WHAT MAKES A WINNER?
It takes a lot, of course, to impress the judges and stand out from the fierce competition. A great team. Grit. Determination. Ingenuity. Perseverance. But also that “I” word: innovation.
One thing every winning entry from last year has in common is that they were all innovative solutions. Take, for instance, the field from the Most Innovative New Service of the Year in the 2017 edition of the awards. Nokia and Zain Saudi MEC Project won highly commended for two smart services that were lunched during the Hajj season in 2016, which help pilgrims more easily navigate the massive crowds and identify when might be the best time to perform holy rituals. Virgin Mobile UAE-EITC nabbed the top prize for creating the world’s first fully digital mobile business unit and value proposition for the United Arab Emirates. Completely app-based, it allows customers to register and get their SIM activated wherever they are, with no need to visit a store.
Then there’s what STC did to win Middle East Telecom Operator of the Year. Judges were particularly impressed by how the telco established a technology venture capital fund with an initial investment value of US$500 million.
And what did Etisalat do to win Telecom Group of the Year? Nothing other than becoming the first group in the MENA region to conduct successful 5G trials, and also becoming the first operator in the Middle East and North Africa to introduce Internet of Things solutions for the mass connectivity of various machines and devices.
The point being is this: innovation wins. And in the case of the CommsMEA Awards, that should be taken literally.