Microsoft partners were not the only winners at this year’s Microsoft Partner Awards – they also got to nominate a winner from among the vendor’s ranks.
Based on feedback from award finalists, small and medium business partner development manager Frances Steel was selected as the winner of Microsoft’s first Partner’s Choice award.
According to Microsoft, the award, which was introduced this year, recognises the Microsoft person who most exemplifies the true spirit of partnership.
Steel, who looks after 10 mostly mid-market partners, says she was delighted and surprised with the accolade.
She adds the variety of businesses she deals with is the best aspect of her role.
“Each partner has different solutions and play in different parts of the market. The partners I support are nationwide,” says Steel, adding she spends more time out visiting partners’ premises than meeting them at Microsoft.
Steel has been in her role for 18 months and previously managed HP’s consumer business. She has been in the industry for 10 years.
Several of the partners Steel assists were among the awards finalists, including CodeBlue, Softsource, Maclean Computing and Datasouth, which won the ore Infrastructure Solution of the Year award.
Other new award categories this year were Application Platform Solution of the Year, Software + Services Solution of the Year, Microsoft Rising Star of the Year and Distributor of the Year.