Heya, APJ Elastic Search Awards honorees of 2019 — We salute you!

Just a few months ago, we recognized the honorees of the inaugural Elastic Search Awards for the Americas region. As with all our Elastic Search Awards, the honorees’ stories proved that innovation and imagination are what truly fuels the Elastic Stack. 

These stories, no matter what region across the world they stem from, showcase exceptional deployments of the Elastic Stack geared for unique, humanitarian, and business-transformation purposes. 

Now it’s time to celebrate the honorees from the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region who have produced inspiring projects harnessing the Elastic Stack, creating use cases that underscore how our search technology can become whatever our global community envisions today or even tomorrow.

The APJ honorees are: GirlScript Foundation, InfoTrack, Pathfinder Labs, Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management, The Warehouse Group, and Zero Latency VR.

The awards were given out at a ceremony during Elastic{ON} in Sydney, Australia on August 14, 2019. Honorees in each category will receive an Elastic Online Training Subscription valid for one year, access to a discounted Elastic Cloud offering, and other gifts to commemorate their far-reaching Elastic Stack use cases.

Bhavish Sood, a board member at Medimetry and one of four to judge our APJ Search Awards, says he was “blown away” by all of the submissions, which amounted to “a good balance of geeky type use cases focused around DevOps as well as innovative uses around search and analytics.”

Another one of our judges, Mujtaba Hussain, head of engineering at Fillr, said “It was amazing to see the breadth and scope of the entrants, coupled with their desire to not only make this world a better place, but to make better every process and problem they could come across.”  

The Elastic Search Awards fall into three categories: Cause Awards (bettering humanity), Cluster Awards (technology innovation), and You Know, for Search! Awards (business transformation). Two honorees were named for each category.

Cause Awards

Our judging panel reviewed the applicants based on a project’s measurable impact, reach, and inspiration for bettering the world.

Pathfinder Labs

Pathfinder Labs is a New Zealand company composed of a staff with more than 50 years of experience investigating the distribution, production, and creation of child sexual abuse material and other kinds of harmful online video and images. Embracing the Elastic Stack, Pathfinder Labs created software for investigative teams all over the world to discover and combat child sexual exploitation.

One of the tools developed by Pathfinder Labs is ODIN, a simplified search and analytics engine built on Elasticsearch that enables the correlation and aggregation of the many datasets law enforcement has made available to them. One key influencer for Pathfinder products is the ability to leverage the intuitive search functions of Elastic to return value-rich results, while also providing more technical users the ability to perform complex search queries. Using Elastic, the company can not only store investigative and intelligence-based data, but can also provide structured analytics and search experiences that users would expect from enterprise search providers. 

“With over 50 years joint experience in law enforcement, our team members have witnessed the hard truth relating to the victimization and modern-day slavery of children. Pathfinder Labs creates ‘fit for purpose’ software with world leading technology, enabling investigators to understand, plan and develop capability,”  said Bree Atkinson, the CEO of Pathfinder Labs.

“Working with the Elastic Stack has enabled the tools, created by Pathfinder Labs, to be more intuitive and versatile which has a direct impact on the safeguarding of children.” 

GirlScript Foundation

GirlScript Foundation is a nonprofit based in India supporting beginners in technology and programming in 40 cities in India and 10 countries abroad. GirlScript, which also hosts meetups, is a community with the goal of helping not only women but thousands of people land technology jobs with programs like GirlScript Summer of Code. There are GirlScript Chapters across the globe, too, and the organization doles out scholarships and fellowships as well. The nonprofit teaches everything from coding to writing emails.

GirlScript uses the Elastic Stack to visualize and track people who fail to learn from online courses, to chronicle people looking for mentors, and to track people searching for internships or looking for a new job. GirlScript is also indexing survey results with data like what students want to learn about, and what is the most demanding skill or programming language to master. A mobile application is underway, too.

"We are extremely thankful to team Elastic. Everyone has been so supportive, whether in terms of any collaboration, sponsoring our event and trusting on a new organisation like us. And again, by selecting us for the 'Cause Awards,' they have made us so delighted and all our team here in India is extremely thankful for such a recognition and support they have given us. Thank you so much,” said Anubha Maneshwar, the foundation’s founder.

Cluster Awards (Technology Innovation)

Our judging panel reviewed the applicants based on inspiration, uniqueness, and whether the project required a leap of faith that the Elastic Stack would be the engine that powered the successful solution.

Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management

Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management of Japan has turned to the Elastic Stack to power its asset management services program. The move was to enable fund managers to produce stable, long-term financial results for institutional and individual investors.

Code-named ALPHA, the Japanese firm’s asset management system indexes huge amounts of data including market information and news in real time. The ALPHA tool allows fund managers to quickly sort through market-moving news and other data, including geo-mapping data, to make split-second decisions on whether to buy or sell stock or other assets. 

