Channel Asia Women in ICT Awards: and the winners are...

More than 520 attendees came together under the Channel Asia virtual roof to set the industry benchmark for female excellence across Southeast Asia #WIICTA

Channel Asia is proud to announce the winners of the new-look Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA), honouring female excellence within the technology channel following an industry-defining celebration across Southeast Asia.

Played out virtually in front of more than 520 attendees -- the largest audience for a gender diversity and inclusion (D&I) awards program in ASEAN -- the entire ecosystem came together under the Channel Asia banner to set the industry benchmark for female achievement and accomplishment.

With a record-breaking community participation -- backed by vibrant, energetic and spirited social interaction -- and a record-breaking number of submissions, 2021 was the year WIICTA went mainstream in Southeast Asia.

In total, 160 finalists (150 individuals and 10 companies) were honoured as finalists from a pool of more than 65 organisations and over 220 nominations, spanning partner, vendor and distributor businesses.

Following an intensive judging process -- selected by an executive panel of more than 45 industry leaders -- 17 winners were selected across eight categories, in addition to six Highly Commended acknowledgements.

“To all our finalists, highly commended and winners, congratulations from Channel Asia,” said Cherry Yumul, vice president of Strategic Partnerships and Innovation at IDG. “You should all be proud of this grand display of ASEAN ingenuity and we are honoured to recognise your achievements.”

In total, WIICTA honoured the channel across eight categories, spanning Innovation, Technical, Entrepreneur, Graduate, Rising Star, Shining Star, Achievement and D&I Champion (Company and Individual) awards.

All career stages were in the spotlight from graduate-level entrants to well-established CEOs, in addition to inspiring entrepreneurs, creative thinkers and technical experts, as well as talent rising through the ranks and consistent high-performing individuals. This was also supported by both individual and company champions of D&I initiatives.

Within this standout group of finalists, female leaders were located across the entire region, spanning Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

“For our winners, we are thrilled and consider this a significant statement as you own your rightful place in the technology industry,” Yumul added. “We hope this recognition means a great deal to you personally but also your leaders, mentors and family.

“After all, behind anyone's success is a village of enablers and cheerleaders. May this inspire other women in our community to amplify their narrative and showcase their achievements.”

Credit: Channel Asia / IDG

Advancing women in tech

Channel Asia has celebrated gender diversity and recognised female excellence across the ASEAN channel since first launching WIICTA in 2019, acknowledging the achievements of a talented group of female front runners who have become influential figures across the local industry.

This has been further supported by State of Gender Diversity in the Tech Channel, a new research initiative designed to examine D&I progress across the technology channel.

Delivered to a jam-packed virtual audience, this in-depth survey focused on the three core pillars of D&I, spanning Tech Industry, Workplace and Personal Experience.

In an industry-first for the channel, research was open to female, male and other gender identities, welcoming submissions from CEO to graduate levels across all company sizes, industry segments and locations. Questions were designed to be fielded by participants across different age groups, cultural backgrounds and job functions -- spanning management, sales, operations, technical and marketing roles -- irrespective of industry tenure.

The aim was to independently and confidentially source a range of perspectives industry-wide, aligned to the collective goal of moving the conversation forward in relation to D&I within Southeast Asia.

The launch of State of Gender Diversity in the Tech Channel represented a landmark moment in the industry, with IDG -- as the world’s leading tech media, data and marketing services company -- the first independent outlet to open such dedicated research in ASEAN.

Also in the spotlight was a power-packed line-up of CIOs and technology leaders sharing executive career advice and guidance.

Housing a blend of iconic global and local brands, the channel received first-hand accounts of inspirational stories of individual growth and success from the top technology decision-makers at Coca-Cola, DHL, HGC Global Communications, Essilor Group and Ingram Micro.

Delivered via a series of 10-minute Power CIO Talk addresses, leading executives documented standout career achievements, how to overcome adversity and authentic advice for both established and aspiring female leaders across ASEAN.

