New Product Awards Blog

Michael Gallagher

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11-Year-Old Product Innovator Max Ash Becomes Youngest-Ever Stevie Award Winner

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, May 05, 2016 @ 03:15 PM

Max Ash is the 11-year-old "chief creator" of MAX'IS Creations, the Boston-based company whose motto is "The world would be better if we could play with our food!TM"  Max just became the youngest-ever winner of a Stevie® Award when he won the Gold Stevie for Product Developer of the Year in The 14th Annual American Business Awards.  (Winners were announced on Monday, May 2.) 

MaxAsh.jpgHere is Max's story, just as he presented it to the ABA judges, some of the most accomplished people in the world of business.

"I have lots of ideas. But, The Mug With A Hoop!TM is my best so far. In 2nd grade art class my teacher told us to make a mug.  I like sports and hot chocolate so I put a hoop on my mug for tossing marshmallows into hot cocoa.  I pitched my idea at Babson College and was named a top ten finalist in an innovation contest at Fenway Park. I ran a successful crowdfunding campaign, found a sourcing partner to allow large scale manufacturing overseas, and launched on the market in 2014.  Now, with LOTS of help from my mom, dad and brother Sam, MAX’IS Creations has become a profitable family business!

"In the last year, my team and I launched a multi-sport product line that now includes The Mug With A Glove! TM, The Mug With A Goalpost! TM, The Soccer Mug With A Goal! TM, and The Hockey Mug With A Net!TM   We sold over 27,500 mugs in 2015 (that’s over $665,000 in retail sales across channels) bringing the total retail sales to over $1 Million since first launching on the market in June of 2014.  Based on industry norms, that’s a LOT of mugs!  

"My mugs created a whole new market. Adults like my mugs because they make them feel like kids again.  And kids like my mugs because they’re fun. My mugs are sold at places like Nordstrom, The Grommet, Uncommongoods, Hammacher Schlemmer, and the Basketball Hall of Fame! The Mug With A Hoop! TM is currently a top selling mug on Amazon.

"Lots of other great things happened in 2015. I got my first patent (at age 10) with additional design and utility patents pending.  I signed my first licensing deal with Typo/Cotton On who quickly sold through the Basketball Mug!  And I entered into a partnership with Boelter Brands, a major licensed drinkware company to bring MAX’IS Creations licensed mugs to market.  An NCAA March Madness program is currently underway with NBA, MLB, MLS, NFL, NHL mugs coming next!

"In the past year, me and my mugs have been featured in places like The Boston Globe, CNN Money and Gift Shop Magazine, with product placements on Real Simple, Woman’s Day and Buzzfeed.  A Vat-19 video of my mug went viral with over 4 million views! Queen Latifah featured me on her show and my basketball and hockey mugs made separate appearances on The Today Show!  

"I happen to have dyslexia, a language-based learning disability often linked to creativity. Kids like me see the world differently and the world is lucky that we do! 1 in 5 kids in the U.S. struggles with learning and attention issues related to reading, writing, math, organization and attention. People with learning and attention issues can thrive when they get the support they need. That’s why I donate five percent of the profits from the sale of my mugs to dyslexia-related charities and nonprofits like, which are dedicated to empowering parents of kids like me.

"In the last year I shared the stage with people like Daymond John, John Legend and others to showcase the creative advantage of people with dyslexia.  We recently updated my packaging to feature as a public service announcement for this great resource.  Since January 2015 I have donated thousands of dollars to dyslexia-related causes and over 1000 mugs to charity.  Being honored by the Stevie Awards will help people see that kids like me are smart and can achieve success with the right supports. Imagine what other good ideas our world will have when ALL kids who think and learn differently are understood!

Congratulations Max, we look forward to presenting your Gold Stevie Award to you on June 20 at The American Business Awards gala in New York.

Tags: product of the year, new product awards, Max'is Creations, Max Ash

Education Technology Takes the Spotlight in New Product Awards

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 @ 04:08 PM

Classroom-TechnologyThe new product awards categories are among the most popular in all Stevie® Awards competitions.  Those in The American Business Awards are especially competitive, at least partially because the ABAs feature the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products, a worldwide public vote that gives nominees an opportunity to win a second award, as chosen by the general public, in addition to the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Awards conferred by the scores of one's peers.

Educational products are services are ready to join the spotlight in The 13th Annual American Business Awards, which is currently accepting entries.  (The final entry deadline is April 22.)  The Stevie Awards have added a suite of new product categories this year just to recognize the products and services that help teachers and educational administrators excel at their jobs.

These new categories recognize applications, products and services from developers of educational software, digital content, online learning services, and related technologies across the K-20 sector.  The 2015 ABAs will recognize educational products and services that were introduced to the marketplace since January 1, 2014.  Nominated products and services may be brand new or new versions of existing products.

