The night of a thousand stars

Computer Weekly is proud to announce the winners of the E-Business Excellence Awards

Computer Weekly is proud to announce the winners of the E-Business Excellence Awards

Mobile E-Business Award

Winner: Ideal boilers

The heat is on

Ideal sells boilers to fragmented and disparate market of heating engineers. Managing this community is not an easy task: large companies are easy to handle, but relationships with the smaller installation companies are bewilderingly complex. These are typically one or two-man companies for whom the mobile phone is the main communication tool. Clearly, there would be massive benefit to these if much of the technical information they need was available via a mobile phone. The introduction of Wap has now made this possible - an opportunity Ideal has seized. It now supplies installers with free Wap phones, incorporating its Heating Information Service. With it, the user can find information from boiler dimensions to spare part numbers.

E-Business Design Award

Winner:aquazoo

The one that didn't get away

Aquazoo is a small, family run fish keepers shop in Croydon that has achieved massive success, both commercially and with the public, for its Web site (www.aquazoo.co.uk). Though the firm's high street presence continues to be an important element within the business, its Web site has extended the relationship the shop has with the individual, both in terms of building loyalty and of providing a new revenue stream. Aquazoo appeals to the serious fish keeper by designing a more rigorous look that makes it stand out from the crowd. Hit rates stand at around 1,000 unique visitors weekly. The site also roots the on-going relationships with over 100 Aquatest subscribers, representing important repeat business.

Computer Weekly E-Business Champion 2000

Winner: Simon Kujawa

The Computer Weekly E-Business Champion 2000 is Simon Kujawa, installer director at Ideal Boilers. Simon impressed the judges of the Mobile E-Business Award with his enthusiastic and evangelical presentation, and with the obvious pride he took in his company's Wap initiative.

Equally at ease with the technology underpinning the project, as with the business strategy it supports, Kujawa embodies IT's alignment with the core strategy of business.

For driving forward his company's e-business initiative with such vigour, his reward is a brand new Lotus Elise - a car with attitude for a man with attitude.

UK E-Business Gold Award

Winner: Charles Schwab Europe

For its pioneering work in the field of online trading, Computer Weekly is delighted to declare Charles Schwab Europe (CSE) the winner of the UK E-Business Gold Award. Patrick Bossert, of the eTail Forum, judged the CSE site "a stunning example of how e-commerce can be leveraged by a business to revolutionise the manner in which it works." In just 24 months, CSE has transformed its business from being totally offline to a point where more than 70% of its business is conducted via the Web. In the words of judge Martyn Emery, also of the eTail Forum, "The CSE entry soon became the benchmark on which other entries were judged." Full details of the ceremony will be published next week.

E-Government Award

Winner: Companies house

On the record

Companies House is the government agency responsible for the incorporation and registration of companies and the dissemination of business information for company analysis and risk assessment. Companies House Direct (www.direct.companieshouse.gov.uk) is the Web site through which these activities are delivered online. The aim is to provide customers with access to the full public record of company information straight to their home or office PC. Companies House Direct is a massive operation. The image database contains over 25 million documents, formerly stored on microfiche. To date, the online image bank provides all records submitted on statutory forms since March 1995.

Winner: Netlinc

Education super-highway

NetLinc is Lincolnshire Country Council's response to the challenge of the National Grid for Learning. It is a private IP network that currently provides monitored access and online learning resources to over 50,000 students based in over 215 schools within Lincolnshire. This represents over 98% of the county's educational institutions, or over 2,200 PCs all supported from one location. Several principles have steered the design of the network. Easy-to-use content submission tools ensure contributions don't come from just a few technical literates. An active learning policy makes for a dynamic "smart" exchange of information between parties rather than a passive transmission/reception model.

E-business Marketing Award

Winner: Virgin Atlantic

Eight miles high

Global Miles Million Air, Virgin Atlantic's first Internet-centric marketing campaign (www.virgin.com/millionair), has proven to be the most successful acquisition project the company has run. At its heart is the opportunity for customers to win one million flying club miles. The competition is the start of an effort to render a number of Web-based marketing tasks. For example, the collection of e-mails for existing and prospective club members is an important if simple goal. Once an online account has been activated customers notice an immediate change in their relationship with Virgin Atlantic. They can access account details whenever they choose and regular product and service information is available via an online newsletter.

