The build-up and excitement over the last few weeks leading up to the first ever MTN Business App of the Year awards event, proved worth the wait as the ICT industry awarded innovation in application development last night. The awards, which took place at The Venue in Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, saw the announcement of the FNB Banking app team winning the overall best App of the Year for 2012.
Says Nomalanga Nkosi, GM for Business Marketing at MTN Business: “The MTN Enterprise Business team congratulates the FNB Banking app team on this achievement and title. The team’s passion for application development, innovation, alongside an understanding of the broader business market, expertise and dedication has certainly paid off. We found an innovative application, born from a forward-thinking and creative idea that will no doubt positively impact the way business will be undertaken going forward, and will empower businesses to conduct work seamlessly and effectively.”
The MTN Business App of the Year Awards could not have come at a better time according to eMartketing trends, where on average a user spends 9% more time using mobile apps over the use of the Internet. Games and social networking apps combined are equal to 79% of consumers overall app usage time.
The number of enterprise-relevant apps has doubled from 100.000 to 200.000 over the past 12 months (Q1 2011 to Q1 2012), but as research2guidance has found only 14% of those address core enterprise needs. Therefore, there is a need to develop apps that address the demands of businesses and individuals. The awards aim to recognise local app developers that are spearheading innovation in this space.
Says Hayley Horan at Creative Space Media; “The event was a huge success and one that we are proud to have initiated. We commend and thank every application developer who entered the awards as they exhibited the depth of talent and creativity we have in the South African ICT market. Selecting the finalists and the winner was certainly no easy task and it certainly points to the enormous talent that exists out there. Congratulations to all the winners!”
With various award categories throughout the evening, winners included:
· FNB Banking for the best iOS consumer App
· Health ID for the best iOS enterprise App
· FNB Banking for the best Blackberry App
· TransUnion Dealer Guide for the best Android enterprise App
· FNB Banking for the best Android consumer App
· Rapidtargets for the best HTML5 App
· Matchy for the best Windows App
· Plascon Inspire Me for the most innovative App
· PhraZApp for the best Garage developer App
The panel of four independent judges of the awards included Kojo Baffoe – Editor of Destiny Man, Toby Shapshak – Editor of Stuff Magazine, Melissa Attree – marketing and social media consultant at Cerebra and Jonathan Hoehler – CTO for Starfish Mobile and active committee member of the Johannesburg chapter of Mobile Monday. Says Toby Shapshak; “An app is more than just a way of repurposing content from a website. Smartphones and tablets are a new medium for both consuming and sharing information. The stand-out apps made clever use of the platforms they were written for. Some were world-class, as you can see from the winners, and would hold their own in the international app stores.”
Kojo Baffoe agreed saying that he thoroughly enjoyed judging the MTN Business App of the Year awards. “Seeing the innovation and diversity that the local app developers have produced has inspired and encouraged me and I have no doubt that we can expect phenomenal and, more importantly, relevant apps in the future. Apps that speak directly to our needs and experiences in South Africa, and Africa.”
“We were reminded of the talent that South Africa holds within the technology field and MTN Business is certainly proud to be at the forefront of honing in on this talent, recognising it and ensuring that such development continues to take place on our local shores. We look forward to the future applications that these teams and individuals, among the many more who entered the competition, will produce in the future,” concludes Nkosi.