The Stevie Awards Blog

A Stevie Winner's Pursuit of Life-Changing Products

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Oct 30, 2018 @ 04:42 PM

For most people, participating in conversations and listening to music are easy to take for granted. For those with hearing impairment, these everyday activities are a major challenge.

Over the past 71 years, Phonak, which is based in Zurich, Switzerland, has been working to eliminate those hurdles for customers around the globe. After many years of dedication in the industry, the company’s achievements now include a litany of technological breakthroughs, each resulting in hearing devices that are more discreet, effective, and versatile than ever before.

phonakA member of the Swiss corporation Sonova Group, Phonak launched the world’s first behind-the-ear hearing aid in the early 1970s, and a few years later, they introduced the first digitally programmable hearing device. In the 1990s, Phonak developed the market’s smallest FM receiver, which paired with a wireless transmitter to minimize background noises and to enhance the clarity of individual voices.

The desire to push the boundaries of hearing technology still drives the company today, resulting in a series of high-profile accolades. Phonak recently launched Audéo B-Direct, the first hearing aid that can connect to any Bluetooth®-equipped mobile device. The product, which earned the organization a Silver Stevie Award for Best Product at The American Business Awards® this summer, automatically senses the user’s surroundings and adjusts the output to make answering phone calls and holding conversations simpler.

On the heels of that achievement, Phonak was named winner of the Gold Stevie for Best Product at The International Business Awards®. This time it was for its cutting-edge Virto B-Titanium hearing aid. Developed using custom 3-D printing, the device capitalizes on titanium’s lightweight and superior strength. The result is a hearing aid that’s virtually unnoticeable to the outside observer.

The Stevie Awards are an extremely important achievement to us. They demonstrate our ongoing commitment to create a consistent, scalable, sustainable competitive advantage within Phonak,” says John Urbaniak, Associate Director, Media Relations US Hearing Instruments at Sonova.

Helping Families Cope with Hearing Loss

The firm’s management has made research and development a top priority going forward. In April, Phonak announced a new audiological center of excellence at its audiology research center outside of Chicago, Illinois, United States. The center will serve as a hub for independent research, as well as ongoing collaborations with a network of top audiology experts and institutions around the globe.

“Tackling everything from pediatric to profound hearing loss, Phonak remains committed to creating hearing solutions that change people’s lives and help them thrive socially and emotionally,” Urbaniak says.

The Swiss company is using its stature in the industry to increase awareness of hearing loss solutions. To that end, it recently partnered with a charity called Songs of Sound, which helps improve access to hearing loss testing and the technology to help correct it.

With support from sponsors like Phonak, Songs for Sound holds a free weekend retreat each year that educates families of children with hearing loss about new technologies. It also teaches them how to navigate the health care system in order to get optimal care. In addition to the camp, the partnership with Phonak helps assist the organization’s Hear the Music Project and mobile clinic tours, which provide 10,000 to 15,000 people a year with access to free hearing tests.

Phonak also works to reduce the stigma that sometimes surrounds hearing loss by leaning on successful hearing-impaired celebrities. For example, it inked a sponsorship deal with stand-up comedian D.J. Demers, a contestant on season 11 of America’s Got Talent. His performances often revolve around his experiences as a youth in need of hearing aids.

The organization also turned Swiss aerialist Jason Brügger into a brand advocate. In this role, he’s involved in a range of projects worldwide to help support those with hearing impairments. Additionally, U.S. golfer and Deaflympics gold medalist Kaylin Yost was a guest keynote speaker at Phonak-sponsored summer camps for children with hearing loss.

“With these ambassadors, we've been able to reach thousands through conferences, community outreach, and speaking opportunities,” adds Urbaniak.

In doing so, the company known for developing state-of-the-art technology has also helped hearing-impaired people heal on an emotional level, too.

Tags: new product awards, best product of the year, service awards, new products and services

Supercharge Your App With Skuid

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Sep 27, 2017 @ 12:51 PM

Enterprise apps should stop forcing people to think like machines. That’s what Skuid believes and has been working on since they were founded in 2013. They believe apps should behave more like the humans who use them, so everyone can thrive in a digital world. With Skuid’s simple-to-use but incredibly robust tools, anyone can build highly complex, bespoke enterprise apps. More than five million users in 32 countries use Skuid to engage with each other, with data and with new customers in meaningful ways—all without writing a single line of code. That’s why they won a Stevie Award in a New Product of the Year category of The 2017 American Business Awards.

More Human, Less Machine

Skuid.jpgSkuid helps customers quickly build a user experience and adapt it on their own, without expensive code or engineering resources. Instead of coding a unique solution for every customer, Skuid empowers the customer to customize. Skuid CEO Ken McElrath is a designer and an entrepreneur. Ken's background in design has a significant impact on how Skuid operates.

“Skuid is founded on the belief that software should be more human and less machine—that software should work the way people work instead of forcing people to behave like machines.”

Skuid gives customers the individual components to create the impressive structures of an app, while at the same time making the structure easy to change and to scale.

Consistent Results

Skuid recently commissioned Forrester Research to do a study on the value customers get from using Skuid. The study found that Skuid delivers an ROI of 365%, has a payback period of just one month and has a 73% faster development time than other solutions. Ken says they quickly grew into a platform that would give anyone (not just an IT professional) the power and ability to assemble bespoke apps without writing code.

“Companies are demanding better ways to develop apps and employees are demanding that their enterprise apps be as intuitive and easy to use as the personal apps on their iPhone. Skuid has been successful because we deliver solutions that work. That's why we're working with 10% of the Fortune 100.”

