2020 PRITC Innovation Awards Announcement

For the past six years, the Puerto Rico Information Technology Cluster (PRITC), the largest IT trade organization in the Island, has celebrated its most emblematic event: The CIO & IT Leadership Conference.

This event is the largest and most important leading platform of the IT industry in Puerto Rico. It has gathered influential CIOs from the private sector as well as innovative leaders and IT companies, locally and internationally.

In past conferences, we have bestowed five awards upon companies and organizations. We have been able to advance there IT products, services, processes or platforms with great success.

 

This year will be the third consecutive year that the PRITC will be presenting the PRITC Innovation Awards, a process that has been nicely done within the highest quality and transparency standards.

It is PRITC’s unwavering position that now is the time for industry participants to openly celebrate IT excellence in Puerto Rico, thus contributing to the island’s continued ascent as an industry powerhouse.

That’s why we want to invite you to be part of the next 7th annual CIO & IT Leadership Conference and participate in the PRITC Innovation Awards. The winners corresponding to the year 2019 will be announced in the conference that will take place in the Sheraton Convention Center on May 8th, 2020.

 

Organizing Committee

For any inquiries regarding the program, please

contact : dlinares@pritc.org

For all general inquiries, please contact:

svazquez@pritc.org

Under the continued vision of positioning the island as a regional leader in IT services and technological innovation, the strategic objectives behind the awards process are as follows:

To increase awareness of the salience of the Puerto Rico IT industry in all its dimensions.

To support the industry’s strategy of increasing its competitiveness throughout the region, and help it achieve a more elevated position of recognized excellence.

To prominently recognize individuals, products, projects, and organizations for their relevance as they pertain to the Puerto Rico IT industry, in terms of the level of technological innovation, business impact, industry contribution, international projection, and societal benefit.

Any potential participant (person or company) interested in participating in the PRITC Innovation Awards must complete the attached form to start the process. Once you have submitted the information, the consideration process begins. The personnel in charge of the Innovation Awards will contact you for further details.

Background

On May 11, 2018, the Puerto Rico Information Technology Cluster (PRITC) hosted the first-ever PRITC Innovation Awards ceremony, corresponding to the year 2017.  This award ceremony was a momentous achievement, as it positioned the local IT sector to help spearhead the future of the Puerto Rican economy, and afforded its participants the opportunity to celebrate excellence and technological prowess.

PRITC bestowed five awards upon five companies and organizations that, in a year during which Puerto Rico was severely impacted by Hurricane María (2017), they were able to advance their IT products, services, processes or platforms with great success.

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The Fine Print

The PRITC Board of Directors recognizes that, due to its nature, an initiative like the PRITC Innovation Awards entails numerous detailed rules and conditions.  Therefore, PRITC requires that all parties wishing to submit a nomination, accept, and agree to the terms established in the Conditions of Participation document.  This will be done electronically as part of the nomination submission process.

Join the reconstruction of the future of Puerto Rico.

The Awards

Intellectual Property (IP) Award

Presented to the individual or organization that, over the previous year, developed the piece of IT intellectual property deemed to be the most innovative, ingenious, influential, practical and/or commercially viable.

IT Project of the Year

Presented to the organization that, over the previous year, completed the IT development or deployment project deemed most innovative, technologically elaborate, influential and successful.

Tech Exporter of the Year
Presented to the locally based individual or organization that is most successfully engaged in the process of exporting innovative technological products and/or services out of Puerto Rico.
Tech Startup of the Year
Presented to the individual or nascent organization that is actively developing or has recently completed development of an IT product, services, process or platform deemed most innovative and with the highest potential for commercial success in the coming years.
Societal Impact Award
Presented to the locally based individual or organization that, through the use of innovative IT products, services, processes or platforms, has had the most significant positive impact on the advancement and well-being of human society.

The Awards Process

This year will be the third time that PRITC will be presenting the PRITC Innovation Awards.  To carry out the process within the highest quality and transparency standards, PRITC will provide out the following steps:

Initial Announcement

The 2019 PRITC Innovation Awards cycle kicks off on February 17, 2020.  On that date, PRITC messages its membership and starts engaging in a communications initiative aimed at making the process known to all potential participants.  Details regarding the process, as outlined herein, will be openly distributed.

Nominations Period

Starting on the day of the initial announcement and extending up to March 31, 2020, PRITC will be accepting nominations for the five different PRITC Innovation Awards.  Nominations are to be exclusively submitted through the PRITC website, www.pritc.org. Successful submissions will be confirmed, after which candidates will be periodically updated on any relevant issues.

Nominations Period

Once the nominations period expires, PRITC will perform an initial screening of all submittals, and validate that they indeed comply with the award nominations acceptance criteria, as established in the Conditions of Participation.  PRITC will progressively notify pertinent candidates of any situations of nonconformance with the established rules and specify the remediation alternatives available, if any.  Candidates not meeting the established criteria will be disqualified from further consideration and notified accordingly.  This initial requirements and eligibility validation process is set to conclude on April 7, 2020.  At such date, PRITC expects to notify all candidates of their updated status.

