Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology) took out the supreme award at the 2013 Microsoft Tertiary ICT Innovation Awards held in Tauranga last week.
Held at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic as part of the 31st Annual Tertiary ICT Conference, Wintec won the award for its innovative use of cloud-based technologies to improve the overall experience for students, staff and stakeholders.
Judged by a selection of industry experts, one of the judges, Intergen’s CTO Chris Auld, said the panel was impressed with Wintec’s vision for how it uses technology across the organisation.
“Innovation comes in many forms," Auld said.
"Sometimes it is about building something from new, other times it is about finding new ways to apply or use existing products or services.”
“The judges were impressed with how Wintec has integrated cloud-based technologies, such as an online customer relationship management system and a customer service application, to improve how the organisation interacts with, and provides services to, its many stakeholders."
Wintec’s winning entry outlined how the Hamilton-based institution has integrated cloud-based technologies, including a customer relationship management system and a customer service application, to improve services and interactions with its many stakeholders across the community.
“It is extremely satisfying to receive this award for our forward-thinking approach to technology," said Mark Flowers, CEO, Wintec.
“We have invested in leading-edge technology in all areas of our organisation.
"Using more cloud-based technologies has allowed us to be more agile in meeting the needs of our students and stakeholders.”
Wintec took out the overall 2013 Microsoft Innovation Award trophy ahead of six other entries from tertiary education organisations across New Zealand.
Waikato tertiary education organisations were well represented at the awards, with Te Wananga o Aotearoa and the University of Waikato also receiving awards, along with the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.
Innovation in Connecting Students
In addition to the overall Innovation Award, two awards were given for Innovation in Connecting Students to New Technologies and Services, and Innovation in Connecting Staff and Students to Collaborative Teaching and Learning Environments.
Submissions focused on a range of innovations including processes designed to improve services, through to student portals and mobile applications aimed at enabling educators and students to reach their full potential.
Matt Bostwick, Tertiary Education Sector Manager at Microsoft New Zealand, says it is inspiring to see New Zealand’s tertiary education institutions leading the way in the use of innovative technology.
“The conference theme for this year, ‘Get Connected’, highlights a key trend in the education sector where the application of smart technologies is helping universities and polytechnics to better connect staff and students to each other and collaborative learning environments, as well as improve outcomes for learners, educators and the broader community.”
Wintec received the Microsoft Innovation Award trophy and prizes, including Microsoft Surface Pro tablets in recognition of its cutting-edge work.
Te Wananga o Aotearoa was awarded the People’s Choice Award for its iMarae mobile app and a Special Judges’ Award was given to the University of Waikato’s Faculty of Education in recognition of its Kaitiaki Computer Recovery programme in schools.
The two category winners were:
· Innovation in Connecting Students to New Technologies and Services: Bay of Plenty Polytechnic for its student portal and mobile app project.
· Innovation in Connecting Staff and Students to Collaborative Teaching and Learning Environments: Te Wananga o Aotearoa for its iMarae mobile app.
The Microsoft Tertiary ICT Innovation Awards are presented at the annual Tertiary Education ICT conference to celebrate ICT excellence within tertiary education.