Meet the Emerging Innovator finalists in the 2022 CRN Impact Awards

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Meet the Emerging Innovator finalists in the 2022 CRN Impact Awards

A cloud optimisation product that saved a client more than $1 million, a tool for making job candidate assessment easier, and an AI solution for optimising physical business operations are the finalists in the Emerging Innovator category of the 2022 CRN Impact Awards.

The three CRN Impact Awards Emerging Innovator finalists are:

  • AbilityMap's human resources tool designed to help leaders articulate the otherwise elusive qualities they are looking for in staff and teams
  • Araza Cloud Optimisation “financial cloud control as a service" product
  • meldCX's Viana vision analytics product, which is live in three continents with customers in multiple verticals, including retail, banking, government and food manufacturing.

AbilityMap human resources tool

One of the challenges for any company hiring skilled team members is how to assess and discuss candidate qualities in an objective and consistent way. Sydney-based company AbilityMap aims to make this possible with its software solution.

AbilityMap is a human resources tool design to help leaders “articulate the otherwise elusive qualities they are looking for in both individual staff and well-rounded, high-performing teams.”

The AbilityMap Capability Framework evaluates individuals across 31 capabilities in a short online assessment. Companies can use the Framework to improve job fit, satisfaction and ultimately performance by applying these profiles in a variety of ways: aiding with hiring decisions; designing job descriptions and recruitment metrics; removing bias and bringing objectivity to diversity, engagement & inclusion initiatives; succession planning and talent development; and identifying strengths gaps in executive and leadership teams.

Such assessment tools aren’t new. AbilityMap claims there are few, if any, off-the-shelf products like its tool that can deliver both assessment/capability framework mapping without the need for a behavioural psychologist interpretation. The product's selling point is ease of use and its basis in quantifiable science and psychology. It is also designed to be used in more ways across an organisation than off-the-shelf staff evaluation or assessment tools.

Users have included large and small organisations including Canon, Movember and Apprento.

Araza Cloud Optimisation product

The ability to reduce a customer’s public cloud spend by more than $1 million dollars should be of interest to most customer CFOs – and that’s what Melbourne-based integrator Araza’s Cloud Optimisation product (ArCO) achieved for one customer. It credits the product with reducing the client’s public cloud spend by nearly a quarter, while it earned more than $200,000 for doing so.

Araza states that a large insurer has also started the process, while a large federal government department is reviewing a proposal. A “very big pipeline” has also opened through partnerships with platform providers including Microsoft, CloudBolt Kumolus, Cloudability and Snow Software.

It is pitching ArCO as “financial cloud control as a service with guaranteed savings”. The product is designed for continual and gives users visibility of costs and ownership, allows for budgeting and forecasting.

To do this, Araza has productised and commercialised a FinOps Cloud Optimisation Framework, which it delivers as a service. It automates ingestion of costs, utilisation metrics and configuration parameters from public cloud platforms to deliver recommendations to improve productivity and utilisation. Araza engages with clients to understand their business rules and implement these recommendations in an automated workflow.

Araza has bootstrapped this effort and has a specific product division, Araza Cloud, which focuses on ArCO. It has taken the product to market using a direct sales model.

Araza's CEO Victoria Kluth was recognised as one of three CRN Fast50 companies led by women in 2019.

meldCX Viana vision analytics

The use of AI vision technology is fraught with ethical considerations, but its potential benefits to businesses remain undeniable. One example, is meldCX’s Viana vision analytics solution, which the company has implemented on a project it is working on with Australia Post, which would allow Auspost to automate its package shipment process and measure its physical store metrics “like one measures a website”.

The premise behind Viana vision is that business owners often have “very little to no visibility on audience engagement and how their digital signage network is performing.”  Viana vision is designed to apply AI vision to the optimisation of physical stores and signage.

The solution gathers “customer intelligence insights” such as anonymous audience profiles, engagement (when, where and for how long each person views a store signage), and audience activities (foot traffic, alerts about suspicious behaviour), collected via mapping and detection of faces, objects and surfaces.

Users of such technology have important issues of transparency and privacy to name a few, to consider. meldCX states that its solution complies with GDPR, anonymising and tokenising data, “converting all human data to metric data, so no identifiable information is captured”.

The solutions have benefited from meldCX’s use of 3D objects and environments to train the AI – reducing the cost of training using myriad physical objects.

Viana is live in three continents with customers in multiple verticals, including retail, banking, government and food manufacturing.

meldCX laid out its journey to market for AI and edge technologies in a story published by CRN last year.

Announcing the rest of the CRN Impact Award finalists and winners

Look out this week and next week for CRN announcements detailing the rest of the finalists in the 2022 CRN Impact Awards.

The CRN Impact Awards winners will be revealed and celebrated on stage at the gala awards ceremony and dinner on August 25th at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort on the Gold Coast, as part of the CRN Pipeline 2022 conference.

The awards ceremony and dinner will be an opportunity for finalists to share their success with CRN journalists and the wider channel community and to network with Australia’s IT channel award winners. It will also be an opportunity for non-finalists to learn which channel partners kicked meaningful goals for customers in the last year, and meet them in-person.

Channel partners that attend the CRN Pipeline conference from August 23-26 at the same location can also network with Australia’s IT channel leaders and immerse themselves in top-class talks and roundtables about key business challenges and opportunities including staff shortages and hiring, economic outlook and key growth prospects.

Attend this year's premier channel awards, networking and strategic talk-fest - see the CRN Impact Awards and CRN Pipeline 2022 agenda.

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