FIFTH NATIONAL IT EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Awards will go a long way towards creating motivation amongst different segments of society

From SHAMIM AHMED RIZVI,
Islamabad

Apr 05 - 11, 2004

Teradata, a division of NCR (NYSE:NCR), hosted the fifth national awards ceremony in Islamabad to recognize outstanding IT professionals in nine different categories. These heroes of Pakistan's IT industry were presented with IT Excellence Awards, gold medals and certificates for their excellence and achievements for the year 2002-03.

The event was attended by leading dignitaries and prominent personalities from the government as well as banking, insurance, airlines and other leading industries. Shaukat Aziz, Minister for Finance and Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari, Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecom, had to leave the city in emergency and were represented by Mr. Omar Ayub, MNA and Parliamentary Secretary, Finance Division and Mr. Aamir Mateen, Managing Director, Pakistan Software Export Board respectively. They read the messages on behalf of their respective ministers to auspicious gathering at the Islamabad Convention Center.

Teradata, is the global technology leader in enterprise data warehousing, analyhtic applications and data warehousing services. Organizations around the world rely on the power of Teradata's award-winning solutions (www.teradata.com) to get a single, integrated view of their business to enhance decisions making, customer relationships and profitability. NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is leading global technology company helping business build stronger relationships with their customers. NCR's ATMs, retail systems, Teradata® data warehouses and IT service provide Relationship Technology TM solutions that maximize the value of customer interactions and help organizations create a stronger competitive position. Based in Dayton, Ohio, NCR (www.ncr.com) employs approximately 29,000 people worldwide.

"Information Technology has opened up vast new avenues for developing countries such as Pakistan to use the creativity of their young through education and training and to make fuller use of their talents for national development. Initiatives like the NCR IT excellence Awards will go a long way towards creating motivation amongst different segments of society to perform well in this ever-growing," said Mr. Omar Ayub, MNA and Parliamentary Secretary, Finance Division. Mr. Aamir Mateen, Managing Director, Pakistan Software Export Board, commented on the importance of the use of technology for bringing progress and prosperity. He lauded the efforts of companies like NCR and appreciated the positive step taken in the form of the IT Excellence Awards.

In his opening statement NCR Country General Manager Syed Veqar-ul-Islam, "The IT Excellence Awards are designed to motivate outstanding individuals for doing an outstanding job for Pakistan. They will also serve as encouragement for others to perform well in the future." He congratulated the winners on their achievement, and made commitments for continuation of these awards annually. He informed the gathering about the setting up of Teradats's Center of Expertise in Pakistan in the area of data warehousing, which he said has already implementing projects outside Pakistan.

The IT award event included live performances by Hadiqa Kiani and Fariha Pervaiz. The grand finale of the evening was a performance by Zia Mohyuddin. The evening was hosted by Rahat Kazmi and Aitqa Odho.

The period for nominating awards was between August 2002 to July 2003. The nominations were judged on predefined criteria for each category according to the requirements of the industry. The categories cover the entire spectrum of the IT sector, thus enabling the specialized effort in each category to stand out and be recognized. The award winners were:

1.SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
WINNER: ZAFAR SHAIKH
PROJECT: VIRTUAL TRADE AUTOMATED MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (VTAMS)

Virtual Trade Automated Management System is a complete online share trading solution that enables brokerage houses to offer complete Internet-based stock trading to their clients (investors). VTMAS offers a complete package to investors, including share ordering and execution, together with risk and margin management.

2. NETWORKING
WINNER: KHAWAJA TANVEER SALEEM
PROJECT: T-TOWN WEBCAST ON LAN

E-Town Webcast on LAN is a video conferencing solution to conduct online meetings at Unilever Pakistan, where employees at the head office are able to attend the Chairman's quarterly "town hall" meeting at their desks. Approximately 300 people attend webcasts and ask questions of Chairman Musharaf Hai.