E-recruitment & training award

Winner: Netlinc

Education super-highway

NetLinc is Lincolnshire Country Council's response to the challenge of the National Grid for Learning. It is a private IP network that currently provides monitored access and online learning resources to over 50,000 students based in over 215 schools within Lincolnshire. This represents over 98% of the county's educational institutions, or over 2,200 PCs all supported from one location. Several principles have steered the design of the network. Easy-to-use content submission tools ensure contributions don't come from just a few technical literates. An active learning policy makes for a dynamic "smart" exchange of information between parties rather than a passive transmission/reception model.

E-Commerce Award

Winner: Charles Schwab Europe

Taking stock

Charles Schwab Europe (CSE) was the first firm to offer online trading in the UK. The Web site (www.schwab-europe.com) is composed of two parts. The first is public and contains information aboutthe company and services. The second is private, secure and only accessible to clients. The secure Web site sells financial products that are traded on UK and US exchanges and provides 24x7 access. The Web site channel sits alongsidea call centre service, although over 70% of transactions are conducted over the Web alone. Since launching in 1998, the site has conducted over one million trades, amounting to over £5bn of business. More than 100,000 customers are now registered.

E-Business Start-Up Award

Winner: Aviation Briefing

Up, up and away

Aviation Briefing provides a specialist but critical service:

The supply of online flight briefing information for pilots. The aim of this is to gather together all the meteorological data required for a flight to a single source (www.avbrief.com). Take-up of the service has so far exceeded expectation, with the site currently receiving visits from about 2,500 users per month. Registered users now number close on 15,000. To date, the service has been used only by private aviators in the UK. But plans include tuning the system to the commercial demands of international flight operators who also use the services. Another part of the service is the delivery of SMS messages to mobile phones. Wap testing is currently underway.

Knowledge Management Award

Winner: A recipe for success

Really cooking

E-business consultancy, A Recipe for Success (www.arfs.co.uk) offers project-based business services for organisations looking to develop an e-commerce strategy. As the company rapidly expands, the challenge is to keep everyone - consultants and customers - firmly in touch. A Web site, part public, part private has provided the link, offering an online knowledge management system enabling staff and customers to share information and communicate over a distance. The system has dramatically enhanced the kind of service the company offers to customers. For example, customers are able to access comprehensive, consistent and up-to-date information about work being carried out.

Supply Chain Management and Procurement award

Winner: J Sainsbury

Plus a little bit more

Sainsbury's, the high street chain of supermarkets, was looking for more from the electronic supply chain than was provided by traditional EDI. The firm wanted to work with

its suppliers on promotional events and new product introductions. It wanted to ensure full visibility of sales, depot stocks and store availability. The Sainsbury's/Eqos Collaborative Planning System (CPS) has been devised to fit the bill. The cross-supply chain communication it provides can trigger alarms on stock shortages, and instant feedback on promotion successes and failures. Sainsbury's anticipates £2.5m direct savings a year, reduction of wastage and reduced administration through the Web site.

IT Industry Award

Winner: Watford Electronics

Current state of play

The ability of Web sites to transact tangible business automatically is a key measure of any e-business effort.

Watford Electronics' site (www.watford.co.uk) succeeds in this, by automatically forwarding orders to suppliers, and by keeping customers informedat all times of the sales cycle.

In fact, in the 18 months since the company has had the Web site up and running it has become entirely virtual. It does not hold stock at all now. This means goods can be sold at very low margins, with minimal overheads, giving the company tremendous flexibility for growth. The sitehas done extraordinarily well since May 1999, and has generated revenue of £500,000 per month.

E-Business SME Award

Winner: Timberweb

Jacking up lumber

TimberWeb (www.timberweb.com) was launched in 1997 as the world's first business-to-business marketplace for the timber industry. Its trading platform, eTrader, creates a user-friendly, secure business environment providing transparency and independence forbuyers and sellers. It offers businesses a single-point, flexible andcost-effective means oftrading. Innovative features include using fuzzy logic inthe timber tradingknowledge database easing use for their customers.

The site is currently attracting over 1.2 million hits a month, 30% more than inJanuary of this year.

Customer Relationship Management Award

Winner: Woolwich

A wrap with Wap

The Woolwich was the first UK bank to offer its customers the luxury of access to Internet banking services from their Wap-enabled mobile phones. Customers can now view their accounts, transfer funds between accounts, pay bills and view statements all from their handset. The Wap service has proved attractive to existing customers, building loyalty, as well as some new customers. The success of the site is not only measured in terms of hit rates but also of the glowing reaction it received from the markets. Products are improved on the back of the service. For example, allowing the quick switching of cash between current accounts and savings accounts to maximise interest earning potential for the Woolwich's customers.

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