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Posted on October 30, 2018 by staff

UK Business Tech Awards: Best Use of Innovation

BusinessCloud’s inaugural UK Business Tech Awards are set for November and will recognise the individuals and businesses who are making the most impact in the world of technology.

Every day we are highlighting a different category ahead of a glitzy ceremony at London’s Montcalm Marble Arch on November 20.

There will be 18 gongs up for grabs including Best Use of Innovation – sponsored by Touchscreen Rentals – with eight finalists shortlisted by our stellar line-up of judges.

We profile them below. Tickets are available at the Business Tech Awards website.

Anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact [email protected].

The judging panel included David Hardman, MBE, managing director of Innovation Birmingham; Louize Clarke, co-founder, ConnectTVT; Elizabeth Clark, CEO, Dream Agility; former director of Tech North Richard Gregory; Tom Cheesewright, founder of Applied Futurism Practice; former Vodafone exec Rob Mukherjee, director of Greater Sport; Chris Dymond, director, Sheffield Digital; and Scott Henderson, managing director of Jumpstart.

BEST USE OF INNOVATION – Sponsored by TouchscreenRentals.co.uk

Autorama Group

The Autorama Group ensures people get the best and cheapest deals on vehicles. Under its umbrella are the brands Motorama (car leasing) and Vanarama (commercial van leasing). In 2017 Vanarama decided it was going to change the game in its market for customer experience and implemented an AI chatbot named iVan.

iVan is designed to help customers find the right vehicle by answering a set of questions, instead of the traditional filter method. Working with a specialist UK vendor, Vanarama was able to quickly build and launch the iVan chatbot on the site.

The chatbot iVan sits in the bottom right of the page but also pops up when you try to abandon the site to ask if it can help. It takes your name and presents a range of questions to help you find what you were looking for, before handing you off to an agent or emailing you a personalised quote.

iVan has enabled Vanarama to reach a wider audience and is driving 100 leads per day through the website and Facebook Messenger.

Blu Wireless Technology

Blu Wireless Technology develops millimetre-wave (mmWave) technology that allows telecoms operators to deliver high-speed, reliable gigabit internet wirelessly. BWT enables easy delivery of ultra-fast, reliable wireless connectivity at a lower cost and higher convenience to both the operator and its customer.

The core of its products and services is the development of both a design in silicon and the software that runs on the silicon, which it then licenses to a chip-making company. The chip company builds the chip and sells it to an equipment provider, who then sells it to the operator. BWT sits at the beginning of the supply chain, forming the foundation for the core technology behind the connectivity.

It works with a high calibre of clients: world leaders in the telecoms, transport and media sectors, including FTSE 250 and Fortune 500 businesses, as well as a leading national train operator to provide reliable Wi-Fi connectivity for high-speed train services.

In March 2017, the Liverpool 5G Testbed Consortium received government funding from the 5G Testbeds and Trials programme and will use BWT’s mmWave technology to extend existing public-service fibre infrastructure to homes in digitally excluded communities, including vulnerable populations such as the elderly. A street-level wireless mesh network powered by BWT will be used to provide 5G technology, with unobtrusive radios mounted on buildings and street furniture. The high-speed, 5G connectivity of BWT’s mesh network will power eleven different trials within the Testbed.

Epos Now

Epos Now has progressed hospitality technology with its new Kitchen Display System.

The KDS means businesses can now offer an immersive and complete dining experience. From booking a table to ordering food on a mobile device, KDS routes the information all the way through to payment step, whilst giving staff and customers real-time notifications each step of the way.

Its 18,000 restaurants, takeaways and pubs can now drastically cut wastage bills within their businesses. Thanks to the introduction of digital ordering, businesses will no longer lose valuable minutes per order on wait staff carrying paper receipts; have to throw away entire plates of food because the wrong order was written down; or waste money on thousands of metres of till roll each year.

It also improves safety through highlighting potential allergies.

Hark

An all-in-one environmental monitoring system which allows clients to monitor, store and analyse their business-critical environmental data with cloud-based software from anywhere in the world.

The Hark Platform allows users to access information on their labs, supermarkets, factories, production or storage facilities in real-time. Customers are able to manage and organise sensors across multiple facilities and regions with a central, streamlined interface with global connectivity.

The Hark Platform has the potential to make a huge impact in a variety of ways, from bringing down operational and utility costs to streamlining processes and ultimately lowering the carbon footprint of any company. Bringing numerous industries into the smart era and introducing IoT to various sectors will completely revolutionise how business critical information is stored and analysed.

The machine learning element of the Hark offering proactively indicates any future failures with any system to which it is connected, meaning companies can fix potential issues before they happen.

Hubble

Hubble is building revolutionary technology to easily enable SMEs to compare and rent shared, co-working and leased offices, and also enable landlords & operators to monetise office space on a flexible basis. This will decrease the average office search time from three months to just three minutes.

The world’s first artificially intelligent office robot allows property broking, management and financing to be automated by tech and assisted by people. Hubble raised £2.5m in venture capital from the tech investors behind tech companies such as Transferwise and Revolut and the property industry itself to build out this innovation.

The tech allows the serving of an unlimited number of customers – with an excellent customer experience – as firms are not limited by how many brokers and agents they have in-house and how much time they have to speak with customers. It recently helped Jaguar Land Rover, Shell and EY.

Its product knows when, where and which type of office a business should move into before they even know it themselves, based upon hundreds of granular data points such as employee locations, work habits and furniture needs

Paperplanes & 31Dover.com

Paperplanes combines the latest digital marketing technology with one of the UK’s largest industrial printers to deliver Programmatic Direct Mail, helping businesses increase conversions and reduce customer churn.

Paperplanes integrated tech on to the website of drinks retailer 31Dover to identify customers who abandoned shopping baskets and automatically generate physical personalised direct mail, doubling its conversion rate.

It has developed an entirely new channel for brands to communicate with their audiences, blending the best elements of digital marketing and offline marketing.

Programmatic Direct Mail from Paperplanes enables businesses to engage with their audience in a timely, relevant and personalised form – the kind of direct mail businesses want to send and customers want to receive.

Wobbegong Technology

Wobbegong Technology is a Software as a Service start-up which helps small firms process R&D tax credit claims.

Its WhisperClaims platform is the only system in the marketplace capable of generating comprehensive supporting documents and calculations for R&D tax relief claims without the involvement of a consultant.

Capable of handling complex claims, the application – developed using cutting edge technologies including React and JavaScript – requires no free text entry or manual intervention and reduces the time taken to produce a claim from weeks or months to one hour – reducing the cost from several thousand pounds to a fixed £500.

The accountancy industry is undergoing a massive cloud-based transformation and, in line with this trend, Wobbegong is enabling accountants and advisors to widen their offering.

yboo

yboo was built to solve problems for 60m UK mobile consumers. The issues of overpayment, varying levels of signal strength due to shared bandwidth and the almost impossible task of switching networks became the core focus for the business.

yboo compares SIM-only deals from the UK mobile market while also monitoring mobile usage and signal strength then recommends deals that will not only save them money but that are most suited to them based on their needs where they live, work and hang out. It allows users to swap from their current deal right there and then in the app.

It does this without the need for registration and is currently saving consumers on average £156 a year on their mobile phone bills.

The next phase for yboo involves the development and launch of a new product which will provide telecoms operators with anonymised data allowing them to understand their target audience’s behaviours, rank their products against the rest of the market and create products that increase connections and ultimately compete more effectively with other providers.