Story image

From organiser to finalist: Brent Colbert on Microsoft awards

27 Feb 15

This week’s announcement of the finalists for Microsoft’s New Zealand Partner Awards saw UCFX among the contenders for the communications award.

It is something of an ironic twist, afterall it wasn’t so long ago that UCFX marketing and channel director, Brent Colbert, was himself working at Microsoft – and running the awards.

We sat down with Colbert for a chat about what it’s like to be on the other side, as a first time finalist in this year’s awards.

How does it feel to be a finalist?

It actually feels really great. The team were rapt when they found out as I hadn't told them about the submission so it was bit of a surprise. That and the fact that UCFX has been recognised so early on really validates our positioning and value proposition in market.

You're a finalist at an awards show  you used to run, how does that feel?

Actually really, really good.

I know the work that goes on behind the scenes to run the event and it's a lot of work so I'm pleased this year I'll be sitting back with the team enjoying what will be a great night. Jared [Pedersen, Microsoft New Zealand partner strategy and programs manager] and the team did a great job last year so I'm sure it will be a great night reconnecting with a lot of friends and former colleague's from across the channel.

When I was at Microsoft I was always a fan of drawing out the great stories that the many Microsoft Partners were delivering, and the awards evening is a great way to showcase these stories.

To see UCFX contributing to those stories is actually quite humbling, but also absolutely fantastic. 

How do you rate your chances of winning?

I have to firstly say congratulations to all the finalists. There are lots of new names this year which is really great.

Being a finalist in our first year is pretty special and a great boost for the team and the respective teams who support the guys in the field, especially our finance team who keeps things ticking over.

Let's say the team have got their fingers crossed, and I'm sure will enjoy some healthy banter with the lads at Dimension Data and Lexel on the night. Regardless of who wins, Lync will be the winner on the day!

Why do you think you're a finalist this year, especially after only been in business one year?

I think being a specialist practice which focuses only on Lync helps.

I also think our approach to partnering has really helped. Not only across the Lync ecosystem partners like Polycom, Jabra, Plantronics, Audiocodes and Sonus, but also into the traditional Microsoft partner channel where we take on numerous roles, from doing their internal Lync deployments, assisting with Lync projects as a sub-contractor through to backing up their internal support teams with Level two and three support.

We largely don't compete at all with the Microsoft channel, so are seen as complementary and our partner models around margin support that approach.

What's next for UCFX?

We're actually right now looking at our next phase of growth and how we build out on the success we've had over the last year.

Outside of pure Lync projects I'm really excited about the product innovation we're bringing to market around Contact Centre for Lync and Lync Room System for Video Conferencing, as well as the Find Me application to support activity based workstyles which support our whole 'Lync + 1' vision. 

One Identity a Visionary in Magic Quad for PAM
One Identity was recognised in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Privileged Access Management for completeness of vision and ability to execute.
Accenture 'largest Oracle Cloud integrator in A/NZ'
Accenture has bought out Oracle Software-as-a-Service provider PrimeQ, which now makes Accenture the largest Oracle Cloud systems integrator in Australia and New Zealand.
Telesmart to deliver Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams
The integration will allow Telesmart’s Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams to natively enable external voice connectivity from within Teams collaborative workflow environment.
How to keep network infrastructure secure and available
Two OVH executives have weighed in on how network infrastructure and the challenges in that space will be evolving in the coming year.
White box losing out to brands in 100 GE switching market
H3C, Cisco and Huawei have all gained share in the growing competition in the data centre switching market.
Gartner names newcomer Exabeam a leader in SIEM
The vendor landscape for SIEM is evolving, with recent entrants bringing technologies optimised for analytics use cases.
52mil users affected by Google+’s second data breach
Google+ APIs will be shut down within the next 90 days, and the consumer platform will be disabled in April 2019 instead of August 2019 as originally planned.
Genesys PureCloud generates triple-digit revenue growth year on year
In Australia and New Zealand, the company boosted PureCloud revenue by nearly 100%.