TORONTO — The mood at this year’s E-Customer World may have been subdued, but for a few brief minutes, it seemed to soar as Air Canada picked up awards for an industry exchange software system it helped launch.

The financially troubled carrier’s business-to-business e-marketplace, Aeroxchange, won both the Innovative eMarketplace Solution award and the Overall B2B Excellence award.

In accepting the award, Bruce MacCoubrey, vice-president of technical operations at Air Canada, and former Chairman at Aeroxchange, says the award has provided the airline with a much-needed boost.

“I was very pleased to be acknowledged. I didn’t think we were going to win, (now that Aeroxchange is based in Dallas) but it was born in Canada. I was actually quite proud.”

And after all, he adds of the exchange that now has 33 members, Air Canada did pull this project together. “It was a real good lift in spite all the things that have been happening to us.”

Since the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, Air Canada is among the companies whose businesses have been hit hard by a decline in seat sales.

David Rumer, Oracle’s director of North American field marketing couldn’t help but get caught up in the emotion while on stage. “Maybe we can all get back on those planes and start flying again,” he said.

The awards, which recognize e-business solutions and innovation in Canada, were handed out Wednesday night at a gala dinner at the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre during the E-Customer World 2001 conference and trade show. A total of 21 awards were presented to users who have implemented customer-relationship management (CRM) and business-to-business (B2B) systems in the past year.

Aeroxchange was launched in February to share costs and make bulk purchases with other airlines using electronic procurement software supplied by Oracle Corp. (For a profile of Aeroxchange and other Air Canada IT activities, please see the July issue of InfoSystems Executive.)

Jacob Gordon, president of eCustomer World Institute and chairman of the judging committee noted Aeroxchange met two very important criteria to get the award. It was innovative: in general, industry exchanges are a new and mostly unproven technology. It has also already reduced costs, which, given the state of the airline industry, is of obvious importance. (In an interview last spring, MacCoubrey estimated Aeroxchange would save Air Canada from up to $5 million in internal processing costs, and another $25 million through volume purchasing and working with other airlines.)

Gordon also noted that all proceeds from the evening will be donated to the New York city Relief Fund.

For each category, two prizes were awarded, one each for the customer/user and for the supplier/vendor. The overall CRM award went to IOF Forresters and its technology supplier Siebel Systems Canada.

Other winners were:

Collaborative Partnering Solutions (co-winners)

· BROTHER INTERNATIONAL and partner SAP CANADA

· TOSHIBA OF CANADA and partner CHANNELWAVE SOFTWARE

Intelligence Storage Solutions

· CHEVRON CANADA and partner MICROSOFT CANADA

Enterprise Application Integration Solutions

· THE STAFFING EDGE and partner TELUS ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS.

Content Management Solutions

· CONOCO CANADA and partner PANGAEA SYSTEMS

eInvoicing Solutions

· GRAND & TOY and partner BCE EMERGIS

Mobile CRM Solutions (co-winners)

· MOLD MASTERS LIMITED and partner PLAUT CONSULTING CANADA

· INFOWAVE SOFTWARE and partner KPMG CONSULTING

Contact Center Solutions (co-winners)

· BANK OF MONTREAL and partner IBM CANADA

· COMPAQ CANADA and partner BLUE PUMPKIN SOFTWARE

Business Intelligence Solutions (co-winners)

· CIBC and partner SAS CANADA

· SCOTIABANK and partner UNICA CORPORATION

Loyalty Program Solutions

· CHUM TELEVISION and partner TELUS ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS

Cross-Enterprise CRM Solutions

· IOF FORRESTERS and partner SIEBEL SYSTEMS CANADA

Large Enterprise CRM Solutions (co-winners)

· DYNAMIC MUTUAL FUNDS and partner LGS GROUP

· CN RAIL and partner SIEBEL SYSTEMS CANADA

Mid-Market CRM Solutions

· WORKOPOLIS & GLOBE MEDIA and partner LGS GROUP

Small Business CRM Solutions

· ELECTRIC LIBRARY CANADA and partner TELUS ENTERPRISE

SOLUTIONS

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