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From left: Associate Tech Lead Sameera Gunasinghe, Senior Systems Engineer Hiran Silva, Software Engineer Buddhika Wijesinghe, Process/Management Associate Navaka Navaratne and Software Engineer Jayanga Wagaarachchi

 

99X Technology takes pride not only in its employees’ technical capabilities but also their additional talents and encourages participation in a variety of events and competitions as a means of honing and fine-tuning these skills. In line with this, a team of chess enthusiasts from the company faced off with the best at the Second Mercantile and Government Services International Rating Chess Championship held last week.

Hosted by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka at the National Institute of Sports Science from 22 to 25 November, the contest saw nearly 100 participants from over 30 companies give it their all over the four days, making the winning title a hotly contested one.

A mere point separated 99X Technology’s team, which was placed seventh in the overall rankings, from the winners, showing the levels of competitiveness within the players. The winning team from Hatton National Bank had a score on par with both SriLankan Airlines and Mobitel, which were placed second and third respectively, as did the teams placed after them, which resulted in a slew of tiebreakers to adjudge the final winner.

The tournament featured individual games amongst the participants after which the points accumulated by the top three performers of each team were totaled to decide on the team rankings.

The team from 99X Technology consisted of Associate Tech Lead Sameera Gunasinghe, Software Engineers Buddhika Wijesinghe and Jayanga Wagaarachchi, Senior Systems Engineer Hiran Silva and Process/Management Associate Navaka Navaratne. Sameera Gunasinghe also came in seventh in the individual set, the only player from the top eight teams to win a place in the individual open category.

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 companies named a Great Place To Work® 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.

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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.

2 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.