It is already that time of year.
The time when the CRN Channel Awards process is launched and we start asking you, our loyal readers, to submit an entry.
Categories have been revised again this year, after a consultation process with a few industry players, and some internal brainstorming, as we strive to keep up with the changing nature of our fast-paced industry.
And as a result, we have re-introduced the Cyber Security VAR of the Year category due to popular demand, and the fact that security is every end user customer's biggest fear in this current climate. It would be wrong not to give the VARs in that market a chance to show off their achievements.
Similarly, the fastest changing sector of our industry is distribution, and it is not easy for the smaller players to always get a look in among the giants.
So after some consultation, we have decided to launch another Distributor of the Year category, this time aimed at the sub-£100m players. As with the Distributor of the Year, this will be decided after each shortlisted firm has presented to the judges.
Three categories have been renamed including the distribution Innovative Project Award - this replaces Innovation, which was too vague a term and which caused confusion. And both security vendor and distributor categories have become Cybersecurity vendor and distributor of the year, as we look to reflect the changing nature of the security market.
Despite our best efforts, every year there is a major player in one of the categories, whether it is distribution, vendor or reseller land, that suddenly decides the awards are not for them.
The thing is, they really are. Without our readers and their continued support - there would be no awards. These are your awards, run to allow you to shout about your success.
CRN is not a not-for-profit brand. There is no denying that - attending our awards does cost money in terms of buying a table and keeping alcohol levels up.
But that is as far as it goes. It doesn't matter who spends what on sponsorship, the difference between these awards and perhaps others in our industry, is that it is 100 per cent independent. Awards cannot be guaranteed through sponsorship - they literally could be anyone's.
There are no votes to be bought, instead we have a 25-strong panel of industry experts judging every entry on merit. The slate is clean, and entries that are engaging, personable and above all relevant are guaranteed to make the shortlist and be in with a chance of winning.
There is a tongue-in-cheek Q&A we have put together that answers all your questions around this subject honestly and frankly. Please do have a read through.
CRN has created a Channel Awards 2017 hub to find out about all things Channel Awards, including top tips and all the criteria.
This will updated between now and the closing date to hopefully encourage as many as possible to enter. So please do check it out here and remember to keep your eyes out for more updates.
We really hope you will all submit an entry this year and wish you the best of luck in the meantime.
To find out more about the awards, please visit our channel awards site.
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