Time is running out for IBM business partners to show the world, or New Zealand at least, how excellent they are. A week today entries for the 2008 IBM Business Partner Awards, presented in association with Reseller News, are closing. In its third year, the awards aim to celebrate excellence in the local channel. Although the focus is on IBM partners, these awards are relevant to more than IBM partners. Innovation and forward thinking should be celebrated by all in the industry, regardless of what technology is used to achieve this. One category in the awards recognises this specifically. The Best Non-IBM Business Partner Solution of the year award is designed to recognise and encourage organisations who are not IBM contracted resellers, but who are providing innovative technology products and services. In addition, a new category has been added to this year’s awards that endeavours to highlight the achievements of some of the champions of the channel community. The People's Choice Reseller Award recognises individual performance that goes beyond the normal call of duty. These are the unsung heroes who work on the front line, but who are delivering exceptional services to their customers. Whether or not you are an IBM partner, I urge you to identify someone in your organisation who constantly exceeds customers’ expectation and nominate that person for this award. Also, if you believe your company is providing extraordinary services to your clients and you are not an IBM partner, you should seriously consider entering the Best Non-IBM Business Partner Solution of the year award. Entering will help raise your profile among the leading industry figures who make up the judging panel for the awards, while progressing to the finalist stage will bestow much deserved recognition to your company. All IBM partners meanwhile should consider entering at least one of the categories in the awards. Each of you could have at least one project that you believe is truly exceptional and worthy to make a noise about. After all, is producing innovative results not an inherent element of this industry? But just celebrating your perceived success internally or with your customer is taking a too narrow view. After all, accolades such as the IBM Business Partner Awards, are an opportunity to measure just how good you are in comparison to your peers.