We can hardly believe it but the 2012 Channel Awards are almost upon us -- and this year should be extra special, according to organisers.
Alan Loader, publisher of CRN, says the quality of entries this year has been superlative. All the judges were impressed with the very high standards demonstrated in many entries and a number of new names have risen to the top.
“The changes to the judging process made in the past few years have really had an effect. In the earlier days, with numbers-based voting, it was difficult for smaller companies to score well in the Awards, and we heard that some were even asking people outside the industry to vote for them,” Loader says.
“Our aim is to provide a level playing field where resellers, vendors and distributors of all sizes can be assessed for the quality of their service and business acumen.”
Sara Yirrell, editor of CRN, says tables are selling quickly for the event and party, which takes place on Thursday 15 November at Battersea Evolution in London.
“We hope people will come along and celebrate with us. It is great to celebrate the diversity of talent and expertise we have in the UK channel - not just within the big names but in smaller, up-and-coming companies,” she says.
“It is always a terrific night; one of the few industry events you can guarantee will offer genuine good fun as well as industry accolades.”
The shortlist was released in early October and is available for perusal on Channelweb, but industry players will have to attend on the night to find out who has won.
A glittering line-up of sponsors has supported this year’s channel Oscars, led by IBM. Other sponsors include Riso, Huawei, SDG, TP-Link, Interactive Ideas, Hammer, Fujitsu and Comms-care. CRN is very grateful for their assistance, without which the Awards would not be able to go ahead.
Tamal Saha, managing director of Riso UK, says such recognitions of excellence not only reward companies’ efforts on the night but represent a stamp of approval that commands respect from the industry as a whole.
“Having won awards for innovation with our latest technology, the ComColor printer, Riso knows how valuable such programmes can be,” Saha says.
At this year’s event, the pivotal Reseller of the Year prize will be chosen from a shortlist of four industry luminaries, all of which have regularly hit the headlines in recent years -- for good reasons, of course.
Will last year’s winner Softcat be able to beat the onslaught from ANS, Trustmarque, Enables IT and Bytes Software Services?
The next category to be watched avidly will no doubt be SME Reseller of the Year. There are more relatively small businesses than large ones, and this is a chance for companies selling IT to smaller firms to shine above the rest.
Names in the running include NCI, EACS, Lanway, Southern Communications and LDD.
Added to these are the numerous vendor and distributor categories, specialist, mid-market and enterprise reseller awards, and categories dedicated to service providers and channel service providers. Something for everyone, in fact.
Notes Yirrell: “The Awards event is always great fun. If you’re not sure whether to come along, do consider it -- it’s worth coming for the after-party alone.”
• Book tables by emailing [email protected] or phoning Charlie on 020 7484 9924.
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