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Now in its 15th year, the Red Hat Innovation Awards recognize the technological achievements of Red Hat customers around the world who demonstrate creative thinking, determined problem-solving and transformative uses of Red Hat technology. This year's winners are Argentine Ministry of Health and Social Development; Education Payroll Limited; Ireland Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Medifé Asociación Civil and Volkswagen AG.

As in years past, a community-wide, online voting process will determine which of these customers will be honored as the 2021 Red Hat Innovator of the Year. Voting is now open and will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on April 21. The winner will be announced on April 28, 2021, during the Red Hat Summit Virtual Experience. To vote for the 2021 Red Hat Innovator of the Year, visit https://www.redhat.com/en/success-stories/innovation-awards.

Let’s take a closer look at this year’s winners.

Argentine Ministry of Health and Social Development 

The Ministry of Health and Social Development (MSAL) is a public entity of Argentina responsible for addressing administrative issues related to health service, as well as enabling the accessibility and the quality of medical attention to the entire society. Like the rest of the world, since the beginning of 2020 Argentina has been focused on managing the COVID-19 pandemic, including how best to gather, analyze and disseminate information. 

Building on the creation of its National Digital Health Network project, an open, scalable health information system, MSAL worked with in collaboration with Red Hat Consulting and Red Hat Training to develop a dashboard that could function as a control panel that contained all the essential official information on the progression of the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The dashboard employs Red Hat OpenShift as the foundation, and also uses Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Red Hat Virtualization, Red Hat Fuse, Red Hat 3scale API Management, Red Hat Data Grid and Red Hat Ansible Automation. It integrates information of more than 6 million patients in 24 provinces, monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases in the country in real-time, showing more than 50 metrics. By making real-time data available the platform improved data management, strengthened coordination between government agencies, successfully unified different data sources to improve patient experience and streamlined decision-making processes related to public health policies.

Read Argentine Ministry of Health and Social Development’s full Red Hat success story.

Education Payroll Limited

Education Payroll Limited is a core part of New Zealand’s education sector and manages the payment of employees within the education system. It is responsible for paying around 100,000 teachers and support staff in 2,500 schools through its online payroll application, EdPay. 

To better meet the needs of its users, Education Payroll wanted to create a platform for its flagship service, EdPay, that would allow its team to streamline development, expedite testing and get to market faster. The ultimate vision was to create a platform that would serve as the foundation for all future solution development by upgrading its end-of-life and complex systems, removing paper-based processes and driving a digital environment that has the customer at its core. To build the platform, Education Payroll engaged Deloitte New Zealand, a Red Hat Global Systems Integrator (GSI) partner, and Red Hat to help deliver this new vision. The solution included a foundation of RHEL running Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform. In addition to the technology implementation, the team adopted DevOps principles and the agile methodology to help everyone work more quickly and efficiently. In the end, Education Payroll was able to enhance and streamline EdPay into an application that is intuitive and easy-to-use, with reduced technical and operational risk, and increased payroll capabilities for the schools it supports.

Read Education Payroll Limited’s full Red Hat success story.

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) is responsible for leading, developing and regulating the agri-food sector, protecting public health, and optimizing social, economic and environmental benefits for the government and people of Ireland. One of its responsibilities is handling the application and payments of grants for more than 120,000 farmers, with a total value of 1.2 billion euros, in line with EU regulations. 

Given the large amount of sensitive personal data and information that DAFM was handling as part of the program, it identified potential privacy violations and GDPR breaches whether due to end users incorrectly labeling their information or staff reviewing data with incorrect clearance. In response, DAFM decided to collaborate with Red Hat Consulting and IT services provider and Red Hat partner, Version 1, which was already responsible for supporting and maintaining its Basic Payment Scheme system, to develop a suite of tools using new technology to help mitigate the risk of data breaches. One such tool was Smart Text, DAFM worked with Version 1 to build the tool using open source technology including Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat 3scale API Management. Smart Text uses text analytics—artificial intelligence (AI) technology that employs natural language processing to transform unstructured text into structured data that can then be analyzed—to assess the farmers’ uploaded information, flagging human error and identifying potentially sensitive data so it can be properly managed. Since implementing Smart Text, DAFM has seen a decrease in administrative overhead costs and a reduction of lost business hours that previously went towards resolving potential breaches. 

Read Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s full Red Hat success story.

Medifé Asociación Civil

Medifé is a leading, non-profit organization in Argentina offering healthcare insurance coverage through different medical plans for its streamlined administrative management and customer services. Its comprehensive portfolio covers a wide array of plans and services through its 60 branches across the Argentine territory, serving more than 300,000 members. 

To meet the growing demand for digital services, including the digitization of materials such as authorizations, prescriptions, invoices and health records, it needed to upgrade its infrastructure and shift to more up-to-date application architecture. Working alongside Red Hat, Medifé set out to transform its legacy application map into a more resilient platform that would reduce the organization’s reliance on paper and in-person transactions, as well as support a set of newly deployed dashboards, helping to enhance operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Built on Red Hat OpenShift , and using Red Hat Integration and Red Hat Process Automation, the new architecture enabled Medifé members to receive remote medical assistance during the lockdown period to the point where the platform was able to scale 100 times during the pandemic. In addition, the team saw a 92% improvement in time-to-market, with initiatives that previously took six years can now be completed in six months, as well as reduced scalability issues, increased flexibility and improved user experience.

Read Medifé Asociación Civil’s full Red Hat success story.

Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen AG is one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. It operates 123 production plants in 31 countries and sells vehicles in 153 countries, with 10.97 million vehicles delivered to customers in 2019 alone. In this fiercely competitive industry, automakers are rolling out large digital transformation initiatives to help keep the competitive edge, with autonomous vehicles representing the future of innovation. 

With autonomous vehicles comes a new wave of manufacturing challenges including increased software complexity that renders traditional development workflows, such as testing, obsolete. To address this newly-emerging demand, Volkswagen engaged Red Hat to help it create virtual test benches. Through a Red Hat Open Innovation Labs residency, the team delivered a fully automated virtual test bench using Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, RHEL, Red Hat Virtualization, Red Hat Ansible Automation, Red Hat Runtimes and Red Hat Quay. The platform established a more consistent CI/CD toolchain that shortened release cycle time from months or years to 24 hours and created a more flexible, customizable Test-as-a-Service solution. The toolchain has further evolved to help connect the expanding number of digital components inside the modern vehicle.

Read Volkswagen AG’s full Red Hat success story.


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