Channel Asia congratulates all winners, highly commended and finalists and thanks all organisations and individuals for supporting this initiative.

INNOVATION

This award recognises a creative-thinking candidate who is a standout in bringing innovation to life through a big picture and out-of-the-box approach to business. This individual is unrivalled at converting embryonic ideas into viable working solutions through a unique thought process designed to continually push the envelope.

-- presented by Vicki Batka - Vice President of Partner Sales APJC, Cisco

COUNTRY:

Finalists:

  • Citra Nudiasari - Abyor International (Indonesia)
  • Gigi Lariosa - Aruba Networks (Philippines)
  • Jacqueline Chay - AsiaPac (Singapore)
  • Olivia Zhang - CrowdStrike (Singapore)
  • Ai Kiar Ang - IBM (Singapore)
  • Imane Jamal Eddine - Microsoft (Singapore)
  • Vivian Tan - Rhipe (Malaysia)
  • Jeane Claudine Bernardo - Sophos (Philippines)
  • Shirley Zhang - Veeam Software (Singapore)
  • Cherlyn Koay - VMware (Singapore)

Winner: Ai Kiar Ang - IBM (Singapore)

Ai Kiar wins this award for bringing AI solutions to life as a technical expert and industry thought leader within the manufacturing sector, operating as an IBM-certified Black Belt specialist with deep industry knowledge across Southeast Asia.

In leading the IBM Global Emerging Technology Initiative, Ai Kiar is pioneering exploratory research efforts designed to scale new solutions in manufacturing, with a specific focus on the deployment of digital twin, mixed reality, cloud, 5G and hyper-automation offerings.

REGIONAL:

Finalists:

  • Kerri Lampard - Cisco
  • Yvonne Singleton - Commvault
  • Jane Ng - ESET
  • YeongEun Min - Google Cloud 
  • Evelyn Lim - Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Jamie Neo - HP
  • Sandra Lee - Kaspersky
  • Nuraini Kurnia - Palo Alto Networks
  • Jyotika Singh - Tech Data
  • Jessie Chong - Trend Micro
  • Anubha Pandey - VMware

Highly Commended: Jamie Neo - HP / Anubha Pandey - VMware

Winner: Yvonne Singleton - Commvault

Yvonne wins this award for creating operational excellence at Commvault through a commitment to operational innovation, underpinned by the creation of a singular platform to maximise internal data and enhance go-to-market efforts.

Developed through Power BI in under two months, Yvonne’s outside-of-the-box approach to overcoming the challenge of obtaining and analysing data has helped enhance sales cycle capabilities, resulting in improved win rates and bookings -- resulting in EMEA and global deployments emulating Asia Pacific.

Read more on the next page...

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TECHNICAL

This award recognises excellence in the form of technical and engineering expertise, honouring deep domain knowledge in relation to technology products, solutions and services. This candidate has provided business value through specialised skills and competence, spanning technical, pre-sales and support roles.

Finalists:

  • Meiriza Loebis - Abyor International
  • Alejandra Alcantara - Amazon Web Services
  • Jina Park - Cisco (Singapore)
  • Sarah Quinto - Cisco (Philippines)
  • Ee Laine Koh - Commvault
  • Min Fang - Google Cloud 
  • Nawiya Innoom - ISS Consulting
  • Pratthana Suppradith - Palo Alto Networks
  • Linette Mananghaya - Sophos
  • Arpaporn Skunkittiyut - Microsoft
  • Weiman Kow - VMware

Highly Commended: Arpaporn Skunkittiyut - Microsoft

Winner: Alejandra Artiguez - Amazon Web Services

Alejandra wins this award for demonstrating outstanding cloud security expertise and leadership, blending deep levels of technical and business acumen to enhance customer and partner go-to-market strategies across Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Since joining AWS in August 2018, Alejandra has completed 230+ engagements across 100+ customers, guiding CISOs and businesses through different cloud migration stages through hands-on technical engagement and strategic guidance.


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.

