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Awards Reward Innovation Behind The It Scenes

29 June 2002

The TAB has struck the winning double in the Computerworld Excellence Awards, taking out two awards, including one that acknowledges a hot favourite New Zealand website.

The TAB's website, which provides access to more than 300 races and 200 sports betting options and regularly ranks in the top ten most frequently accessed sites, won the Excellence in e-business B2C award, while its JetBet II project, with 300,000 Phonebet accounts and 600 retail outlets, took out the Most Successful Project Implementation of the Year.

Projects aimed at lifting IT literacy, children's education, market segmentation and information gathering, online travel booking and getting retirement 'sorted', were amongst the winners at the fifth annual Computerworld Excellence Awards, held in Auckland last night (Friday June 28).

The awards honour the achievers behind some of New Zealand's most innovative IT projects, from government through to education, B2B and B2C and customer service.

Technology Innovator of the year went to Masterton-based siliconBLUE, for ocoloco, which provides automatic management of e-commerce engines and payment applications to increase revenue, reduce costs and improve service. According to the judges, siliconBLUE's ocoloco gives a new dimension to businesses setting up e-commerce with the click and drop method of developing a website with all the infrastructure required to be operational within hours regarded as true innovation.

The collaborative Digital Opportunities Initiative took out the Most Significant Contribution to IT award, for its series of IT projects. The project, launched at the start of 2001, claims to have had a positive impact on about 15,000 students and more than 1000 teachers.

Judges said its effects are being felt from one end of the country to the other and the willingness to adopt a collaborative approach signaled New Zealand's best chance of successfully competing on the international ICT stage.

Auckland Regional Council beat farming favourite Fencepost.com and Oxygen Business Solutions to take out the award for Overall Excellence in the Use of IT for its Virtually thr, which integrates information on roads and public transport to encourage Aucklanders to use public transport. Virtually thr was also a finalist in the B2C category, won by the TAB and in the Customer Service category won by CentrePort.

Judges said the Retirement Commission, winner in the Excellence in the Use of IT in government for its sorted.org.nz project, particularly impressed them with its ability to reinvent itself from its former staid image.

Computerworld Excellence Awards project manager Anne Simpson says for the first time in five years the awards have attracted more big companies than small, with many previous finalists coming back for another attempt at taking out a category win, such as Bubble Dome, a finalist last year, winning the award for Excellence in the Use of IT in Education (tertiary, community and commercial) over Kings Institute's Scholarnet and Victoria University's portal.

"The Awards are growing in prestige every year and it's important to recognise and reward successful projects and top performers amongst New Zealand's IT professionals," says Ms Simpson.

IDG Communications, publisher of Computerworld, initiated the awards five years ago to recognise excellence in the IT sector. With strong sponsorship support from the IT vendor community, the awards have doubled in size since they began in 1998, with the 2002 Computerworld Excellence Awards attracting a new record number of entries, with more than 140 organisations and companies competing.

A complete list of winners, and contacts, is attached below. -ends-


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