Innovation Awards

How Innovation Awards Winner Used Emerging Technology to Secure 140 Million Customers

Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 @ 02:36 PM

Etisalat of Abu Dhabi, UAE won a Stevie® Award for Most Innovative Company of the Year, Middle East and Africa, in the company awards categories of The 2011 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards program. (The 2012 IBAs are now open for entries. Download your entry kit here and submit your entries by the 16 May entry deadline.) Here we look at how Etisalat used technology innovation to advance their organization.

Etisalat LogoEtisalat is a leading telecom company which serves over 140 million customers in 18 countries around the world. In 2010 the innovation awards winner committed $1.5 billion into infrastructure and other CAPEX brining new services and advanced functionality to its customers across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Using emerging technology, Etisalat secured several key developments and launches including:

  • The completion of a nationwide fiber-optic network and introduction of ‘triple-play’ services (eLife) –telephone, Internet and television. What makes this more impressive, is that with Etisalat’s network the UAE today offers the fastest broadband (30Mbps) connectivity to the home in the Middle East region.
  • The launch of 3DTV services in time for the World Cup placed the UAE amongst the first five nations in the world to deploy this technology. Etisalat now offers a variety of sports channels in 3D and is supporting the boom in advanced TV technologies such as IPTV.
  • For businesses, Etisalat’s fiber network allows connection speeds of up to 100Mbps – which is a key landmark for the region. It is also supporting the overall economic development of the nation.
  • The future broadband access technology will be wireless, and Etisalat has made ground deploying the latest standard – LTE – in the UAE. Commercial trials started and progress has been made for deploying the largest network in the Middle East.
  • In Africa, Etisalat introduced BlackBerry services to six countries including Benin, Gabon, Togo, Central African Republic, Niger and Ivory Coast. This popular business and social tool is bringing a new world of services to these markets.
  • In Sudan Etisalat’s fiber optic network has been enhanced with a new Internet gateway. This is supporting corporate customers in oil, banking and education and is geared up to enable Wi-Max and Wi-Fi in the future.
  • Also in Sudan, the company has introduced EVDO for broadband, enabling wireless broadband access of up to 3.1 Mbps.
  • In Egypt Etisalat deployed the latest GSM wireless broadband technology HSPA, bringing speeds of up to 42Mbps to smart phones and mobile devices across 88% of the country. Etisalat Misr is now preparing to introduce advanced ICT services such as m-commerce, m-advertising, mobile applications and payment services.
  • In Saudi Arabia, Etisalat’s HSPA+ subscriber base crossed 2,000,000 making it the largest active HSPA+ base in the world. This wireless technology and network is now consuming 90 Terabytes of data a day.
  • Etisalat’s associate in Pakistan introduced EVDO technology for wireless broadband and has set itself up to be the first 3G wireless service provider in Pakistan using CDMA –based technologies. Ufone, the mobile operator, has also introduced various Value Added Services, bringing new innovations to the hands of Pakistani youth.

Etisalat is an innovative organization which has helped the UAE to become one of the top 10 nations in the world in terms of the availability of new technologies, through the company's support and strategic vision on a number of government initiatives. Through the launch of innovative new technologies and its regional growth strategy, Etisalat aims to become one of the top 10 telecom operators in the world.

About Etisalat
Etisalat is a leading telecommunications corporation committed to consumers, businesses, international telecommunication companies, ISPs, content providers and mobile operators. Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Etisalat is the largest operator in the Middle East and Africa regions with a market value in excess of AED 80 billion (US$20 billion) and annual revenues of approximately AED 30 billion (US$8 billion). Etisalat operates in 18 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa, a coverage area which reaches more than two billion people. To date, the group’s global subscriber base exceeds over 140 million subscribers through mobile and Landline voice and data services. To learn more, visit

Tags: business awards, International business awards, innovation awards, Etisalat, most innovative company of the year, company awards, technology innovation, emerging technology

How Innovation Awards Winner Increased Revenue by 240%

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 @ 05:06 PM

Mondial Assistance USA, of Richmond, VA won a Stevie® Award for Business Innovation of the Year in the company awards categories of The 2011 American Business Awards, the premiere business awards program in the U.S.A. (The final entry deadline for the 2012 ABAs is April 25; request your entry kit today.) Here we look at how Mondial Assistance used emerging technology to streamline their onboarding process.

Mondial AssistanceIn 2010, Mondial Assistance USA, a global leader in specialized insurance and assistance services, decided to revamp their outdated onboarding system by launching a new online system.  The organization awards winner had one objective: to design and implement a dynamic white glove experience that was well-designed, efficient, and exceeded the expectations of new clients. The new system had to combine technical innovation with user friendliness.

