In the sphere of Oz success - Australian developers go head-to-head with the world's best - and win

In the sphere of Oz success - Australian developers go head-to-head with the world's best - and win

Geoffrey Rush and Cate Blanchett might have been nominated for this year's Academy Awards, but some lesser-known Aussies swept the Oscars of the IT kind at the recent Lotusphere in Florida.

Given in recognition of Lotus Business Partners, the 1999 Beacon Awards had Sydney-based developers FishTech and Sentor starring in the lead roles in recognition of their "distinguished achievements" in the development of Lotus-based technologies.

Beating 900 entries from around the world, the two Lotus partners challenged the widespread industry perception of the lack of creativity and initiative in the Australian IT industry, with FishTech winning the Distinguished Achievement, Asia-Pacific award and Sentor making it to the final four in the Best Industry Solution and Greatest Business Impact categories.

"We're over the moon," Nick Fish, managing director of FishTech said.

"This is the first time a Beacon Award has ever been won by an Australian company, which is great because these awards are the highest recognition that Lotus can give globally to a partner organisation."

Fish said it was hard to predict the impact the award will have on FishTech's revenue, but the company is already noticing "a huge difference in terms of standing.

"We've already been invited by several Japanese companies to look at some partnering opportunities, so I think this achievement will have a tremendous 'endorsement' effect both on us and on our partners."

The awards were given in 12 categories that covered a range of solutions and services developed around Lotus' technologies and were judged by Lotus executives and several industry specialists.

Adding to FishTech's and Sentor's success was another NSW-based Lotus developer, Neural Solutions, whose management reported Lotusphere attendees showed "overwhelming interest" (ARN, Feb 3, page 8) in its Just-In-Time product range, resulting in a number of international enquiries and contracts.

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