Microsoft has announced its 2015 New Zealand Partner Award finalists, with familiar faces, and some newer ones, vying for top place.
Softsource, Spark Digital and IT Engine, who were the big winners last year, are all in the running again this year, along with the likes of OneNet, Cyclone, Intergen, Datacom and Dimension Data.
Newcomer UCFX, established last year by former Microsoft man Brent Colbert, is up against Dimension Data and Lexel for the communications award.
Jared Pedersen, Microsoft New Zealand partner strategy and programs manager, says this year’s awards received ‘more entries than ever before’.
“The work being done by our partner network is awesome,” says Pedersen. “The competition is fierce and the caliber high!”
The awards, now in their eighth year ‘recognise excellence in New Zealand’s IT sector by integrating Microsoft solutions’. This year’s awards see the inclusion of two new categories, Rising Star Partner of the Year, which replaces the SMB and Midmarket segment awards, and Marketing Partner of the Year.
“Both of these categories were very heavily contested,” says Jared Pedersen, Microsoft New Zealand partner strategy and programs manager.
Other changes this year include three category changes, with Business Intelligence Partner renamed to data analytics, Windows Azure Solution Provider renamed to cloud platform and the server platform and management/virtualisation categories merged to create a data centre category.
Brent Kendrick, Microsoft New Zealand’s SMB and Partner Lead, says there was an impressive range of entries for the 2015 Awards, with a significant increase in new partners who have never competed before pitching their business solutions for consideration.
“The quality of entries this year has been truly outstanding, and shows the extent to which partners have been joining Microsoft on our journey of transformation towards becoming the productivity and platform company for a mobile-first, cloud first world,” he says.
Around 20 awards will be handed out across seven categories.
The winners will be announced at a Black Tie gala dinner on March 19.
The Microsoft New Zealand 2015 Partner Awards Finalists:
· Cloud Enterprise
Finalists: Datacom, Enlighten Designs, Sitecore, Softsource
· Cloud Platform
Finalists: NV Interactive, Provoke, Timely, VMOB
· Cloud SMB
Finalists: Atmospheric, Kinetics, Softsource, The Full Suite
Finalists: OneNet, Softsource, MHA Cloud Computing
Competency Awards: Application Platform
· Data Analytics
Finalists: Enlighten Designs, Montage, Stellar Consulting, Theta
· Windows App Developer
Finalists: Lazyworm Apps, Marker Metro, Joint (NV Interactive and Intergen)
Competency Awards: Business Applications
Finalists: Adaptable Solutions, Datacom, Intergen, Koorb
Finalists: Intergen, Koorb, Sable37
Competency Awards: Business Productivity
· Collaboration and Content
Finalists: Datacom, Enlighten Designs, Intergen, Leapthought
Finalists: Dimension Data, Lexel, UCFX
Competency Awards: Core Infrastructure
Finalists: Datacom, Spark Digital
· Devices and Deployment
Finalists: Datacom, Dimension Data, Fujitsu
· Presales Technical Specialist
Finalists: Codeblue: Henry Min, Provoke: Alan Marshall, Spark Digital: David Ollason
Finalists: Cyclone, New Era IT, Pcmedia
· Innovation Technology for Good Citizenship
Finalists: IT Engine, Koorb
Finalists: Ace, Auldhouse, Kinetics, Pcmedia
Finalists: Intergen, Kinetics, Origin IT, Provoke
· Rising Star
Finalists: Lazyworm Apps, Origin IT, Timely, VMOB
· Volume Licensing
Finalists: Fujitsu, Insight, Northcom ICT, Spark Digital