2021 Categories & Entry Criteria
Please see below the 2021 Cloud Excellence Awards categories and entry criteria.
Some important information
- Entries close Friday 11 June
- All categories are free to enter
- Please do not use marketing copy; your entry will not be considered
- Products and companies entering the awards should have UK presence. Individuals can be based internally but their work should have a UK focus or be in collaboration with a UK-based team.
Cloud Integration Product of the Year
Enabling applications to share data in the cloud is crucial for many firms today. This award will go to the product which most impresses the judges in terms of its ability to do this in a secure, fast, reliable manner. Points will be awarded for innovation and features, and customer case studies will be helpful.
Cloud Professional of the Year
Who has excelled in pioneering or advocating cloud in your organisation? Who has driven cloud projects, transformation or simply the company’s direct journey into cloud storage or SaaS, with far-reaching effect? The judges are looking for the individual who has made visible and lasting changes to their business through the medium of cloud. Example by detailed case study is strongly encouraged.
Cloud Management Solution of the Year
This category is for software tools designed for managing and monitoring applications, data and services residing in the cloud. The award will be given to the solution which demonstrates the greatest ability to ensure that all of those elements are working optimally. Judges will take ease of use, functionality, innovation and customer references into account.
Best Cloud Project
We’re looking for the most effective cloud project within an end user organisation. How has this use of cloud technology positively affected – even transformed – your organisation? It doesn’t matter the size or scale of the project – the onus is on impressing the judges with how it’s given your company the edge. Please include evidence by case study.
Cloud Data Management Solution of the Year
This category is for software tools designed for managing and monitoring data in the cloud. The award will be given to the solution which demonstrates the greatest ability to ensure that all of those elements are working optimally. Judges will take ease of use, functionality, innovation and customer references into account.
MSP of the Year
Managed service providers take the stress out of IT, managing a customer's infrastructure and systems while enabling them to focus on their core competencies. Please provide evidence of work with customers, discussing how and why they chose you as their MSP and what the effect has been on their business.
Cloud DR and Continuity Product of the Year
Continuity and DR is essential to the modern business. This award will be given to the entry which demonstrates the most reliable service. Points will also be awarded for evidence of innovation, features and market share. Customer case studies will also be taken into account.
Software-Defined/Hyperconverged Infrastructure Product of the Year
Software-defined (also known as hyperconverged) infrastructure gives organisations greater flexibility, enabling them to adapt their infrastructure to changing needs without needing to replace it wholesale. This award will go to the SDI/HCI infrastructure product demonstrating the greatest functionality, ease of setup and use and level of innovation. Customer case studies should be included.
Serverless or Container Project of the Year
Companies are making ever-increasing investments into cloud-native projects, and we are looking for the most innovative examples. Judges will need to know what the business challenge was that prompted a serverless, microservices or container deployment, why these solutions were chosen over more traditional approaches, and how the challenge was solved. Evidence of quantifiable benefits and business outcomes will be given high consideration.
Cloud Security Product of the Year - Large Enterprises
With many organisations still unsure about storing valuable data in the cloud due to security concerns, products to help set minds at ease are more important than ever. The judges will take innovation, features and market share into account. The winning entry however is likely to be the one which most impresses the judges in terms of its ability to protect its customers data and applications.
Cloud Security Product of the Year - SMEs
This category is based on the same category as above, but for organisations with fewer than 1,000 employees.
Most Innovative Cloud Product or Service
This award will go to the cloud product or service which best demonstrates something different and fresh. This could be new features, or a new way of providing an established service, or it could be that the product or service was developed in a genuinely new way. Details of exactly how the product or service demonstrates innovation will be essential, and customer references, where available, will be helpful.
Cloud Development Platform of the Year
The cloud helps developers to set up, run and test new applications and ideas at a speed which was impossible in the past. This award will go to the cloud development platform which best suits the needs of modern developers, taking into account flexibility, ease of use, speed and reliability. Points will also be awarded for innovation, and customer references.
Most Innovative Use of Data in the Cloud
Making full use of data is a path to business success – but using it in new ways is how you get a leg up on the competition. We want to know how you utilise data in your organisation, what is different about it and how that innovation addresses and solves the challenges you face. Other points to consider are data security, reliability and the provable business benefits that your innovation has enabled.
