Akari Solutions Limited, a female-founded Scottish tech startup focusing on digital inclusion, has been announced as the winner of the Global Diversity and Inclusion Changemaker 2020 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award.
The awards recognise Microsoft partners that have developed and delivered exceptional Microsoft-based solutions during the past year. The company was honoured among a global field of Microsoft partners for using Microsoft technology to demonstrate excellence in innovation and customer solutions.
Using AI, Change Management, and knowledge of the Microsoft stack, Akari helps organisations to digitally transform their practices using Microsoft Solutions.
Margaret Totten, Managing Director at Akari Solutions Limited, commented: “I am massively proud of what Akari has achieved in this last year particularly during a global pandemic that has seen challenges arise for many businesses.
“We set out to create a female-founded tech organisation where technical expertise meets true digital inclusion and have seen more people than we ever expected to join us in taking up the mantle to support inclusivity in tech.
“The market has shown that organisations small and large are truly embracing digital inclusion and this award from Microsoft is a massive honour that finishes off a fantastic first year. We are extremely excited to see a UK female-led company take home this global accolade as it shows how far forward, we are and how ready we are to embrace true inclusion and accessibility.”
Akari is the only Scottish tech company to win a global award from Microsoft this year and are one of only six UK companies to be honoured in the 2020 awards.
The company has also been chosen to be one of twelve members of the Microsoft AI for Good initiative this year and are the only Scottish company among the chosen organisations and one of only four female-led tech companies in the cohort.
The AI for Good programme has allowed them to focus on the development of products with assistance from Microsoft helping to develop their virtual assistant bot AVA.
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Hector Minto, Sr Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, said: “As society digitally transforms, we need to focus on ensuring that no-one is left behind or ignored in the design of technology.
“Akari’s work on accessibility has been recognised across Microsoft, as it aligns so well with our own mission to empower every person to achieve more. Equal access will not happen by accident. It needs to be deliberate, and Akari have a deep understanding of this social imperative.”
Helen Smith, OCP Accessibility Lead, Microsoft: “I have had the pleasure of working with Akari from day one due to their passion to create a business with Accessibility at the heart of all they do.
She said “They build accessibility into their culture, products and design and never fail to impress me with their innovation.
“I am so pleased to see them recognised for their dedication to inclusion, they have truly raised the bar in how we should be supporting our customers through to technology to empower every employee to do more.”