Far be it for CRN to give a boost to the botox industry and cause any more wrinkles, so after many calls from stressed-out managing directors and channel marketers, CRN has decided to extend the awards entry deadline by one month. The previous deadline of Friday 13 July has been extended to Friday 10 August.
So you now have an extra month to perfect your awards entry, or to start submitting an entry if you thought it was too late to do so.
Sara Driscoll, editor of CRN, said: “The Awards are about excellence and rewarding the companies that demonstrate their ability to innovate and their channel commitment. We want to make sure we have the best possible entries, reflecting the companies in the channel that are making the most effort. Hence the extension.
“Allowing a whole extra month means that companies that may have thought it was too late now have the opportunity to submit an entry for the ‘Channel Oscars’. And with all the preparation we have been doing already for this year’s event, I know it will be our best yet.”
The extension also means that the judges for the 2007 Awards will have to wait another month before they get their hands on what they hope will be some fantastic awards entries.
This year the judging process will follow the same pattern as last year. The 10 judges, all independent channel analysts and advisors, will read the entries and give each entry a score. These scores will be put together on the official judging day, 14 September. This is always a lively event, with judges arguing about why firms should or should not make the short lists.
The judges will draw up a short list of between five and seven companies for each category, except in the Editor’s choice (Emerging Vendor of the year and Channel personality of the Year), which are chosen by the judges only. The Readers Choice for Outstanding Achievement Awards are decided on reader votes only, and also have no short lists.
The short lists will be published in CRN and on the web site, and will be announced on 17 September. After that, it is up to CRN readers to cast their votes, and finally the judges will make the decisions on the winners at the end of October.
Over the next few weeks, more than 200 entries will come flooding in. It is up to every company in the channel to get busy writing, sourcing and compiling their entries for the awards. Now with an extra month, there is more time to polish your entry.
To give you a little help, we asked the judges what is most likely to influence their decisions.
Keith Warburton, chief executive of the PCA, said he will be looking for straight-forward and concise solutions to the challenges faced by the channel and its customers.
“No matter how strongly a vendor believes it has a solution, it is immaterial if the customer doesn’t recognise that there is a problem in the first place,” he said. “So please let the judges know, in simple terms, what the problem is that you are going to cure. We will then be in a position to appreciate your remedy.”
Bob Tarzey, service director at Quocirca, will be looking for something a little different from companies operating in the channel. “For reseller entries I shall look for well-presented, brief entries that show how the reseller has demonstrably made a difference to the way the business of its customer operates, backed by evidence directly from the customer,” he said.
“For vendors, again we want well-presented, brief entries that show how the vendor has achieved success with a new product, service or marketing and sales initiative driven through the channel and how this has driven success for its resellers.”
Keith Humphreys, consultant at networking research firm EuroLAN, takes a methodical approach to the decision-making process.
“In reading the entries I run through a check list,” he said. “The main aim is to judge the completeness of the entry. Did it meet the criteria set down? If not, why not? Did the entry stand out? And then I try to bring my knowledge of the entry to bear without prejudice.”
Other judges are just looking for something that catches their eye. Mike Briercliffe, principal, Briercliffe Associates, said he will be looking for “innovation, real solutions provision, clarity of purpose and great service propositions”.
Nitin Joshi, head of finance specialist Channelmoney, said he will be looking for “innovation, difference, client focus and passion, all delivered with a modicum of modesty”.
Whatever individual judges are looking for, it is their collective decision that counts. With the breadth of experience the panel possesses, everyone has a fair chance.
The most important thing now is to hit the deadline of 10 August and make sure you are in the line-up and ready to win a place on the podium at the CRN Channel Awards 2007.
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