Information required for nominations to these categories include:

a. An essay of up to 650 words describing the product or service: it's features, functions, benefits, and results to date. 

b. In bullet-list form, a brief summary (up to 150 words) of up to 10 of the nominated product's chief features and benefits.

c. Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges.  For new product/service entries these uploads and links might include product demonstration videos, product reviews, images, etc.

Here, then, are the new categories for educational products and services.

S01. Education - Arts & Creativity Solution
S02. Education - Career and Workforce Readiness Solution
S03. Education - Classroom Management Solution
S04. Education - Collaborative Social Media Solution for Educators
S05. Education - Cross-Curricular Solution
S06. Education - Education Cloud-based Solution
S07. Education - ELL/World Language Acquisition Instructional Solution
S08. Education - Game-based Curriculum Solution
S09. Education - Instructional Solution in Other Curriculum Areas
S10. Education - K-12 Course or Learning Management Solution
S11. Education - K-12 Enterprise Solution
S12. Education - Learning Capacity-Building Solution
S13. Education - Mathematics Instructional Solution
S14. Education - PK-12 Personalized Learning Solution
S15. Education - Postsecondary Enterprise Solution
S16. Education - Postsecondary Learning Management Solution
S17. Education - Postsecondary Learning Solution
S18. Education - Postsecondary Personalized Learning Solution
S19. Education - Professional Learning Solution for Education
S20. Education - Reading/English/Language Arts Instructional Solution
S21. Education - Science Instructional Solution
S22. Education - Social Sciences or Social Studies Instructional Solution
S23. Education - Solution for Special Needs Students
S24. Education - Source for Reference or Education Resources
S25. Education - Student Assessment Solution
S26. Education - Virtual Learning Solution

"We're really pleased to be able to recognize products and services that serve the needs of educators in this year's American Business Awards," said Stevie Awards president Michael Gallagher.  "We've already received quite a good number of excellent entries in these categories, and we're looking forward to the judges decisions."

Entries will be judged by educators and educational technology experts, and the finalists will be announced in early May.  Awards in the ABAs' new product awards categories will be presented in San Francisco on September 11.  Attendance is not required to win.

Have you built a better mousetrap to help teachers capture the hearts of minds of students?  Nominate your work in The 2015 American Business Awards.



Tags: product awards, new product awards, best new products

Category Spotlight: New Product Awards in the 2015 Stevies

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Feb 12, 2015 @ 12:34 PM

New_ProductThe focus of this category spotlight is on the many opportunities that developers and marketers of new products and services have to pursue recognition for their work in this year's Stevie Awards programs, in The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, and the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards in particular. Every one of the Stevie Awards competitions has some number of categories to recognize new products and services. Each year the Stevie Awards receive thousands of new product nominations.

As in all categories in Stevie Awards competitions, winners are determined by several hundred professionals around the world, acting as judges. (For a description of the judging and awards process, read this article.)

Let's begin here with the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, which are in their second year. These awards are open to all organizations operating in the 22 nations of the Asia-Pacific region. The final entry deadline for this competition this year is March 11. Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie winners will be announced on April 1, and the winners celebrated during a gala event in Shanghai, China on May 15.

Nominated products and services in the Asia-Pacific awards may be completely new or new versions of pre-existing offerings. The 2015 awards will recognize new products, or new versions of products, issued since July 1 2013, the beginning of the eligibility period. This year's competition features 51 new product awards categories, alphabetically from Business-to-Business Products to Transportation products and services. Thirty of those 51 categories are for software products of various types.

What do you need to prepare to enter the new product categories in the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards? Just an essay of up to 625 words, describing the nominated product or service, including its features, functions, benefits, and market performance to date. The essay may be in any of seven languages, including Chinese, English, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay and Thai. You can complement the essay with up to five (5) links to online news stories, reviews, or other web-based files, and you may upload up to five (5) files to our server for the judges, which may include product manuals, photographs, videos, and the like.

Ready to Enter?  Begin Here

GSBStevies1012-1The International Business Awards have grown to be recognized as the world's top honors for achievement in the workplace. All organizations worldwide may participate, and last year's IBAs attracted more than 3,300 from organizations in over 50 nations. Hundreds of those nominations were of new products and services.

The 2015 competition has three entry deadlines. Winners will be announced in August, and the winners celebrated during an event in Toronto, Canada in October. See the full IBA calendar here.

Nominated products and services in the IBAs may be completely new or new versions of pre-existing offerings. The 2015 awards will recognize new or new-version products issued since January 1, 2014. Like the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the IBAs also feature 51 new product awards categories. However, the IBAs also offer the opportunity seek recognition for your entire product development team, in a category called Product Development/Management Department or Team of the Year, as well as for your team's fearless leader, in a category named Product Development/Management Executive of the Year.

