Behold WhereScape and the other winners of the 2016 New Zealand International Business Awards

An appearance by Prime Minister John Key was but one of several notable things to happen on Thursday night at the New Zealand International Business Awards.

Data warehouse automation software provider WhereScape has taken home the top prize – the Judge’s Supreme Award for International Business – at this year’s New Zealand International Business Awards.

Nine companies scooped up accolades in this year’s awards, which celebrate the success of New Zealand businesses on the world stage. Run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise with strategic partner ANZ, this year marked the 50th anniversary of the awards.

The judges said they were impressed by WhereScape’s ability to turn big data into big business. The company, which also won the Best Medium Business award, develops the software for organisations to manage and analyse big sets of data.

Based in Auckland and Portland, Oregon, WhereScape has customers in 26 countries and recently expanded into Asia, where it has attracted high-profile brands such as Chanel. The United States is the company’s largest and fastest-growing market, where its clients include GE, Nike, and the Dallas Cowboys American football franchise.


WhereScape is also no stranger to the New Zealand International Business Awards, having been named a finalist in the 2015 awards. The awards Supreme Judge, David Downs, said WhereScape has made outstanding progress in the past year. “Their clever transition from a product company to a global sales organisation has allowed them to exploit the global opportunity for data analytics, right at the time when expertise in big data is most sought after.”


Other recipients of awards this year included Haka Tours and Timely, who shared the award for Best Emerging Business, and Gallagher, named Best Large Business. Straker Translations, New Zealand Mint and Gallagher respectively took home awards for Excellence in Innovation, Excellence in Marketing and Excellence in Design. Ngāi Tahu Tourism won the He kai kei aku ringa for Māori Excellence in Export award, and Xero the Excellence in Leadership award.


NZTE Chief Executive Peter Chrisp said this year’s winners are using their Kiwi ingenuity and tenacity to build global businesses from New Zealand, demonstrating their resilience and innovation. “We’re seeing an exciting shift in the mind set of digital businesses, as they go-global from day one,” he said. “These companies have started out with an ambition to build a global business from New Zealand, rather than building in New Zealand first then evolving. It can be a winning strategy, as these companies chase rapid customer growth in niche high value markets.”


Unsurprisingly, he had especially high praise for WhereScape. “WhereScape exemplifies all of the attributes it takes for a Kiwi business to succeed internationally, and is agile and quick to evolve and meet its customers’ needs in the global data automation software market.”

ANZ’s managing director of commercial and agri, Mark Hiddleston, said the impressive range of businesses represented in the finalists and the winners was a reflection of the focus, innovation and determination shown by Kiwi businesses as they go head-to-head with the world’s best. “When ANZ’s strategic partnership of the awards started in 2009, it was in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis,” he said. “The business environment was volatile and uncertain, but for those who were ready to embrace the new reality, there was enormous opportunity. It was a test in businesses’ ability to adapt and react and New Zealand businesses today are sharper, smarter and well equipped for a strong future.”


The winners of the New Zealand International Business Awards were announced at a black tie ceremony at Auckland’s SKYCITY Convention Centre on Thursday. Among the attendees was Prime Minister John Key.

There was also some big news announced at the event. Next year, a new award that recognises and celebrates women in business will be introduced to awards programme.


WINNERS OF THE 2016 NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AWARDS

Supreme Award Winner

  • WhereScape Software (Auckland)

General category finalists

Best Emerging Business

  • Haka Tourism Group (Auckland)
  • Timely (Dunedin)

Best Medium Business

  • WhereScape Software (Auckland)

Best Large Business

  • Gallagher (Waikato)

Special category finalists

Excellence in Innovation, supported by Callahan Innovation

  • Straker Translations (Auckland)

Excellence in Marketing, supported by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (MFAT)

  • New Zealand Mint (Auckland)

Excellence in Operations and Supply Chain, supported by Kotahi

  • GMP Pharmaceuticals Group (Auckland)

Excellence in Design, supported by Special Group

  • Gallagher (Waikato)

He kai kei aku ringa for Māori Excellence in Export, supported by The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Te Puni Kōkiri, The Treasury

  • Ngai Tāhu Tourism (Christchurch)

Excellence in Leadership, supported by KPMG

  • Xero