Virtual Blue Kiwi entrepreneur Sharyn Catt recognised as the winner of the Entrepreneur Award in the 2021 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA)

Monday 12 July 2021

Kiwi entrepreneur Sharyn Catt the Managing Director of Virtual Blue (an Intelligent Automation Consultancy) – recognised as a winner of Entrepreneur Award in the 2021 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA).

Why is this noteworthy? While NZ corporates and large enterprises have been known to harbour some great female talent within the technical sector over some time now, female tech entrepreneurs are still a very rare sight in New Zealand.

Virtual Blue founded by Sharyn in 2018, is a female led robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) consultancy, partnered with global RPA & AI providers with a large footprint within the Healthcare sector. Its senior leadership team being 75% female comprises: Sharyn Catt (Managing Director), Kate Turska (Business Development Director), Melanie Visser (Head of Support & Delivery) and Genold Bañares (Head of Automation), including 2/3 of its directors being female as well.

In her acceptance speech, Sharyn thanked her leadership team and her family for their support.

Virtual Blue team recently also took out the APAC award within the RPA space (THE ONLY NZ provider to even be recognised as a finalist to date) in the 2021 Blue Prism Partner Excellence Awards – category Client Business Impact Healthcare – APAC, for the work they delivered within Mercy Radiology. Which is a tremendous achievement for a young boutique female led NZ provider in this fairly new but fast-growing field.

What is also unique about Virtual Blue, is that they are the only Intelligent Automation Consultancy of its kind in NZ. Many of kiwi companies have been approaching RPA and AI as two separate pieces of the transformation process, but they should be two parts of the same solution, which Sharyn understood early on. While RPA consultancies have been popping up here and there in the last few years, Virtual Blue decided to do things differently and look at digital transformation in a wider sense. AI-based chatbots, for instance, can answer questions but can’t then go away and process any of the information. The real value lies in having RPA and AI working together. As a result, Virtual Blue show their clients how they can use both technologies together from the start rather than trying to bring them together later on. Unlike other RPA firms, Virtual Blue are transforming businesses through Intelligent Automation (leveraging RPA & AI technologies side by side and even taking it one step further with Digital Humans). With a firm grasp on technology, Virtual Blue are not just a technical implementation partner to their Healthcare clients, they close the loop by also providing full business consulting services around Intelligent Automation including - Process Mining and Reengineering, Design Thinking, Change Management, Robotic Operating Model expertise, Training, Benefits Realisation, Business Analysis, and Enterprise Architecture consulting, making this firm a truly unique blend of both business and technology experts.

On July 8th, the 16 winners were announced at a celebration lunch at the Hilton Auckland. More than 310 attendees came together under the Reseller News roof to set the industry benchmark for female excellence in Auckland. Spanning Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia, WIICTA honoured the channel across eight categories - Innovation, Technical, Entrepreneur, Graduate, Rising Star, Shining Star, Achievement and D&I Champion (Company and Individual) awards.

ENTREPRENEUR

This award recognises an enterprising candidate with a risk-taking mentality, honouring excellence in launching new ventures, products or services. This individual has a proven background in building innovation from the ground up, evident through converting market-leading ideas into viable business offerings.

Finalists:

• Bianca Andrada - Cinch + Strike

• Lyndsay Davenport - Datacom

• Shabana Khan - Ingram Micro

• Carol Brown - Microsoft

• Ankita Dhakar - Security Lit

• Sharyn Catt - Virtual Blue

Highly Commended: Carol Brown - Microsoft

Winner: Sharyn Catt - Virtual Blue

Judges noted: “Sharyn wins this award for adopting an outside-of-the-box approach to robotic process automation (RPA) adoption, founding Virtual Blue to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities from the outset to drive digital transformation agendas. Under the entrepreneurial direction of Sharyn, Virtual Blue combines deep technical proficiency with strong business acumen, serving customers across intelligent automation, design thinking and change management.”

Media Contact:
Kate Turska (Virtual Blue) - 0297792000 / kate.turska@virtualblue.co.nz
For more information about Virtual Blue visit: https://www.virtualblue.co.nz/
About Reseller News & WIICTA
Reseller News has celebrated gender diversity and recognised female excellence across the New Zealand tech channel since first launching WIICTA in 2016, acknowledging and honouring the achievements of a talented group of female front runners who have become influential figures across the local industry. This was further supported by the unveiling of State of Gender Diversity in the Tech Channel during the celebration lunch, a new research initiative designed to examine gender D&I progress across the technology channel. This was a landmark moment in the industry, with IDG - as the world’s leading tech media, data and marketing services company - being the first independent outlet to open such dedicated research in New Zealand.
In this year’s WIICTA in total, 101 finalists (96 individuals and five companies) were honoured as finalists from a pool of 53 organisations and more than 140 nominations, spanning partner, telco, vendor and distributor businesses. Following an intensive judging process -- selected by an executive panel of more than 85 industry leaders - 16 winners were selected across eight categories, in addition to seven highly commended acknowledgements.
For more information visit: https://www.reseller.co.nz/article/689654/reseller-news-women-ict-awards-2021-winners/?pp=2

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Posted by

Ryl Jensen

General Manager

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