When paired with Sumitomo Mitsui’s custom-designed natural language processor, Elasticsearch’s full-text search engine renders sentiment analysis based on news articles in real time. 

“We are delighted to receive a 2019 Elastic Search Award! Quality of service, measured in terms of performance and availability, is essential to the success of IT. Elastic Stack power has been vital for our real-time applications to deal with huge amounts of data with low-latency. We are proud of being a user of Elastic,” said Yoshihiro Ikeda, Associate Councilor, IT & Operation Department.

Zero Latency VR

Zero Latency VR of Australia has created a free-roam, multiplayer virtual reality experience. Wearing virtual reality goggles, headphones and portable computers on their backs, players move freely in a warehouse-scale space at 30 venues worldwide. Players shoot virtual zombies, cross suspended bridges, and do other things that are dangerous or impossible in real life. 

One of the company’s main challenges is designing experiences that allow for eight players in a limited physical space while ensuring safe distances between players and walls at all times. Another challenge is the sheer amount of backpack computers, servers, cameras, and blasters required for the experience to work correctly.

The Elastic Stack provides the company with a real-time view of its infrastructure through centralized logging. Zero Latency also uses Elastic to collect data about the movement of players. Every second, the player’s position is ingested into Elasticsearch and visualized in Kibana to answer questions like: Is the physical space used efficiently? How close are players getting to each other on average? Where and when do the players get too close to each other or to the walls? Beats such as Filebeat, Winlogbeat, and Metricbeat are installed in the backpack computers.

“Here at Zero Latency VR we consider ourselves beginners in Elasticsearch technology. Receiving this award is an honor,” said Zee Nastalski, Zero Latency senior software engineer.

You Know, for Search! Awards (Business Transformation)

Our judging panel reviewed the applicants based on their projects’ importance, potential for growth, and whether the projects have fostered the breakdown of data silos.

The Warehouse Group

The Warehouse Group is the largest general merchandise retail group operating in New Zealand, whose main brands consist of The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming, Torpedo7, 1-day and The Market.

The company was honored for its "Validated Returns" project created by the team involved with the point-of-sale systems at The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery stores. 

The Warehouse has built trust in the community with its market leading return policy, but the company needed a way to solve some of the problems customers were facing when making a return. Receipts fade or get lost. Was it bought online or in the store?

The company had detailed information on every sale from every store, but it wasn’t always easy to retrieve. The company fed all of that data into Elasticsearch, created a custom search page within its point-of-sale application, and with that, built a new experience for both team members and customers when it comes time to return items.

A direct feed from each point-of-sale machine keeps the Elasticsearch index up to date in a multi-node Elastic Cloud cluster. This solution has greatly improved both speed and quality of service at the returns desk, and has also reduced fraud. 

“Elastic allowed the Warehouse Group to innovate, build, and explore at lightning speed,” said Juan Herbst, Software Development Manager for The Warehouse Group.


InfoTrack is an award-winning and market-leading technology company based in Australia that helps both businesses and individuals to succeed in the digital age. Through the InfoTrack platform, the company provides integrated searching and innovative services for property, company, and personal needs.

The company currently services more than 8,500 clients across Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom in the legal, conveyancing, banking, finance, insolvency, surveying, mercantile, accountancy, and government sectors. According to the company, a simple way to explain InfoTrack is that it is the equivalent of “Google for things you can’t find on Google.”

The Elastic Stack has enabled the company to build a data lake and architect its data mart layer in a lightning fast and accessible way. This will help the company build even more data-driven solutions in the future, as InfoTrack is scaling this lake daily. As such, the company is now able to remove the pressure from developers of maintaining a database and allows them to focus on pushing out quality code by simply calling out data marts. This results in more efficient resourcing, less time architecting or spinning up databases, and more time building quality products for clients.

InfoTrack is in the process of tagging the metadata of all its 55 million plus orders to provide a smarter and faster search mechanism across its products. The company’s data team has set up an extract, transform, load (ETL) pipeline that tags and transforms orders as they stream through InfoTrack’s system into a lightweight format for efficient, full-text searching. Elastic enables InfoTrack to get granular with its searching technology, and continues to open up new opportunities down the road. 

“For our company to remain relevant in today’s disruptive digital environment, InfoTrack needs to transform rapidly and continuously. This requires us to build and maintain an innovative culture, to be on the front-foot of emerging technology, to put data at the core of our decision making, and to anticipate our client’s needs at every step,” said Ashim Joshi, head of innovation at InfoTrack. “We actively strive to understand the needs of our clients. This award validates our direction and is a motivation for us to continue striving above and beyond. This drives us to be at the forefront of innovation and helps us create value for our clients. InfoTrack's rich solutions ensure a smarter and more powerful workflow.”