Madison Technologies achieves first place in Cisco’s Global Digital Sustainability Challenge

Madison Technologies - August 9, 2022

Ben Dawson, Vice President, Cisco ANZ congratulates Madison Group Enterprises CEO Gerhard Loots

Madison Technologies has achieved first place recognition in the APJC category in Cisco’s inaugural Global Digital Sustainability Challenge, concepting a proactive flood warning solution that creates a safer environment for road users in our ever-changing climate.

The competition asks Cisco partners across the globe to submit their most innovative ideas focused on helping customers tackle climate concerns and achieving sustainability goals.

After becoming a Cisco Operational Technology business partner in September of 2021, the team at Madison Technologies was introduced to the competition through Cisco in early 2022.

“To be awarded first place in the first year of the competition is a fantastic result.” said Paul Calabro, CEO of Madison Technologies. “It really speaks to our 30-year legacy of not only creating new products and technologies but partnering with other best-in-class technology developers to create robust solutions for customers”. 

Cisco Sustainability Challenge judges considered three key criteria when assessing the submissions, including the team’s ability to show a measurable impact, present a unique innovation concept and how the team demonstrated collaboration towards digital transformation.

“The number of submissions, and the creativity of the solutions we received were incredible.” said Oliver Tuszik – Senior Vice President, Global Partner Sales at Cisco. “It made it very difficult for our judges to select the winners”.

In the initial stages of the challenge, Madison Group Enterprises, the parent company of Madison Technologies, created a shark tank influenced competition, where cross functional teams presented their solutions concepts to a panel of judges. The winning team was then supported to further develop their concept before the final submission.

“We wanted to take this unique opportunity to create and support an environment that enabled our in-house talent to conceptualise different solutions.” said Paul Calabro. “This challenge encouraged us to think outside the box and create a solution explicitly focused on addressing climate change related concerns, and it’s resulted in a unique product concept – there is nothing like this on the market”.

The final concept presented to the Cisco Sustainability Challenge was Flood Node, a flood warning solution that provides a reliable digital early alert system of expected flood water across roads, along with visualisation confirmation, to predict flood levels and provide advanced warnings re-routing drivers to safer roads.

“It is fantastic to see Australian innovation recognised with Madison Technologies taking out first place in APJC, in Cisco’s inaugural Global Digital Sustainability Challenge.” said Ben Dawson, Vice President, Cisco Australia & New Zealand. “The team at Madison Technologies shared their innovative flood warning solution concept – Flood Node, in response to the dangers associated with flash flooding experienced in Australia, and across the globe. This is an excellent application of Cisco technology and demonstrates the ability of our partners to innovate, directly tackling the impact of climate change. The Challenge prize money will help to accelerate the innovation and development process. Congratulations to the Madison Technologies team!”

When considering climate related challenges, the team at Madison drew on personal experiences, using local weather events to inform their thinking.

“The flash flooding that Brisbane experienced at the beginning of the year was front of mind when we were conceptualising solutions.” said Alex Sims, Technical Solutions Engineer. “I got caught out by the flooding because the analogue flood makers weren’t able to communicate the expected water levels, which turned my return trip into a dangerous experience. By digitising flood detection, we can improve the routing provided to us by navigational apps and make road users safer”.

With the success of this submission behind them, Madison Technologies is now looking to further develop the product concept and will soon start the prototyping stage.