Archive | April, 2012

Newcomer Aitken Spence Technologies Bags Oracle Regional Award

25 Apr

Just in its first year of commercial operations, Aitken Spence Technologies was recognized recently as the “Oracle Partner of the Year ’11, for Fusion Middleware” at an event organized by the global IT giant in Colombo, recently.

The award was one out of only five awards being presented to Oracle Partner Network community numbering over 25 operating in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

The “Oracle Partner Network Days” which is held regionally and in specific countries with large markets was held in Sri Lanka covering the ‘South Asian Growth Economies’ [SAGE] region, recently. Partners are recognized for their contribution towards the growth of Oracle in the assigned territory covering specific vertical solutions by Oracle, annually.

Aitken Spence Technologies operates three core lines of businesses in Enterprise Content Management; Enterprise Resource Planning, both based on core-Oracle Applications & Technologies; and Application Development based on Open Source / Java technologies. These lines are supplemented by managed services, support services and educational services offerings.

“Aitken Spence has recognized ICT as a thrust industry which has a key role to play in building Sri Lanka a as a knowledge economy. We have geared our operations to generate exceptional value to all our stakeholders consistently”, said Dinesh Mendis, Director of Aitken Spence Technologies and Aitken Spence Group.
Aitken Spence Technologies, an Oracle Gold Level Partner, was recently appointed as an Oracle University Education Re-seller Partner and Approved Training Centre, by the Oracle University. As a Re-Seller Partner, Aitken Spence Technologies promotes and markets selected Oracle technology and applications courses, while being an Approved Training Centre facilitates delivery of such courses, leading to the prestigious Oracle University Certifications.

Over 65,000 customers worldwide rely on Oracle’s complete, open and integrated enterprise applications to achieve superior results. Oracle provides a secure path for customers to benefit from the latest technology advances that improve the customer software experience and drive better business performance.

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Aitken Spence Strengthens Maritime Portfolio

16 Apr

Strengthening its maritime services portfolio, diversified blue-chip Aitken Spence enhanced its venture into maritime education by significantly increasing its shareholding in Colombo International Nautical & Engineering College (CINEC), Sri Lanka’s largest private higher education institution. The company first formed a partnership with CINEC in 2010. “Consolidating our partnership with CINEC is a part of our strategy to further strengthen our contribution towards positioning Sri Lanka as major regional hub for maritime services. Given an encouraging enabling environment we see tremendous opportunity for the private sector to spearhead the country’s vision to exploit its strategic geographic location and skilled human resources to become the regional maritime hub”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Aitken Spence PLC. With an unrivalled gamut of services Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest logistics service provider. The Group’s involvement with cargo and maritime logistics began from its inception, over a century ago. Through the years, the Aitken Spence has evolved to become a fully integrated logistics solutions provider, extending its services worldwide. “The association with CINEC has helped Aitken Spence to further strengthen its maritime portfolio. Through the world-class faculty and teaching facilities, the education and training instilled into the number of men and women who study under this institution results in maritime specialists who are equipped, not only to raise the profile of Sri Lanka’s maritime industry but also to add value to the global maritime industry”, said Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Chairman of Aitken Spence Maritime and Director of Aitken Spence PLC. The CINEC Maritime Campus was established in 1990 and is the only campus of its kind in Sri Lanka and the region. It is especially known for the high level of quality instruction and training provided to students. CINEC’s objective is to create and foster healthy working partnerships with professional organisations and stakeholders in the maritime industry, while providing excellent employment opportunities to its maritime students and graduates. The largest private education campus in Sri Lanka, CINEC’s annual student intake is over 14,000 men and women. The state-of-the-art maritime campus has sophisticated laboratories that house up to date simulators and best in modern technology, which has won them approval by the Directorate of Merchant Shipping in Sri Lanka. CINEC was judged to be the best Education and Training facility in the island and bestowed with the prestigious National Quality Award in 1999, 2004 and again in 2009. CINEC Maritime Campus is established on a firm foundation based on four internationally accredited Quality Management Systems: ISO 9001: 2008 Quality Management System Standard, ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System Standard, OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health & Safety Management System Standard and DNV Standard for certification of Maritime Academies No. 3.401; which ensure that the students are served with a sense of professionalism and care. CINEC is affiliated to the University of Wolverhampton in the UK as well as to the University of South Australia in Adelaide. In June 2009, CINEC signed up with Dalian Maritime University of China to conduct BSc and MBA degree programmes in the fields of Information Technology, International Transportation Management, Planning and Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management. This was the first branch of its kind opened by the Dalian Maritime University. Dalian Maritime University (DMU) is one of the largest and best maritime universities in the world and is the only key maritime institution under the Ministry of Communications, People’s Republic of China. DMU has over 100 year tradition of excellence in teaching, learning & research. It enjoys a high reputation internationally & has been recognized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as being an excellent centre for maritime education & training. Ship handling, imports and exports are the businesses Aitken Spence Maritime was founded on. The Company acquired its first agency, the Scottish owned ‘Clan Line’ in 1873, when it was still known as Clark Spence & Company. With the new Aitken Spence partnership in 1876 the Company moved its headquarters to Colombo. Back then Aitken Spence Shipping was the only operator along with E. Coates who helped maintain the day to day operations of the Colombo harbour through the supply of labour and the handling of general administration. Apart from casual caller/tramp agency representation, the Company handles all other areas of maritime services – from ship agents and cargo handlers, to liner agency, cruise vessel, port management and development, ship owning and chartering services. With the Group’s involvement in the leisure industry, the company is able to offer comprehensive synergised services to cruise operators. Aitken Spence Maritime is the first in Sri Lanka to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African continent. Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, it has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing, financial services, insurance, information technology and garments.