COUNTRY:

Finalists:

  • Enki Rahmawati - Abyor International (Indonesia)
  • Maria Eva Kalaw - Cisco (Philippines)
  • Atitaya Surapunthu - Cisco (Thailand)
  • Nadia Alatas - Cybertrend Data Academy (Indonesia)
  • Elisa Indriasari - Digimaster Inovasi Cemerlang (Indonesia)
  • Seema Mishra - Pinkstripes (Singapore)
  • Anissa Sharmanti - Crayon (Indonesia)
  • Cherilyn Tan - Tessaract Technologies (Singapore)
  • Khwanta Sudsaeng -  The Prodigy (Thailand)
  • Jenny Diamzon Santos - Westcon Group (Philippines)

Highly Commended: Seema Mishra - Pinkstripes (Singapore)

Winner: Cherilyn Tan - Tessaract Technologies (Singapore)

Cherilyn wins this award for building Tessaract Technologies, a Singapore-based start-up designed to transform the legal sector through the introduction of AI and data analytics, reducing the need for manual documentation while enhancing customer experience levels and response rates.

Despite holding no background in law, Cherilyn -- who is also CEO of the Asia Law Network -- is now developing plans to expand regionally with the aim of ensuring more than 50 per cent of professional firms deploy tessaract.io, with a specific focus on Thailand, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

REGIONAL:

Finalists:

  • Bhavika Thakkar - AspireNXT
  • Fidi Putri - Cisco Meraki
  • Deborah Wong - Cisco
  • Camy Ooi - Citrix
  • Rachel Ler - Commvault
  • E-Vonne Loh - HP
  • Joey Lim - Lark
  • Kerry Islin - ServiceNow
  • Lily Chia - Zscaler

Winner: Joey Lim - Lark

Joey wins this award for leveraging an entrepreneurial spirit and mindset to enhance Lark’s in-market suite of offerings and solutions, supported by expansion beyond SMEs and start-ups and strategic alliances across Southeast Asia.

In addition to pioneering the launch of new applications and products, Joey has also embraced influencer marketing in the Philippines and Indonesia, leveraging a traditionally B2C approach to generate more than one million sign-ups in over 18 months.


GRADUATE

This award recognises a standout graduate candidate who has leveraged apprenticeship programs to start a career within the ICT industry. Open to all roles and responsibilities, this individual has made an immediate and positive impact on the business through providing a fresh perspective and high levels of professionalism. Note: This award is open to candidates involved in a graduate program between 2018-2021.

Finalists:

  • Michelle Teo - Cisco
  • Violet Lim - Delaware Consulting
  • Ragini Verma - Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Sophia Yap - HP
  • Xu Ying - Microsoft
  • Kimli Ng - Telstra
  • Yoomi Oh - VMware

Winner: Sophia Yap - HP

Sophia wins this award for spearheading the launch of the first HP Virtual Showroom in Southeast Asia, partnering with Lazada and Intel from concept development, product allocation and program execution. With a goal of engaging Gen Z and millennial demographics, Sophia was a key driver in taking the HP retail experience into people’s homes through immersive and personalised experiences, driving 100,000 unique visitors within two weeks of going live.


RISING STAR

This award recognises a standout candidate rising up through the ranks within the ICT industry, acknowledging significant advancement during the early stages of her technology career. This individual is growing in stature and importance through demonstrating outstanding business acumen, deep market expertise and high levels of professional integrity. Note: This award is open to candidates with eight years or less experience within the ICT industry.

