2005 Computerworld Honors Program Finalists

The 48 finalists, from 10 countries, represent the most innovative and visionary applications of IT from the 2005 Computerworld Honors collection. Finalists were selected by a panel of distinguished judges based on benefit to society, importance of IT, originality, success and difficulty.

Finalists in each of the 10 categories are being honored June 6 at Washington's historic National Building Museum.

This year's full collection of finalists and laureates includes technology applications from 15 countries. Case studies will be posted online at www.cwheroes.org, where the entire collection is available to scholars, researchers and the general public worldwide.

Business and Related Services

BellSouth Corp.: This telecommunications company has broadened its inventory management strategy, improving how it identifies, recovers and reuses stranded capacity on the network. The savings are being used to expand a next-generation network to better serve customers.

Acxiom Corp.: A customer information infrastructure based on a grid-computing infrastructure and a grid-enabled processing architecture address the increasing information management and time-to-market needs of the company and its clients. The infrastructure scales its operations to keep up with demand and manages an existing reference base of 20 billion records and two petabytes of company and client data.

Cendant Travel Distribution Services: It has developed the travel industry's first service-oriented architecture framework, which provides centralization of resources and standardization of hardware to improve service and yield more than $100 million in avoided costs.

Cogent Systems Inc.: Its system is the first to apply supercomputing principles to enable highly scalable and accurate biometric fingerprint comparisons, leading the way to identification systems to ensure the safety and integrity of transactions, communications and travel.

Tarari Inc.: This company designed and developed a new breed of silicon, focused on content processing. Its products are deployed in servers, switches, appliances and devices in technologies such as XML and Web services, network security and digital media.

Education and Academia

School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Originally a place for the sharing and support all kinds of free software, an information commons and contributor-run digital library also hosts more than 1,500 non-software-related sharing projects on almost every subject, handling more than 12 million requests each day.

Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey: Internet-linked learning centers in Mexico address social inequities by bringing quality education to low-income and isolated communities to improve living standards, strengthen communities and influence national development.

Department of Defence: Australia's Defence Online Campus enhances defense operational capability through the development of a highly flexible learning infrastructure. A common architecture and uniform basic standards enhances the administration of learning and the design, development, presentation, use, reuse and sharing of learning materials.

College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan: A university library introduces the concepts of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery through visualization and interaction with drug molecules, biochemical pathways and related topics, serving to outline and visualize the connection between various drug classes and integrating different disciplines and subjects.

Texas Association of School Boards: Using an advanced suite of contact-center applications, this group improved service to its 1,042 member school districts, including cost-effective risk management and insurance programs, procurement services, legislative advocacy, legal and governance services, and parent and teacher outreach.

Environment, Energy and Agriculture

Eskom Holdings Ltd.: This utility company, which supplies more than half of Africa's electricity, implemented the continent's largest electrical utility CRM system, enabling 350 front-office agents to serve more than 3.7 million customers, improving customer satisfaction and increasing business efficiency.

Shell Oil Products US: By consolidating three separate customer portals into one, this company allowed consumers, customers and channel partners to conduct business with multiple divisions and companies, while reducing IT support costs by 15%. The new portal provides round-the-clock convenience and a suite of capabilities that increase sales and improving service.

Fractal Technologies Pty. Ltd.: This Australian company developed an IT system to manage, distribute, display and interrogate complex three-dimensional data as well as other, more traditional types of information.

Broward County Environment Protection Department: Broward County in Florida replaced a paper-based inspection process with an e-inspection process. Field inspections are now automatically scheduled and completed using electronic media, mobile and home-based offices, and the inspection database is electronically populated in near real-time and made available to all department staff.

Neptune Technology Group Inc.: This company worked with a major U.S. electric and gas utility to facilitate full at-a-distance meter-reading capabilities, rerouting functionality and meter-related field-service capabilities.

Finance, Insurance and Real Estate

Citigroup Inc.: A new digital media group accesses the firm's intellectual capital and turns it into digital video content, facilitating the distribution of live and on-demand content via the Internet externally to clients (financial/market commentary, business intelligence, education, executive messaging) and internally to employees (training, internal communication, information sharing).

MassHousing: Low- and moderate-income citizens in Massachusetts gain easier access to a variety of mortgage products priced below market using a new Web-based portal, which facilitates electronic transactions between state housing authorities and the private sector.

Insurance Auto Auctions Inc.: It deployed a new wireless data/audio network that enables automobile buyers to prebid ahead of live auctions, attend auctions in person, bid in advance, or attend and participate in live auctions via the Internet.

Habib Bank AG Zurich: A new application, based on a tiny virtual machine and a Sybase database, allowed the Swiss bank to scale its applications on thin clients. The world's first Java banking system reduced costs and enhanced efficiency.

