After receiving awards and posing for the obligatory photo, this year’s
winners could not wait to share with CRN what it meant to receive a
With 22 awards to dish out, the presentation ceremony could have been a lengthy affair, but host Dara O’Brien kept things running swiftly.
Winning a total of four awards, the night clearly belonged to Computer 2000 (C2000), who picked up the Distributor of the Year Award for a record ninth successive year.
Managing director Andy Gass, told CRN: “We’re absolutely delighted about the feedback from customers. We’re delighted that we’re achieving the things our customers want from us. Our job going forward is to find ways to deliver more to customers, to help them and us grow even faster. Our job now is to celebrate tonight, listen tomorrow and deliver for the next 364 days.”
Winning both the Systems and the Vendor of the Year Awards for the third year in a row, Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC) also had a good night. Gary Fowle, director of marketing at FSC, said: “We are really happy to win both awards three years in a row because we still believe 100 per cent in the channel. We are always trying to grow the channel and are so pleased that our resellers and partners vote for us every year.”
Nick Gorringe, managing director of Basilica, which won Reseller of the Year, said: “We are delighted that Basilica has been recognised for its own achievements and for it to be replicated under the ownership of BT. It’s a seal of approval from the judges and readers who must think we’re doing okay. The award is for every single person at Basilica who have all worked hard for it.”
Chosen solely by CRN’s editor, Sara Yirrell, this year’s Channel Personality of the Year trophy went to Joe Hemani, chairman of Westcoast. Although unable to attend the Channel Awards due to overseas business obligations, Hemani told CRN: “This was completely unexpected for me. It’s a great honour. I have worked in this industry for 25 years. I started Westcoast from scratch and to be recognised like this shows I have done something right. The award is not just about me, it’s about the whole team at Westcoast.”
The other Editor’s Choice Award was for Emerging Company of the Year, which went to specialist distributor Varlink. Set up at the end of 2005 to specialise in mobile computing products, the York-based distributor now deals with more than 400 resellers and has 18 vendors.
Mike Pullon, MD of Varlink, said that winning the award was recognition that Varlink is now a serious contender in the channel.
“Winning a Channel Award will help with three things: attracting more vendors; proving to people that we are what we said we were; and helping us attract more good people to work at Varlink.”
The Specialist Reseller of the Year Award went to Khipu Networks. Managing director Andrew Brimson said: “We have only been going for two years so it is recognition that we have done something right - and that is down to our staff and customers.”
He added that there would be commercial benefits from winning the award. “We were over the moon to be shortlisted but we’re absolutely made up about winning. We had not had any prior notice to say that we had won so we thought we could not have won - to hear our name read out on the night was fantastic.”
Richard Dendle, MD of Britannic Technologies, which won Integrator of the Year, said: “This is our first appearance at the channel awards, so we are absolutely thrilled to have won. We have been to other ceremonies but CRN has really pushed the boat out this year. The event is fantastic and we are very impressed.
“Britannic has worked hard to build relationships in the channel, and this award shows we are moving in the right direction. It makes all the hard work worth it,” he added.
Microsoft won Software Vendor of the Year for the second year in a row. Claire Barclay, director of partner strategy and programmes said: “Microsoft is thrilled to be recognised for its hard work and plans to continue in making the channel more profitable, identifying new skills and continuing to drive growth.”
Midwich took the Specialist Distributor of the Year Award for the third year in a row. Darren Lewitt, divisional director at Midwich, said: “It is an amazing achievement to win this award because the specialist category is so competitive. All the shortlisted companies have excelled in their respective sectors and I have the utmost respect for all of them.
“At Midwich, our people are our differentiator, and this award is a testament to how hard they have worked to drive emerging technologies into new and existing channels. Our ability to consistently evolve year on year is the key to our longevity. I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thanks for the role that our customers, staff and vendor partners have played in our achievement,” added Lewitt.
Netgear achieved a hat-trick by picking up the Networking Vendor of the Year Award. Dave Rennie, channel sales manager at Netgear, said: “Winning again is fantastic. To have won it twice was excellent, but three years in a row is amazing.
“A lot of our competitors are doing good things in the channel at the moment so it makes this a bit more special. We’ve put a lot of hard work in over the past year and this is the perfect reward. Our target after last year was to continue improving the business, and it’s great that resellers have acknowledged our hard work.”
Many felt it was refreshing to see a smaller player like Email Systems win an award in the Security Vendor of the Year category. Ian Moyse, head of UK channel at Email Systems, said: “A number of our partners said that this proves this is a genuine award and validates the work we do with the channel. It is not about how much money you spend on marketing. It is a genuine award voted for by our partners. They felt that their votes meant something. Dave Ellis, director of security at Computerlinks - Security Distributor of the Year - thinks the awards are the industry event of the year.
“Nearly 2,000 people are here so to win an award is fantastic for us. It’s becoming harder and harder to win. The momentum behind the awards in the market is reflected in the increased competition among vendors and distributors and the bar is being raised higher and higher.”
“Niche players like Email Systems winning have demonstrated that you do not have to be big to win,” added Ellis.
Entanet won the Specialist Vendor of the Year Award. Darren Farnden, marketing manager at Entanet, said: “For us, it was extra special because it was the second year we won. A CRN award means a lot because it is not just based on judges casting a vote, it is what the channel thinks.”
Simon Aron, managing director of Eurodata, which won Services Provider of the Year, said: “As far as I’m concerned you have to be midmarket - small does not work. You have to be a few years into your business development plan to win, and it’s all about testimonials and references.”
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