In its continuous effort to prove as a provider of quality and innovative technology solutions, Zone24x7 recently was adjudged the overall winner at this year’s National Best Quality ICT Awards (NBQSA), organized by the British Computer Society (BCS) Sri Lanka Chapter.
Additionally the company also won the Gold award in the R & D category for its winning product AZIRO (Autonomous Inventory Robot). Developed by Zone24x7, AZIRO will go on to represent Sri Lanka at the upcoming Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA) which will be held in Sri Lanka this November. Zone24x7 will be the only contestant to represent Sri Lanka in the R&D category this year.
AZIRO competed against 11 contestants in the R & D category with over 70 plus contenders overall that represented prominent IT organizations, technology institutes and universities amongst others. AZIRO is an intelligent surface robot platform with autonomous navigation capable of performing RFID (radio-frequency identification) based inventory taking and cycle counting for retailers. RFID technology improves inventory accuracy and supply chain efficiency and in turn retailer productivity.
This recognition reflects the company’s outstanding achievements and its vast contribution to the development of ICT in the country. Dr. Sankalpa Gamwarige, Zone24x7 General Manager and VP of Engineering, said
‘We are proud to be recognized and adjudged the winner among many other organizations that competed in this prestigious annual awards ceremony. This showcases our talent in innovative technology solutions and ability to compete in international markets.’
Headquartered in the heart of the Silicon Valley in San Jose, California with operations in Sri Lanka including a state-of-the-art Electronic Systems Research Lab at University of Moratuwa, Zone24x7 is a leading global provider of innovative technology solutions with established business, technology and research centers in both USA and Sri Lanka employing over 180 top notch engineers. While North America (United States and Canada) remains the major market for Zone24x7 the company has recently expanded its customer base to United Kingdom and Norway as well.
99X Technology’s two project teams with the awards
Setting an indelible mark on Sri Lanka’s rapidly developing ICT industry, software product engineering specialist 99X Technology swept up two awards at the recently concluded National Best Quality ICT Awards (NBQSA) 2013 in its initial year of participation in the competition. The company picked up a bronze award for ‘WAG – Web Accessibility Guide’ in the R&D category and a merit for the iPad app ‘ALMUR’ in the Tools and Infrastructure Applications category.
“Research and development is fundamental to our strategy, keeping in line with our aim to constantly innovate. Hence, the award signifies our commitment towards reaching this goal,” stated 99X Technology Co-Founder and CEO Mano Sekaram when commenting on these achievements.
The app ALMUR is a product suite that enables binary decision-making based on approximate logic, capable of making decisions for cases expressed in vague human terms. A typical question asked from ALMUR would be: ‘If the student’s Math grade is high, English grade is low and Geography grade is somewhat high, should we pass the student?’ ALMUR deals with problems like this using a theory known as ‘fuzzy logic’.
ALMUR libraries are also currently being used in two iOS navigation apps, ‘Norge-serien’ and ‘Boating Norway’, and their popularity has proved that the use of a fuzzy logic rule base is far better than any other logic based solution that was available.
The bronze award for ‘WAG – Web Accessibility Guide’ in the R&D category and the merit for the ‘ALMUR’ app in the Tools and Infrastructure Applications category
Interestingly enough, this app was built by a project team that consisted mostly of interns from a couple of higher education institutes and universities in the country, brought in through 99X Technology’s university relationship programme, who worked side-by-side with experienced in-house staff, which speaks volumes about the abilities of the up and coming talent in the country.
The Web Accessibility Guide (WAG) addresses a challenging requirement for websites today – to be accessible to millions of visually impaired users. WAG is a toolset that makes the internet friendlier to visually handicapped people and packages four products with its toolset, namely WAG DevKit, WAG Report, WAG Assistant and WAG Community.
Three kinds of visual impairments are considered in WAG – total blindness, low vision and colour blindness. It assists developers and reviewers to identify accessibility flaws on websites and applications, while also enabling visually impaired people to apply accessibility corrections automatically on websites they access. The team that built WAG has also provided a user-friendly interface in order to encourage volunteers and developers to enrich the software by testing it and submitting new rules.
Organised by the BCS The Chartered Institute for IT Sri Lanka (BCSSL) Section, NBQSA is an annual event open to 16 categories of software ranging from applications and infrastructure tools software to media and entertainment applications software. The objectives of the awards are threefold – to provide recognition to outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations in Sri Lanka that have contributed to the development of ICT, to create a window to gain international recognition for locally developed ICT products and to improve standards and the quality of local ICT products and services to be able to compete in the international marketplace.
99X Technology, since its inception over a decade ago, has rapidly built itself up to become a leading player in Sri Lanka’s IT/BPO industry. Headquartered in Colombo with offices in Oslo, Norway, the company specialises in delivering high-end software products to independent software vendors (ISVs) worldwide and has, to date, delivered over 100 high quality commercial software products. As a testament to its best practices and attention towards the development of its workforce, it was placed among the 15 Great Places To Work For in Sri Lanka this year and cinched an award for talent management at the fourth Asia’s Best Employer Brand Awards 2013 in Singapore, amongst many other accolades.
The moment our final year project, Zenith ESB was announced the Best Product Developed Using Opensource Technology in all categories at the National Best Quality ICT Awards (NBQSA) 2013 was truly a memory to be cherished for a lifetime! Zenith ESB also won a Merit Award in the Tertiary Students (Technology) category.
