Xero is the emerging leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services. Xero provides business owners with real-time visibility of their financial position in a way that’s simple, smart and secure. Xero is listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and the Australian Securities Exchange and is a fast growing company with teams in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Milton Keynes (UK).
Auckland based Trigger Happy demystifies animation with its iPad app TOON HERO. By simply tapping, dragging and talking, TOON HERO empowers people to create their own animated stories, holiday greetings and jokes using famous characters which can be shared anywhere using the internet. It’s easy and fun to use and requires no skills, training or artistic ability. TOON HERO is part of the new wave of social media that’s not limited to 140 characters, sharing a video, or someone else’s picture.
ikeGPS is the only device that, with the single press of a button, can collect both the local GPS position and the target GPS position while capturing a verifiable photo. The ikeGPS camera and augmented reality technology conducts real-time measurements (e.g. heights, widths, and distances) that are embedded into the photo, providing verifiable evidence of every measurement. This allows the remote safe and quick collection of field data, map viewing capabilities and ability for follow-up measurements away from the field.
Xero is a leader in the online accounting space worldwide with over 150,000 paying business customers in over 100 countries. Xero caters to the growing offshore market with four versions of its software that target NZ, Australia, the UK and the US, as well as a global version. Australia is the fastest growing region, achieved in part by acquiring online payroll provider Paycycle. Growth in the US is being driven through strategic partnerships which are responding to the innovative approach.
Vend is cloud based point-of-sale software that enables retailers and other businesses to accept payments, track customers, manage inventory, provide loyalty incentives, and run business analytics for real-time insights into their business performance. Vend has customers in over 100 countries, its key markets being North America, Australia and the UK, with strong growth in South Africa and Southeast Asia. Vend’s suite of tools is more powerful and intuitive than traditional systems, at a fraction of their cost.
GreenButton help to transition software vendors and their applications to the cloud. The business model ensures that both the vendor and customers benefit from the cloud. Providing all the GreenButton components to sell, support and deliver a cloud solution with minimal risk and effort, the company focuses first on those tasks or functions that could benefit from the cloud today. It’s not about moving everything at once, it’s about moving at a pace that adds value to the end-users and their business.
Through Core Push, Carnival Labs has developed a suite of tools to help brands and agencies connect with their mobile
audiences and run interactive mobile marketing campaigns without the need for custom development. Instead of unrecognisable mobile application downloads, the Core Push SaaS based platform creates an ongoing relationship with each user through a live geo-location dashboard, worldwide identification of when and where mobile apps are opened, push notifications and real-time result analysis, resulting in overall greater return on investment for the brand.
Wynyard Group specialises in intelligence-led software and solutions for protecting companies and countries from threat, crime and corruption. Its innovative and world-leading criminal intelligence technology quickly mines large volumes of structured and unstructured data looking for patterns, relationships and links to find entities, correlate events and profile suspects. Law enforcement agencies around the world use Wynyard Intelligence to help break organised crime rings and solve serious crimes, while financial institutions use the software to investigate money-laundering and white-collar fraud.
Navico is the world’s largest marine electronics company, and is the parent company to the leading marine electronics brands Lowrance, Simrad and B&G. Navico has many offices around the world, with approximately 90 employees in Auckland including a significant research and development hub, regional sales and marketing headquarters, and a technical customer service and support team. The Navico vision is to lead marine electronics with outstanding solutions for performance, safety and enjoyment on the water.
BIMstop increases the sales of building product manufacturers around the globe by enabling architects to specify certain products through 3D ‘smart’ models containing all of a particular product’s options and specifications. These models are then distributed via a proprietary online service. Architects in the BIMstop community can drag and drop the models onto plans and building documentation, specifying certain products. By incorporating products within the design process, BIMstop increases the probability that clients will go on to buy the products based on the architect’s specification.
