A NEW category for the most innovative technology firm has been created for the Oxfordshire Business Awards in 2018.

The technology award has been backed by IT solutions company CIS.

The Faringdon-based company was established in 1989 specialising in IT solutions, services and consultancy.

Its core focus of providing IT solutions to businesses locally, nationally and internationally has continued while its offering has grown to include its own Private Cloud.

The new award, called The CIS Technology Excellence Award, identifies and recognises an organisation’s focus on advancing their business through the use of information technology.

Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, a continued use of best practice, including remaining at the leading edge of technology, improved customer experience through the use of IT, consolidation of systems, efficiency increases through the use of IT systems or a digital transformation project.

Richard Marsh, chief executive officer of CIS, said: “I am delighted that we are sponsoring this award.

“We are often approached by Oxfordshire businesses about how we can make new technology work better for them.

“This award is a good way of recognising businesses that use a multitude of different technologies.”

The award is open to any organisation irrespective of size or market sector.

Businesses must show a consistent investment in best practice technology.

OBA chairman Paul Lowe said: “I am delighted to announce the creation of a new technology award for 2018.

“CIS who have been past finalists of the awards have joined our sponsor and I welcome the insight that Richard Marsh their CEO brings to the process.

“Oxfordshire has a world-leading economy and has many businesses who are making great use of technology, so it is a natural step to have an award to feature and attract some of these great companies.”

Among CIS’s clients are St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

With the refurbishment of the Chapter House came a temporary office move for staff, meaning a fail-safe IT solution, incorporating disaster recovery, was required to serve not only an interim period, but also well into the future.

The initial challenge was to relocate all staff from the St Paul’s Chapter House into a temporarily set-up office while ensuring all of the IT provisioning of the existing office was carried over.

This first stage of the project meant that St Paul’s needed an IT company with extensive experience in data centre design.

All of the work had to be performed without any disturbance to the usual smooth running of the cathedral and all of its functions.

CIS designed a system in new buildings using the latest in Sophos firewall solutions and wireless access systems. The network was segregated into ‘old’ and ‘new’ followed by a full physical migration of all staff from the main Chapter House to rented office space and wirelessly connected back to the main building.

John Story, Head of IT at St Paul’s Cathedral said: “We were delighted to work with CIS – the project was well-organised and innovative.

“CIS delivered a prompt professional service with trusted knowledge we could rely on at all times.”

Entries for the awards are now open, following the launch last month at the Sadler Building at Oxford Science Park.

More than 100 people from the county’s business community gathered for the launch of the 24th annual awards.

Guests included Nigel Tipple, chief executive of Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

The awards ceremony itself will take place on Friday, June 15, 2018.

Hundreds of people will attend the new venue for the black tie dinner, Oxford Brookes University’s award-winning John Henry Brookes Building.

p The Oxfordshire Business Awards is now open for entries at oxfordshirebusinessawards.co.uk before the deadline of March 2.