This week, Computer Weekly is delighted to announce the organisations that have been shortlisted in each of the 11 core categories of the Computer Weekly E-Business Excellence Awards 2001. UK organisations, reflecting all sizes and sectors, submitted applications in their hundreds, dispelling the myth that e-business no longer has a place on the corporate agenda.
The overwhelming response to the awards confirms the fact that e-business now permeates every function of business and every new project, whether it be to a greater or lesser degree.
The finalists that have been chosen represent the cream of UK e-business initiatives. All are turning words into deeds and realising the potential that Internet technologies have to transform their businesses. They are slashing costs, delivering new products and services, addressing new markets and building new relationships with customers and suppliers. Computer Weekly congratulates all those that entered for their pioneering work in the field of e-business.
All 48 candidates on the shortlist met the judging panel face-to-face this week. Eleven entrants will receive recognition as trailblazers of UK e-business at a gala awards dinner held at London's Planit, on Tuesday 27 November.
And one of them will be selected by the judges to receive the E-Business Gold Award, the winner of winners, judged to be the best overall example of e-business in the UK.
In addition, this year a new award, the Secure E-Business Award, will be presented to the entry from all of the core categories judged to display the most impressive security set-up.
The awards will form the centrepiece of the biggest event in the UK's e-business calendar, the E-Business Expo, organised by Reed Exhibitions, which takes place at London's Olympia from 27 to 29 November.
This is the UK's largest gathering of industry suppliers and users. Both the awards and the Expo will form part of the Computer Weekly E-Business Month.
SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT AND PROCUREMENT AWARD
Docuproperty Details enables estate agents to design property brochures, see proofs and have them on their desk within 24 hours
The online scorecard, Sainsbury's Score, helps the supermarket improve its relationship with its suppliers
Drug shortages need no longer be a problem for AAH Pharmaceuticals thanks to this early warning system
This e-marketplace provides a single, integrated catalogue of key suppliers of laboratory equipment and reagents.
E-BUSINESS MARKETING AWARD
Virgin Wine Online
The site allows Virgin Wine to talk to its consumers on a totally personalised basis
A strong customer base has been built up by marketing merchandise based on popular children's toys
Internet technology is used to market gourmet meals
Weavers of Nottingham
A well targeted, functional, informative and interactive site selling wine
Uses Internet for digital distribution of cinema advertising.
SME E-BUSINESS AWARD
A one-stop online shop for IT-related hardware and software, dabs.com also offers a dynamic pricing and auction service
Holiday Autos' online car rental service has links with major travel dotcoms, and is available through digital interactive TV
Documaster is an Web-enabled document production and management service for the creation of pre-printed stationery
The Hansard Group
An online financial service, offering brokers a range of products including online valuations, client statements and commission statements.
E-BUSINESS START-UP AWARD
Provides banks with an online database of CV details
Allows private individuals to e-mail cash totally securely
Provides the entertainment industry with a means to send tickets direct to a mobile phone in the form of an SMS message
Virgin Wine Online
A wine companion that helps site visitors choose the grape that matches their taste, then sells and delivers it to them
Offers free quotations on new vehicles, and a design and build capability enabling users to configure their own car online.
MOBILE E-BUSINESS AWARD
This system monitors some 60,000 amusement and gaming machines. It diagnoses faults and provides repair plans for engineers
Sends tickets for films and club nights directly to customers' mobile phones in the form of an SMS message
Nationwide Building Society
Provides mobile Internet banking via a personal digital assistant
Livebookings Mobile is a wireless restaurant booking application using GPRS for personal digital assistants.
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AWARD
Uttlesford District Council
Enables council members to access Uttlesford data at home saving £8,000 a year in paper, distribution, transport etc
The number of searchable documents on United Utilities' knowledge management environment enables staff to share expertise
Cisco Systems UK
Ciscocast gives its staff fast access to key Web sites and files, delivers targeted messages and alleviates information overload
An e-file accessing system is reducing the amount of time each personal injury claim takes to process.
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT AWARD
Developed a telephone and Internet bank from Halifax which offers a product that links customers' borrowings with their savings across a range of personal banking products
E-file access system gives clients bringing legal claims open access to their case file via the Internet
Offers customers the flexibility to connect with Bupa via the Web, e-mail, telephone, fax or face-to-face
Allows customers to find their own answers online thereby reducing the quantity of e-mail enquiries and requests.