Vend is a cloud based SaaS product servicing the retail industry. It enables retailers and other businesses to accept payments, track customers, manage inventory, provide loyalty incentives and run business analytics for real-time insights into their business performance. It is highly scalable from one store to hundreds. Retailers can run Vend on a web browser or tablets and gain instant access to a suite of sophisticated tools more powerful and intuitive than the systems used by retail giants, at a fraction of the cost.
Robert Bell is a relentless innovator and advocate for business and enterprise. As COO for KlickEx, Rob has expanded the technological footprint of real-time financial services into Asia, Europe, and the Americas through payment and banking technology innovation. Winner of Most Likely to Succeed Mobile Technology at Launch: Silicon Valley 2012, Robert is forging deals with some of the world's largest and most complex organisations across a highly regulated industry. This is just the beginning of a very promising career for this successful Kiwi entrepreneur.
Compac Sorting Equipment is a world leader in produce sorting and regularly features in the NZ Hi-Tech Awards. Since its formation in 1984 the company has thrived under the stewardship of its managing director, Hamish Kennedy, and an outstanding leadership team and board. Compac is driven by research and development and an absolute commitment to providing the very best produce sorting and grading equipment.
Grasslanz Technology develops and commercialises innovative plant technologies. Its endophyte product contains a fungus that reduces bird strikes in and around airports and other locations without harming birds. Grasslanz is the world's premier source of grass endophytes and white clover and a world leader in the development of temperate forage cultivars. It provides innovative forage technologies while embracing new opportunities offered by plant biotechnology.
Special commendation: Outpost Central
The Outpost WASP smart water meter connects water meters and soil moisture sensors to the web using mobile phone networks. It gives water authorities real-time water meter information without requiring power supply or data cables. It also addresses one of the most critical agricultural issues globally - water use efficiency, including irrigation compliance monitoring and the ability to make more informed irrigation decisions.
Enatel Motive Power modular high-frequency charger systems are designed especially for charging traction batteries. They are uniquely flexible to suit almost any motive power battery charging requirement be it 24V, 36V, 48V, flooded, gel or AGM battery technology. Its high-frequency power conversion techniques allow for much smaller chargers and higher efficiency, resulting in considerable power savings and a reduced carbon footprint.
Special commendation: Vesper Marine
Vesper Marine was established in 2007 to help offshore sailors avoid collisions. Its innovative new Virtual AIS Beacon makes hazards at sea visible when costly physical infrastructure is not appropriate or is impossible to deploy. Virtual AIS Beacons can be deployed to mark hazards such as a reef, shipping channel, marine farm or other obstacles. It then sends a unique signal to the ship's existing on-board equipment, alerting crews to the hazard well before they come in contact with it. It is particularly useful in marking moving hazards and providing temporary protection around boat race and swim courses.
One of the true global technology giants, IBM set up in New Zealand in 1955 following the sale of a unit record machine to AMP. Ten years later, it installed the first computer in New Zealand - an IBM 650 for the NZ Treasury. It now has 900 employees and 85 business partners dedicated to delivering the best solution fit for its clients throughout New Zealand.
Biomatters develops innovative, easy-to-use, essential scientific software that speeds up and simplifies biological research. Biomatters provides a common base for the transfer of data, information and knowledge through its technology and partnership programmes with world-leading biotech and computing organisations. Its products are sold around the world to universities, medical schools and research institutions.
Booktrack is behind the eponymous new technology that matches written text with music, sound effects and ambient sound to create an immersive reading experience. The company's proprietary technology automatically recognises an individual's reading speed and paces the soundtrack with the corresponding text. Booktrack has offices in Auckland and New York City.
Booktrack is the first company to successfully marry sound and text to provide an automated, seamless reading experience. Booktracks have been created for Pittacus Lore's new novel, The Power of Six, as well as such classics as Sherlock Holmes, Peter Rabbit and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. The company is working with several of the biggest names in the music industry, including Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Park Road Post Production to produce Booktrack soundtracks.