Project Goals
The innovation awards winner had three goals in mind for their new Agency Onboarding system:

  • Decrease Time to Sell
    By streamlining the onboarding process, Mondial Assistance employees would be able to begin selling products almost immediately.
  • Increase Customer Satisfaction
    By improving the onboarding process, Mondial Assistance would be able to create and strengthen relationships with customers.
  • Decrease Internal Management Costs
    By streamlining the process, Mondial would be able to eliminate the paper trail and leverage technology innovation resulting in better use of employees’ time.

The innovation award winner implemented their new Agency Onboarding system in two phases.

In phase one, the company:

  • Reorganized past processes to reduce the number of departments needed,
  • Digitalized all documents, and
  • Began an email campaign for its' customers.

In phase two, the company centered their project on creating an easy onboarding experience for the customer. Phase two also allowed for account numbers, W9 tax forms, and customized brochures to be produced automatically.

In less than three months, Mondial Assistance saw:

  • 24.7% growth in the number of agencies onboarded over the same timeframe from the prior year;
  • 200% growth in the number of agencies selling at least one policy; and
  • 240% growth in generated revenue.

About Mondial Assistance USA
Mondial Assistance USA is a global leader in specialty insurance and emergency assistance services and is part of the Allianz family of companies. Mondial Assistance offers a broad portfolio of insurance, retirement, assistance services and asset management products and services. Four percent of the world’s population are served by Mondial Assistance businesses around the globe. For more information please visit:

Tags: American business awards, innovation award, innovation awards, Mondial Assistance USA, technical innovation, company awards, organization awards, technology innovation, emerging technology

Case Study: How Corporate Award Helped Distinguished Honoree Double Profits

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Feb 22, 2012 @ 06:06 PM

TECNET of Tokyo, Japan, was honored as a Distinguished Honoree in the company awards category for Most Innovative Company in Asia (China, Japan, and Korea) in The 2010 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards program. (The 2012 IBAs are now accepting entries. Request your entry kit here and submit entries by the April 11 early-bird deadline for discounted entry fees.)  As part of our 10th anniversary celebration, we will be talking to a number of organizations around the world on how being honored in one of our corporate awards competitions has helped their business. Here we speak to the innovation awards winning CEO, Kiichiro Suda, about the role their Stevie® Award title has had in increasing profits.

How has being a Distinguished Honoree in The 2010 International Business Awards helped TECNET to promote its brand? Kiichiro Suda
First, we found that the actual process of entering the IBAs—preparing and filling out the application—was extremely useful for us, because it made us focus on our business plan and strategy.

When we received the IBA results, we announced the award on our corporate website, in handouts, and in our recruiting media. We also shared the news with colleagues, posting the news on 30 different social media sites in Tokyo.

Although TECNET had actually been in deficit in the five years prior to when we submitted our IBA entry in 2009, we began to see a turnaround after we were named a Distinguished Honoree in 2010. By 2011, our profits had doubled, and we expect to double those profits again (400% over fiscal year 2010) by the end of this year.

What event has had the most impact on your business over the past ten years?
We started TECNET from nothing in 2005. The biggest event for us was the Lehman Brothers financial crisis in 2008, after which we had to completely restructure our business. TECNET had its first monthly surplus in December 2008, but right after that went into deficit again. We struggled for another 18 months but eventually got back into profit by overhauling the organization and improving the quality of our service.

What are your company’s plans for the future?
Our company currently has a staff of 60 and we want to increase that to 200 by 2017 in order to be able to provide effective services to more small and medium-sized enterprises. Additionally we want to spread the concept of a good way of working that in Japan we call "rental-employees."

What are your top IT tips for small businesses?
Because every company has a different structure—from the market it serves and its business model to the maturity of its organization—I only have one suggestion:  I would recommend that smaller businesses consider the "rental-employee” model as an IT solution. This way, companies with smaller budgets can organize their IT to best suit their individual business style and structure.

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
I think both customer satisfaction and employee development are the most significant goals to achieve in business.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
The positive feedback I get from TECNET’s clients or “rental-employees” always gives me a tremendous rush.

About Kiichiro Suda:
TECNET’s President & CEO Kiichiro Suda is an entrepreneur.  After studying at Waseda University in Tokyo, Suda acquired hands-on experience of marketing and business development through employment at various companies. In 1997, he founded the Q&A Corporation and was its CEO/COO until 2004.  At the end of Suda’s 8-year tenure, Q&A Corporation’s annual sales were 4 billion yen (approx. $50 million). Q&A Corporation is now a leading Japanese provider of technical support services (Phone/Email/On-Site) for individuals, and in 2010 the company recorded sales of 10 billion yen (approx. $126 million).  Suda founded TECNET, Inc. in 2005. 

TECNET is an IT administration outsourcing company for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Tokyo.  It helps SMBs’ IT operation, management, and strategy. TECNET doesn’t sell computer products: it provides a human service for its corporate clients by providing an overview of their IT organizations. TECNET currently has 220 clients, 60 employees, and a web community with more than 1,700 members.

Tags: business awards, corporate awards, International business awards, innovation awards, TECNET, corporate award, Kiichiro Suda, company awards