3. IT EDUCATOR
WINNER: DR. SYED MUHAMMAD HASSAN ZAIDI
PROJECT: ESTABLISHMENT OF E-LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AT NUST

E-learning is a virtual education system that employees a complete and comprehensive distance education system that offers quality service to students in their homes. Dr. Zaidi has made pioneering efforts in the development of E-learning and has developed online content for subjects including: E-Commerce, Introduction to IT, Photonic Networks; Communication skills and Data Communication and Security.

4. IT PIONEER
WINNER: SALIM ULLAH GHAURI
PROJECT: LEASE SOFT, A SOFTWARE SOLUTION FOR THE LEASE AND FINANCE INDUSTRY

Lease Soft is an end-to-end leasing and finance suite of applications. The four applications under LeaseSoft have been designed and developed for a highly flexible setting and are capable of dealing with multinational, multi-company, multi-asset, multi-lingual, multi-distributor and multi-manufacturer environments. The constituent software applications are: Credit Application Creation System (CAC, Credit Application Processing System (CAP), Contract Activation & Management System (CAM) and Wholesale Finance System (WFS).

5. IT RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
WINNER: COLONEL DR. ASHRAF MASOOD
PROJECT: NETWORK SECURITY SOLUTIONS

Network Security system is a comprehensive security system for computer networks for deployment at national level for government, armed forces, private, and commercial organizations. The system helps secure communication over the Internet (VPN) Encryption system using IPSec (at the IP Layer), integrated message encryption system (at the application Layer), and a multi-channel speech recognition system (for E1 Links).

6. IT YOUTH
WINNER: AFRAH SHAFQUAT
PROJECT: TWO WORLD RECORDS IN INTERNATIONAL IT CERTIFICATION

World's youngest Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP).

World's youngest Microsoft Certified V.B Net Programmer.

7. IT PUBLICATION
WINNER: MUHAMMAD SHIRAZ BAIG
PROJECT: PUBLISHED BOOK-INTERNET PROGRAMMING THROUGH XWINDOWS ON LINUX

This book focuses on the Linux operating system and will help programmers who are interested in programming in GUI environments and also Internet programming through Berkely sockets.

8. LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
WINNER: MUHAMMAD ZAMIR AHMED
PROJECT: IT PROMOTION/SOFTWARE ENGINEERING/EDUCATION & TRAINING/DATA MODELING/MIS DEVELOPMENT/AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN PUBLIC SECTOR ORGANIZATIONS AND PROFESSIONAL BODIES.

A panel of judges selected for their experience and expertise assessed the award nominations. The panel of judges included a mix of educators, industry experts, journalists, private sector and government officials. The judges were Dr. Arshad Ali, Director General, NUST Institute of Information Technology (NIIT) Rawalpindi, Nadeem Ikram, Director Information Technology for Pakistan International Airlines, Zain Syed, Chairman of 'Open Source Canada', Dr. Abdul Sattar, Consultant for Multimedia Systems, AIOU (Allama Iqbal Open University), Mr. Anwar Rodney Rahman, CEO and Managing Director, KPMG Peat Marwick, Shabbir Baxamosa, Senior Vice President and Head of Remote Banking Services at Union Bank Limited, Sarmad Hussain, Associate Professor and Head, CRULP (Center for Research in Urdu Language Processing), FAST National University of Computer and Emerging Science and Zunaira Durrani, Editor, Spider Magazine. The NCR IT Excellence Awards 2003 process was verified by Ford Rhodes Sidat Hyder & Co, Chartered Accountants.

To those who have kept track of the NCR IT Awards over the years will no doubt have realized that its activities are geared towards bringing the most noteworthy of IT enthusiasts to the fore on a national level, each year.

NCR activities adhere to the belief that by holding these awards as an annual event, it will work as a motivational force, not only reducing the turnover of IT Professionals moving abroad but also urging local professionals to aspire to the highest level of excellence in their chosen fields. The NCR awards, being associated with a company of world repute, have gone a long way towards increasing the motivation of outstanding individuals in the field of Information Technology over the years. This in turn, has created a much needed talent pool of outstanding individuals, to further promote the cause of Information Technology in Pakistan.