The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) announced the 2018 CODiE winners at their annual award ceremony in San Francisco, CA. The organization recognized innovative business solutions in 51 categories.
Award shows are interesting because they point to trends across categories. It’s always good to take a step back, see where a company fits in its immediate category, and where niche categories fit within larger tech trends.
One overarching theme from the 2018 CODiEs is that the ecosystem of business technology is growing. Every year, innovations automate new parts of our jobs so that we can get certain tasks done faster, cheaper, better.
While this technological growth presents exciting new ways to deliver business value, it also poses fresh challenges. Are these new tools compatible with your existing ecosystem? How do certain types of automation affect cross-functional processes? When multiple tools in your tech stack provide revenue insights, which one do you trust?
Many of the winning solutions this year help manage and integrate growing tech stacks. One telling example is that the same company, Red Hat, won both Best Overall Business Technology and Best API Management Platform for its 3scale solution. Clearly, Red Hat is doing something right. Anticipating the demand for integrated ecosystems, the company’s solutions help businesses connect numerous pieces of technology to optimize business operations.
While Red Hat serves the intersection between tools, the Best AI Solution this year went to Apttus MAX, a cross-functional quote-to-cash solution designed for sales, legal, and finance professionals. Apttus integrates and automates processes between departments. Its virtual assistant features a conversational user experience and natural language understanding, and it functions as a “middle office” that provides recommendations for cross-functional contracts.
We see the same theme of cross-functionality in marketing technology innovations. Many of the martech solutions recognized by SIIA this year also work in the intersection between technologies and span multiple departments. The category titles themselves heavily emphasize interdepartmental alignment. For example, Best Sales & Marketing Intelligence Solution went to InsideView Apex, which brings in data from multiple sources to provide a single view of go-to-market insights for sales and marketing.
Best Marketing Solution went to Triblio, an Account-Based Marketing platform that unifies inbound and outbound marketing with sales plays for target accounts at scale. Underlying every ABM campaign, Triblio pulls in first-party data (marketing automation, CRM, etc.) alongside third-party firmographics to map accounts to their respective buying centers. The goals is to ensure that every marketing touch is followed up by consistent sales messaging so that each campaign has a clear path to revenue impact.
One last cross-functional martech company to watch out for is Highspot, which took home both Best Sales Enablement Platform and Best Content Management Platform. Highspot’s solution helps marketers figure out which content works and equips sales with relevant content for different types of conversations.
Up until 2015, SIIA would have separated Highspot’s “Software” awards from its “Content” awards. Today, both fall under the umbrella of “Business Technology,” which shows that it’s now less important to classify different branches of our technological ecosystems.
2018 CODiE winners exemplify a new crop of business solutions that blur the lines in tech ownership. When one tool delivers revenue impact for both sales and marketing, who owns it? At extremely siloed organizations, these tools may seem impossible to execute effectively. It’d take way too long to get all the decision makers on board. However, the successful adoption of cross-functional solutions is a healthy sign for most organizations, especially when it comes to marketing and sales. When sales and marketing tools are compatible, both teams are better equipped to work towards and report on the same revenue objectives.
The truth is, business technology will continue to boom. For our own organizations, do we want to add to our ecosystems to find a new competitive edge, or is it more of a headache than it’s worth? What we’ve learned from the CODiEs is that perhaps new technologies are beginning to sort out some of the new challenges they’ve created. Let’s see if SIIA finds more integrated solutions for next year’s CODiE awards.