Over the noise of a small propeller aircraft the other day, Matthew Szulik told me that a lot of Red Hat's success came from putting their customers first. It was funny to me, first I hate flying (and I hate small planes even worse), but I was thinking about how I always thought of my employees first. If they are happy, the customer should be happy. Anyway, I was paying attention. This was the day we announced Red Hat's definitive agreement to acquire JBoss, and we were flying back to Raleigh.
Three weeks later, I saw the JBoss Innovations award press release come over the wire and get announced on our own internal lists. The organization was excited about this event. Getting positive customer feedback is very gratifying across the organization.
I remember vividly when I reviewed the submissions one afternoon, in the middle of the stressful negotiations we were going through. It was a good pause in the middle of the madness. I sat down with Rebecca Goldstein, who headed the project, and she handed me a neat package of entries to review. They came in from around the world. Five minutes into the process I really started to enjoy it and I am really looking forward to meeting the winners, who are all invited to the awards event at JBoss World Las Vegas. It should be a cool show :).
We tried to evaluate projects along many dimensions, economic, business, innovation etc. I was personally excited to see so many DNA-focused companies, large and small use our technology and submit this year. I like to read about that field in Nature magazine and we seem to be helping in the process of high-speed DNA screening. I did not know that! It is a great example of an SOA application enabled by JBoss technology and pricing :) May your farms be fruitful with JBoss!
Among other examples, JBoss technology is currently part of the effort being made to improve the Florida state electoral system, you know as in "accurate counting". Another extremely courageous and clever application was about MASSIVELY STREAMLINING bureaucracy processes using JBoss jBPM. I think it may have won its category, actually. If anything I will personally award it the "Serious Cojones" award.
Another interesting point this year was the fact that so many big company names submitted. I was happy reading what people do out there with our stuff. Reading what an ADP, Cendant, or a Kroger does (and the list goes on), gives pause. The depth of implementation and dimensions of benefit you are all reporting at this level were great news and very interesting data-points. It is nice to see systemic results reported from the field. Dollar impact was of course a key metric by which these corporate submissions were ultimately judged.
The higher figures were usually GENERATED in business benefit (as opposed to saved) and this was reported across medium and large businesses. Medium companies actually reported some of the best numbers through systemic and aggressive usage of JBoss. Glad to see many of you praise our organization's help and realizing big benefits from your bet on JBoss.
The category of clustering, while stand-alone, actually spilled across the other categories. From high-speed, massively parallel DNA screening farms to high-end corporate environments, you were all reporting some very large-scale and sophisticated usage of JBoss. These are really state-of-art installations you are all running. Thanks for pushing the envelope, we are glad we can help you unlock the true power and economics of your software applications with Open Source and JBoss.
I remember the research category. I actually started with it. Annotations applied to the problem a Domain Specific Languages was popular research topic this year. It deserves to be for many more years and I was glad to see that "custom annotations" was starting to be perceived as an efficient and API-intuitive way to work and program. It is a good one and deserves more attention from SI practitioners. I believe it impacts integration programming models. Entries there usually made use of the raw modules, EJB3, SEAM, AO, JBPM, JGROUPS. I think the winner is a fantastic entry in terms of impact of annotation-driven languages to a particular vertical consulting domain. It was applied research, reporting very positive findings in the field. I am proud of the quality of the submissions.
Best in Show: well, we haven't selected the Best in Show. This honor will go to the attendance of JBoss World Las Vegas, the winners will present in different tracks and you pick the overall winners. Remember innovation in this case is not just technical innovation, innovation in applying OSS to age-old SOA problems in IT and achieving massive returns should count as much as cool technology. There is such a thing as "cool and new" business approaches. Choose wisely.
I want to thank all of you for your submissions. Again, it was a pleasure. I also want to thank the whole team at JBoss, including our panel of judges, that worked on this and reviewed this. It will all result in a fun event and a cool night in Las Vegas! Sky's the limit! I am looking forward to meeting many of you in person.
Congratulations to all the winners, and congratulations to the all the honorary mentions.
Remember we love you,