-- presented by Tian Beng Ng - Senior Vice President and General Manager of Channels APJ, Dell Technologies

COUNTRY:

Finalists:

  • Agatha Armadhea Vashti - Abyor International (Indonesia)
  • Preety Vatvani - Cloudera (Singapore)
  • Danica Pai - Logicalis (Vietnam)
  • Sarah-Ann Yong - Microsoft (Malaysia)
  • Kana Mizuoka - New Relic (Singapore)
  • Dr Fairoza Amira Binti Hamzah - STMicroelectronics (Malaysia)
  • Michelle Bautista - Tata Consultancy Services (Philippines)
  • Eileen Chong - Westcon Group (Singapore)
  • Araline Lee - World Wide Technology (Singapore)
  • Kek Hwee Bian - VMware (Singapore)

Winner: Dr Fairoza Amira Binti Hamzah - STMicroelectronics (Malaysia)

Dr Fairoza wins this award for demonstrating outstanding leadership in driving forward AI and machine learning adoption in Malaysia, underpinned by pioneering work in the field of data science. As the creator and figurehead of Women in AI Malaysia, Dr Fairoza has built a 600-member strong community to nurture AI talent across the country, supported by ewfforts to driving AI and policy innovation at a government level.

REGIONAL:

Finalists:

  • Anna Green - Amazon Web Services
  • Lynette Lim - Cisco
  • Natsuki Hamakawa - CrowdStrike
  • Claudia Seah - Rackspace Technology
  • Opal Piyaporn Kijtikhun - Senna Labs
  • Maggie Chan - ServiceNow

Winner: Natsuki Hamakawa - CrowdStrike

Natsuki wins this award for effortlessly transitioning from a retail career in Japan to excelling in cyber security sales management in Singapore, stepping out of her comfort zone to achieve four promotions in five years.

After creating a training manual for current and future sales leaders based on her own experience and expertise, Natsuki has been awarded as ‘APJ Manager of the Quarter’ for the three consecutive quarters, driving growth across sales revenue, pipeline generation and deals closed.


SHINING STAR

This award recognises an established candidate with a strong record of achievement, acknowledging excellence in spearheading company initiatives and driving strategic change. This individual is a consistent high performer who regularly achieves standout business results and continues to assume increased levels of seniority within the organisation. Note: This award is open to candidates with eight years or more experience within the ICT industry.

PARTNER:

Finalists:

  • Indrani Chandrasegaran - Accenture
  • Zoe Shang - AvePoint
  • Netra Prabhu - Capgemini
  • Jutharat Jirasathienporn - ISS Consulting
  • Herryanti Herman - Mitra Integrasi Informatika
  • Wynthia Goh - NCS
  • Annie On - NTT Data
  • Sunita Bottse - SuperNap
  • Geraldine Kor - Telstra 
  • Jayalakshmi Rao - Virtusa
  • Ang Sze Pheng - World Wide Technology

Highly Commended: Wynthia Goh - NCS

Winner: Sunita Bottse - SuperNap

Sunita wins this award for raising the quality level of the data centre industry in Thailand through an unrivalled commitment to high standards, government collaboration and deep levels of certification. As CEO of SuperNap, Sunita is taking a lead role in supporting the advancement of Thailand 4.0 through up-skilling and ecosystem partnerships, evident through achieving Tier IV certification and striking alliances with local carriers and cloud providers such as Cisco to meet economic and environmental goals.

DISTRIBUTOR:

Finalists:

  • Marrian Lontoc - Crayon
  • Rachel Velasquez - Rhipe
  • June Chua - Tech Data
  • Jesse Yeoh - Westcon Group (Malaysia)
  • Lilian Ong - Westcon Group (Singapore)

Winner: Rachel Velasquez - Rhipe

Rachel wins this award for delivering industry-leading Marketing-as-a-Service offerings to enhance the digital value proposition of the partner ecosystem, resulting in improved connection and reach with end-users across Asia Pacific.

Built in the Philippines for 10 countries region-wide, Rachel tracked and analysed information from over 2000 partners and 300,000 provisioned licenses, delivering targeted Microsoft, VMware and Zimbra campaigns to support strategic customer investment conversations, driving 43% year-on-year growth in the process.

