The IBM Business Partner Awards is a chance for Reseller News to play a part in rewarding one vendor’s local channel.
The Auckland event last week recognised IBM partners for their efforts in marketing, business intelligence, infrastructure refreshes, sustainability and more. As well, it singled out two individuals from reseller and distributor organisations who had been nominated, and then voted on, by their peers in the industry.
Each year, we enjoy seeing the bar raised in terms of the scope of the projects entered and the expertise that enables them to be carried out.
It was encouraging, in a similar vein, to see Symantec hold its inaugural local partner awards recently, and announce plans to expand the number of awards presented. Likewise, Microsoft’s annual partner awards, having now been held three years running, is a channel calendar highlight.
As well, the opportunity to chat to a large gathering of channel members on one night, and enjoy some good food and drink, is the icing on the cake.
On a deeper level, local partner awards ceremonies are evidence of that vendor’s commitment to recognising the work of its channel partners.
In doing so, there’s an opportunity to showcase not only the efforts of its partners, but the market segments and technology areas the vendor is working in.
Local partner recognition sparks new ideas in others, as they hear how projects are successfully conceived and implemented. As well, this allows partners to benchmark their work against peers and inspires them to achieve as highly as those being awarded.
In some cases partners have an opportunity for further recognition internationally.
I would encourage vendors, as Symantec has, to establish local awards.
Trans-Tasman, or even Asia Pacific regional awards are better than none, but they don’t offer as much chance for firms headquartered in New Zealand to be rewarded.
Award ceremonies involving New Zealand IT companies cater for the subtleties of the local marketplace, factoring in typical project time frames, cultural variance in the way business is conducted, and the rate of adoption of particular technologies here.
Additionally, local awards are a way for vendors to collaborate with partners on project-based marketing and customer success stories. This is often something channel companies are left to do on their own, with little in the way of criteria and guidance from the vendor.
Current economic conditions have justified more judicious spending on events and vendors have been right to keep a tight rein on scale.
But awards functions, while they need not blow the budget, should be implemented and maintained as a core strategy in building true partnerships with the channel.