Optus announces ultimate IT challenge winners

IT teams developing iPhone apps win favour

The Optus Ultimate IT Challenge finalists taking part in the ultimate sports challenge on 11 February 2011 where they spent a day competing against Australia’s top sporting talent, including AFL Carlton Football Club Captain and Brownlow Medallist Chris Judd, Rugby International Stirling Mortlock, Wallaby Matt Giteau and Tennis Olympian, Alicia Molik.

The Optus Ultimate IT Challenge finalists taking part in the ultimate sports challenge on 11 February 2011 where they spent a day competing against Australia’s top sporting talent, including AFL Carlton Football Club Captain and Brownlow Medallist Chris Judd, Rugby International Stirling Mortlock, Wallaby Matt Giteau and Tennis Olympian, Alicia Molik.

IT teams developing iPhone applications to solve common business problems have dominated the field of winners in Optus’ ultimate IT challenge, with four Australian businesses sharing $100,000 in prizes.

The awards were presented at Optus’ business innovation awards ceremony in Melbourne.

NSW designer eyewear provider, Luxottica, won the overall enterprise category after developing an open source point of sale infrastructure that was deployed across some 1000 international sites. The company will receive Optus services to the value of $50,000. The Luxottica IT team delivered a "creative and functional" POS system that operates across different languages. Developed completely in-house, the infrastructure was deployed in more than 1000 sites across Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and China.

The system makes use of an open source operating system and open source software to enable the use of thin client devices in-store. Centralised ‘online’ backups use the rsync protocol and proactive monitoring. The team has also created a private cloud to facilitate centralised open office and Internet Explorer delivery to the retail POS infrastructure in stores.

Melbourne-based charity FareShare and 13CABS were recognised for developing iPhone apps; with FareShare developing an app to improve communication between its head office and delivery fleet, and 13CABS achieving a streamlined booking service and improving customer service through the development of its iPhone app.

Both IT teams were awarded SMB prizes for the development of apps, with Optus awarding products and services to the value of some $16,000.

In a statement from the telco, Optus outlined the key challenges that entrants face on a day to day basis, with reducing operational costs, enabling business productivity and leveraging cloud computing reaching the top of the list.

The news comes as chief executive of Sydney-based Viva La Mobile, Jamie Conyngham, last year told <i>Computerworld Australia</i> that the popularity of app stores had decreased as consumers were looking to buy apps directly from phone carriers.

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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