Independent Judges’ Panel Evaluation

PRITC will charter a panel of independent judges that will receive all relevant documentation corresponding to the nominations that successfully clear the initial requirements and eligibility validation process by April 30, 2020.  Based on the materials provided, and following internally established evaluation guidelines for each award, the panel will evaluate each nomination.  Throughout the evaluation process, the panel may request additional information from any nominees, a condition with which they are expected to comply.  By May 1, 2020, the panel will have made a final determination of which the award winners will be, and will submit a confidential communiqué to the PRITC Board of Directors, notifying it about such determination.

Awards Announcement

Shortly after receiving the confidential communiqué from the independent judges’ panel, during the 2020 CIO & IT Leadership Conference, to be held in May 8, 2020, the PRITC Board of Directors will announce the award recipients and publicly recognize their accomplishment.

PRITC is enthusiastically engaged in this third edition of the PRITC Innovation Awards.  The Board of Directors recognizes that the stated process is bound to evolve every year, all intended to enable the IT industry to meet the strategic objectives stated herein.

The Judges and the Judging Process

The PRITC Board of Directors is currently finalizing the list of members of the independent judges’ panel that will ultimately determine to whom the PRITC Innovation Awards will be presented.

Because the Board recognizes that the present and future success of this initiative hinges on the integrity and credibility of the members of such panel, and on the overall transparency of the process, it shall name judges of unquestionable reputation and with little inherence in local IT industry affairs.

The Awards Calendar

The following timeline establishes the dates when all events related to the PRITC Innovation Awards are scheduled to occur:

EventStart DateEnd Date
Initial contest announcementFebruary 17, 2020
Nominations PeriodFebruary 17, 2020March 31, 2020
Initial requirements and eligibility validationApril 7, 2020April 1, 2020
Independent Judging Panel’s evaluationApril 30, 2020April 1, 2020
Notification of award winners to the PRITC BoardMay 1, 2020
Public announcement and awards presentationCIO & IT Leadership Conference (May 8, 2020)

For any inquiries regarding the PRITC Innovation Awards, please contact:  svazquez@pritc.org or dlinares@pritc.org.

We look forward to seeing you at the CIO & IT Leadership Conference!

IT Project of the Year

Winner: Popular, Inc.

Description:For its project to use Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology in order to deploy many bots that performed several repetitive activities and achieve productivity improvements in excess of 20,000 hours. Popular did this by leveraging on cloud technology and implementing a governance model that enables non-IT personnel to have a more direct impact on bot design, development, and deployment.

Tech Exporter of the Year

Winner: Rock Solid Technologies.

Description: For its successful exportation of proprietary and third-party software licenses and services to markets such as Mississippi, Barbados, Panamá, Turks & Caicos Islands and the Dominican Republic. Last year exports were more than of $5MM, and there is an expected growth of 20% for the upcoming year.

Societal Impact Award

Winner: Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust

Description: For its deployment and use of GIS and cloud computing platforms to empower clean water access and mosquito control initiatives that directly benefit Puerto Rican society.  Such initiatives are scheduled to expand beyond Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

 

Judges

Josemaria Valdepeñas

ConstantBalance Consulting

President

Josemaria Valdepeñas is an influential technology strategist who helps business and governmental institutions to strategize and design a transformation towards a digital business; by looking at the organization objectives through a digital lens and find how technology is used by customers, citizens and society in today’s dynamics.

Josemaria is a Principal at Constant Balance, a newly created consulting firm aiming to bring to its customers ‘responsible consulting’, a work philosophy targeted to create a committed end-to-end accountability to its customers.

Previously, Josemaria held positions at Microsoft as the Regional Technology Officer for Microsoft Latin-America and The Caribbean. In this role, Josemaria worked closely with the financial, insurance and government institutions to help include technology in a more strategic and effective way. Josemaria also held the position as a Chief Security Advisor for the region to stress the paramount importance of privacy, security and data protection.

Before joining Microsoft, Josemaria was an Associate Partner with Accenture in Boston, Massachusetts. In such role, he was responsible for the management and execution of high caliber projects in the financial services industry in Asia, Europe, and United States. He was instrumental in the development of straight thru processing,-the ability to run processes without human intervention for financial securities.

Josemaria holds the patent as one of the inventors of what is known today as RAID 5 from Berkeley University. He also holds a patent in the optimization of document storage for large capacity devices with Wang Laboratories, Inc.

Josemaria has a bachelor in Computer Science and a bachelor in Management Information Systems from Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, he resides in the United States since 1984.

Lola Jordan

Companion Data Services

President

Ms. Jordan brings more than 20 years of health care and information technology to bear on thesolutions that CDS provides. She brings a rare combinationof having led large fiscal agent andMedicare carrier operations and a technology background, including data center, infrastructure,and print and application development teams.
 
As a pioneer in the health care information technology field, Ms. Jordan brings insight and visionto the connectivity between health care information and technology. A person with herexperience and forethought can discuss business areas such as hosting services, managedservices, cloud business models, financial advantages, government programs, security,virtualization and z/Linux. Additionally, Ms. Jordan adds a perspective that few can–how towork with and build relationships with organizations such as the Centers for Medicare &Medicaid Services andlarge health commercial payer plans and associations.
 