Aitken Spence Hotels Observe Earth Hour 2012

5 Apr

Hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world unite each year to support the largest environmental event in history – Earth Hour.  For 42 years Earth Hour has been uniting people to protect the planet but it seems that Mother Earth has never been faced with a crisis as severe as it does now. In 2011 alone more than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011 alone, sending a powerful message for action on climate change. This year too Aitken Spence Hotels joined hands with millions of supporters from around the world and dedicated 60 minutes to a greener planet by switching off the lights in all its hotels.

 

Climate change can be considered as the greatest challenge of our time; which also means that we have huge opportunities to turn the process around by advancing climate policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy and green jobs. This is the perfect opportunity for the community of the world to make a personal commitment to join together and create a global green economy.

 

At Aitken Spence Hotels the staff is committed to safeguard and preserve air and water quality and reduce demands on Mother Earth. This philosophy is not practiced only on one day of the year but it is instilled in its day to day operation.  Aitken Spence Hotels and Heritance Hotels inSri Lankahave achieved a remarkable feat by having all nine hotels inSri Lankaattain the prestigious Earth Check Silver status. Earth Check is the international benchmarking and certification programme for the travel industry based on the agenda 21 principles for sustainable development endorsed by 182 Heads of State at the United Nations Rio De Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992. The aim of the programme is to assist international organizations to attain sustainability by providing a certification system that responds directly to the major environmental problems facing the planet, including climate change, waste reduction and non-renewable resource management. In addition eight out of its portfolio of nine hotels inSri Lankaare ISO 14001 certified.

 

 “Aitken Spence  has  invested substantial amount of time and financial resources  over the decades to make our hotels world-class examples of sustainability. We have found out that our business associates and our guests are keen to learn about the sustainability practices of the hotels than ever before. The unique sustainability features of our hotels are clearly giving us a marketing advantage.  Our expertise gained in sustainability in Sri Lanka is spreading across to our hotels in the Maldives, India and Oman”, said Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

 

With a sustainability focus that transcends beyond mere operational to one that is strategic, Aitken Spence Hotels seeks to create an organization-wide culture that in turn will inspire individuals to act as catalysts for global change. This sustainability vision will drive the Group’s commercial objectives given the growing global demand amongst consumers for eco-tourism and sustainable tourism. Global tourism trends indicate that consumer choose destinations and resort properties that practice sustainable tourism in light of the opportunity to offset their individual carbon footprints.