Microsoft is making a number of changes to its New Zealand Partner Awards in order to recognise more partners and with hopes that its partners will make it onto the global stage at the Worldwide Partner Awards.
Microsoft Partner Group Director Brent Colbert said, “We’d like to see New Zealand partners on the worldwide stage winning at the worldwide level. We believe the quality is there.”
The main changes will be to the categories, which have been expanded and will be slightly different. The awards will be split into four sub-categories: solution, individual, partnering and supreme. The previous award for licensing star of the year will become the Channel Person of the Year award and a new award for advertising will be the MSN NZ Advertising Partner of the Year.
“We wanted to extend the categories without creating too many awards and therefore everyone was getting one, but we wanted to make sure that we were recognising excellence at the same time,” Colbert said.
The other main change includes a month earlier deadline, in May rather than June, which is intended to ease pressure on resellers during the end of their financial year. The new deadline will align better with the worldwide deadline. Also in the works is a way for it to be easier and less work for partners wanting to enter the country awards as well as the worldwide ones.
“We want to make it easy as possible for our partners to enter both our awards and the worldwide ones, so we’re looking at how we do that,” Colbert said.
The changes have been made primarily in order to offer partners a better chance at winning on the global stage, but were also influenced by feedback Colbert received in the past few years requesting more clarity between categories and awards.
“The awards are for our partners and it’s less about us, we’re just recognising their excellence, so we do listen to the feedback very clearly,” he said.
Colbert said he thinks that partners will react positively to the changes and encourages feedback on the changes when they come into effect for this year’s awards.
The new awards and categories are as follows:
- Application Platform Solution
- Enterprise Content Management Solution
- Portals & Collaboration (Includes Search)
- Unified Communications Solution
- Core Infrastructure Solution (Incls Optimised Desktop/Optimised DataCentre)
- Dynamics CRM Solution
- Dynamics ERP Solution
- Small Business Solution
- Citizenship Solution
- Channel Person of the Year
- Partner Choice Award
- Distribution/Reseller of the Year
- Hardware/Retail Partner of the Year
- MSN NZ Advertising Partner of the Year
- Learning Solutions Partner of the Year
- Online Services Partner of the Year
- Partnering of the Year Award
- ISV Solution of the Year
- Platform Value Partner of the Year
- Business Impact Solution of the Year