NSCA has announced the winners of its 2021 Stepping Up Awards, which temporarily replaced the association's annual Excellence in Business Awards that honor systems integration firms and their efforts to implement new strategies to navigate the constantly changing industry.
“In the face of the pandemic, NSCA has seen its members set and strive for new goals and rise to the occasion when faced with daunting business challenges," said NSCA director of industry outreach Tom LeBlanc. "So this year we decided to recognize companies that stepped up in various ways and honor them at the 2021 Business & Leadership Conference, where the theme is ‘Stepping Up When It Counts’.”
The winners of NSCA’s 2021 Stepping Up Awards are:
Agility: Red Thread
This category is about integrators recognizing a rapidly changing market and adapting to customers’ evolving needs. During the pandemic, Red Thread, number 21 on the 2020 SCN Top 50, quickly positioned itself as a back-to-work solutions provider and consultant. It developed a Workplace Re-Entry Program Guide and Safe Workplace Technology Playbook. Meanwhile, it launched a slew of solutions that can be integrated into back-to-work strategies, including its RapidEntry system for temperature screening, an air purification system, and its AmplifyTeamwork collaboration system for facilitating workplace re-entry and working from home.
Customer Experience: Forward Edge
This category is about finding ways to be there for customers when they need their integrator partners most. As school districts moved online due to COVID-19, many of Forward Edge’s K-12 customers were challenged with adjusting to the new environment. Forward Edge’s team of technology integration specialists pulled together an expansive library of distance learning resources and tools for districts to use while tackling online learning. A best practices guide, webinars, and virtual office hours every other day for teachers helped address issues related to data privacy, teacher training, and engaging students over digital media.
Employee Engagement: Integrated Security Technologies
This category is about implementing solutions to keep sprawling, uniquely challenged workforces productive and positive. As mission-critical security employees, IST’s employees felt fortunate to be working through the pandemic, but they also had personal and professional challenges. They worked in hospitals where the virus was present. They were on job sites where other workers didn’t wear masks or properly social distance. They worried about their own well-being and the health of their loved ones. The IST executive team implemented several steps to recognize and support employees throughout the challenging work environment.
Community Outreach: ClearTech
This category is about taking steps to help those in need. During the pandemic, ClearTech has been working with Western Service Workers Association (WSWA), which provides support for low-income service, domestic, in-home care, part-time, and temporary workers to provide things like emergency food, clothing, preventive medical care, and more. ClearTech has supported WSWA for years but really stepped up during the pandemic with employees working on school supply drives, donating toys for the holidays, helping with PPP loan applications, and more.
Achievement: SIGNET Electronic Systems
This category is about beating the odds in a brutal market, achieving business growth, and measured success. In the midst of the pandemic, Signet launched its Remote Smart network operations center, which provides a highly professional and cyber-safe platform for the integrator to provide remote service. This not only proved invaluable in terms of touchless interaction with customer systems, but also has infused the company with recurring revenue, according to the NSCA.