Entries to these IBA categories require the submission of an essay of up to 650 words, describing the nominated product or service, including its features, functions, benefits, and market performance to date. Beginning this year, all entries to the IBAs must be submitted in English. With the essay you have the option to upload to our server any number of supporting materials that will help to tell your story to the judges. These might include product reviews, customer testimonials, product demonstration videos and photos, and work samples, for example.

Enter the IBAs Now

The American Business Awards are recognized as the top business awards program in the U.S.A. All organizations operating in the U.S.A. may submit entries. Two early-bird entry deadlines for the 2015 ABAs have come and gone, and two deadlines remain: March 25, and a late deadline of April 22. Finalists will be announced May 6, and the awards presented during two ceremonies: June 22 in Chicago, and September 11 in San Francisco. The new product awards will be presented at the September 11 event.

Nominated products and services in the ABAs may be completely new or new versions of pre-existing offerings. The 2015 awards will recognize new or new-version products issued since January 1, 2014. The ABAs have more new product and service categories than any other Stevie Awards competition, and the menu has grown even more diverse in 2015. See the full list of ABA new product categories. There are 28 categories for software products of various types, 20 categories for a variety of other product types, and two completely new category groups: 24 categories for Content-related products and services, such as Content Marketing Solutions, Mobile Publishing Technology, and Service Using Aggregated Content; and 26 categories for Education-related offerings, including Classroom Management Solution, K-12 Enterprise Solution, and Solution for Special Needs Students, among others.

Entries to these ABA categories require the submission of an essay of up to 650 words, describing the nominated product or service, including its features, functions, benefits, and market performance to date. Entries must be submitted in English. With the essay you have the option to upload to our server any number of supporting materials that will help to tell your story to the judges. These might include product reviews, customer testimonials, product demonstration videos and photos, and work samples, for example.

PeoplesChoice_Logo_CNominating your product or service in The American Business Awards, if you're eligible to do that, has an important added benefit: Every new product or service nominated in the ABAs will automatically be included in voting for the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products.  Voting will be conducted by the general public in July-August, and the winners will be honored at the ABA's new product & tech awards ceremony in San Francisco in September.  So nominees in these categories have the opportunity to win two Stevie Awards: one as adjudged by your peers, and the other as voted by your customers, employees, fans and followers.


Building the next great mousetrap isn't necessarily it's own reward. Professional and public acclaim can be useful tools for building your brand, accruing valuable third-party recognition, and stoking esprit de corps among your team. Winning a Stevie Award for your new product or service in 2015 can help you to achieve these goals.


Tags: product of the year, product awards, new product awards, new product of the year

Stevie Awards Winner Navantis & NBC News Partner to Advance Online Learning

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Aug 20, 2013 @ 03:40 PM

Navantis Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, won the Gold Stevie® Award for Best New Business Intelligence Solution in the new product awards categories of the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top honors for business development, sales, contact center, and customer service professionals. The competition also features categories that recognize new products and services used by these professionals.  (Entries to the 2014 edition are now being accepted - learn more here.)

Here we look at how Navantis has partnered with NBC News to advance online learning technologies.

It’s 3:00AM in the morning. A college student has a paper due at 9:00AM. In a remote farming community, a grade ten student is studying for an exam and struggling to download a required video assignment. Long after putting her own children to bed, a public school teacher is completing her lesson plan. All of these scenarios are real and all of these people expect the NBC Learn website to be available at any time of the day or night to help them meet their professional and classroom commitments.

NBC Learn is the educational arm of NBC News and is dedicated to making historic stories, images, and primary source documents available on-demand to teachers, students, and parents by providing access to more than 14,000 stories from the NBC News archives—one of the largest news archives in the world, with records dating back to the 1920s.

A State-of-the-art Call Center

NBC Learn’s hundreds of thousands of clients—teachers, students, and parents—rely on being able to access the website from a PC, MAC, or iPad, at school or at home, 24/7. They expect a site that is always available and with technical support that is always on.

Providing high-quality technical support around the clock and being able to solve every kind of issue facing every type of user was a challenge. Realizing they couldn’t do it alone, NBC Learn turned to the expert technical Call Center team at Navantis for help.

Karl WeissUnder the leadership of Vice President Client Support Karl Weiss, Navantis operates a state-of-the-art call center incorporating voice calls, email, chat, collaboration, and remote technical assist. Navantis acts transparently so that NBC Learn clients never realize they are dealing with an outsourced team. Every call, email, and instant message is handled with care and monitored under strict Service Level Agreements.

