Skyscanner chief executive Gareth Williams was given a special honour at the Digital Technology Awards last night, for Outstanding Personal Achievement. He was recognised for his exceptional leadership, which has helped place Skyscanner as one of the top travel search companies in the world.
Polly Purvis, ScotlandIS chief executive, said: “From small beginnings fourteen years ago, Gareth Williams built an internationally successful company, not in the end markets that Scotland is famous for such as financial services or oil and gas but in the hugely competitive travel business.
“Growing the business from the ground up, Gareth worked to secure funding, staff and customers over the first few years before growing the company significantly to employ over 850 people with annual turnover of £120 million. Skyscanner has set the bar for Scotland’s future digital success so we wanted to take this opportunity to recognise Gareth’s achievements and his influence on the wider tech community.”
Skyscanner also took the awards for Best B2C Product/Service and Investment Deal of the Year following its sale to Ctrip for £1.4bn. Judges commended the management team’s ambition, tenacity and smart investment strategy, which set a template for globally ambitious Scottish companies. Gillian Docherty of The Data Lab was crowned CEO of the Year for her leadership of an ambitious team that has delivered 45 data science projects with a total estimated impact on the economy of over £66m since the innovation centre was established in 2015.
Edge Testing Solutions, one of the UK’s premier independent providers of software testing, won the award for Large Business of the Year. This follows last year’s success when CEO Brian Ferrie won the coveted CEO of the Year. The judges recognised Edge’s significant year on year performance improvements driven by innovation, market knowledge and capability. Hotdocs won the award for Small-Medium Business of the Year and was named International Technology Star. Hotdocs provides an industry leading software platform that speeds the production of business critical document such as contracts and in 2016 76% percent of its sales came from overseas markets.
The Public Sector award went to StormID for its work on the new website for ScotBlood – the site for the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service. StormID provided ScotBlood with a user friendly website, animating blood stock levels in real time, and a powerful donation session search. StormID also took the prize for Agency of the Year, consolidating its reputation for transformational consultancy and fast, agile delivery.
Celebrating success in developing digital technology skills, the award for Education Service Provider was awarded to CodeClan. Since its launch in October 2015 CodeClan has trained over 180 students and the judges praised the academy’s implementation and its increasing impact in helping to address the industry skills requirements.
CodeClan chief executive Harvey Wheaton, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this award, especially when we were up against some great competition. It is a real honour and a fantastic endorsement of the work we have been doing to address the digital skills gap in Scotland. We would like to thank the industry for their continued support, which is crucial to ensuring we teach our students a curriculum that is current and relevant to the workplace. We would also like to thank all of the amazing students and graduates of CodeClan who have chosen to kick-start their new career in the digital sector through our courses, and of course the staff and instructors who are so incredibly passionate about the work we’re doing.”
The Outstanding Marketing Performance category was won by Glasgow based mobile marketing agency Digitonic for its launch of mDoc, a device-perfect audio-visual and video content product to be delivered directly into an SMS inbox at the cost of a standard message.
Edinburgh based Nucleus took the award for B2B Technology Product/Service for Narrate, a new type of client reporting tool for financial advisors. Judges felt this to be a truly modern digital financial platform offering great user benefits. Best Financial Services Product/Service was won by FreeAgent for its cloud accounting software which now has more than 50,000 customers. Judges were impressed by FreeAgent’s exceptional business performance, the strength of the management team and its continued success.Aggreko won the Innovation Through Data award for its use of data generated by telemetry across its generator fleet to improve reliability and deliver enhanced customer experience.
The judging panel for the awards, run by trade body ScotlandIS and now in their seventh year, included experts, champions and influencers spanning Scotland’s digital technology industry and the public sector. Purvis added: “These awards are a brilliant way to celebrate the growth and success of our industry over the last twelve months. They recognise the hard graft and team work behind these exceptional businesses, and highlight the increasing importance of the digital technologies industry to Scotland.”
The event took place in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow in front of an audience of guests across the industry, from software, IT and telecoms companies to digital agencies and web developers. Sponsors of the event were Administrate, Atkinson Macleod Executive Search, Avaloq, Cathcart Associates, The Data Lab, EY, Head Resourcing, and Search Total Recruitment Solutions. Scotland’s digital technologies industry contributes £5bn in GVA to the economy and some 91,000 people are employed in digital technologies roles across the economy. According to KPMG’s Tech Monitor, the number of tech sector enterprises in Scotland grew 43.4 per cent between 2010 and 2015, second only to London (54.6 per cent).