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CW Innovation Awards: Recognising APAC’s top industry leaders

The region’s top industry innovators were recognised for their digital transformation efforts to tap new business opportunities, improve efficiencies and solve pressing issues

From building a blockchain platform to verify the provenance of Covid-19 vaccines to reimagining credit processes from the ground up, organisations across Asia-Pacific (APAC) have been on the forefront of digital transformation as they sought to enter new markets and overcome business challenges.

These initiatives were recognised at the inaugural Computer Weekly Innovation Awards APAC, which were bestowed on the top innovators in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, India, Australia and Japan.

Over the course of four weeks, more than 30 organisations submitted 46 nominations, which were shortlisted by a panel of expert judges comprising IT and industry leaders.

A total of seven industry awards, including financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, transportation, telecommunications and public sector, were up for grabs. Out of the winning projects, one was chosen as Project of the Year.

Each project was assessed based its business impact and value, innovation in solving a business problem and change management, which is instrumental to the success of any digital transformation initiative.

At a BrightTalk webinar held today, over 300 IT and business executives from across the region tuned in to learn about the winning projects and some best practices in digital transformation from programme sponsor Red Hat, and its customer, Bajaj Allianz, a private general insurance company in India.

Here are the winning entries and why they stood out:

Financial services winner/Project of the Year: DBS Bank

DBS Bank’s credit architecture programme has digitised and reimagined credit processes through a unified platform that has improved the productivity and efficiency of its credit teams. The programme has also unlocked heaps of structured data that provides the foundation for tapping data intelligence and machine learning.

Overall, the project stood out for its scale, data-driven innovation and extensive cross-function collaboration.

Healthcare winner: Zuellig Pharma

Zuellig Pharma’s ezVax was developed to help healthcare organisations and governments monitor vaccination progress, track vaccine movements across sites and use real-time data to make decisions on vaccination sites.

This is a timely innovation that leverages blockchain to help countries get up to speed with their vaccination programmes and to counter the threat of counterfeit vaccines.

Honourable mention: National University Health System (NUHS)

As one of the healthcare organisations conducting thousands of Covid-19 swab tests a day, NUHS turned to robotic process automation to automate the patient registration process. The project went live in just six days, and the team was able to slash the registration time from two minutes to just 30 seconds.

Public sector winner: Bharat Petroleum

Running a large ecosystem that encompasses refineries, plants and thousands of retail outlets, Bharat Petroleum knows that any oversight in its vast operations can affect the quality of its services and customer satisfaction.

To ensure it stays on top of things, it built a digital nerve centre to monitor the entire journey of every product delivered to its customers. This massive IoT project will enable the company to respond quickly to equipment failure or hazardous incidents, among other goals.

Telecommunications winner: Jio Platforms

Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, turned to machine learning to autonomously manage its large communication infrastructure. With a modest budget of $1m, Jio Platforms designed and implemented Atom, an artificial intelligence-based platform, to meet the unpredictable and surging demands on 4G and 5G mobile networks.

Honourable mention: Bharti Airtel

Bharti Airtel, one of India’s largest integrated telcos, decided to build its own telco cloud platform so that it can better support core operations and enable new digital services. Based on open standards, it was a huge undertaking that fully harnesses software-defined networks and “extreme automation” in all aspects of network deployment and management.

Manufacturing winner: Sime Darby Industrial

Sime Darby Industrial’s inService Suite, part of its Service of the Future transformation programme, has returned more than 100,000 hours to the company in a digitisation initiative that has improved efficiency and customer engagement. It has also been a vehicle for inculcating an agile development culture that will pave the way for future digital transformation initiatives.

Retail winner: Flybuys

Flybuys, Australia’s largest loyalty programme, moved its infrastructure to the cloud to serve its 8.6 million active members better. Along with building new capabilities in identity, data and application programming interfaces, the move has enabled it to provide deeper customer insights and offer more relevant personalised services from a wide range of partners while safeguarding sensitive user data.

Transportation winner: Singapore Airlines

As the Covid-19 outbreak rages on, many airlines around the world have had to look for alternative sources of revenue to stay afloat while identifying new growth opportunities in the post-pandemic world. To that end, Singapore Airlines has built a blockchain-based platform that lets its frequent flyers use their miles to pay for purchases at partner merchants beyond flight bookings.

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