Robert Bell is a creator of business value and an entrepreneur in several industries. In 2006 he joined forces with Brett Waterson to create KlickEx, a revolutionary global transaction and foreign exchange system. In 2009 Robert designed a smart grid electrical stabilisation product, which contributed to theory validated by three PhD theses at AUT in 2010 and was mirrored by the University of Pennsylvania in the US. Robert gained multiple degrees through concurrent studies at AUT, Massey, Victoria, Auckland and Otago Universities and he is currently studying financial engineering at Stanford University, California.
Andy Lark is one of New Zealand's greatest technology exports having built successful businesses and led award-winning marketing programmes and teams for Fortune and Times 100 companies, global technology brands, start ups and one of the world’s hottest advertising and communications agencies.
Andy was recruited by Michael Dell from a large UK agency to run Dell's PR in the tech giant's relative infancy. From there he moved to Nortel and then to Sun Microsystems in Silicon Valley as its Senior Marketing Executive.
In the late 1990s he got involved with NZTE's first Beach Head initiative as an advisor and then as the chair of the Silicon Valley based board. This also set up a bridge back to the local tech sector and after speaking at a SmartNet conference he became a regular visitor back home - always available to have a coffee with budding entrepreneurs, talk to groups and conferences and generally help out where he could.
The work he was doing with encouraging young technology companies didn't go unnoticed. He soon became a partner in Number 8 Ventures working with Jenny Morel and New Zealand's fledgling VC industry. It was also picked up by Silicon Valley VC's and his advice was sought out on marketing their portfolio companies.
This led to him being head-hunted as Chief Marketing Officer for LogLogic. After a couple of years of phenomenal growth he was lured back - by Michael Dell - as a Vice President to head up Dell’s online marketing. He is regarded as something of a guru in the social media and online space and has written a book on the subject as well as offering advice to companies such as Visa and South West Airlines - and never forgetting his Kiwi sporting ties - advising the NZRU, Emirates Team NZ and Pure Black Racing along the way.
In 2011 accepted a position to head up Marketing and Online strategy for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
In 2003 he received the first KEA World Class New Zealander Award. Over the years he has participated on the boards of some of our leading tech companies and remains one of our greatest evangelists and a long time judge and supporter of the Hi-Tech Awards. His ability to share his ideas, knowledge and networks in order to grow our tech sector is an inspiration to us all.
Christchurch-based Invert Robotics designs, builds and operates wirelessly controlled wall-climbing robots that perform high-precision tasks in high-risk environments. The company was formed to commercialise advances in remote robotic inspection technology at the University of Canterbury and has created robots for a broader range of applications than was previously possible, including wood, plastic, glass, concrete and stainless steel.
Car Parking Technologies makes end-to-end solutions for commercial parking and regulatory authorities. Its product range, marketed under the "Smart" brand, includes sensors, sign guidance, full back-office management and statistics, and web-based reporting. Its SmartRep reporting and management system shows users how long a car has been in a bay, how long the average parker stays, which bays are used the most and how often the maximum allowable time is exceeded; as well as measuring the efficiency of enforcement staff.
Special commendation: KlickEx
KlickEx makes it simple and almost instant to take money out of any supported banking system, or mobile money deployment (typically in developed economies), and send those funds to any bank account, or mobile money deployment, across multiple currencies. A full-service version of KlickEx MobileFX has been publically recognised by the United Nations and it has been described in APAC regional news media as "revolutionary".
Over $5 million
Under $5 million
Compac Sorting Equipment
Compac Sorting Equipment was founded in 1984 by current managing director, Hamish Kennedy, and now has more than 100 full-time staff. Auckland-based Compac is committed to becoming the best international provider of sizing, sorting and grading technology. Compac equipment is now widely used to sort most types of produce in more than 20 countries.
Xero was founded in July 2006 by technology entrepreneur Rod Drury and specialist small business accountant Hamish Edwards. Xero has gone on to list on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and is a fast-growing company with teams in Wellington, Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, San Francisco and the UK. Its aim is to deliver an exceptional online accounting experience to businesses around the world.
