The 2015 Aragon Research Innovation Awards Recap
By Jim Lundy
When you watch markets, you get briefed on and evaluate lots of products and services from startups and established technology providers. At our recent 5th annual Aragon Research Holiday Party, we presented nine awards to providers who launched innovative products in 2015. There is innovation happening everywhere but these nine providers delivered in a big way.
Cloud Office – IBM
IBM has had a long history in Collaboration and IBM Connections is a leader in Social Business Platforms. What many people are starting to hear about is their newest offering IBM Verse, which is as close to a predictive workplace application as we have seen. By helping to tell you who you owe responses to in your Inbox and suggesting people you may want to interact with, IBM Verse goes further than current offerings from Google and Microsoft. As evidence of the impact of Verse, all 400,000 IBM Employees are being migrated to Verse. We expect many other enterprises will adopt Verse in 2016.
Marketing – Vidyard
The role of video in Content Marketing is growing and with it, so is the challenge of delivering effective and compelling video. Vidyard is innovating with their Personalized Video capabilities. This is one of the first offerings that allows a video to be personalized, similar to the way that emails are customized via email marketing tools. We expect others will follow Vidyard’s lead here, as the demand for video content continues to grow.
Mobile – Built.io
When it comes to the art and science of building mobile first apps, it is all about what the app can actually do. Built.io was named as a hot vendor for their MBaaS offering earlier in 2015. That was before they launched their product called Flow. Flow uses a drag and drop interface to connect all kinds of applications together. As the IOT era comes online, we expect Flow to be a key way to connect devices and services. Read more about Built.io in our Hot Vendors in MBaaS Report.
Mobile Content Management – Vera
When it comes to content, the challenge is how to secure it when it is not in your Content Management repository. Document Security and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) are two of the ways to protect content and data that is mobile. The challenge is until now it has been part of an offering, not a service that is in dependent of the application. Vera changed all that – since their Content Security works across several platforms. Expect to hear a lot more about content security and Vera in 2016.
Sales Enablement – Aviso
The race to put machines to work in Sales started with Predictive Lead Scoring. Now it is going further. When reps, managers and sales leaders need to do the monthly forecast, forecast accuracy becomes critical. That was one of the reasons we recognized Aviso for their innovation in Predictive Analytics for Sales Forecasting with their Aviso Insights offering. You can read more about Aviso in our Hot Vendors in Sales Enablement, 2015 report.
Talent Analytics – IBM
When it comes to the analytics market, predictive is what it is all about. Everyone claims their offering is predictive, but many enterprises struggle to understand the differences. IBM changed all of that with their IBM Talent Insights, powered by Watson™ Analytics offering. By allowing HR professionals and managers to ask questions by typing in a question, Talent Insights gives instantaneous answers in the form of a graphic or a dashboard. Few others can offer this level of human to computer interface that can literally change how talent is managed in an enterprise.
Talent Management – PeopleFluent
The race to own Talent Management is crowded and at times confusing, partly due to all the products and services that look alike. PeopleFluent changed all that with their next generation offering that combines social, analytics and video into their new Mirror Platform. While many others are talking about their future capabilities, PeopleFluent Mirror is available now. One look at Mirror tells the story, since Video Collaboration is the new way to interact and learn.
Unified Communications and Collaboration – Polycom
The race to own UCC is on and the focus on consolidation sometimes masks the innovation that will make a difference in workplace productivity. When it comes to innovation in Voice and Video, Polycom delivered in 2015. With what represents the start of a complete makeover of its product line, Polycom introduced two innovative offerings, Polycom Real Presence Trio, a new Digital Conference Room Phone and Real Presence Centro, a new way to do video conferencing. The stunning voice quality of Trio is something that needs to be heard. We expect to see more innovation from Polycom in 2016.
Video – Highfive
When it comes to video, there are many new innovative offerings. We liked Highfive, in part because of their true innovation of their all-in-one video device, which is a compact video camera platform that sits on top of a monitor in a conference room. Combine plug-and-play with a solid service and a great price and you have innovation in Video Conferencing. Highfive was a new market entrant in 2015 and already has had an impact in the overall Web and Video conferencing market.
As we wrap up 2015, the key thing to look for in products and services in 2016 is innovation. Ask your providers how they are doing that and look for evidence in their offerings. Innovation isn’t hard, but watch out for promises. Look for the real thing.
Editors Note: See all of the pictures from our Holiday Event on our Facebook Page.