Roundarch Recognized for Innovation at Computerworld Honors Program Dinner

On June 20th, I was fortunate to be able to represent Roundarch at the 2011 Computerworld Honors Laureate Awards Dinner, held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in the heart of Washington, DC. This auditorium has hosted some very historical events.

At the time of its construction, the Mellon Auditorium was the largest government-owned assembly space in Washington and one of the most magnificent settings for government ceremony, and was inaugurated on February 25, 1935. On October 29, 1940, 13,000 people crowded the Auditorium to witness President Franklin D. Roosevelt initiate the Selective Service System lottery and The North Atlantic Treaty was signed here on April 4, 1949 by President Truman.

Here we are in 2011, and the room has been taken over by some of the best and brightest in the tech world – But not just “engineering” technologists; This event seemed to be a gathering of leaders, problem solvers and innovators across a large array of countries, organizations and industries.

The Honors program has been running since 1988, giving recognition to great many minds over the over these 25+ years. Because of this, it was not only a thrill to be recognized as a 2011 Laureate in Innovation, but also quite humbling because I had learned who else had been there before myself. It was a great honor to accept an award, but even better to be the one representing the entire team at Roundarch. We were recognized as an Honors Laureate for our work on a cross-device messaging platform and vision for the future of cross-device/cross-platform applications, which will see a huge shift in the way people consume content and use their gadgets.

There were some fantastic people representing great organizations and really compelling projects across almost every industry you can imagine. It is hard to say what I found most interesting about the event, as it was extremely diverse. I did meet the CTO of the Giza Pyramids (did you know they had one?) who chatted with me for quite a while about how he is currently working to build out a platform for tablet-based augmented reality applications to help visualize architectural theories and the like. Very interesting stuff.

In fact, I was blown away by the diversity of the other Laureates and their projects, and applaud the “winners” in each of the defined categories. It couldn’t have been an easy decision, as every one of the case studies that was entered was terribly interesting. One thing they all had in common: They were conceived to solve a big problem and hopefully use technology to make the world a better place. Who doesn’t like that? To get some idea of the types of projects recognized by the Honors Laureate program, take a look at the judges picks for 2011.

The 2011 winners were (by category)

Business & Related Services: State Street Corporation (case study)
Collaboration: IBM (case study)
Digital Access: Net Literacy (case study)
Economic Opportunity: Airtel Africa (case study)
Emerging Technology: Idaho Education Network (case study)
Environment: Allstate Insurance Company (case study)
Health: International Virtual e-Hospital (case study)
Human Services: City of Boston Department of Innovation & Technology (case study)
Innovation: Duke University (case study)

In addition to the Honors Laureate program, the evening also included the presentation of the 2011 Morgan Stanley Leadership Award for Global Commerce, which was awarded to the CEO of VMware, Paul Maritz. This award recognizes individuals whose personal Leadership has made a critical contribution to the effective use of information technology throughout the world, and after hearing Paul speak and share his thoughts on the current state of “the Web” and how he is guiding the strategy at VMware, it seems natural that he’d be recognized in this manner. Paul is really an interesting guy with a unique background.

From 1986 to 2000 Paul was a primary leader at Microsoft, ending his tenure as an executive vice president of the Platforms Strategy and Developer Group and part of the 5-person executive management team. As someone who truly helped shape the Web as we know it, Paul was responsible for Microsoft’s desktop and server software, including such major initiatives as the development of Windows 95, Windows NT, and Internet Explorer. After leaving Microsoft, he founded Pi Corporation, which was acquired by EMC, and was eventually appointed the CEO of VMware.

For some additional insight into Maritz, check out this transcript of his video bio prepared for the event.

All in all, our involvement inthe Computerworld Honors Laureate program has been quite an honor and just another testament to the hard work and creative thinking found across the teams at Roundarch.

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