Best Cloud Automation Solution
Many cloud tools – whether in finance, HR, analytics or something else – are now being sold as ‘AI’. The solutions that are truly capable of such work can automate many tasks that humans do today, freeing them up for more high value work. What does your solution do that differentiates it from others? How does it use automation, machine learning or other AI practices to achieve its goals? How easy is the rollout? Customer case studies are critical.
Best Cloud Access Security Broker
Just a few years ago, companies had a defined perimeter they could protect: everything inside was theirs, everything outside was not, and security policies only had to be enforced in that local area. In the cloud era, systems are hosted anywhere and everywhere, and a new approach is necessary. A Cloud Access Security Broker enforces an organisation’s security policies in the cloud: securing data, protecting against threats and ensuring compliance. The winning CASB will be one that can give examples of going the extra distance to understand and support its customers’ needs, address their technical questions and maintain strong security.
Best Cloud Finance Solution
Demand on financial solutions is growing, but the resources teams have to work with are not – or are even being cut. This has created a situation where staff need to do more with less, and sometimes even without access to all the data they need. The winning application must address these issues, with the ability to scale workloads, centralise data from multiple sources and establish an audit trail. Please provide examples of the quantifiable benefits of adoption through customer stories.
Cloud Vendor of the Year
This award will go to the cloud vendor which demonstrates something above and beyond what would normally be expected. It could be outstanding customer service, an innovative breakthrough in product development, or a major strategic shift which has produced genuine results. The winning entry will clearly explain why it separates itself from the pack, and how this difference benefits its customers.
Cloud IoT Product of the Year
An IoT product in this case will be defined broadly, and could be any type of device or software tool which works with the Internet of Things. Entries should explain what the product does, and how it works with the IoT. Judges will score based on functionality, features and innovation. Customer references will also be taken into account.
Unified Communications Product of the Year
With teams often geographically spread, UC is more important than ever to modern organisations. This award will go the UC product which demonstrates the best level of innovation and functionality. Points will also be awarded for evidence of strong market share, and customer references will be helpful.
Best Cloud Support Provider
There are many facets to a firm’s cloud strategy and deployment. This award is for the organisations which aim to support their clients journey into the cloud, either from a strategic or direct implementation level. Entries should include customer case studies or references, together with an explanation of how the firm supports its clients, and what marks it out from the competition.
Hybrid Cloud Product of the Year
Many firms today choose to utilise both the public and private cloud. This award will be given to the entry which demonstrates the best use of both types of cloud. This could include, but is not limited to, the best integration of various cloud flavours. Points will be awarded for demonstrating why this hybrid strategy is best for your use case, and a clear explanation of how it was implemented.
* NEW * Best Use of Cloud in the Pandemic
This award will go to the organisation that can demonstrate innovative and effective use of the cloud in response to the pandemic. Judges will be looking for measurable impact of the changes/project.
* NEW * Best Cloud Transformation in the Pandemic
This award is for the most impactful transformation using the cloud in the pandemic; it can be a previously on-premise system(s) moving to the cloud, or a change in an existing cloud-based approach. Judges will assess how much the project has used the full benefits of cloud – it must be more than a simple lift and shift.
* NEW * Multi-Cloud Solution of the Year
Multi-cloud unlocks the true agile benefits of the cloud, enabling businesses to access the lowest latency, highest speed and best prices without being locked into a single provider. This award is for the product or solution that makes switching data, projects or other workloads between clouds quick and simple, without introducing excessive costs.
* NEW * Cloud Telephony / UC Project of the Year
The 2020 pandemic led to a boom in unified communications adoption. Did you roll out a new system, or take an innovative approach with your existing solution across your business? We want to hear about it. Judges will look for evidence of innovation and success.
* NEW * Best Use of AI in the Cloud
Artificial intelligence is the next big game-changing technology, with thousands of potential use cases. Combining it with cloud computing gives AI systems access to vast troves of data to deliver more value at lower costs. This award is for AI projects and implementations that rely on the cloud; entries should describe exactly why the AI system was implemented, how it uses the cloud and what the results have been.