VENDOR (COUNTRY):

Finalists:

  • Patricia Tan - BitTitan (Singapore)
  • Angeline Ong - Cisco (Singapore)
  • Fanly Tanto - Cloudera (Indonesia)
  • Alicia Joseph - Commvault (Malaysia)
  • Doreen Goh - Hewlett Packard Enterprise (Singapore)
  • Mee Mee Hong - HP (Malaysia)
  • Juliana Cen - Microsoft (Indonesia)
  • Millie Yong - Microsoft (Malaysia)
  • Karine Lim - Microsoft (Singapore)
  • Chanikarn Pronanun - Microsoft (Thailand)
  • Emily Ng - Oracle (Singapore)
  • Rebecca Gan - ServiceNow (Singapore)
  • Jett Ching - Sophos (Philippines)
  • Sasivimon Wasuwanich - Veeam Software (Thailand)

Winner: Fanly Tanto - Cloudera (Indonesia)

Fanly wins this award for positioning Indonesia as the fastest growing market in Asia Pacific for Cloudera, breaking into new sectors, adding prominent customer logos and expanding local headcount by 40 per cent. In demonstrating standout leadership during the pandemic, Fanly championed accelerated and enhanced customer experience, supported by deepened alliances with leading partners such as Mitra Integrasi Informatika, Mastersystem Infotama and NTT Indonesia.

VENDOR (ASEAN):

Finalists:

  • Siew Khim Ong - Aruba Networks
  • Farah Darlina - Cisco
  • Angie Ong - Citrix
  • Aileen Tang - Commvault
  • Kaylee Fung - Google Cloud
  • Dr. Jasmine Begum - Microsoft (Malaysia)
  • Sona Jain - Microsoft (Singapore)
  • Supaporn Vacharanarumol - Palo Alto Networks
  • Verena Siow - SAP
  • Kristine Adeline Dacanay - Schneider Electric
  • Prachi Shah - Software AG
  • Katrina Tirante-Uy - Vertiv

Winner: Verena Siow - SAP (Singapore)

Verena wins this award for demonstrating standout leadership in driving continued business growth and expansion, while smashing glass ceilings as the first female Singaporean to run SAP across Southeast Asia.

Having previously led Indochina operations, Verena spearheaded double-digit year-on-year growth across both on-premises and cloud bookings for seven consecutive quarters, balancing corporate goals with employee development as a ‘Best Company to Work for in Thailand’.

VENDOR (ASIA PACIFIC):

Finalists:

  • Pamela Ong - ESET
  • Seet Yan Lin - Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Joanne Pei Lee Wong - LogRhythm
  • Sojung Lee - SolarWinds
  • Ji Hye Choi - VMware
  • Emy Lun - Zscaler

Winner: Sojung Lee - SolarWinds (Singapore)

Sojung wins this award for transforming channel engagement during a challenging COVID-19 period, heightening partner and distributor focus to accelerate market momentum across Asia Pacific. Motivated by a desire to cultivate stronger interpersonal customer relationships, Sojung reinvented go-to-market strategy through piloting SolarWinds Blitz Day, a quarterly program dedicated to accelerating sales pipeline - now rolled out globally in recognition of regional success.


ACHIEVEMENT

This award recognises a standout candidate who has delivered an unrivalled contribution to the ICT industry, evident through outstanding professional and personal achievements. This individual has earned a reputation as an esteemed thought leader following a distinguished career as both a business leader and role model for aspiring executives. Note: This award is open to candidates with 25 years or more experience within the ICT industry.

-- presented by Kathy Chen - Vice President of Channel APJ, Citrix

Finalists:

  • Vicki Batka - Cisco
  • Siew Foong Wong - Cloud4C Services
  • Sucheta Baxi - Dell Technologies
  • Yee May Leong - Equinix
  • Chu Thi Thanh Ha - FPT Software
  • Megawaty Khie - Google Cloud 
  • May Lee - Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Fiona Lee - HP
  • Joan Yeo - IBM
  • Tracy Quah - Informatica
  • Chankaew Chantima - ISS Consulting
  • Mary Rose dela Cruz - Stratpoint Technologies
  • Vijaya Pandya - Tata Consultancy Services
  • Belinda Jurisic - Veeam Software

Winner: Vicki Batka - Cisco (Singapore)

Vicki wins this award for consistently championing the channel ecosystem across Asia Pacific, stepping up to ensure the execution of Cisco’s ‘Perform and Transform’ strategy to almost 20,000 partners region-wide. As a pioneering channel leader and diversity advocate, Vicki has continually balanced driving market growth with guiding aspiring female leaders, in a standout career spanning three decades.