*FY12 export revenues will exceed $5m
(Revenues are based on FY11 reporting periods)
Rakon is a world leader in the design and manufacture of frequency control solutions for high performance and high volume markets. Founded in New Zealand in 1967 by Warren Robinson, Rakon became the leading supplier of GPS TCXOs to the world market in 1991. Today Rakon is not only a leader in frequency control solutions for the GPS market, but also for the expanding timing and synchronisation, wireless and base station markets. It is headquartered in Auckland and has manufacturing facilities in New Zealand, Europe, India and soon China. Sales and customer support offices are located around the world. Rakon is a publically listed company on the New Zealand stock exchange.
The judges say
Since it joined the NZX in 2006, Rakon has shown it can devise strategies to innovate, grow and diversify, and reap the rewards from doing so. It has matured from a very niche supplier of components to cellphones and GPS receivers to a designer and maker of a broad range of radio frequency components.
From one plant in New Zealand, it has added its own plants in Europe, joint-venture plants in India and China and sales offices in many more countries. As a result it has transformed itself from a New Zealand exporter to a Kiwi-owned, high tech, global business.
VoucherMob is a powerful marketing tool for businesses wanting to directly incentivise consumers to buy from them. VoucherMob seeks to deliver a low-cost, accountable solution using best-in-class marketing, technology and design in order to help our clients maximise sales. VoucherMob is owned and operated by a passionate group of marketing and technology professionals who understand the challenges of retailing and consumer behaviour.
The judges say
The judges were impressed with how VoucherMob had identified a real market need and a value proposition for those needs. The judges also liked innovative approach to its business model. They called it humble, competent, considered and a reflective learner.
Konnect is a leading provider of business process management solutions and services to clients in the insurance, health and finance sectors across New Zealand and Australia. Its SureMed service has radically improved the process that New Zealand-based insurers use to obtain medical information required for insurance underwriting and assessment.
The judges say
Konnect has solved a problem previously seen as too hard to be fixed by automation given the number of different stake holders and complexity in handling insurer requests. The judges were impressed with Konnect's speed to market, distribution strategy and uniqueness. It has successfully solved a problem for the insurance industry as well as the notoriously difficult private health sector. They have secured a dominant position in NZ and are confident of cracking the Australian market in a big way. Other countries beckon.
Under $5 million
Over $5 million
SERKO® is an online corporate travel booking software solution that makes organising travel, faster, easier and cheaper. SERKO software allows corporate customers to handle their own travel bookings and covers the full cycle of travel-based transactions including flights, accommodation, rental car bookings and insurance. It is used by more than 60% of NZ corporate travel agencies. Its clients include a major Australian corporate and leading travel management companies in Asia Pacific.
The judges say
The judges were impressed with the richness of SERKO's relationships, investment in technology and market positioning. It is competing with very large companies, and winning - through development of technology and foresight in the market.
Orion Health is a leading provider of clinical workflow and integration technology for the healthcare sector. Its clinical information software meets the information needs of clinical staff and healthcare managers, delivering secure, universal access to healthcare information and helping healthcare providers proactively manage and coordinate patient care across the community. Its clients include Abbott Laboratories, New York State Department of Health, Capital Health, New South Wales Health, and the New Zealand Ministry of Health. Orion Health is based in Auckland, with offices in North America, Europe and Australia.
The judges say
In the eyes of the judges Orion was a clear outright winner in the over $5 million category, having already achieved the first major ramp-up in market penetration and revenues with a clear focus within the broad sector.
Rakon is a world leader in the design and manufacture of frequency control solutions for high-performance and high-volume markets. Headquartered in Auckland, Rakon has manufacturing facilities in NZ, Europe, India and soon China. Sales and customer support offices are located around the world. It was awarded Supreme Company of the Year in 2003.
The judges say
In announcing Rakon as the winner, the judges described the company as gutsy and innovative with an excellent team and spectacular growth. Rakon, they say, is a company that is truly international in appeal.
