The Malta Communications Authority eBusiness Awards are now in their seventh edition. What have been the main developments since the first edition of the awards?
The MCA wanted to create a channel aimed at recognising and showcasing the efforts of local organisations and individuals who invested in the development of technological solutions, as an integral part of their daily business.
In 2011 the MCA eBusiness Awards were organised for the first time and since then, they have evolved and improved year after year. From the introduction of public voting to a website specifically designed for the eBusiness Awards to an important international affiliation with the World Summit Awards, over the past seven years this event has developed considerably increasing both in quality and in popularity.
We are now preparing for the seventh edition and we are hoping that the number of nominations in the eight categories being presented this year, will surpass last year’s record.
This year’s edition has also been endorsed by Vint Cerf, who as the co-inventor of the internet along with Bob Khan, is a widely respected personality in the world of technology.
In a continuous effort to promote the use of technology in business and society at large, these awards are now an established and highly recognised platform for all local businesses.
The main underlying message is that technology today is an important enabler which we cannot do without – it can seal the efficiency and effectiveness of any business, allowing even small companies to gain a competitive edge.
What categories are you presenting for this year’s edition of the awards and how can one submit a nomination?
Interested parties are invited to submit their nominations in the following categories: Best App, Best B2B Application, Best eCommerce Site, Best eGovernment Initiative, Best ICT Academic Dissertation with an eBusiness Theme, Best Tech Startup, Best Social Media Campaign (50 per cent people’s choice) and Best Use of Technology in Business Transformation.
Nominations can be submitted online at http://ebusinessawards.mca.org.mt/ebiz/submit until November 17. the 17th November 2017.
You have also introduced public voting. What is the main aim?
Public voting for one of the categories was introduced last year and, encouraged by last year’s public participation the MCA has decided to repeat it in the upcoming seventh edition. One particular category, namely, the Social Media Campaign Category, actually reflects the effectiveness of a marketing campaign carried out on social media platforms.
Malta is part of a global innovative network
In the initial stage of the adjudication process, the judges will assess the technical aspects and choose the finalists in this category. These will then compete in a nationwide public voting which will carry 50 per cent of the total votes. Indeed the public can determine the winner here, and what better judges than the social media users themselves to assess the success of such campaigns?
Whereas most of the other categories appeal to niche audiences, this particular category lends itself to a wider and more popular audience, and the MCA is pleased to engage as many people as possible in this exercise. Last year we had a very exciting competitive element amongst the finalists and we were delighted to see numerous shares and likes through which all got very good exposure.
What stature do the awards enjoy with the local eBusiness sector?
Since the first edition in 2011, the MCA eBusiness Awards have come a long way. The level and prestige of the event has increased considerably while the number and quality of the nominations being submitted are constantly on the rise too.
The MCA eBusiness Awards are now a well-established platform and an important yearly milestone in the ICT industry. The awards are both a prestigious recognition as well as an opportunity for all winners and finalists to showcase and gauge their achievements.
Innovation and quality are two essential criteria in these awards. We want to reward excellence, outstanding solutions that can make a qualitative difference in any business venture. To ensure fairness and transparency, the MCA has no say in the voting process and the adjudication panel is totally independent. Entries in each category are judged against strict criteria hence, receiving an award in any of the eight categories is indeed an achievement, a quality stamp which has become the ambition of many business entrepreneurs.
What are the main challenges for eBusinesses in the current market scenario?
Businesses today are continuously facing challenges where competitiveness, productivity and competence are key to success. Technology was a major revolution that totally changed the way businesses operate. Cloud computing, mobile applications, ERP systems and social media marketing are just a few of the technological solutions that have contributed to increase the efficiency and cost effectiveness in business management.
A challenge which some eBusinesses have now been grappling with for some time is the short supply of human resources trained in various ICT specialisations – indeed the sector has grown at a much faster rate than the availability of trained workers on the labour market. The integration of web-based technologies has allowed businesses to effectively level their playing field with larger companies and establish themselves in the current market. It is safe to say that technology constitutes a major role in the development and implementation of any business strategy and this trend will keep dominating the market scenario for many years to come.
This year’s edition of the awards is endorsed by Vint Cerf. What added value does this endorsement give to the awards?
Vinton Cerf is an American internet pioneer, recognised as one of the fathers of the internet. His work has been acknowledged with honorary degrees and awards, including the National Medal of Technology, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Marconi Prize. Cerf is active in many organisations that are working to help the internet deliver humanitarian value in our world today. He supports innovative projects that are experimenting with new approaches to global problems, including the digital divide, the gender gap, and the changing nature of jobs.
Such endorsement takes the eBusiness Awards to yet a higher level. We are honoured to have an exclusive recorded address by Cerf on the day of the event, and we are proud to say that, regardless of geographical size, Malta is part of a global innovative network that strives to promote best practices and innovative solutions and reaches out to improve the quality of living of all sectors of society.
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