year in the CMS category, has tapped in to those opportunities as well as anyone. Its software suite now helps support a multitude of media outlets on social media, connected TV, and mobile apps. Today, InTouch Ministries, Foody TV, and All About Golf are among the thousands of clients Lightcast helps connect with new audiences. It’s an impressive achievement for a company that started with little and worked tirelessly with its “bootstraps” mentality.

“We are all young entrepreneurs from various countries. All self-funded and self-made, without any venture capital or connections behind our backs,” says Kisslinger. “Instead of using investment capital, we built our business exclusively with sweat, blood, and tears—and, most of all, the satisfaction of our customers who share their excitement about our products with others."

Kisslinger acknowledges that keeping a trans-Atlantic operation going isn’t always easy, though. The staff has to continually navigate language and time zone differences to make it work. For Kisslinger, however, what they have in common is more important: a desire to go above and beyond for their customers.

One of the company’s keys to success is a relentless pursuit of the perfect multimedia publishing suite.

“We have a proprietary CRM system and database in which we record every feedback, every wish, and every need customers send us. We do this in order to refine the user interfaces and feature sets of our software-as-a-service offering,” says Kisslinger.

This approach helped the company earn numerous awards for product design over the past few years, but for Kisslinger, snagging the Stevie Award was particularly satisfying.

“We regard the Stevie as one of the most important and prestigious awards a business can win,” he says. “It’s boosted the excitement and self-esteem of our teams—especially among our hardworking coders, web developers, and graphic designers. Everyone is especially excited and grateful over this year's award,” he says.

Tags: new product awards, creative media awards, tech awards

Stevie Awards Announce Winners of 2018 Best of the IBA Awards

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Aug 22, 2018 @ 09:02 AM

The Stevie® Awards have announced the winners of the Best of the IBA Awards in The 2018 (15th Annual) International Business Awards®, the world’s premier business awards competition.

Nominees in the 2018 IBAs were not able to apply for the Best of the IBA Awards directly. Winners were determined by a points system based on the total number of awards won in the IBAs with a Gold Stevie win counting for three points, a Silver Stevie win for two points, and a Bronze Stevie win for 1.5 points. 

This year’s Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners in The International Business Awards were announced on 9 August. The winners of the Best of the IBA Awards will be presented with Grand Stevie Award trophies at The 15th Annual International Business Awards banquet at the Intercontinental London Park Lane Hotel on 20 October. 

Winners of the 2018 Grand Stevie Awards are:

Grand stevie winner

Most Honored Organization: International mail and logistics company DP DHL Group, with 84.5 award points earned by Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie-winning entries submitted by their offices and affiliates in 30 countries. With approximately 520,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories, the Group generated revenues of more than 60 billion Euros in 2017.

Most Honored Public Relations Agency: ASDA’A BCW, with a total of 53 award points earned by Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie-winning entries submitted on behalf of clients like Ford and GEMS Education. The company, headquartered in Dubai with 11 offices in the Middle East, also won a Top 10 Grand Stevie Award in 2017.

Most Honored Marketing AgencyGXEVER, with a total of 25 points earned by Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie-winning entries submitted by their headquarters in Beijing and offices in Shanghai, Chongqing, and most of China’s smaller cities.

Most Honored Interactive Services AgencyMagnet20, with 26.5 points earned by Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie-winning entries submitted by their office in Istanbul, Turkey for Stevies won on behalf of clients including GSK Turkey Company and Akçansa Company.

Top 10: These are the top Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie winners among all other organizations honored in the 2018 IBAs. They’ll also be presented with Grand Stevie Award trophies.  Because of ties there are 11 honorees in the Top 10 this year:

  1. Telkom Indonesia – Jakarta (83.5 points)
  2. PT Petrokimia Gresik – Gresik, Indonesia (31.5)
  3. Ooredoo Group – worldwide (30.5)
  4. PJ Lhuillier, Inc (PJLI) – Manila, Philippines (30)
  5. FIS – Jacksonville, FL USA (29.5)
  6. (tie) Akbank – Istanbul, Turkey (28)

            Yapi Kredi Bank – Istanbul, Turkey (28)

  1. Turk Telekom – Istanbul, Turkey (26)
  2. LLORENTE & CUENCA – Madrid, Spain (25.5)
  3. (tie) Makers Nutrition – Hauppauge, NY USA (23)

              Jeunesse Global – Lake Mary, FL USA (23)

“Of all the outstanding organizations and achievements that were recognized among this year’s record-breaking number of IBA nominations, these 15 organizations stand out as the ones with the widest breadth of achievement,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards. “The Best of the IBA Awards are intended to honor organizations that show an especially strong dedication to honoring the work of their employees, commitment to their clients, and a sense of innovation, and we look forward to celebrating these firms with Grand Stevie Award trophies at our gala event in London on 20 October.”

The International Business Awards feature a wide variety of categories to recognize achievement in every facet of work life, including management awards, new product awards, marketing awards, PR awards, customer service awards, website awards, and more.

Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award placements in the 2018 IBAs were determined by the average scores of more than 200 professionals worldwide in the three-month judging process.

For more information about The International Business Awards, including a complete list of all Stevie Award winners in the 2018 competition, visit www.StevieAwards.com/IBA.

Tags: marketing awards, PR awards, grand awards

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