The test begins... now!

Well, that's it. The nominations are closed, the entries are in - all that's left is to pick the winners. After a frenetic final burst of nominations coming in on - or, on occasion, just after - the closing date, the end is now in sight for this year's ACN Arab Technology Awards.

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By  Eliot Beer Published  August 13, 2007

Well, that's it. The nominations are closed, the entries are in - all that's left is to pick the winners. After a frenetic final burst of nominations coming in on - or, on occasion, just after - the closing date, the end is now in sight for this year's ACN Arab Technology Awards.

But now the real test begins - the judging process. Our panel is now hard at work sifting through the 60+ entries across the 14 categories. And - without scaring the judges too much - they have a tough task ahead of them.

Our judges are not an easily scared group, though - consisting of Todd McGregor of Forrester, Frederick Sabty of the Burj Al Arab, Mohammed Shah of Al Madinah Knowledge Economic City, and Alistair Sinclair of Mashreqbank, they represent some of the best and brightest IT and business figures from the Middle East.

The quality of the judges, though, is matched by the quality of the nominations - watching them come in, I've been very pleasantly surprised by the range, scope and depth of some of the entries.

What has been especially pleasing is the number of entries from enterprises themselves - in previous award ceremonies the majority of entries have been from vendors, but we've seen a sizable slice of the entries from the end users themselves.

Between these and some high-quality offerings from the vendor community, the judging panel is set for a tough time choosing the winners. While there can only be one winner in each category, it's safe to say that we've seen enough top-quality nominations to satisfy a couple of awards ceremonies (although that's not an invitation to submit the same ones next year...)

The panel and I are now set for a few weeks of hard judging, while we separate the IT wheat from the chaff of hyperbole - with the results to be revealed on September 9.

The real test has begun.

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