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Amanda Warren with Vic Ratnieks (centre) and husband Mark at the Gumeracha HotelAmanda Warren with Vic Ratnieks (centre) and husband Mark at the Gumeracha HotelThe Gumeracha Hotel has won an Australian Hotels Association of SA Award for innovation for its nimble customer-focussed response to the pandemic, assisted by a Facebook Messenger ordering app designed by hungry software developer Vic Ratnieks.

The renovated hotel collected the Excellence award in the ‘Recognition of Adaption & Innovation’ category – along with Crown Inn Kingston and The Playford in Adelaide – which means they will represent SA in the AHA National Awards, to be held in Hobart on February 7 next year.

Gumeracha Hotel owners Mark and Amanda Warren scored the award for their innovative response during the depths of last year’s COVID-19 downturn when trade was decimated by lockdowns and social distancing limits when no one was allowed to go to a pub or dine in. 

Ultra Commerce CEO Matthew HylandAfter raising more than $10 million for growth this year, Sydney-based Ultra Commerce has acquired US-based Slatwall Commerce to accelerate the global reach of its end-to-end digital commerce platform.

In its second strategic acquisition of 2021, Ultra Commerce is integrating technology and teams from both companies to strengthen its digital commerce platform, which is designed to deliver richer integrated eCommerce capabilities for customers ranging from fast-growing small businesses to global enterprises.

Slatwall Commerce is a Massachusetts-based company with deep technical capability in “headless commerce”, which decouples the back end of an eCommerce website from its customer-facing “head”.In June, Ultra Commerce acquired a New Zealand-headquartered company with clients in North America, Vesta eCommerce, which brought market-leading product data management capabilities to further enhance the Ultra Commerce platform by enabling it to easily integrate disparate sources of product data.

With these acquisitions, Ultra Commerce now has eight offices in five countries, with more than 100 staff serving over 60 customers globally, positioning the business to scale quickly.

Enphase Energy Marketing Manager APAC Justin CohenAs Australians continue their record-breaking love affair with solar panels, people building new homes are increasingly choosing to include “smart solar” photovoltaic (PV) systems in their building designs.

CSIRO reports that Australia installed its largest ever number of rooftop solar photovoltaic systems during 2020, with more than 362,000 installed nationally - an increase of 28 per cent from 2019. By the end of last year, one in four Australian homes - 2.68 million in total - had solar panels installed.

That renewable energy megatrend has motivated premium Melbourne high-end home builder Pearl Homes to select Enphase Energy as its preferred solar partner, recommending Enphase microinverters to any customers who want to install solar PV systems on their homes.

Pearl Homes Founder & Managing Director Sandeep SharmaPearl Homes Founder & Managing Director
Sandeep Sharma
Premium Melbourne home builder Pearl Homes has chosen to offer Enphase microinverters to its customers to deliver greater safety and better performance if they install solar power systems with their homes.

Founded in 2015 and trading as part of the Mount Waverley-based Pearl Construction Group, Pearl Homes builds high-end homes in the contemporary French Provincial style.

Pearl Homes’ partnership with Enphase means that the builder will recommend installing Enphase microinverters on every solar photovoltaic (PV) system included in the homes they build. Enphase advantages for customers include greater safety, better solar panel performance and longer life, while Pearl Homes can leverage a more flexible system design, simpler installation and greater customer satisfaction.

Pearl Homes Founder and Managing Director Sandeep Sharma said his company had chosen Enphase microinverters because they offered the same value proposition as Pearl Homes. “You are paying for the quality and long-term value of your home as well as your own peace of mind,” he said.