An entirely new judging process – sans the time-consuming, oft complained about community vote system – is being implemented for this year’s CRN Channel Awards, for which nominations are now open.
The move was made following extensive consultation with leading figures in the industry, many of whom said they were dissatisfied with the voting process. The categories have also been revamped – and there will be no deadline extensions for entrants this year. There is also a new-look award.
Also for the first time, the 'big three' awards - Reseller, Vendor and Distributor of the Year - will be subject to an entry process.
Sara Yirrell, editor at CRN and Awards judge, says it is time for a change and the new set-up takes account of a diversity of viewpoints offered by channel players over the last few months and years.
“Although we think that recent years have proven that CRN’s Channel Awards are very successful and do in fact fill the needs of the UK channel, there is always room for improvement,” she says.
“Those who rest on their laurels -- or assume that because something once worked it always will – are likely to eventually be outevolved by the competition. And, needless to say, we do not plan to have that happen to the Awards.”
In previous years, the community vote system has attracted a persistent amount of flak from many players in the industry. Some smaller resellers felt, for instance, that the system failed to control for company size.
The new set-up is intended to dispel such fears, making the judging even more transparent and avoiding the chance that a large number of votes could unduly influence the final result.
“Some people might be concerned that personal bias and prejudice might creep into the Awards via the judging panel. However, the new system should mitigate against any potential preferential treatment based on the quality of an entry, because the shortlist judging will include judges from the original panel to make sure it stays fair,” Yirrell says.
A judge from the first phase of the competition will be looking out for any tendency for the judges in the second panel to give preference to their business partners. Also, when entrants of the 'big three' make the shortlist they will then have to come and present their case to the judging panel.
“These changes are based on extensive feedback and comments received from the channel. We believe it should be an even better way of ensuring that the best entrants rise to the top in every category,” Yirrell says.
Shortlists in each category will be assessed by a sector-specific panel of judges from resellers, distributors and vendors. No panellists will be permitted to adjudicate the shortlist for their own industry area.
No extended deadline
The 17th annual Channel Awards are now open for entries at www.channelawards.net. However, this year there will be no deadline extension. This means that all entries must be with CRN no later than Friday 6 August at 5pm.
There are twenty-two categories for which channel companies can be nominated, and two ‘Editor’s Choice’ awards selected by Yirrell – Personality of the Year and Emerging Company of the Year. As mentioned before contenders for Reseller of the Year, Distributor of the Year, and Vendor of the Year prizes will nominate themselves on initial entry for the first time ever, which should promote some real shake-ups in the major awards categories.
Reseller categories have also been restructured, including three completely new categories, focusing on whether the reseller’s market is enterprise, mid-market or SME customers rather than on a specialism. Services, Specialist and Converged reseller gongs will also be up for grabs.
Distributor prizes will retain a focus on specialisms, but this year Systems, Networking, Software, Security, Specialist and Storage prizes will be supplemented with an Audiovisual Distributor of the Year award. Vendor categories will remain unchanged from 2009.
The event will once again be held in the splendiferous surrounds of Battersea Evolution – once known as Battersea Park Events Arena – in Battersea, London on the evening of Thursday 18 November 2010. And do not forget, this year’s cut-off point – no exceptions or extensions made! – will be Friday 6 August at 5pm.
Get in to win:
• Provide a simple, clear summary of your entry, spelling out why you deserve to win this year.
• Back this up with details of initiatives, activities and achievements that illustrate how you are delivering value and benefits to customers.
• Provide genuine testimonials from customers that back up your claims.
This year has new criteria for every category and they must be adhered to as judging will be even stricter than before. Once again, no exceptions to this will be made.
More information and entry details
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