Tim Gooch, Managing Director of WA computer software development firm iWebGate, said winning an iAward in 2010 allowed the company to stand out against the multitude of vendors competing in the computer software industry.
“There is so much noise and variety in the market in terms of the top selling products. So even when have a major innovation, it is very difficult to rise above it all and get noticed,” he said.
iWebGate won the Computer Security Application category of the National iAwards in August 2010 for its product DMZ in a Box. It followed up this success at APICTA by winning the international award in the same category.
Last November, it won the Telstra Innovation Challenge and worldwide SME category for the Global Security Challenge, an international competition run by OmniCompete and sponsored by the United States Government’s Technical Support Working Group (TSWG).
Their winning prize of US$300,000 was provided by TSWG. Subsequently a contract with TSWG was signed for a development project related to iWebGate’s cost effective ‘DMZ in a Box’ and security for on-premise and cloud networks.
“DMZ network architecture is recommended as best practice by the US Government’s Department of Homeland Security, but hasn’t been deployed universally because it is too expensive and complicated for most small to medium enterprises,” said Gooch.
“We are refining and simplifying our product for universal deployment in the public and private sector,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s Department has congratulated iWebGate. Gooch and iWebGate’s Business Director Kim Mettam said the approach used by TSWG using competitions in its pursuit of technology was very clever and effective, particularly when it comes to seeking out innovative solutions that meet needs of the public sector. There is also a lot of potential benefit for the Australian Government as sponsoring competitions can be a powerful strategic and targeted spend.
“If we look at the tendering process in Australia, it’s unlikely to uncover technologies like those the TSWG pursuit. For example, if an Australian government agency decides it needs X, Y and Z, it will probably be using standard technologies. If our company, applies for a tender with a piece of technology advanced beyond or exceeding the boundaries of what they are asking for in that tender process, then it is unlikely to be successful,” said Mettam.
“The TSWG initiative is a really effective use of funds to sponsor competitions which attract truly innovative and beneficial technologies otherwise not seen. TSWG puts US$500,000 per year into prize money for the GSC,” he said.
As well as the obvious benefits awards success has generated for them in the US, iWebGate says the exposure gained has provided the opportunity to network and collaborate with other innovative companies in their industry.
“We have been to these awards events, and as a result have been exposed to technologies we would never have found otherwise. The ways we can collaboratively integrate these technologies with ours strengthens the general cyber-security footprint of organisations, end-users and really the whole country,” said Gooch.
This year’s state iAwards presentations will be held around the country from 4-8 July. The winners of the national awards will be announced at the iAwards Gala Dinner to be held in Melbourne on Thursday, 4 August.
More information can be found at www.iawards.com.au
Intermedium is a sponsor of the 2011 iAwards