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The nomination period for the 2022 Red Hat Innovation Awards has been extended to September 20, 2021 - which means there is still time for you to nominate your organization for innovative uses of Red Hat’s open source technology. 

Now in its 16th year, the Red Hat Innovation Awards recognize the technological achievements of Red Hat customers around the world who demonstrate creative thinking, determined problem-solving and transformative uses of Red Hat technology. 

As a judge for the Red Hat Innovation Awards, I wanted to give an inside look into what myself, and the other judges, will be hoping to see in a submission, to help you create the best nomination possible. 

  1. Business impact: a strong customer use case always starts with a business challenge. I will be looking for submissions that effectively show what their organization looked like before the implementation of our technology, and how the organization has grown since deployment. Including relevant metrics is especially important to help us better understand your story. 

  2. Digital transformation: my favorite customer stories showcase how a project can not only solve a business challenge, but also help an entire organization come around to new ways of working. I’ll be on the lookout for stories that show how Red Hat technology can help improve processes across multiple teams, or where the implementation led to a radical change in a team’s way of thinking. 

  3. Openness: Red Hat technologies are built around open source principles, and we’ve found that the best projects involve adopting a more open culture along the way. Maybe your project helped foster a DevOps mindset in your organization, or promoted diversity, collaboration and meritocracy. Showing how technology impacted your organization’s culture always makes for a great submission. 

  4. Community impact or influence: the Red Hat Innovation Awards program showcases projects that not only help an organization reach their business goals, but have an impact in the communities they serve as well. Last year’s Innovator of the Year, Medife, did an excellent job showcasing how migrating from paper-based systems to a cloud-based digital platform improved efficiency for their members, and set the stage to provide ready access to healthcare when the COVID-19 pandemic made in-person engagement impossible. Tell us how you make the world around you a better place. 

  5. Cool factor: of course, a key to any good submission is a cool story, and we’ve had some great ones! Last year we saw stories of virtualized car testing, using AI/ML to scan for potential GDPR breaches, modernization of the healthcare system in Argentia, and improvements to the teacher payroll process for New Zealand schools. Take a look at these and some of the other past winners to get a feel for the type of projects that stand out, it could provide some inspiration! 

In the end, it’s not a magic formula or a checklist of standard things that will make your entry a winner. It comes down to the ability to tell a compelling story. Take us beyond the Red Hat products and services you used and tell us the impact of the project, both the impact on your organization and on the lives of others. 

Nominations close on September 20, 2021, and I can’t wait to start reading about how our customers are changing the world with open source technology. Good luck to everyone participating in the 2022 Red Hat Innovation Awards program! 

About the author

Stefanie Chiras is Senior Vice President of Partner Ecosystem Success at Red Hat, leading Red Hat’s global partner ecosystem engagement, and plays a critical role in increasing the understanding of the value of Red Hat's product portfolio within the ecosystem, defining the strategy for partnering with Red Hat for customer success. 

Prior to joining Red Hat in 2018, Chiras served as Vice President of Offering Management at IBM Cognitive Systems. As part of the Cognitive Systems brand team, she led worldwide business for the systems and software portfolios, AIX, IBM i, Linux, and the cloud stack. She has extensive experience in both business and technology, including technical roles that range from silicon technology to system architecture.

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