One of the biggest events of the year is fast approaching.
The Microsoft Partner Awards have been held annually since 2007, constantly changing (and growing) with the demands of the industry. In its first year, there were 13 awards across nine categories – there is now 22 awards across 12 categories.
We spoke with some previous winners at the Microsoft Partner Awards to get an idea of just what the event means to them.
Productivity team leader at Kinetics, Tony Meredith says the entry process alone is actually very beneficial to their business as it allows them to review their practices and tangible impact they've had on their clients businesses.
"Stepping back to review our achievements and progress is vital to chart our future development. For the team, to be personally recognised amongst their peers for the quality of the work and what they have in turn enabled their end clients to achieve has reinforced the importance of their work," says Meredith.
"For our clients and potential clients, the award provides the external credibility to our work and validates our unique approach that focuses on role specific productivity gains , by helping users apply Microsoft tools to their everyday work."
Managing director at IT Engine, Delia Gill says attending the awards has always been a must for them – regardless of whether they’re in the finals or not.
“It is a great place to network and catch up with our partners from across New Zealand,” Gill says.
“We have entered the awards every year since 2010. We have won two awards in that time. It is a great moral boost to even get in the finals - the year we won the team built a server rack to house the awards and it now stands in our reception area for all to see.”
Co-founder and consulting partner of Stellar Consulting, Travis Barker says that as a boutique data and analytics consultancy, the awards are truly invaluable as it gives them the opportunity to showcase their work with New Zealand's leading brands.
"The Awards allow specialist partners, like Stellar, to distinguish themselves as best-in-class and gain valuable market credibility as a result," Barker says.
"Recognition as a Partner Award finalist, and indeed as a category winner, has afforded us numerous opportunities to spark conversations and open doors across the Microsoft Partner ecosystem, which is reflected in the continued growth of our Microsoft data and analytics practice over the past nine years."
Education specialist and technical director at pcMedia Technologies, Lee Harper says they have entered the awards every year since 2012, as it enables their team to go through their best solutions and concentrate on getting references from clients, which they are able to use at other events.
“Winning Education Partner last year has promoted our education product and enabled us to grow our market share significantly and enabled us to win a major Government project,” Harper says.
“Being a smaller partner getting a finalist in Partner Awards allows us to showcase that our solutions are amongst the best in country. The awards dinner itself is a great opportunity to network with the Microsoft team and a good opportunity to put names to faces.”