Awards Top a Spectacular 12 Months for Ergo
Our table at last week's Tech Excellence Awards gala dinner experienced an evening of two halves. The first was a little tense as we wondered how our submissions would have fared with the judges. The second, to be honest, was a bit of a fog as we celebrated winning not one but two awards, including the prestigious Company of the Year gong.
Industry awards are a funny thing. We’re proud to have won more than our fair share over the years, including being chosen as Microsoft Country Partner four times in seven years, but every time you make a submission you know you are at the mercy of a judging panel whose ideas might not always align with your own.
Constant start-up mode
The Tech Excellence Awards, organised by the publisher of the TechCentral news web site and TechPro magazine, is the biggest Irish event for a services company like Ergo and they always have top-notch judges we are keen to impress. This year's panel included serial entrepreneurs responsible for great Irish companies like Parthus and IONA.
Perhaps this played to our strengths. Our CEO John Purdy talks about Ergo as a company that's permanently in start-up mode, constantly evolving to stay ahead of a fast-changing industry. Maybe the judges got a sense of this in our Company of the Year submission.
In truth, we'd come to the conclusion well in advance of the event that this was our best chance yet of winning this prestigious award. In the last year Ergo sold off its interest in Fenergo, launched FlowForma as a new start-up and acquired iSite, the CRM and IT resource specialist. In our financial year we saw a 40 percent increase in turnover. It made for a pretty impressive roll call of achievements and we thought we had a compelling case – fortunately the judges agreed.
Winning the Private Sector IT Project of the Year for our work with Greencore might have seemed less obvious. On the surface it looks like just another Office 365 deployment but we were keen to highlight some of the complexities around the project, the technical challenges in migrating from a legacy on-premise platform to the cloud, and the change management challenges in bringing employees along on the journey.
The last point is a hot topic in IT. Guest speaker at the Tech Excellence event, government CIO Barry Lowry, talked about challenges around transforming public services, including “how to encourage the disengaged with the digital”. We faced something similar with some of the Greencore depots where people had very little experience of IT and needed a lot of handholding.
Operating in two worlds
When you are making submissions for award prizes you always look to push the things about your business that make you stand out from your competitors. One thing that makes Ergo different is the way we seamlessly operate in old and new worlds, what Gartner has labelled bi-modal IT.
One mode focuses on traditional legacy infrastructure and applications, while the second is all about agility in the cloud. Before the term was even coined, we were working on the two fronts and we continue to balance them both, helping customers maximise existing investments while advancing their businesses in the cloud.
One thing's for sure, by the time next year's Tech Excellence Awards come around we fully expect to be a different kind of company again, a consequence of always operating at the leading edge, pushing boundaries to help our customers get the best performance and value out of ever-changing technology.