Innovative makeovers win awards

For 11 years, ADT’s annual Innovator Awards have recognized IT departments that have successfully launched development projects that have paid off with noteworthy business and financial benefits.

Our judges from Keane, a highly regarded consulting and outsourcing firm based in Boston, spent many hours evaluating the many applications. The team assessed each project’s stated objectives, how the winners achieved them, and the element of risk the winners took to build and deploy their projects.

This year, we have winners in six categories: data warehousing, open source, application engineering, e-business application development, middleware/application integration and component-based development.

If there is a common thread that runs through this year’s Innovator Awards, it is that every winner redesigned existing systems and processes and made them better.

For example, Freddie Mac recognized its legacy system, which had done the job for many years, was due for an extreme makeover. So, the firm set out to create a system that would meet the increasingly diverse needs of customers, respond to the rapid pace of market change and embrace the new possibilities created by technology. The objective? “Any loan, any customer, in a day.”

Owens Corning’s data warehousing and business intelligence project arose from the difficulties company managers had analyzing and optimizing pricing and gross margin across all of the company’s products, customers, and markets worldwide. What the company wanted was “actionable information,” which its ERP system could not provide.

Towers Perrin set out to improve on a critical app used to calculate defined-benefit pension plans. TP’s developers wanted to increase the app’s scalability, simplify its configuration management features, and improve it in a number of other ways. The result is the third generation of an app that now enables the company to build new consulting relationships with larger clients and to process more transactions per hour.

Finally, I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Kathleen Ohlson, ADT’s newest senior editor. Look for her work and her revamping of our new products section in next month’s issue. You can reach her at [email protected].

About the Author

Michael Alexander is editor-in-chief of Application Development Trends.