SERKO® is an online corporate travel booking software solution that makes organising travel, faster, easier and cheaper. SERKO software allows corporate customers to handle their own travel bookings and covers the full cycle of travel-based transactions including flights, accommodation, rental car bookings and insurance. It is used by more than 60% of NZ corporate travel agencies.
The judges say
SERKO has unique, valuable and clearly differentiated solutions with a clear commitment to extending these advantages for future growth in a highly competitive environment, and providing a real and immediate improvement in managing travel at all levels within a wide range of enterprises.
Highly Commended - Orion Health
YikeBike develops and manufactures mini-farthings with exceptional performance, design and safety. The first design is the YikeBike, the lightest smallest electric folding bike in the world. The vision at YikeBike is to create products that are fantastically functional and works of art. Based in Christchurch, YikeBike is backed by the two largest venture capital firms in New Zealand, Pioneer Capital Partners and K1W1, and the Ministry for Science and Innovation.
The judges say
A unique, New Zealand designed category creator YikeBike is innovative at both a concept and execution level, with a clever combination of both new and existing technology components. YikeBike has used a smart, market driven approach to product development, with sound plans to drive mass market adoption. YikeBike scored well against all criteria with outstanding marks for uniqueness and design.
Jenny Morel's support for the hi-tech industry has been extensive - not only in funding start-ups but in being a member of the Government's ICT Taskforce, a Trustee of the Hi Growth Project and a past chair of the Hi Tech Association. She is currently CEO of Rex Bionics, the founder and CEO of Morgo Conferences and Managing Partner at No.8 Ventures. The recipient of this year's special hi-tech industry award - Jenny Morel.
Anthony is a freelance technology writer. He has been writing about technology for a couple of decades, first for Computerworld, and now for a range of publications including the New Zealand Herald in which he has a weekly column.
The judges say
The judges were looking for well-crafted pieces that demonstrated research and analysis, and where predictions had been made that there was some historical substantiation that made the story credible in hindsight. In consistently producing well researched and written pieces, Anthony demonstrated his understanding of the hi-tech sector and the ability to unearth nuggets in the form of innovative companies and their stories
Foster Moore is a specialist developer of electronic registries purpose-built to meet the statutory and service needs of legislative and governmental agencies. Since developing the world's first fully electronic, online register in 1996, it has designed and built more than 30 types of registers, from simple registers of motor vehicle traders to highly complex radio spectrum management registers. It is currently expanding its business in developed and developing countries.
The judges say
Foster Moore, impressed the judges. It has taken core IP strengths and customer references to create a profitable domestic business with significant international sales potential. Foster Moore's registry business was seen by the judges as an exemplar of innovation and export growth achieved through private-public collaboration.
Highly Commended: Biomatters
Mi5 Security is a world leader in the creation and supply of converged security and technology innovations. Its products and services empower people to control and manage their personal security through unique surveillance and online products combining the latest technology advances with proven and solid security practices.
The judges say
World leading image handling and power efficiency gives Mi5 Security a critical edge on the anything else in the market. We found Mi5 Security's approach to development refreshing; particularly in how they had mapped the role of hardware and software interfaces on their future model. The business leaders had clarity on all aspects of their business model and clear focus as a team on what was required to continue to make this business a success.
Redvespa is an information technology consultancy specialising in business analysis, complemented by project management services. Since 2003, Redvespa has built an enviable reputation in providing highly experienced people to deliver quality consultancy services. Its clients range from large public companies and government departments through to medium-sized businesses.
The judges say
Redvespa delivers a very clear value proposition for its customers, which aligns with the value proposition for its employees. Communication is two-way, and employees have an influence on the direction of the company. Redvespa demonstrates a clear willingness to invest in their people and innovation - which is why they are able to attract and retain the best.
Sarah started an early track record of excellence at the University of Auckland's International Business School and has continued her journey of success within the hi-tech industry as a key member of the Sentient Software management team. In her role as manager, New Zealand sales and marketing, Sarah has gained the highest respect from both her colleagues and customers, many of whom are in the top 40 companies across New Zealand and Australia.