D&I CHAMPION – Company

This award recognises the standout company in driving diversity and inclusion (D&I) across all aspects of the business, spanning employees, customers and key stakeholders. This organisation has gone beyond a surface-level commitment through the introduction of policies and programs to meet D&I goals, evident through targeted initiatives, strong leadership and clearly defined deliverables. Note: This award is open to all aspects of diversity and inclusion (gender, race, age, disability, sexual orientation etc)

Finalists:

  • Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise 
  • Cisco
  • Cloudera
  • Equinix
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • HP
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • NTT Data
  • World Wide Technology

Winner: Microsoft

Microsoft wins this award for creating a deeply inclusive culture spanning multiple markets in Asia Pacific, underpinned industry-leading initiatives such as DigiGirlz, APAC D&I Council and Microsoft APAC Enabler program.

Backed by strong executive leadership initiation and sponsorship, the DigiGirlz program continues to empower girls across every ASEAN country, notably Thailand through inspiring female students to take on roles related to science and technology.

Microsoft is also continuing to hold senior leaders accountable by tying a portion of compensation packages directly to diversity progress, with the move increasing manager adoption of inclusive practices through targeted training sessions, learning / feedback solutions and toolkits.


D&I CHAMPION – Individual

This award recognises an influential individual who actively drives diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives beyond their current job responsibilities through mentoring and thought leadership across the ICT industry. This candidate acts as a role model for aspiring executives, cultivating diverse teams to drive change both internally and externally. Note: This award is open to all aspects of diversity and inclusion (gender, race, age, disability, sexual orientation etc)

COUNTRY:

Finalists:

  • Leong Jia Hui - BitTitan (Singapore)
  • Huong Nguyen - Cisco (Vietnam)
  • Ean Na Teoh - Dell Technologies (Malaysia)
  • Christine Yoong - Google Cloud (Singapore)
  • Carine Ng - Microsoft (Singapore)
  • Jean Chua - NTT Data (Singapore)

Winner: Christine Yoong - Google Cloud (Singapore)

Christine wins this award for going above and beyond to champion talent and drive D&I standards during a 10-year career spanning Southeast Asia, US and UK markets.

Christine has founded Inspire Yourself - a non-profit aimed at empowering Malaysian youths - The Steps - a career mentoring platform connecting female mentors to Singaporean and Malaysian university students seeking to live and work in the US and UK and Jota.ai - a customer engagement tool for businesses.

Now at Google Cloud, Christine is once again setting the market place, running the vendor’s technology partnerships program in Southeast Asia while spearheading diversity initiatives as part of Women@ and #IamRemarkable.

REGIONAL:

Finalists:

  • Ulrike Agostin - Cisco
  • Leanne Taylor - Citrix
  • Tejaswini Tilak - Equinix
  • Heng Huey Lih - Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Sowjanya Reddy - HP
  • Sirikanlaya Nakprasit - NTT
  • Ashwini Krishnamurthy - Palo Alto Networks
  • Anila Fredericks - Telstra

Highly Commended: Heng Huey Lih - Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Winner: Leanne Taylor - Citrix (Singapore)

Leanne wins this award for challenging conventional thinking by looking at D&I beyond just the targets, aligned to the belief that any successful initiative must speaker louder than statistics.

As an executive sponsor of the Women Inspiration Network and an active member of Women in Tech Mentorship program at Citrix, Leanne personally guides mentees within the Citrix community to tackle the challenges faced when climbing the corporate ladder, with a specific focus on helping aspiring female leaders build confidence.