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LR Names 2008 Leading Lights Finalists

Phil Harvey
10/1/2008
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Light Reading has determined the finalists for the fifth annual Leading Lights Awards, which recognize top companies and their executives for outstanding achievements in the field of next-gen communications.

The Leading Lights Award winners will be announced before an audience of service providers, analysts, and technology and business press at an exclusive, invitation-only gala dinner on Monday, Oct. 20, following the first day of Light Reading's Ethernet Expo 2008.

The finalists were determined -- and the winners will be judged -- by a panel of Light Reading editors and Heavy Reading analysts. Keeping watching this space, too, because later this week we'll unveil the first Light Reading Leading Lights Reader Survey, through which you can have a voice in helping us determine which companies and people deserve Light Reading’s ultimate accolade.

For now, let's unveil the Leading Lights finalists. Here are all the awards up for grabs, followed by the finalists in each category.

Person of the Year: Awarded to the individual that our editorial staff, with the help of reader votes and nominations, selects as having had the most remarkable impact on the business of next-generation communications during the past 12 months.

Best New Product: Awarded to the company that has developed a market-leading product that, through engineering and technical excellence, enables the deployment of profitable next-generation telecommunications services.

Best New Service: Awarded to the service provider or Internet firm that has most successfully deployed a market-leading, revenue-generating service based on next-generation communications technology.

Best Marketing: Awarded to the company that has best communicated a specific technology vision and/or business proposition to customers and investors, especially in cases where the company has defined and led the market.

Best Investment Potential: Awarded to the public company that represents the best long-term potential return on investment by virtue of solid management, product development, and market growth prospects.

Best Deal Maker: Awarded to the company that has consistently demonstrated good timing, judgment, and execution in high-profile acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic investments, or other creative moves that extend its market reach.

Top IPO or M&A Candidate: Awarded to the private company that most clearly has the management, products, and financial stability to launch a successful IPO or be acquired on its own terms within the next 12 months.

Best New Startup: Awarded to the recently launched private company that our editors believe has the best chance at success because of its proven management, solid backing, and interesting products or services addressing next-generation communications markets.

So who will win?

All will be revealed on Monday, Oct. 20, following the first day of Light Reading's Ethernet Expo 2008. But watch for our Reader Survey later this week.

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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paolo.franzoi
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paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:30:29 PM
re: LR Names 2008 Leading Lights Finalists

I guess porn was not eligible?

seven
DCITDave
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DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:30:29 PM
re: LR Names 2008 Leading Lights Finalists
not this year... let's see how long this recession lasts and we'll talk about it later.
DCITDave
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DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:30:29 PM
re: LR Names 2008 Leading Lights Finalists
best investment potential. seriously, in this climate it was a bit, um, difficult.
acohn
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acohn,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:30:25 PM
re: LR Names 2008 Leading Lights Finalists
Tellabs? You are joking right?
Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:30:24 PM
re: LR Names 2008 Leading Lights Finalists
Not a fan, eh? Any particular reason, or are you still remembering the whole Echo Boomer thing?

Best Marketing is always a tough category, IMHO. You have to differentiate between effective marketing, good-looking marketing, and just-plain-loud marketing -- and of course, because it's *marketing*, it's their job to make sure you can't tell the difference.

And Cisco, which does shades of all three, winds up a finalist almost automatically. I always wonder if people have gotten tired of that.
gbmorrison
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gbmorrison,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:30:23 PM
re: LR Names 2008 Leading Lights Finalists
They were perennial finalist in at least one of these no?
Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:30:21 PM
re: LR Names 2008 Leading Lights Finalists
Data point on the Extreme 20808: While they haven't shipped just yet, Extreme is saying the beta test is oversubscribed. Couldn't get any other details out of them, though (such as, # of tier 1s involved, which geographies, etc.)

Just another bit to consider while you're taking the Leading Lights poll.

http://www.lightreading.com/su...
Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:30:21 PM
re: LR Names 2008 Leading Lights Finalists
They were our everlasting IPO pick. They're probably relieved to be off the list!
farsonic
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farsonic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:30:18 PM
re: LR Names 2008 Leading Lights Finalists
So the non shipping 20K is listed a product, yet I don't see the Juniper EX or SRX as a finalist?

Farsonic
Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:30:17 PM
re: LR Names 2008 Leading Lights Finalists
We gave the 20K a pass on the shipping status, I'll grant you that.

Juniper's EX, frankly, wasn't in the running. Decent sounding product, and monumentally important to Juniper -- but lacks the big-picture impact we look for. I don't think Juniper even entered it, IIRC -- they realized that the SRX was the pick of the crop.

So SRX, you could argue, should have made it. It came close, but we had a tough field this year. I'll be interested in seeing what Juniper can make of it; there's a lot of promise there.

What do other folks think? Did we blow it by not including the SRX?
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