The judges say
With three outstanding finalists, the judges analysed the entries on the basis of their clearly demonstrated current leadership skills coupled with business acumen and the potential to be an industry leader in the future. Sarah Perkin is an outstanding contributor to the success of Sentient Software - she is already a leader in her area and is indeed someone to watch for in the future.
Datacom is an IT Services firm with over 3,000 employees across New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia and revenues of over $600 million. In 2009, Datacom was ranked in the top 60 New Zealand companies by revenue, staff numbers and profit. Datacom has 45 years of operation and a long and successful history of providing reliable, innovative industry leading IT solutions and services to business and government sectors.
The judges say
The selection of Datacom was completely unanimous. In essence, the judges considered that its size, consistent growth and very significant offshore presence put Datacom in a class of its own. Over many years Datacom's management has thought deeply and carefully about its business model and customers. It is the largest NZ-owned company in the sector and a revenue and profit machine - demonstrating all-round maturity in its governance, leadership team and internal processes!
EROAD is led by technology veteran Steven Newman, former CEO/COO of Navman. It was founded by economist Brian Michie to exploit the opportunity to modernise NZ's manual and paper-based road user charge (RUC) regime. Engineered to deliver an end-to-end electronic RUC solution, EROAD's product platform encompasses a secure electronic distance recorder, the Ehubo. It also incorporates a bank grade web-based payment gateway, the Depot, to purchase and manage RUC and monitor vehicle activity.
The judges say
According to the judges, EROAD won because of its total performance against all of the entry criteria. EROAD had the vision of a new marketplace (not simply a new product) - a new technology platform to create that market and an innovative business model to capture AND retain the potential commercial value awarded. The judges also recognise the engineering excellence of the product EROAD has developed; its match to the validated needs of the customer and the completeness of the business model they have built around it. They describe it as a new New Zealand product that aspires to global relevance, delivering innovation at every level.
Since joining Vodafone as a radio network design graduate engineer in November 2007, Anu's multi-faceted skillset and inspirational attitude has seen her excel in all aspects of her job. Whether she is producing detailed design specifications for the cellular mobile network or preparing business cases, Anu demonstrates technical knowledge and maturity well above her years. She has also shown a strong sense of corporate responsibility and commitment to others by taking the lead technology role in projects such as Donatelive!
The judges say
Anu Shrestha has achieved wide spread recognition for her work at Vodafone. In her short career to date she has worked across a number of high profile projects galvanising the efforts of more experienced peers and contributing significantly to the successful development of numerous business cases. As one of a team of graduates taken on by Vodafone, it is high praise indeed that she has been identified by senior management as a worthy candidate for this Award and in the judges view is a worthy winner of the Maxnet Hi-Tech Young Achiever award.
Greg carved out an early successful career as an executive, gained offshore experience, spent time in the investment community and has used all that experience to assist NZ companies to grow. He is extremely active in the NZ tech community, in investment, training, governance, strategic planning and exporting. He was formerly MD of Microsoft NZ, director of Advantage Group and chairman of NZTE's Beachheads programme. Greg is currently chairman of The ICEHOUSE, executive chairman at PowerbyProxi, chairman of SLI Systems, and director of Cross Ventures.
The judges say
Over many years, Greg Cross has made an outstanding contribution to the New Zealand hi tech sector. He has been involved in the industry all his working life and has a track record as an entrepreneurial CEO driving growth both in revenues and market share. He now uses his experience to work with start ups and SMEs particularly in maximising their international potential. He is also a significant investor in the technology industry. Greg is a member and past chairman of NZTE's Beachhead Advisory Board and chairman of the ICEHOUSE. He continues to play a significant leadership role in our industry and is indeed an "inspiring individual".
TracMap develops and exports world-leading GPS-based systems designed to improve productivity and reporting for people operating vehicles in hazardous environments. Developed to ensure the accurate placement of fertiliser and spray on farms, TracMap has since developed systems for aviation, vineyards and companies providing vehicle-based services to councils.
