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In this week’s special edition of the blog, itSMF Awards winner Dave O’Reardon shares his insights into the Awards process, and gives you some invaluable tips for your application for the 2016 itSMF Industry Awards for Excellence in IT Service Management!

 

Can you tell us about your award?

We were lucky enough to win last year’s Service Management Innovation of the Year Award for a new software product we’d developed called cio-pulse.com.

CIOPulse gathers customer feedback as support teams resolve customer tickets and then helps organisations use that feedback to drive continual service improvement.

Every man and his dog uses the survey capability of their ITSM tool, but we won the award because CIOPulse helps support teams to improve customer satisfaction, not just measure it.

What inspired you to nominate for the itSMF Industry Awards?

Because we genuinely felt we were onto something truly innovative within IT service management and we had the metrics to prove it.

Our company, Silversix, used to be a traditional ITSM consultancy, although it was always one that specialised in improving internal customer satisfaction.  About five years ago, we came across this set of practices – the Net Promoter System – used by organisations around the world (think Apple, Rackspace, Harley Davidson) to measure and improve customer loyalty. One of our consulting clients allowed us to experiment on them by letting us help them adopt some Net Promoter practices. Six months later, they’d increased internal customer satisfaction by significantly more than we’d achieved with them via ITSM consulting in the preceding 3 years.

We built CIOPulse to help organisations adopt these same practices and enjoy the same benefits. Our metrics showed that 90% of our clients have been successful with CIOPulse and this gave us the confidence to nominate ourselves.

winner

What advice would you give aspiring nominees?

I have only one piece of advice and I don’t want to dilute it by mixing it up with any other advice. My advice is this. Enter. Just do it, as Nike would say. There are probably not as many entrants for each award category as you think and so, just by entering, you have a very good chance of winning.

Can you share any tips for the application process?

Yes. I’ve got a couple of tips.

Read the award criteria and make sure your submission explains how your innovation meets those criteria.  We were going to nominate CIOPulse for the award a year earlier but realised that we weren’t going to meet one of the criteria. So we held off for another year. And that turned out to be the right thing to do.

Make your supporting video funny and/or interesting. Everyone at the awards night wants to have fun and being made to watch a video about how your company makes flare joints for gas pipes is not fun.  All finalists get their video played and so, even if you’re not a winner, your video might get airtime. If it’s fun or interesting or both, you’re going to get the attention of hundreds of people in the room and they’ll remember it/you. If it’s boring I’m afraid they’re going to talk over it.

dinner

What are the benefits of winning an itSMF Award?

The short term benefit was how much more fun it made the awards night. The gala dinner is always great, but the added suspense of being a finalist, not to mention the feeling of actually winning, made it a super special evening. Strangely, my head was much sorer than usual the next morning…

And for those of us involved in developing the product, it gave us an immense feeling of satisfaction to be recognised by the industry that we’ve worked in for so long. These kinds of awards are great to put on your CV and LinkedIn profile too!

Of course we’ve also made full use of the award in all our marketing material – email footers, websites, brochures, presentations, sales pitches. It’s difficult to quantify that benefit, but it has certainly given us a welcome boost to our credibility, as well as increased brand awareness.

To nominate yourself, your company or a colleague for the 2016 itSMF Awards, visit the website!