E-RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING AWARD
BT Ignite Solutions
Online training at a lower cost than traditional tutor-led model
National College for School Leadership
Online submission of course applications
Automating internal processes on an intranet gives a more accurate database of 40,000 contractors' employment status
Web-based workforce management service helps automate the recruitment, deployment and retention of staff
Employer services extending beyond payroll and human resource to help with electronic filing of tax self-assessment.
City Hospital NHS Trust, Birmingham
The Rapport system allows GPs to book appointments directly into consultants' diaries. It has cut referral times significantly
Bracknell Forest Borough Council
E-government portal providing personalised information for local citizens 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Employment Service and EDS Strategic Partnership
Provides job seekers and employers with 24-hour access to Jobcentre services
Defence Logistics Organisation Logistic Applications IPT
Draws together information from the three major naval sector logistics systems and presents the results via a simple Web browser interface.
E-BUSINESS DESIGN AWARD
Markel Syndicate 702 at Lloyds
Electronic underwriting system providing online quotations for insurance products and online document production
A Web site that sits on a legacy booking system while making the online customer's purchase a hassle-free experience
Ipswich Borough Council
P-City.com and InvestIpswich.com are the first in a series of Web sites to help establish Ipswich and Suffolk as a recognised centre of innovation excellence
Developed a service that sits alongside Halifax services but with a different feel to attract new customers.
Virgin Wine Online
Delivering wine over the Internet cost-effectively with personal service
Insurance industry portal provides services that cut the costs of the insurance supply chain
Provides complete process integration for General Electric Aircraft Engines
Developed a range of personal banking products that allows customer flexibility on minimising debt and maximising savings.
THE JUDGING PANEL
We have put together the most experienced panel of judges ever assembled to select the award winners. They combine business and IT expertise with category-specific know-how.
Computer Weekly - the UK's top IT publication and the world's first IT weekly
Cranfield School of Management - one of the world's leading university business schools, renowned for its strong links with industry and business
The National Computing Centre - an independent membership and research organisation promoting the more effective use of IT
E-Centre UK - an independent user group, promoting best practice advice in the field of business-to-business e-commerce
EEMA (the European Forum for E-Business) - Europe's premier e-business industry association
Sitpro - the Simpler Trade Procedures Board - the UK's trade facilitation agency
The Federation of Small Businesses - the leading lobby organisation representing small firms
Amazon.co.uk -the UK's leading online retailer
Socitm (the Society of Information Technology Management)
- committed to promoting the effective and efficient use of IT in local government and the public sector
Personnel Today - the UK's only weekly news magazine for human resources and and training professionals
eTail Forum - the e-commerce decision-support organisation for major global companies
JUDGING THE WINNERS
The gold award
BT is the sponsor of the UK E-Business Gold Award. This will go to the winner of winners, the entry judged to be the best overall example of e-business from all the various award categories
BT's Yvonne Thomas, director of small and medium enterprises, sales, comments:
"In this, the second year of the Computer Weekly Awards, it has been fascinating to view and judge the new entries. Last year, the vast variety of entries was proof that e-business was sitting at the top of the agenda for all UK organisations. This year, projects are even more diverse and innovative, indicating that the UK is truly harnessing e-business for competitive advantage.
"Over the past year, it seems that e-business has evolved dramatically. Companies and government organisations are beginning to wake up to the fact that e-business is not just about the Internet, and that it can be used throughout an organisation to improve both external relationships and internal business processes. E-business is now being accepted as the norm, rather than a 'nice-to-have' add-on such as a standalone Web site.
"The key today is integration and connection. Organisations are realising that not only should they be ensuring that systems take advantage of existing data and increase internal connectivity, they should also be integrating e-business into business strategy, as a means of meeting objectives and making the organisation more flexible and competitive. The entries to this year's awards seem to reflect this, with more variety in the types of solutions being used and differing end-goals. Customers are still a major focus but solutions are also being used to streamline business processes, cut costs and improve efficiency.
"The number of entries is substantially higher this year, showing that the Computer Weekly awards are already well-respected and are awards that companies are keen to be a part of. There is a healthy mix of small and medium-sized enterprises, large corporates and government initiatives, too, and businesses from all industry sectors are represented.
"BT works with companies of all sizes and backgrounds, and in our experience technology innovation is never restricted to particular types of company. It is pleasing to see that this is reflected within the shortlisted projects, and we are delighted to note also that a number of BT's customers and BT divisions are among them.
"With the numbers and quality of entries to date, all those companies shortlisted have already made a major achievement and should be extremely proud. Judging has already been very difficult and we have no doubt that the next stage will be tougher still.