Whether or not you’re a fan of the summer games in Rio, you have to admire those athletes who can attain the level of athleticism to win a gold medal. Today’s competitors know better than ever how to build on a solid foundation, taking advantage of the things they do well and drilling endlessly on the things they need to improve. They know how vital it is to have a great coach, a leader who can teach them things they couldn’t learn on their own and who isn’t afraid to challenge their thinking. Finally, they know that anything can happen – a missed landing, a slow flip turn, a pulled hamstring – and how to prepare for the worst.

When it comes to everyday life, you want the same concepts to apply to your business: build on a solid foundation, find the best leaders, and learn how to recover from stressful events. For companies who do these things extremely well, the business world has its own international competition – the Stevie Awards.

Stevie Award Blog ImageThe Stevie® Award trophy is one of the world’s most coveted prizes. Since 2002, the Gold Stevie Award has been conferred for achievement in business to organizations and individuals in more than 60 nations.  Coincidentally, the name ‘Stevie’ is taken from the name Stephen, which is derived from the Greek for “crowned.” Just last week, a number of Stevie award winners took home their own Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Here’s the scoop on two winners from Sungard Availability Services.


Taking a page from the coach’s book, Kaushik Ray, Vice President of Global Architecture and Customer Engineering for Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) – a global leader in fully recoverable production services – was initially brought in to lead the transformation of the company’s Managed Recovery Program (MRP). He quickly determined that as an industry, the majority of disaster recovery (DR) processes and tasks are completely manual and labor intensive. No matter how skilled an organization might be, relying on manual processes is not only prone to inevitable human errors and high delivery costs, but also unlikely to be able to handle the increasingly complex technical requirements of recovery.

Sensing an opportunity for innovation and differentiation, Ray initiated a full-scale transformation program to reinvent how the end-to-end recovery process is performed. The ultimate goal was to make DR touch-free through process automation – dramatically reducing manual effort, virtually eliminating the human error factor, improving recovery times, and lowering service delivery costs. This program resulted in the combination of technology and process solutions under the name of Recovery Execution System (RES). For this, he won a gold medal in the Stevie Award – International Business Awards for Information Technology, as Executive of the Year.


To help companies stay on top of their “A” game, Sungard AS took on the challenge of helping organizations add more applications to the cloud in light of the fact that protection strategies haven’t kept pace. Using public clouds can deliver a host of benefits for organizations: improved business agility, increased resiliency, data protection, decreased administrative burden, and potentially reduced expenses. However, the threat and challenges of system failures, regulatory requirements, and outages are as real as they were in the mainframe era. Sungard AS is meeting those challenges head on with its new Cloud-based Recovery for Amazon Web Services (AWS).

With Cloud-based Recovery for AWS, customers can experience the full capabilities of Sungard AS’ industry-leading cloud recovery solutions – including storage replication, off-site storage, and automated recovery of protected workloads – as a fully-managed, utility-priced service. In other words, companies pay only for recovery compute on AWS at the time of test or disaster, plus a monthly management fee. And for that, the company won a silver medal in the Stevie International Business Awards for Best New Product or Service of the Year – Software – Cloud Storage & Backup Solution.

You may not be the next gold medal swimmer, but every business – just like every competitive athlete — knows that no sportsman can do it alone. Every champion has a coach, a playbook and a plan. Just don’t get flustered if you tear your swim cap, as long as you have a great back-up plan.