Microsoft says it has received nearly 100 entries for this year's Partner Awards, from more than 30 partner organisations.
This is an increase of 24 percent on last year's inaugural event, the vendor says.
The format of the event has been changed this year due to "the extra challenges that the current economic climate places on partners", says partner group director Brent Colbert.
It will host a cocktail evening on 27 August in Auckland, instead of a black tie dinner as was held last year. Guests won't need to buy tickets to attend.
Award finalists will be announced on 28 July.