During her career, Lola worked as Account Executive responsible for supporting the State ofKansas Medicaid program, the State of Indiana $6B Medicaid program and the Oklahoma Stateand Education Employees Group Insurance (OSEEGIB). As the BPO and ASP serviceproviders in these entities, Lola handled end-to-end services including touching every type ofprofessional, hospital, institutions, dental, durable medical equipment, pharmacy benefitmanagement, community developmental ormental organization, behavioral health and otherancillary servicessuch as life and disability insurance.

Bill Stratton

White, Roberts & Stratton

Partner

Bill has over 25 years of executive recruitment experience, and is responsible for managing client relationships, engagement and business and strategy development at White, Roberts & Stratton. His clients have included large U.S. and multinational companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Pfizer, Marriott Intl. and Diageo. Bill has recruitment expertise in the areas of general management, finance, IT, supply chain management, marketing, and human resources. He also leads the firm’s international practice and regularly conducts searches in the Caribbean, Central America, Canada, and Mexico.

In addition, Bill serves as Senior Advisor and holds equity positions in 3 Chicago based tech start-up companies. He also serves as Advisor to the CEO of EC-United, a Chicago based global IT consultancy. He served on the University of Illinois Alumni Association Board of Directors for the past 10 years. Most recently he led the organization as “Chairman of the Board” representing over 700,000 alumni from Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield, IL campuses, and more than 75 university alumni related clubs globally. He previously served on the Foundation Board Directors for both the University of Illinois. In 2019 he was selected to be a Judge at the Puerto Rico IT Cluster CIO & IT Leadership Awards. Bill earned his bachelor of science in industrial-organizational psychology from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana campus.

Neil Mehta

DNM, LLC

Managing Director

Intellectual Property (IP) Award

Winner: Akcelita

IP: Artificial Sensing

Description: System for tracking and annotating multiple objects in a 3D environment.

Comments: Applications include tracking movement of individuals in enclosed offices, like bank branches, to a better model, predict and service future needs.

IT Project of the Year

Winner: Asociación de Salud Primaria de Puerto Rico

Project: PR Primary Care Association Network (PRPCAN)

Description: Implementation of a network connecting all Centros de Salud Primaria 330 in PR, thus improving access and use of health information between them.

Tech Exporter of the Year

Winner: eliteBco, LLC

Description: Located in Washington DC, provides business technology services, particularly in document digitization, business process automation and financial management systems (big client is the US Federal Government)

Tech Startup of the Year

Winner: Beacon MD (Agordia)

Description: Develops mobile applications that enable and enhance connections between patients and physicians, and between physicians, to improve medical care.

Societal Impact Award

Winner: Map Plus, LLC

Description: MAPSTAT, an application developed to meet the requirements of the PR Telecommunications Regulatory Board’s response to Hurricane Maria, which eventually became a critical tool for multiagency used to coordinate recuperation efforts.

Judges

José R López Cepero

Office Depot

Director Corporate & People Systems

Lisa McCann

SAP

NA Chief Innovation and Operating Officer – Services

Michael K. Ferris

Abacode Cybersecurity

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Ferris has been a Founder, Chairman and CEO of several companies throughout his 30 year career.  

Michael began his entrepreneurial aspirations in 1993 after moving from the Midwest to Florida and starting TBR Asset Management.  With a sale of TBR, Michael founded Valet Living  www.valetliving.com and spent 17 years creating a market-leading company that provided innovative services and technology to the multifamily real estate sector. 

Valet’s principal financial partners were Charterhouse and New Mountain Capital private equity group.   

In 2012 Mr. Ferris formed Cerca Trova Holdings and made investments in two firms, which are thriving today.

CEO: Abacode Cybersecurity & Compliance –  www.abacode.com 

For organizations who value trust and stability, Abacode’s strategic approach enables board-level and enterprise leadership to objectively manage cyber and data risk through a holistic cybersecurity & compliance program. Abacode transforms any organization’s cybersecurity challenges into a competitive advantage. 

Board Member: Unbounded Labs – www.unboundedlabs.com

Unbounded Labs, formerly Occam Technology Group, is an engineering firm that provides a unique Internet of Things (IoT) platform for companies through product development, manufacturing and visual / data analytics. Unbounded Labs specializes in creating smart products and solutions that solve the most challenging business IoT problems.

Mr. Ferris has been a member on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity Taskforce Committee in Washington DC and is involved in numerous business organizations and international committees. 

Michael was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011 and was a Judge for the EY Florida Awards Program for many years.  

Mr. Ferris is a proud contributor to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Marine Corps. Heritage Foundation, in Quantico Virginia.  Michael resides in Tampa with his wife Merbaliz and their three boys.

William Cabán

World Wide Technology

DevOps Technical Solutions Architect, Global Cloud Automation Team

Neil Mehta

DNM, LLC

Managing Director