The retail and airline data analytics specialist 11Ants Analytics has just won the “innovative software product of the year” award in Microsoft New Zealand’s 2016 Partner Awards for its 11Ants RAP (retail analytics platform). That gives it a pathway to the IT giant’s global awards in July.
11Ants Analytics impressed the awards’ judges with what they described as an “innovate retail software solution that enables retailers to take their raw transactional data and transform it into powerful decision making and promotional activity”.
“11Ants Analytics has enormous global potential and is already becoming a great Kiwi export story, from start up through to global ISV,” the judges’ comments say. “(Its) customer stories were extremely strong and growth opportunities were evident.”
11Ants Analytics’ CEO Tom Fuyala says Microsoft New Zealand’s acknowledgement comes after many years of hard work to get the retail analytics platform to the stage where he and his team believe it is the world’s easiest customer analytics platform to both deploy and use.
“I believe we continue to be developing one of the more technically complex solutions in the world on Azure, but we are able to hide the technical complexity from the end user,” Fuyala says. “Billions of elements of retail data appear as a beautiful graphic user interface. The user is able to make some simple settings and click ‘analyze data’.”
The company was founded by the University of Waikato’s commercial arm, WaikatoLink, and received venture backing from Endeavour Capital and New ZealandVIF. Last year the company was acquired by a global consortium comprising Air New Zealand and the Canadian marketing and loyalty analytics company Aimia, with the aim of developing a new analytics platform for airlines and further commercializing the retail solution.
Fuyala says the name 11Ants Analytics comes from one of the first solutions built, which contained 11 complex machine learning algorithms, and the team could think of no creature as hard working, self-organizing and capable of making order out of chaos as the ant.
The retail solution, 11Ants RAP, turns transactional data into actionable stories about customers, products, promotions and stores. The company’s newly developed11Ants AAP (Airline Analytics Platform), does the same covering customers, routes, ancillary products, promotions, frequent flier programmes and sales channels.
“We are engaging with a wide range of retailers spanning convenience, department and DIY stores, pharmacies, supermarkets and energy retailers, both locally and internationally, as well as developing the airline platform,” Fuyala says.
“We bet on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform relatively early as a foundation for our solution and are very pleased we did. Microsoft has been extremely supportive and its fantastic Azure cloud platform makes it possible for us to be relevant on the world stage.”