Envelope Please… Announcing the Winners for the 2011 Washies

December 15, 2011 Appirio

By Narinder Singh

Tonight at a happy hour in San Francisco, Appirio announced and toasted the winners of “The Washies” — our tongue-in-cheek award given to the worst cloudwashing offenders. We first announced the award in October, opened it up for nominations in November and put it out to the public to choose the winners.  Voting closed on Monday and even we were a little surprised at the response it received – both good and bad.

Now we’re ready to announce the winners.

It probably comes as no surprise that Oracle was the “Titanic” of the Washies, taking home the majority of category wins – likely attributed to their long history of cloudbashing and their quick about-face to embrace public cloud technology (or maybe it’s just terminology).

So here they are…your 2011 winners.

The biggest overall cloud washer – Oracle: This mega-vendor couldn’t utter the word “cloud” without some kind of skeptical comment until recently, at which time they jumped wholeheartedly on the bandwagon.

The worst case of cloud washed advertising – Microsoft: “To the cloud!” During a television commercial staged with two people bored at an airport, the world saw this company introduce “the cloud” to consumers.  Until then it was simply known as “the Internet.” While Microsoft does have some legit cloud solutions in their portfolio, these and their other TV commercials handed them the win in this category.

The most cloud washed statement – Larry Ellison and Oracle: This one was a toss-up, but ultimately, Oracle’s Larry Ellison edged out the competition with his past Churchill Club sound bite, “…we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do.”

The biggest personal cloud washer – Larry Ellison: This was a controversial category that perhaps rightly so raised the ire of some of the nominees, but we have to give the award to Larry.  We were a bit surprised that one of the nominees launched a social media campaign to win the award, and had he not set up a bot to auto vote for himself, he may have taken home the prize.  But it wouldn’t be right to reward a cheater and, in hindsight, he probably didn’t deserve to be nominated to this category in the first place, so Larry Ellison earned himself his second award of the night.

The most enthusiastic use of the word cloud – salesforce.com:  Love for the cloud can sometimes lead to excessive use of the word and other over the top behavior – even among true cloud companies. We freely admit that Appirio often sits in that camp – everything we touch seems to be incomplete without a cloud image.  However, salesforce.com edged us out for this category win. Given their strong voice in cloud advocacy, we respectfully accept defeat.

The public has voted – these are your 2011 Washie winners.  It was a fun exercise although we can only hope that by next year this award will no longer be needed.

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