The presentation event for the PriceWaterhouseCoopers New Zealand HiTech Awards last weekend commemorated ICT greats of the past as well as celebrating current industry high-flyers.
Joint winner of the Flying Kiwi Hall of Fame award is Trevor Eagle, founder of Eagle Technology, who died in 2000. He built a clutch of high-tech companies into Eagle Technology, founded in 1984, a systems integrator which also established itself as a leader in geographic information systems.
At the time of his death Eagle was chairman of 12 companies, ten of which come under Eagle Technology Group Limited. For many years he took a leading role in the information technology industry and was former president of the Information Technology Association of New Zealand.
He shares the award with Bill Gallagher, current CEO of Gallagher Group and son of Bill Gallagher Sr, who founded the company on the success of the electric fence. Bill Jr has turned Gallagher into a multi-national manufacturing and marketing company, also specialising in integrated security systems and specialised plastic products.
The presentation ceremony featured a tribute to Sir Angus Tait, first recipient of the Flying Kiwi award, who died earlier this year.
Supreme winner of the 2007 awards is Endace, which has successfully tackled international markets for its network traffic monitoring products. The company’s 2005 listing on the London Stock Exchange’s alternative board, AIM, “was a considerable achievement in itself,” said the judges, “and recently strategic sales and acquisition deals have continued to raise the bar.”
“An international exporter since day one, Endace stood out this year, with its strong combination of product, market and business leadership”, the judges said.
Endace also took away the Rakon Deal award for a $2.2m sale of its Ninja Probe technology to an unnamed “major” US telecoms provider.
SaaS financials company Xero was another big winner, landing the PR/marketing campaign award for its strategy around a $15 million share offer to list on the NZ Stock Exchange this year. The Endace Young Achiever Award went to Xero’s chief technology officer Craig Walker; and one of two NZX Entrepreneur Awards to CEO Rod Drury, who takes the title for the second year in a row. Drury shared the entrepreneur award with Darrin Grafton, chief executive of Serko.
Christchurch-based company Energy Mad also took two awards, the IRL Emerging Company Award and the K One W One High Growth Award.
The Fronde award to a technology journalist was won for the second year in a row by Divina Paredes, editor of Computerworld’s sister publication, CIO.
Professional Advisor Award: Connect NZ
Tahia Investments Company Leader Award: Richard Mander, CEO of HumanWare
Enatel Innovation Award: Fronde Anywhere
Avnet Corporate Award: HumanWare.