Deep Business Insight

Navantis manages all of the case tracking and reporting, and provides deep business insight back to NBC Learn for continuous improvement.

An advanced offering that Navantis includes is usage tracking, which helps to identify schools with reduced participation. Once identified, the Navantis reach- out program encourages online training through webinars, resulting in better understanding, awareness, and increased usage of the NBC Learn offerings while also ensuring that 21st century education continues to help teachers and students improve skills and knowledge.

Building a Brighter Future

“Nobody else in our industry is able to approach the level of content and support provided by NBC Learn, making us the most competitive and compelling solution in the market today,” commented Michael Levin, Director of Sales and Technical Operations at NBC Learn. “Navantis has completed our service offering by providing a seamless experience for our community and becoming a trusted member of our team. They treat our clients with patience and respect, ensuring that no problem goes unsolved.”

Because of the work that the Navantis team continues to do, NBC Learn is able to fully meet the needs of their clients. Thousands of teachers, students, and parents are now able to streamline videos; access history on-demand; enhance lesson plans; and continue to build a brighter future with full support.

"We are delighted to be recognized for excellence in customer service and support," commented Karl Weiss on receiving the Gold Stevie Award. "The partnership with NBC Learn has enabled both of our organizations to innovate, delivering unparalleled levels of service to students, teachers and families across the country and helping to set a standard for 21st century learning."

About Karl Weiss: 

Karl Weiss is a seasoned Customer Care and Services professional with over thirty years of experience in Information Services operations. Karl builds customer care environments that provide innovation aimed at driving sales, marketing, business intelligence, development, and customer service. He has earned an enviable reputation for customer service excellence and for providing complex implementation and support of large-scale network deployments for multinational clients such as Lafarge, Royal Bank, and Magna. Karl’s core operational principles are client satisfaction and delivery excellence during all phases of deployment and support. His expertise spans quality assurance, process re-engineering, software development, technical support, and design, all of which provide tremendous value to Navantis.

About Navantis:

Navantis combines strategy, design, and technology to help their clients realize new opportunities, solve business challenges, and focus on excellence in customer service and delivery. Founded in 1998, Navantis was Microsoft's Canadian Partner of the year in 2012, and is the partner channel with the most industry awards including recognition from Microsoft, CDN Magazine, and the Branham Group.

Tags: customer service awards, stevie awards, product of the year, new product awards, sales awards, navantis, nbc news, best new product

Winners Announced in People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Aug 20, 2013 @ 01:00 PM

MicroStrategy Express is the big winner in the 2013 People's Choice Stevie® Awards for Favorite New Products, a feature of The American Business Awards, the U.S.A.’s top business awards program, which are now in their 11th year.

People's Choice Stevie Award for Favorite New ProductsThe nationwide public vote was conducted this summer, with the highest number of votes deciding the winners in 34 product categories.  More than 20,000 votes were cast.

MicroStrategy Express was the top vote-getter in three categories.  NetScout Systems’ nGenius 3900 series packet flow switch received the most votes in two categories.

The crystal People’s Choice Stevie Awards will be presented to winners at The American Business Awards’ new product and tech awards banquet on Monday, September 16 at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco.  Tickets for the event are now on sale.  There the winners of peer-adjudicated Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Awards will also be announced and presented their awards.  More than 250 nominees and their guests are expected to attend.

All new products and services to be honored in the new product awards categories of this year’s American Business Awards were eligible to be included in voting for the people’s choice awards.

The winners of the 2013 People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products are:

Favorite Business-to-Business Product: MicroStrategy Express

Favorite Business-to-Business Service: Beyond20 IT Service Management Launchpad Assessment

Favorite Consumer Electronics Product: Silicon Image’s UltraGig™ 6400 60GHz WirelessHD® Transmitter

Favorite Consumer Product: Reliv International's LunaRich X

Favorite Consumer Service: FDIC's Money Smart

Favorite Computer Hardware Product: BOXLIGHT's ProjectoWrite5

Favorite Networking Hardware Product: NetScout Systems’ nGenius 3900 series packet flow switch

Favorite Peripheral Hardware Product: KODAK SCANMATE i940 Scanner

Favorite Semiconductor Hardware Product: Marvell Mobile QuadCore – PXA1088

Favorite Storage Hardware Product: Overland Storage SnapScale X2

Favorite Health or Pharmaceutical Product: Vemma Nutrition's Verve Bold

Favorite Health or Pharmaceutical Service: CDC's Medical Monitoring Project

Favorite Industrial Product or Service: Graco Inc.'s Integrated Reactor Proportioning System