Sprint Communications Co.: Its nationwide, all-digital wireless network and middleware extends claims applications to mobile devices, enabling insurance companies to process claims faster, providing quicker reimbursements, in particular to victims of natural disaster.

Government and Nonprofit Organizations

Aidmatrix: Its new software allows not-for-profit organizations to distribute food, clothing, building, medical and educational supplies to the world's needy using efficient inventory management and distribution techniques previously used almost exclusively at for-profit companies.

New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications: A customer service initiative for the municipality establishes a single phone number (3-1-1) by which residents, businesspeople and visitors can request directory assistance, information or city services.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: The CyberTipline offers a worldwide means of reporting incidents of child sexual exploitation and serves as a technical assistance resource center for the public, parents and law enforcement regarding these issues. As of December 2004, the CyberTipline has analyzed more than 290,000 reported incidents.

Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare: A scalable comprehensive solution for state services using modular frameworks and the latest Web technologies helps manage child care subsidies for nearly 70,000 children of low-income families on a daily basis. It also provides child care information to the general public as well as the child care provider community.

Lighthouse International: Compatible with screen-reader software and designed with students who might have impaired vision or hearing, low reading levels or low computer literacy levels, Flex VRA, Lighthouse International's online and mentored training program, opens new career paths for paraprofessionals from disadvantaged backgrounds or with handicaps.

Manufacturing

Medline Industries Inc.: The manufacturer and distributor of health care products brought its supply chain components together to keep costs in line with double-digit growth and provide service to customers and patients.

Aap implantate AG: An integrated information system is helping to speed up the flow of information for this German company's implants and joint replacements, from the results of the medical examination to the production of the implants to the documentation of all processes.

Cambium-Forstbetriebe: The Log Tracking System at this German forestry company puts radio frequency identification tags and database software to work for foresters, ensuring documentation of all labor and transportation processes -- from the forest to the sawmills.

Premier Manufacturing Corp.: In less than nine months, this company implemented new systems, increasing manufacturing capacity by 7% and labor efficiencies by an estimated 15%, all while reducing annual setup costs by $130,000 and defects by 50%.

Rockwool Corp.: An improved information workflow allows employees to be better connected to customers and better able to meet their needs and assess their ability to pay. The company also saved money and improved internal communications and customer service.

Media, Arts and Entertainment

ReserveAmerica Holdings Inc.: Beginning in 2003, the nation's leading camping reservations provider successfully upgraded its entire network, increasing reliability and security. It also enabled a variety of new services without interrupting its ongoing operations, which serve more than 5 million customers.

The Phillips Collection: The Fulfilling the Vision Campaign is a $27 million effort to support facilities expansion and create a Center for Studies in Modern Art to support learning and more effectively serve and extend its reach to growing audiences.

School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: A test bed and an exemplar for researchers and early adopters of digital video makes digital video files available to the education and research communities for viewing and reuse and facilitates research to understand how people interact with digital video materials.

Turner Broadcasting System Inc.: A digital media optimization project addresses one of the central issues facing broadcasters and cable networks in this decade: the end of the mass market. The project's goal is to seek out the viewer on their preferred platform of choice and make a rich selection of programming available to them in their preferred environments.

The Gallup Organization: On Sept. 13, 2004, Gallup introduced the Gallup Poll Daily Briefing, designed to deliver public-opinion news and data via a webcast from Gallup.com and provide world leaders with the relevant, reliable and trustworthy information they need, when and where they need it.

Medicine

Lifespan Health System: A pioneering medical-grade, wireless infrastructure supports complete mobility throughout the full continuum of health care delivery, facilitating accurate collection and the immediate dissemination of patient information to physicians and other health care professionals at the time of critical clinical decision-making.

Northern Lights Health Region: An IP communications infrastructure for videoconferencing, data, voice and wireless services enables a health provider covering a patient base of 70,000 people to deliver better diagnostics and patient treatment and roll out new services while controlling costs.

WebMD Practice Services: Intergy Electronic Health Records provide physicians quick and easy access to complete, clear and accurate patient health care records, facilitating better quality healthcare and reducing healthcare cost.

IOSH Business Unit (IBU): The Information System for Oral Health in Australia enables fair and efficient patient access to treatment at public health dental clinics and early intervention to prevent deterioration in their oral health status, services formally provided disproportionately on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ochsner Clinic Foundation: The Cardiovascular Information System generates clinical interpretive reports instantaneously at a high-volume cardiology center, tracking more than 4,200 pieces of discrete data. It reduces interpretation time, test turn-around time, test reporting errors and patient care costs, while creating a comprehensive cardiology research database.

Science

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative: This organization has implemented a reliable IT infrastructure to transmit clinical and lab data from multiple remote sites, mainly in Africa, to databases abroad. Cost-effective, reliable Internet technologies ensure that information is ready available to scientists, facilitating critical and timely decision-making.

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