Participation is a big part of Top Picks. The nominations are meant to be discussed, argued, and rent apart on the message boards, with vendors and readers out-shouting each other to convince our editors.
(The vendors have been rather shy so far. Kudos to Jaime Fink of 2Wire Inc. for stepping up.)
I'm liking the way the shortlist is turning out. Despite popular opinion, I think the optical burst guys, Intune Networks and Matisse Networks , belong there; it's a big-picture idea that's exciting, even though its future is uncertain. The Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) converged backbone is an even bigger-picture idea, but with scarce details.
The Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) metro box has drawn the attention of a defecting Cuban baseball player (that is to say, good). And the packet-optical transport systems (P-OTS) category is lifting off with submissions from Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) and optical startup Cyan Optics Inc. Heck, Cyan deserves credit just for existing as an optical-systems startup.
Looking over the list, I have to say Polatis Inc. seems like the weak link. That's not to say their product is bad; it just doesn't present the life-changing scope of some of the others. If anyone from Polatis wants to rebut, I'd invite them to do so on the Top Picks: Carrier Transport board.
If you'd like your company considered for Top Picks, please hurry up! Winners get decided around Oct. 16, but you'll want time to get seen on the discussion boards before then. Instructions follow.
Here are three things you can do to vault your company into Top Picks contention:
1) Nominate. Let us know what your company is doing that's so great. Don't overthink the category placement or how much information we'll need. Just shout out and tell us you want to be considered and we'll let you know what info we'd like to have.
2) Participate. If we pose a question to you via our message boards, you have to respond on our message boards. If you don't, that could hurt your chances of winning. Having your lazy PR firm cut and paste chunks of your corporate Website into emails is not the way to win this contest. We want to talk to the companies directly and hear why they're excited about what they're selling, building, or planning.
3) Reciprocate. If you really want to be a Top Pick, you'll go the extra mile and help us evaluate your category peers. Why not pose some hard questions to your competitors in the space? Why not challenge our editors to explain why their shortlist of companies includes products and services that are clearly inferior to yours? Most people in telecom don't have that kind of backbone, but for the few that do, your efforts will be rewarded.
Finally, here are some Top Picks links to help you out and cover any questions you may have:
- LR Top Picks Program Launches
- Light Reading's Top Picks FAQ
- Here's an update on Light Reading's flagship awards program, the Leading Lights.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading