ECS wins at DevOps Excellence Awards

Marketing 2nd July 2021

For anyone who has ever been involved in an awards process, reaching the finalist stage is an impressive feat and we’re thrilled to announce that ECS was awarded finalist in three categories at this year’s DevOps Excellence Awards 2021.

But that’s not all.

After much finger crossing and ‘not getting too excited’, we’re incredibly proud to announce that ECS’s work with the M-Pesa Vodafone team blew away the judges to be crowned winners of the ‘Best Automation Project’.

DevOps Excellence Awards

With 22 categories in their 2021 program, the Computing’s DevOps Excellence Awards set out to showcase outstanding achievements from organisations, personalities and solutions that have successfully applied DevOps methodologies. What is particularly special about these awards is its recognition of the human aspect of collaboration and communication, and how DevOps enhance areas of the business beyond traditional tech teams.

Here are the awards ECS has been recognised for:


Best Automation Project – Winner

Did you know that 20% of a CEOs time is spent on work that could be automated? What’s more, IDC found that organisations lose between 20 to 30% of revenue every year due to inefficient processes.

Automation isn’t just good for getting to the pub a little bit earlier on a Friday afternoon, it has a huge impact on reducing operational costs and technical debt, increasing productivity and reliability, optimising performance, and nullifying downtime of business operations.

Described as a ‘technology gamechanger’, this award recognised an “implementation where automation has been deployed swiftly and safely, using DevOps, to solve a significant challenge – with specific detail paid to what that challenge was, why automation was chosen to solve it and what the outcomes have been”.

We are thrilled that our ongoing work with Vodafone M-Pesa was awarded Best Automation Project and couldn’t be more proud of the ECS and Vodafone teams who made a seemingly impossible project a reality and have laid down the foundations for a broader, long-term cultural change with DevOps at the heart.

In the words of Kouros Aliabadi, ECS Practice Lead:

“The M-Pesa automation project is a real step forwards in the application of DevOps tooling and mentality. The introduction of a modern and progressive DevOps approach to what is predominantly an organisation that utilises 3rd party software is, in my opinion, the next big step forwards for DevOps. This project has demonstrated how you can gain huge efficiencies in the way you work and the tool chain you have even if your internal development effort and products are mainly developed by partners and other suppliers. The project team have created something truly innovative and are pushing forwards our industry and the applications of DevOps.”

These words were supported by those of judge David Price, Head of IT, Curtins:

“The company [ECS] used DevOps innovatively across a range of third-party solutions and providers to bring success to a project that other companies had tried and failed to make work.”


Best DevOps Consulting Firm – finalist

One of only four to be named as finalist, this award recognises the role consultancies play in the wider adoption of the DevOps methodology. The judges were looking for evidence of success, stellar customer stories and an innovative blend of advice and guidance.

Whilst we didn’t quite make the last hurdle, that doesn’t take away from just how impressed we are by the team and how far ECS has come in the last year. From transforming our in-person monthly MeetUp (the DevOps Playground) into a virtual hands-on training platform for budding enthusiasts and launching the Digital Engine Room, to becoming a GlobalLogic company and further expanding our capabilities and reach to better serve our clients.

We can’t wait to see what the rest of 2021 has in store!


DevOps Manager of the Year – Massimiliano Vallascas

Awarded to a DevOps professional that stands out from the crowd through their expertise and passion for DevOps. They live, breathe, and eat agile, and their work is key in helping it to spread in their organisation – no easy feat!

Fortunately for us at ECS, Massimiliano Vallascas (Massi) is a rare breed of DevOps professional. With 20+ years’ experience on the full stack, his passion for delivering consistently high-quality software was sparked early on in his childhood.

Massi embodies the practices of DevOps, educating himself on both the development and operations so he can produce results that were once considered an impossibility by his clients. This determination to seamless blend previously competing silos comes from a place of wanting to leave things in a better than where he found them.

In the words of Chris Dunkley, Delivery Assurance Lead at ECS, “Massi’s talent in the DevOps space is not just in his understanding of his tools and his environment, or even his willingness and ability to learn new things very quickly but his ability to take other people on that journey, support their development and his dedication to excellence”.

Just one of five to be awarded finalist in this year’s event, Massi deserves the recognition this acknowledgement brings – and perhaps a round or two to celebrate!


DevOps Newcomer of the Year – Robert Pountney

This award was on the lookout for a DevOps professional with less than 10 years’ experience and a career path ladened with evidence of success and excellence.

Robert Pountney has been a valued part of the technology industry since 2016, moving into the DevOps space in the last two years.

His DevOps journey started via the ECS training academy. From here, he grew from being an analyst programmer to a DevOps and Continuous Delivery consultant in six months. 18 months later, he was delivering training to the newest Academy members.

While a new entrant, Robert has gained recognition from clients and peers as being a go-to person to successfully deliver HashiCorp solutions for world leading organisations – driving results in every project he contributes to. One such project was automating the creation of a virtualised mainframe environment for rapid mainframe development and testing. Discovering mainframes to be a knowledge black box within ECS, he used this as an opportunity to liaise and coordinate with IBM directly to overcome this knowledge gap.

2020 was significant milestone for Robert’s career. He obtained certifications as a Vault Associate and Terraform Associate, became a Certified HashiCorp Implementation Partner and an Amazon Web Services Solutions Architect Associate – all within nine months. He also became a certified HashiCorp trainer, delivering professional training for Terraform, Vault and Consul to over 100 people.

He should be incredibly proud of being awarded finalist against other top talent in the industry.


You can check out a full list of the finalists using the link here.

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