Our theme for the inaugural Which-50 digital awards was encapsulated by three words: “Simple. Fast. Easy.” As I’ve written before, we have Simon Belousoff, the Head of Personalisation at BUPA, to thank for setting us off on this direction.

In judging the awards we had to consider two sets of metrics. The first was the impact the work done by the teams submitting to the awards had on their business. But we also wanted to understand and focus on the impact on customers (both internal and external).

Where the final choices were close — which was the case in most categories — we split the winners from the Highly Commended runners-up by giving more weight to the customer impact than the business impact. You could argue, as some did, that this is a controversial approach.

We agree. And we stand by it.

We also had a number of categories where we did not issue an award. In total, there are seven category winners and two runners-up.

In the end, the Digital Innovator of the Year award — which we gave to Peter Auhl — was the only category that was easy to judge. This was a reflection of the extent of the impact of Peter’s work on both business and consumers. You can read about Peter’s work in this week’s Cover Story.

But even in this category the judges were divided — which is why we have also recognised Sharon Melamed, the founder and Managing Director of Matchboard, as Highly Commended.

Over the next seven weeks, we will be profiling each of the award winners, describing the work their teams have done, and its impact on customers. And also how they organised themselves around the customer impact, and kept this idea at the heart of their thinking.

The winners are:

  1. Digital Commerce: Verimoto. Motor and verification system. Highly Commended: Matchboard
  2. Employee Engagement: Department of Customer Service, NSW. Reimagining School Enrolment.
  3. Best Customer Service: Commonwealth Bank. Customer Engagement Engine.
  4. Best in Analytics: HSBC. Next Best Action. Highly Commended: Incites.com
  5. Best in Community Innovation: Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. Improving the Citizen Experience.
  6. Best in Automation: Waterman Business Centres. High Commended: LeadPoint Digital Mortgage Services.
  7. Digital Innovator of the Year: Peter Auhl. 10 Gigabit Adelaide. Highly Commended: Sharon Melamed, Matchboard.

We would like to thank our advisory panel, which helped us construct the criteria for judging and in several instances also helped us determine the final winners. And we would also like to thank 6 Degrees Media for their efforts coordinating the award work and in particular the work of the advisory board. Simply, the awards would not have happened without them.

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