The clock is ticking...

It's just under two weeks before nominations close for the ACN Arab Technology Awards - if you haven't nominated yet, here's why you should...

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By  Eliot Beer Published  July 2, 2007

Summer's very much on its way. Here in Dubai a small yellow creature has once again appeared from hibernation to divert the attention of the city's shoppers from the heat. And across the Middle East, people are heading off for cooler climes.

This said, it's probably not the best time to organise an awards ceremony. But in fact the response to the ACN Arab Technology Awards has been impressive - we've had enquiries and nominations come in from across the spectrum.

In one way, this isn't surprising. The Awards are tied up with GITEX - now the third largest IT tradeshow in the world - and so are guaranteed high exposure. They are also one of the few chances Middle East enterprises really have to show off their business and IT prowess.

But in some of the queries I've been getting, I've had the impression some people and companies are put off by the prospect of competing against the big guns - the IBMs, Oracles and Ciscos of this world.

What chance - the reasoning goes - do I have against the vast and slick operations of the biggest vendor projects? How can my [insert project here] possibly shine against that lot?

Well, the chances are pretty good, in fact. For one thing - sorry Oracle, sorry Cisco, but it's true - the big vendors often deliver nominations that are very marketing-heavy. This is a simple fact of life - the nomination is written by the marketing department, not the people who implemented the system.

So an entry written by an IT professional about his or her own project is always going to be able to supply much more detail and reasoning than one written by the marketing guys at a multinational vendor. This is an immediate boost.

The other crucial factor is that the Awards judges won't give a dam about the size of the vendor that's done the project - or the size or fame of the end user, for that matter.

Our judges - and I'm in the process of persuading people to give up time over several weeks of their lives to work on the panel - will be looking for a business case, a well thought out project plan, and a quality implementation. They will not be looking for name recognition, or annual turnover.

So if you're in a smaller enterprise - or, for that matter, a vendor or integrator without a large and efficient marketing department - I'm here to tell you it is definitely worth your while nominating.

The ACN Arab Technology Awards are all about celebrating quality, ingenuity and business-savvy - if you've been involved with projects with any (or hopefully all) of these, we want to hear from you.

Nominations are open until 12 July.

www.itp.net/arabtechawards/

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