Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The UK IT Industry Awards 2013: A night to remember

Rebecca Bailey
Senior PR & Marketing Executive
Egress Software Technologies Ltd.
Informally dubbed the ‘Oscars of the IT world’, the UK IT Industry Awards celebrate best practice, innovation and excellence, and form the gold standard of achievement for any organisation within the IT sector. Unsurprisingly, then, emotions were running high for the Egress team last Wednesday, when our bid to be named Cloud Provider of the Year culminated at the Battersea Park Events Arena, London. 

Celebrating 40 years of IT

The lavish awards ceremony, put together by the Chartered Institute of IT (BCS) and Computing Magazine, provided a fitting backdrop for leading individuals and organisations from across the sector to champion the endeavours and innovation that, as BCS Group Chief Executive Officer David Clarke explained, not only “provides best practice now but next practice very soon”.

As sponsors of the event, the Egress Team began the evening in the VIP Lounge with a champagne and canapé reception, before we took our seats alongside the other 1,300 guests to be formally welcomed by David, as well as Editor of Computing Stuart Sumner. The pair recognised both the calibre and the volume of entries for this year’s awards, before Stuart introduced an infographic celebrating 40 years of IT. The subsequent spectacular gala dinner was followed by Comedian and TV Host Jimmy Carr’s appearance on stage.

After a short round of stand-up – in which Jimmy played upon the common perceptions and misconceptions of the IT industry – the true business of the evening began.

Cloud Provider of the Year

As one of the last categories to be announced, the Egress Team had quite a wait before hearing about our success. However, entertainment was provided by Jimmy Carr’s quick wit and the good humour of those presenting the awards – including Egress CEO Tony Pepper. Arriving onstage to Jimmy quipping that his name would be well-suited to a mafia boss, Tony put on his best New York accent to greet the comedian.

Before long, however, the moment of truth was upon us. Our table sat in nervous silence, only to erupt in cheering as our logo appeared onscreen and we were awarded ‘Cloud Provider of the Year’.

Reflecting on our achievement, Tony commented: “The way the awards are judged is one reason they are held in such high regard by the industry. Rather than just an online form with a restrictive word count, BCS and Computing Magazine give every finalist the chance to present in person, which means you can explain in detail the work you are doing and justify why you think you deserve to win.

“For Egress, this meant we could demonstrate what an amazing year 2013 has been for us, with revenue growth of over 400% and a 95% increase in customers. This success is based in our fundamental belief in continued investment into product innovation and leading-edge technology.”

The rest of the evening was spent toasting our success, as well as that of the other winners and those acknowledged as highly commended. Egress partners and clients were amongst those recognised for their excellence on the night, most notably Softcat, who were awarded ‘Large Supplier or Major VAR of the Year’ and the London Borough of Hackney for ‘IT Project Demonstrating Most Effective Use of Collaborative Technology’. Similarly, Network Rail received the award for 'Innovative Mobile App of the Year', in the category co-judged by Egress’ Dan Hoy.

True to Egress form, we had a fantastic night of celebration and are proudly displaying our newest trophy in our London office - however, we're also already planning how to return bigger and better in 2014!

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