The judges say
In what is always a closely contested category, the judges recognised TracMap as the winner as a result of its real and tangible progress, domination of its market sector and demonstration of export growth - based on its success in New Zealand and very real contribution to the farming sector. The international judges also made comment that it is impressive TracMap is not a "one trick pony." That the company has found other new markets in aviation and utility management. Based upon its results, new business opportunities, and professional management TracMap was a winner.
EROAD is dedicated to building an internationally respected technology company in the wireless tolling industry. When EROAD launched its innovative online eRUC (electronic road user charge) service in September 2009, it became the world's first fully wireless tolling service provider. EROAD is in an excellent position to leverage off its local beachhead, as shown by the company's successful participation in a government-sponsored eRUC trial now underway in Sweden.
The judges say
The judge's unanimous winner is EROAD. They were impressed not only with the service as it is today, but its far-reaching potential. EROAD was a clear winner - innovative in both the problem being addressed and the solution being offered. It reduces the administrative burden for existing road user charges but - more importantly - provides a platform for governments internationally to introduce more effective road user charging and fund roads more directly in the future rather than through fuel taxes. Given the nature of the potential market and its players, the judges liked EROAD's plan to achieve market entry and scale.
Microsoft New Zealand is predominantly a sales and marketing organisation. By being local, it can provide the best solutions and support for its partners and customers. Other business divisions with representation in NZ include MSN and entertainment (Xbox) and devices like keyboards and mice.
The judges say
The judges agonised over trying to split what turned out to be an almost photo-finish in this category. In announcing Microsoft New Zealand as the winner, the judges recognised its employee's personal passion for the manner in which its HR Policies and Best Practice ideas have been developed. They especially liked the strong Kiwi themes to its initiatives and the way input from Microsoft's employees contributed to its policies. Microsoft has invested in systems to improve its culture as a professional and "fun" place to work. Employee surveys showing significant improvement in employee satisfaction and a reduced annual attrition rate. Congratulations Microsoft.
Anthony is a freelance technology writer. He has been writing about technology for a couple of decades, first for Computerworld, and now for a range of publications including the New Zealand Herald, in which he has a weekly column.
The judges say
According to the judges Anthony Doesburg's articles demonstrated excellent journalism skills in identifying technology issues critical to business. He not only explained them well but gave strong evidence of how businesses could benefit from the technology solutions. His journalism appeals to a wide business audience, encouraging them to invest in technology to improve their sophistication and productivity.
Unlimited Realities is a software development company focused on delivering products that create exciting user experiences for PCs. This year UR has been nominated for its Fingertapps product, which was the first multi-touch software product commercially available across the globe and is now sold worldwide through Dell Inc.
The judges say
According to the judges Unlimited Realities has clearly developed an innovative approach to the way they develop software which sets them apart from other companies. They demonstrated a very global, realistic and mature understanding of their business in both how they manage their product roadmap and customer relationships. Their position in the market, combined with the full range of current and soon to be released hardware - will position them for great things in the future. Unlimited Realities is leading its field, and their application is on the leading edge of the way we will interact with computers, telephones and entertainment devices.
Compac Sorting Equipment is a leading provider of packing and grading solutions to the horticultural industry around the world. Founded in 1984 by managing director Hamish Kennedy, Compac Sorting Equipment has many JV companies and subsidiaries based in Australasia, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Compac solutions are now widely used for sorting many types of produce in more than 30 countries.
The judges say
Compac Sorting Equipment epitomises all the characteristics the judges were looking for in this category. It is succeeding in a very competitive global market and some of its current technology is achieving things that we could only imagine five years ago - and they are doing it in a harsh production environment. Compac Sorting Equipment is a great example for other NZ manufacturers. The international judges for this category made special comment that apart from the excellent technology, it is the scalability of this business that attracted them the most along with their ability to successfully manage offshore partnerships.