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Innovator of the Year® : CAS Software wins TOP 100

CAS Software named "Innovator of the Year" in this year's TOP 100 innovation competition, ranking first among all companies in the class-C size category (that is companies with more than 200 employees). CAS Software AG’s founder and CEO Martin Hubschneider and his team accepted the award from the TOP 100 mentor and science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar on June 24, 2022 in Frankfurt am Main.

After the overall victory in 2006 and 2011, CAS Software is at the top of the TOP 100 companies for the third time: "As a team, we are very pleased and proud to be named Innovator of the Year. I would like to thank all our customers, partners and especially our co-creators for their unbridled enthusiasm and the sheer joy they bring to innovation, enabling this top performance in a lively innovative climate on the CAS Campus while living up to the "We" spirit," said Martin Hubschneider, founder and CEO of CAS Software AG.

The benchmark: over 100 scientific test criteria

As the only independent award for innovation management in Germany, TOP 100 focuses on a company's future viability. Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke from the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and his team use more than 100 scientific criteria to decide who is included in the circle of top innovators. They do not evaluate individual innovations, but innovation management as a whole.

TOP 100 jury highlights adaptive future strategy

In addition, a jury selects the Innovator of the Year in the respective size category - the 24-member TOP 100 jury ( includes renowned experts from business, science, media and politics. In its decision, the TOP 100 jury emphasized that CAS Software, as Innovator of the Year in size category C, demonstrated outstanding success in aligning its own innovation strategy in a long-term, future-oriented and adaptive manner. The best example of which is the development of the cloud-based CRM platform SmartWe and We.Network (the associated social network), with which the company is ushering in the era of a new software generation. This offers companies and organizations, as well as private individuals in the future, the opportunity to maintain their relationships digitally while preserving their digital sovereignty. A key example of which, is the fact that unlike the big Internet monopolies, We.Network does not spy on its users.

Additionally, as a platform operator, the specially founded subsidiary SmartWe World SE deliberately refrains from skimming off possible monopoly profits and instead uses these profits to ensure the healthy and sustainable growth of the entire platform. Profits are deliberately limited, and the surplus is reinvested in further development or cost reductions for the customers of the software platform, who at the same time together with the co-creators and partners, are also shareholders in the subsidiary SmartWe World SE.

Change process with vision and prudence

 "Such a radical change in the business model naturally poses major challenges for the company organization," explained the jury in its rationale. "The management team is shaping this change process with foresight and prudence. The innovative climate is characterized by an open and cooperative approach. Individual responsibility is encouraged and trying out new things is rewarded. CAS is also characterized by exceptional methodological competence at all stages of the innovation process, as well as at the strategic and operational levels, and maintains very extensive cooperative relationships. Thanks to its consistent management approach to innovation, for years now, CAS has been continuously producing innovations in technology, products, processes, services and business models. Market firsts and innovative enhancements account for more than 50 percent of sales."

Success through a continuous innovation management approach

The TOP 100 seal embodies innovative strength and unique innovation management in the SME sector. The IT company from Karlsruhe has also been pursuing this claim tirelessly for years and is, therefore, also honored by the TOP 100 jury for its long-term, consistent innovation management approach.

Innovations successful on the market

On the evening of the award ceremony, Professor Dr. Bernhard Kölmel from the University of Pforzheim also confirmed this. As an expert in Global Process Management and a long-time companion of CAS Software in the area of innovation management, he added: "CAS has rightly won the overall victory in the TOP 100 innovation competition. The company and all of its co-creators are committed to the organizational process in a holistic manner and manage to position successfully both incremental innovations through regular product improvements and groundbreaking innovations on the market in an excellent manner. It is therefore an honor for me to be able to strategically accompany CAS Software AG in this area."

Investing in a digitally networked future

CAS CEO and founder Martin Hubschneider is convinced: "The joy of innovation is tangible on the CAS Campus every day. In recent years, we have invested over 80 million Euros from our current business in the development of our innovative software technologies around SmartDesign, SmartWe and CAS genesisWorld. The Innovator of the Year award confirms that we are on the right path to innovatively shaping the digitally networked future together with our customers, partners, and companions.”

About TOP 100 and compamedia GmbH

Since 1993, compamedia has been awarding the TOP 100 seal for special innovative strength and above-average innovation success to medium-sized companies. And the scientific lead has been in the capable hands of Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke since 2002. Franke is the founder and director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. The mentor of TOP 100 is the science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar. Project partners are the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research and the BVMW. Media partners include: Manager Magazine and Impulse.

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About CAS Software AG

Founded in 1986, CAS Software AG is managed by its founder and CEO Martin Hubschneider. Over 470 co-creators work together on market-leading software solutions at the CAS Campus in Karlsruhe. The product portfolio includes CRM + AIA solutions, as well as quotation and product configurators (CPQ) and industry solutions that help companies and organizations build successful and sustainable business relationships, make better use of corporate knowledge and increase the efficiency of their employees. Over 500,000 users in 42 countries use CAS Software solutions every day.

The Karlsruhe CRM/XRM specialists are involved in numerous research projects at national and international level. The company has received several awards and prizes for its innovative product range and commitment to SMEs, including TOP 100 Innovator, Germany's Most Innovative SME 2021 by WirtschaftsWoche, the German Design Award, and the "Great Place to Work" seal for the exceptional corporate culture on the CAS Campus.