Business Applications Innovation of the Year

Winner- Platform Computing

The winning technology provider in the Business Applications category of the Information Age Innovation Awards was high-performance computing specialist Platform Computing. The company’s winning entry focused on an implementation by Red Bull Racing, a Formula One team perhaps best known for employing David Coulthard before his retirement in 2008.

Like all Formula One teams, Red Bull’s success is based on its ability to predict the performance impact of changes to the design of its car. It does this with sophisticated modelling applications based on a high-performance computing (HPC) cluster, made up of many hundreds of processing cores.

Having made a significant investment in that cluster, it was imperative that Red Bull Racing derived the maximum possible return. The team turned to Platform Computing’s Load Sharing Facility (LSF) to do just that.

This allows compute resources to be scheduled, and even dynamically allocated in such a way that multiple analyses can be conducted simultaneously. That ability has brought about a 20% increase in throughput on the HPC core.

“Every analysis counts for a Formula One team, and they haven’t got time to spare,” explains Steve Little, strategic account manager for Red Bull Racing at Platform Computing.

“One of the key benefits of LSF to Red Bull was the reliability,” adds Little. “Even if they have a complete power cut, they won’t lose a job.”

The LSF has also allowed the team to add the computing power of some of the design team’s high-end PCs to the compute cluster when they are not in use, and more will be added in future.

Red Bull Racing is now looking at deploying more of Platform’s tools, including the ability to intelligently manage software licences in order to bring down its application licence overhead.

Runner-up – Yesmail

Yesmail was the runner-up in the Business Applications category, with a submission describing its conversion optimiser technology. The technology applies statistical analysis to email marketing lists to boost responses and enhance sales. One customer used the capability to identify customers on its email lists who were more likely to purchase its products, something that its existing CRM analytics software had failed to do. In a single month, that customer was able to drive $100,000 of additional revenue as a result.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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