Major Validation

Skuid believes they’ve been successful because they consistently deliver results. These results have attracted attention from Fortune 100 companies to SMBs and non-profits. Skuid has over five million users across 30+ countries and in various verticals. Skuid’s customers are diverse in many ways, but they’re united by a dedication to greatness. When the Stevie Awards caught wind of Skuid, Ken says they also helped validate their hard work.

“A Stevie Award has helped add to Skuid's third-party recognition and validation. Having won such a prestigious award and up against more than 10,000 entries from other organizations is a huge honor. The fact that more than 190 professionals worldwide, including industry analysts, journalists and other industry experts, participated in the judging process is major industry validation.”

They don’t settle for “good enough” in the way they do business, which is why they use Skuid—to create exceptional user experiences that accelerate sales productivity, supercharge customer service and amplify efficiency.

Not Like Anything Else

When it comes to enterprise software, one size doesn’t fit all. No company is exactly like another, and each company needs different systems to support their unique business process. Those with the resources spend millions to try to customize with code, but this slows everything down and creates significant maintenance overhead. Writing code to customize a generic solution is expensive, inflexible and far from optimal. Ken believes Skuid has figured out how to service this intricate challenge.

“Because apps built with Skuid are bespoke—made to order—they align to a user’s business needs perfectly. This means that rather than forcing a user's business processes into an off-the-shelf enterprise software solution, Skuid users can tailor their business apps to unlimited degrees without writing code.”

Because each app is tailored to user needs, Skuid customers have seen massive productivity gains to drive success. Skuid is perfectly positioned to meet this need. 

Tags: new product awards, service awards

The Stevie Awards for Great Employers Recognizes New Products & Services

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Jun 27, 2016 @ 04:36 PM

The Stevie® Awards is accepting entries for the first annual Stevie Awards for Great Employers, which will honor the world’s best companies to work for and the HR teams and professionals, HR achievements, new products and services, and suppliers that help to create and drive great workplaces.

Other Stevie Awards programs such as The American Business Awards and The International Business Awards do offer New Product & Service categories, but the categories we will highlight today are specifically for the best HR products and services. This is one of the larger category groups in the Stevie Awards for Great Employers. No other competition offers these category varieties.

The last day entries will be accepted is July 20 with payment of a late fee. Entry details are available at www.StevieAwards.com/HR

Solution_Concept_Human_on_Blackboard-1.jpgREVIEW THE ENTRY KIT HERE.

New Product & Service Categories:

These categories recognize specific achievements - individual, team, or organizational - since the beginning of 2015.

The information requirements for entries:

in these categories in the 2016 competition include:
a.  An essay of up to 625 words describing the nominated product or service: its benefits, features, functions, and sales results to date.

b.  Summarize in up to 10 bullet points (up to 150 words) the chief benefits, features, and functions of the nominated product or service.

c.  Add to your entry up to 10 webpage links and up to 10 document uploads to support your case to the judges.  These might be press articles, press releases, videos, or images, for example. 

SOFTWARE

F01      360 Degree Feedback Solution - New
F02      360 Degree Feedback Solution - New Version
F03      Applicant Assessment or Tracking Solution - New
F04      Applicant Assessment or Tracking Solution – New Version
F05      Attendance Tracking Solution - New
F06      Attendance Tracking Solution - New Version
F07      Benefits Management Solution - New
F08      Benefits Management Solution - New Version
F09      Compensation Management Solution - New
F10      Compensation Management Solution - New Version
F11      Course Authoring Solution - New
F12      Course Authoring Solution - New Version
F13      Employee Engagement Solution - New
F14      Employee Engagement Solution - New Version
F15      Employee Recognition Solution - New
F16      Employee Recognition Solution - New Version
F17      Employee Scheduling Solution - New
F18      Employee Scheduling Solution - New Version
F19      HR Reporting Solution - New
F20      HR Reporting Solution - New Version
F21      Human Capital Management Solution - New
F22      Human Capital Management Solution - New Version
F23      Human Resource Information System - New
F24      Human Resource Information System - New Version
F25      Human Resource Management System - New
F26      Human Resource Management System - New Version
F27      Job Board Solution - New
F28      Job Board Solution - New Version
F29      Learning Management Solution - New
F30      Learning Management Solution - New Version
F31      Onboarding Solution - New
F32      Onboarding Solution - New Version
F33      Payroll Management Solution - New
F34      Payroll Management Solution - New Version
F35      Performance Appraisal Solution - New
F36      Performance Appraisal Solution - New Version
F37      Performance Management Solution - New
F38      Performance Management Solution - New Version
F39      Self-Service HR Solution - New
F40      Self-Service HR Solution - New Version
F41      Talent Management Solution - New
F42      Talent Management Solution - New Version
F43      Time and Expense Solution - New
F44      Time and Expense Solution - New Version
F45      Workforce Management Solution - New
F46      Workforce Management Solution - New Version

           
TRAINING PROGRAMS OR MEDIA

May be blended, instructor-led, microlearning, video or web-based. 

F50      Brand Training
F51      Compliance Training
F52      Consumer Education Training
F53      Diversity or Sensitivity Training
F54      Interpersonal Skills Training
F55      Leadership Training
F56      Literacy Training
F57      Managerial Training
F58      New Hire Training
F59      Problem-Solving Training
F60      Product Training
F61      Professional or Legal Training
F62      Quality Training
F63      Safety Training
F64      Sales Training
F65      Skills Training
F66      Systems Training
F67      Technical Training
F68      Other


CURATED TRAINING PLATFORM OF THE YEAR

F70      Consumer
F71      Industrial/Technical
F72      Managerial/Professional
F73      Technology
F74      Other

Tags: hr awards, human resources awards, new product awards, Stevie Awards for Great Employers, service awards

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