Our project of developing an ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) for lightweight environments was a huge challenge from the very beginning. But because of the dedication and hard work of our team members (Chamila Adhikarinayaka, Gimantha Bandara, Samith Senarathna and Hasini Abeywickrama), the supervision and the undying faith of our supervisor Mrs. Shahani Markus Weerawarana, the support and the advice of our external mentor Mr. Ruchira Wageesha from WSO2 and the continuous guidance of the Department of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Zenith ESB ultimately not only became a successful project but also attracted the attention and appreciation of high profile investors, computer scientists and academics.
We, team Zenith would like to extend our deepest gratitude and heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped us in numerous ways in the completion of our project. Our dream is to see Zenith ESB installed and successfully functioning in local trains, supermarkets, hospitals, airports, simply in places where mounting and ESB was thought impossible in the bygone days!
Submitted By: Hasini Viranga Abeywickrama | University of Moratuwa
The launch of the National Best Quality Awards for 2013 was announced recently at a press briefing held at the Galadari, Colombo. The competition is open to organisations, groups and individuals in Sri Lanka for locally designed and developed ICT products and will be held on 17 October 2013.
The primary objectives of the competition as revealed at the briefing are to provide recognition for outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations in Sri Lanka that have contributed to the development of ICT, to create a window to gain international recognition for locally developed ICT products and to improve the standards and quality of local ICT products and services to be able to compete in the international marketplace.
The competition is open in 21 categories, and will for the first time, include a public sector ICT achievement award that will look to recognise State entities that have effectively improved their services with the use of ICT over the last few years.
In addition, BCS has taken the initiative to honour the best products developed using open source products as a special award.
The tertiary category is open to students from Sri Lankan tertiary education institutions and this year the award for the best tertiary project will be awarded to two students who have shown exceptional achievements in technology usage and business potential. Gold, silver and bronze awards will be presented in all categories.
BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, United Kingdom, has come forward as the competition’s main sponsor and chief organiser, while ICTA, the competition’s national partner since 2009, will once again provide its support. In addition, IFS and Hatton National Bank have joined in as silver sponsors, along with 3M and Fentons as bronze sponsors. Individual award categories have been sponsored as well, with open source application development software company WSO2 sponsoring the open source awards category, independent non-profit organisation Domain LK Registry sponsoring the special award for the best application with local content and IT industry body SLASSCOM sponsoring a special award for ICT entrepreneurship.
NBQSA winners will also become automatically eligible for the Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA), an international awards program initiated to increase ICT awareness in the community and assist in bridging the digital divide.
The awards categories are as follows: Tools and application infrastructure, security, financial, industrial, healthcare, communications, media and entertainment, tourism and hospitality, general, research and development, tertiary student project (business), tertiary student project (technology), education and training, e-government and services, start-up, in-house, e-inclusion and e-community, e-logistics and supply chain management, green it, post graduate student project and media and entertainment.
Applications and further information can be obtained from the National Best Quality ICT Awards, BCS Secretariat, located at No. 410/35, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7, by calling 1124422490 or can be downloaded from www.nbqsasrilanka.org.
Source: DailyFT By David Ebert
The National Best Quality Software Awards (NBQSA) help to keep Sri Lanka in the forefront of the ICT sphere, says ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) Reshan Dewapura.
Dewapura said so while participating at a press conference held in Colombo recently to mark the 15th National Best Quality Software Awards (NBQSA) 2013 launch.
Referring to the role of the awards in promoting development, Dewapura said: “Year in year out, NBQSA has recognised the cream of the local software industry, and the greatest of the local software products, and felicitated them. This kind of recognition has motivated the industry as well as individuals to continue to innovate and bring-out exceptional products that keep Sri Lanka in the forefront of the ICT sphere.”
Speaking further on the occasion, the ICTA CEO pinpointed the importance of the two awards: “ICTA is happy to be engaged with the event not only as the National Partner, but also with the ‘Lifetime Achiever Award’ and the ‘Outstanding Contributor to ICT’ award. These awards have been great in recognising and paying tribute to exceptional individuals who have contributed to the industry, to the growth of the industry and to the country in general, over the years.”
Elaborating further on the ‘Outstanding Contribution to ICT in the Public Sector’ award, Dewapura said: “This year, the ICT Agency is delighted to partner BCS, to present a new award to the most outstanding contributions to ICT in the public sector. Looking at the various transformation projects and endeavours undertaken by many Government entities and their successes, it is high time that such an award was introduced. Hence in this year’s awards ceremony an outstanding public sector organisation will receive this special award for the contribution it has made to ICT led development.”This is the fifth consecutive year that ICTA is the National Partner of the British Computer Society (BCS) in NBASA, aimed at giving recognition to local software development. The award presentation ceremony of NBQSA 2013 will be held on 17 October 2013. Further information about the relevant competition could be obtained via http://www.nbqsasrilanka.org or telephone number 011-4422490.
While BCS the Chartered Institute for IT, UK is the main sponsor of NBQSA, the event is annually organised by the BCS the Chartered Institute for IT Sri Lanka Section (BCSSL).
The main objectives of NBQSA are to provide recognition for outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations in Sri Lanka who/which have contributed to the development of ICT, to create a window to gain international recognition for locally developed ICT products and to improve standards and the quality of local ICT products and services, to be able to compete in the international marketplace.