Favorite Business Intelligence Software: Teradata Aster Discovery Platform 5.10

Favorite Cloud Application or Service: MicroStrategy Express

Favorite Cloud Infrastructure or Platform: Stoneware's webNetwork 6.1

Favorite Collaboration or Social Networking Solution: Bloomfire

Favorite Content Management Solution: Telerik's Sitefinity

Favorite Electronic Commerce Solution:’s PC Postage Version 10.1

Favorite Financial Management Solution: Acumatica 3.0

Favorite Human Capital Management Solution: Paycor's Perform

Favorite Learning or Workforce Development Solution: Saba People Cloud

Favorite Marketing or Public Relations Solution: Acxiom Audience Propensities

Favorite Mobile On-Demand Solution: MicroStrategy Express

Favorite Mobile Operations Management Solution: Aternity for Mobile

Favorite Relationship Management Solution: Coveo for Salesforce

Favorite Security Solution: Quest One Identity Manager – Data Governance Edition

Favorite Software Development Solution: KonyOne Platform 5.0

Favorite Supply Chain Management Solution: Fieldglass' Global Solution

Favorite Systems Management Solution: Citrix GoToAssist

Favorite Other Software Solution: BillQuick with Forecasting and Intelligent Analytics

Favorite Telecommunications Product: NetScout Systems’ nGenius 3900 series packet flow switch

Favorite Telecommunications Service: BroadSoft UC-One

Favorite Transportation Product or Service: UltraShipTMS™ LoadFusion Optimize

About the Stevie® Awards

Stevie Awards are conferred in four programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.  A fifth program, the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, will debut later this year.  Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide.  Learn more about the Stevie Awards at  and follow the Stevie Awards on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Sponsors and partners of The 2013 American Business Awards include the Business TalkRadio Network, Callidus Software, Citrix Online, Dynamic Research Corporation, Experian Consumer Services, John Hancock Funds, LifeLock, PetRays, and SoftPro.

Tags: American business awards, stevie awards, ABAs, product of the year, new product awards, best new products, peoples choice stevie awards, peoples choice awards

Edwards Group Shows Why Working in a Vacuum Can Pay Off

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Aug 07, 2013 @ 10:07 AM

Edwards Group Limited in Crawley, United Kingdom won the Gold Stevie® Award for Best New Industrial Product or Service in the new product awards categories of last year’s International Business Awards , the world's top business honors.  (This year's IBA winners will be announced on August 14.) Here we look at how this global technology company affects all of us in one way or another.

Edwards Group Limited (NASDAQ: EVAC), the UK-based manufacturer of sophisticated vacuum products and abatement systems and a provider of related value-added services, beat off stiff competition from across the globe when its class-leading CXS dry vacuum pump was named a Best New Product in The 2012 International Business Awards.

EdwardsVideoNot many people realize how important it is to be able to create a vacuum and how this affects our lives and so many of the appliances we use daily.  To find out more, watch a short video created by Edwards.

On winning last year’s award, Sia Abbaszadeh, Edwards’ Chief Technology and Marketing Officer, commented: “2012 was truly a golden year for Edwards. After being honored with a momentous seventh Queen’s Award earlier in the year for our nEXT turbomolecular pump, and then successfully listing on the NASDAQ market, we were delighted to build on our success with a Gold Stevie® Award.”

“To have received this accolade for the CXS, so soon after its launch, was testament to the hard work and expertise of all those at Edwards who were involved in its conception. This award has set the CXS’ credentials beyond refute and places Edwards at the forefront of international innovation.”

Standing Out from the Competition
Edwards CXS is the latest generation dry vacuum pump for harsh chemical and pharmaceutical processing applications, and builds on Edwards’ strong record of innovation and application expertise. Since its introduction in 2011, it has set new industry standards for reliability, performance, and control.

Two elements of the cutting-edge CXS set it apart from competitor pumps. The novel tapered screw technology facilitates excellent liquid and solids handling leading to high operational reliability while providing deep vacuum down to 10-3 mbar. The range of built-in control and safety features makes the CXS easier and cheaper to install when compared to some pumps currently available on the market.

Edwards believes this is the first “plug and pump” system. The development of the CXS has proved to be a crucial tipping point for vacuum, taking the technology from “specialist equipment” to “utility.”

About Sia Abbaszadeh
Sia Abbaszadeh has served as Edwards’ Chief Technology & Marketing Officer since June 2010. Sia joined Edwards in November 1989 to lead new product development programs in semiconductor vacuum pumping. He has subsequently built a broad base of New Product Introduction capability for all the product and application sectors within Edwards. His responsibilities have included delivery of strategic growth plans by leading new product and technology development for the Semiconductor, Flat Panel Displays, and Emerging Technologies sectors. Recent responsibilities have included leading the Edwards’ Solar business growth program and doubling Edwards’ footprint within the sector.

Sia holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Non-Destructive Testing from Brunel University in London and a Masters of Science degree in Project Management from Brighton University.

About Edwards
Edwards is a leading developer and manufacturer of sophisticated vacuum products, abatement systems, and related value-added services. These are integral to manufacturing processes for semiconductors, flat panel displays, LEDs and solar cells; are used within an increasingly diverse range of industrial processes including power, glass and other coating applications, steel and other metallurgy, pharmaceutical, and chemical; and for both scientific instruments and a wide range of R&D applications.

Edwards has over 3,200 full-time employees and 500 temporary workers operating in approximately 30 countries worldwide engaged in the design, manufacture, and support of high technology vacuum and exhaust management equipment.  

Edwards’ American Depositary Shares trade on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol EVAC. Further information about Edwards can be found at

Tags: International business awards, stevie awards, new product awards, IBAs, edwards group

6 New Product Awards in the Sales & Customer Service Stevies

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Jan 12, 2012 @ 11:36 AM

Stevie AwrdsWe have added six new product awards and service awards categories to the 2012 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service The entry deadline is January 18th; get your entry kit here.)

Our new
new product awards categories include:
  • Business Intelligence Solution – New
  • Business Intelligence Solution – New Version
  • Incentive Management Solution – New
  • Incentive Management Solution – New Version
  • Sales Automation Solution – New
  • Sales Automation Solution – New Version

These bring the total number of new product and service awards categories in the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service to 16.  New and new-version solutions for sales, contact center, and customer service operations that were introduced to the marketplace after July 2010 are eligible to be nominated. 

The following information should be included in your submissions:

  • An essay of up to 500 words describing the product or service and its features, functions, benefits, and performance to date;
  • A brief biography (up to 100 words) of the leader of the nominated team or department; and
  • Any number of supporting materials, including demonstration videos, news articles, product reviews, and so on.

All new product awards Finalists will be notified on January 25. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the start of the Stevie Awards movement, all Finalists will now be recognized as Gold, Silver or Bronze Stevie Award winners. 2012 winners will be announced on February 27th at our 6th annual sales and customer service awards banquet at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

Not sure which new product or service award you should apply for? Call us at + 1 703-547-8389 or email us at!

Tags: customer service awards, new product awards, sales awards, good customer service, excellent customer service

How New Product Awards Winner Helps Merchants Protect Their Customers

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Dec 15, 2011 @ 11:56 AM

Payments management company Litle & Co of Lowell, Massachusetts, USA won a Stevie® Award for Best New IVR or Web Service Solution in the new product awards categories of the 2011 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Ben Saren, their VP of Marketing, will Chair the committee for final judging of the New Product & Service categories in the 2012 edition of the awards, which is accepting entries through January 18 (get your entry kit here).

As online credit card transactions increase, so do the risks. We look at how Litle & Co. is reducing these risks.

Jason PavoneIndustry statistics in the United States suggest that there were more than 900 data breaches involving more than 900 million credit card records in 2009 alone, yet the majority of merchants still keep customers’ credit card numbers on file.

Meanwhile, the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards for data security are still evolving as they relate to Data Loss Protection (DLP) technologies.

Ahead of the Competition

Litle & Co. has developed a forward-looking solution that protects consumer data. The company believes that tokenization is the next step in enabling safe removal of sensitive cardholder data from merchant systems. The company is ahead of other solution vendors in proactively addressing vulnerabilities in the payment chain of card transactions in order to protect merchants and, ultimately, consumers.

“We believe that best practice approaches in business-to-business customer service should include those in which the design, goal, and benefit is focused not just on the customer, but also on the customer’s customer,” said Jason Pavona, Executive Vice President, Product Management at Litle & Co.  “Our product vision is simple: Build, develop, and implement solutions that help our customers create more secure, more enduring, and more profitable relationships with their customers.”

The Litle Vault, introduced in September 2010, is a web-driven, platform-integrated, tokenization solution that enables card-not-present (CNP) merchants to safely remove sensitive cardholder data from their systems without disrupting any existing card transaction-based process.  The service is delivered directly to Litle’s customers, and therefore to their customers, through the Litle payment-processing platform.

Tokens replace credit card numbers for all payment transactions including
authorizations, deposits, and chargebacks. 

Handling the Customers’ Data

Litle Vault removes merchants’ data security encumbrances so they can focus on selling. Instead, the onus of handling most of the data management is moved to Litle & Co, so the merchants’ customers’ card data exists only on an offsite server that specializes in handling payment data.

The Vault makes electronic commerce more efficient, safe, and profitable by:

Reducing the scope of PCI Compliance

Whenever sensitive cardholder data is replaced with a token and used in association with operational areas such as acceptance of online payments, cardholder data storage, and chargeback processing, it can reduce the scope of PCI audits and associated costs by as much as 60%.

Minimizing the risk from potential data breaches

Data breaches do and will happen. However, with the Vault, hackers cannot steal what merchants don’t have: the customer’s credit card information. In the event tokens are compromised, cyber-thieves will quickly find that the tokens are completely worthless to them.

Centralizing credit card security and reducing data exposure

Once registered, a single token can be used by anyone in an organization, mitigating the time-consuming and often costly process of having to encrypt, decrypt, and re-encrypt information each time someone touches a customer’s credit card.

Eliminating insurance costs

Tokenization is a preventive measure that minimizes the cost of a data breach risk. It also potentially enables a merchant to eliminate certain onerous insurance premiums that can often run to hundreds of thousands of dollars. With tokenization, a component of the Errors and Omissions (E&O) Liability Insurance premium cost—typically $0.60 per card annually—can be eliminated.

Industry Endorsement

“Tokenization of payment card data has quickly become a must-have for e-commerce and direct-response merchants whose web presence exposes them to a great deal of breach risk and who are seeking to reduce their PCI scope,” said David Fish, Senior Analyst at Mercator Advisory Group, the leading research and consulting firm focused on the payments industry.  “Litle & Co. has earned the reputation of a trusted partner in the card-not-present space, where their expertise in dealing with transaction data security in card processing environments has coalesced in … Litle Vault."

About Jason Pavone
Jason brings more than 15 years of product development, direct marketing, sales, and entrepreneurial experience to Litle & Co.  Jason leads Litle’s Sales & Marketing strategy, which includes business development and sales; product strategy and development; brand awareness marketing and communications; and partner communities and initiatives.  Before joining Litle, Jason served as a Partner of Enflect, LLC, which developed several product companies in the payment, loyalty, financial services, and software industries.  Prior to Enflect, Jason developed Wallaware, Inc., a wireless router company, where he drove the company’s first U.S and International sales, raised several rounds of private equity capital, and opened operations in the US and internationally.  Before Wallaware, Jason was Director of Wireless and Personalization at Terra Lycos, a top-three most-visited Internet destination.  At Terra Lycos he created some of the first wireless portal solutions, available in 30 countries under the brand Lycos Anywhere®.   He also managed Terra Lycos’s Network Personalization products, including MyLycos®, the award-winning personalization destination with 20 million registered users. Before Terra Lycos, Jason was instrumental in building INPHO, Inc. (including, which today is part of IAC’s LendingTree), a pioneer in the Internet real estate space.  Jason received a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Entrepreneurial Studies from Babson College.

About Litle
Litle & Co. is the payment-processing engine behind leading ecommerce and consumer-direct digital brands including,, Gilt Groupe, CSN Stores, and Guthy-Renker.  Founded in 2001, the company’s customer-obsessed culture is committed to Voice of the Customer initiatives, including Net Promoter Score (NPS). Litle & Co won the 2010 Stevie® Award for eCommerce Customer Service and the 2011 Stevie® Award for product and service innovation for its tokenization solution Litle Vault.  To learn more about Litle & Co. visit, or call 1-800-548-5326 (1-800-LITLECO) or 978-275-6500.

Tags: business awards, stevie awards, product of the year, product awards, new product awards, best new product

Touch Screen Gloves: Inspirational New Product Award Story

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Dec 08, 2011 @ 12:29 PM

Agloves® of Boulder, Colorado USA won Stevie Awards for Best New Product of the Year and Best New Company of the Year in the 2011 Stevie Awards for Women in Business. We asked the mother-and-daughter team behind this successful company how they came up with their innovative idea.  (All of the Stevie Awards competitions have new product awards categories - check out the categories in the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service - final entry deadline of January 18 2012).

AglovesIn February 2010, when Jennifer Spencer went to Washington D.C. to visit her daughter, Jean, it was extremely cold and the streets were lined with dirty snow. Jean, who was working as an intern for the Wall Street Journal, was using an iPhone to keep in touch with her office.  While walking along the street, Jean told her mother: “Mom, I am missing calls from my Editor.  When my phone rings, I have to find my phone in my bag, pull off my gloves with my teeth, and then shove them in my pocket in order to take the call.”  She added: “You have to invent gloves that work on touch screens!”

Jean was simply echoing the problem that smartphone and tablet users know only too well: regular gloves don’t work on touch screens. Fortunately for Jean, her mother is both an entrepreneur and a woman of great resourcefulness. The idea intrigued her.

How Do Touch Screens Work?

Jennifer began by studying how touch screens work. Contrary to popular belief, touch screens are not heat sensitive.  They are capacitive, meaning that the screens respond when tiny amounts of moisture, salts, and oils in the skin allow electrons to flow between you and your device. However, when something non-conductive comes between you and your device—such as an ordinary pair of gloves—the touch screen doesn’t respond and the device won’t work.

For Jennifer, the solution was obvious: Create a warm glove that would be able to conduct the body’s own bioelectricity to the capacitive touch screen.

A Warm—and Anti-Microbial—Solution

And so a new product was born: Agloves®. Ag is the symbol for silver on the periodic table and is the most conductive element. With Agloves, the body’s natural bioelectricity flows through the glove to your touch screen device and maintains near-perfect connection.

Agloves combine a snug, user-friendly design with tech-savvy functionality. The gloves deliver incredible accuracy and intuitive operation. Wearers can swipe, pinch, and pull their touch screens at the same speed they would with bare hands. An added bonus is that, in addition to being conductive, silver is a thermal regulator, making the gloves warmer than most knit gloves—and antimicrobial.

Beating the Competition

The next step was to commercialize the product. Circumventing the traditional brick and mortar retail strategy, Agloves launched its ecommerce website on September 29, 2010.

Working as a mother-daughter team, Jennifer and Jean used an innovative social media strategy to introduce their new product. While their new company was not able to afford television advertising, it needed to level the playing field when it came to competition from other computer accessory and glove companies. And that is exactly what Agloves did by its savvy use of social media.

Agloves received wide online media coverage. The gloves were acknowledged as one of CNET’s “Best of CES 2011” and among MSNBC’s “Top Winter Gadgets 2010.” PCMag included Agloves in its "Best Winter Gadget List 2011," and MacWorld gave Agloves four mice.  Other media coverage included Fox Business News, The New York Times, Yahoo News, AP, National Public Radio, and

What’s Not to (Ag)Love?

By December 2010, Agloves touch screen gloves had sold in 43 countries and were selling at a rate of a pair a minute. Tech-savvy consumers around the globe are falling in love with Agloves.

About Jennifer and Jean Spencer

Jennifer Spencer is a creative thinker and entrepreneur who has been instrumental in myriad start-up companies and innovations over the last 20 years. Jennifer's marketing and business development strategies have provided successful solutions for her clients. Jennifer is president of Agloves.

Jean Spencer is VP of Communication. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Jean decided to take a leap from the world of newsprint into the world of online communications. Jean heads all things social, communicative, and networked for Agloves including media relations, PR, social media, and the company’s online presence.

About AGloves

Agloves® is a patent-pending winter touch screen glove company.  The Boulder, Colorado-based business launched September 29, 2010 and currently employs seven people.  Agloves was globally successful right from the start.  Within three months of launching the business, Agloves had sold roughly 60,000 pairs of gloves in 43 countries worldwide from their online store,   Agloves is currently expanding into retail sales in the European Union.

What is your favorite inspirational new product idea story?

Tags: business awards, stevie awards, product of the year, new product awards, best new product

People's Choice Stevie Awards for New Products Award Winners

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 @ 05:26 PM

People's Choice Stevie Award for Favorite New ProductAfter more than 140,000 votes were cast in May and June by people across the U.S.A. in this year's People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products, a feature of the annual American Business Awards, here are the winners of this year's crystal People's Choice Stevie Awards, announced at the 9th annual ABA awards banquet in New York on Monday evening:

Favorite New Computer Hardware Product: Zebra Technologies’ ‘RXi4’ Radio Frequency Identification Printer
Favorite New Computer Service: Premiere Global Services' iMeet®
Favorite New Computer Software - New Version: PetRays DICOM Sender 2.3.2
Favorite New Consumer Product: Reliv International's Reliv 24K
Favorite New Desktop/End-User Software Product: PetRays Accelerator
Favorite New Financial Service:
Favorite New Health Product or Service: PetRays 30 Minute STAT Service
Favorite New Manufacturing Product: SYSPRO Inventory Optimization
Favorite New Media or Entertainment Product: USANA Health Sciences' Health and Freedom Solution DVD
Favorite New Server Software Product: Datacert Passport
Favorite New Service: PetRays Image Vault
Favorite New Smartphone: Apple iPhone 4
Favorite New Smartphone or Tablet App: Humana’s MyHumana Mobile App
Favorite New Software as a Service: Saba Software's Saba Live
Favorite New Tablet: Motorola Xoom
Favorite New Telecom Product or Service: Broadview’s OfficeSuite ACD

Congratulations to them all!

If you voted in this People's Choice Stevie Awards edition and would like to vote in the next one, note that your next opportunity will be in the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Companies, which will open for voting on July 27.

How did your favorite new product do in this year's voting?

Tags: American business awards, stevie awards, product of the year, new product awards, favorite products, people's choice