A southern storm may hit Microsoft’s local partner awards this year.
Christchurch-based Datasouth Business Solutions is a finalist in all five of the categories it entered in the 2008 New Zealand Microsoft Partner Awards – more than any other entrant.
The company, a Microsoft Gold partner, will be contesting the Core Infrastructure Solution, Business Productivity Solution, Application Platform Solution, Citizenship Solution and Small Business Specialist of the year categories.
Its nearest rival is Axon, which is a finalist in four categories.
Microsoft this week announced the finalists in all 13 categories of the awards, apart from the overall Partner of the Year category, which will be presented at a gala event at Auckland Museum on August 14.
Adding a touch of celebrity to the proceedings will be Robyn Malcolm, award-winning star of home-grown TV series, Outrageous Fortune, who is hosting the event.
Datasouth general manager Craig Gerken is delighted at the company’s showing. “This is the first time Datasouth has submitted nominations for the awards and to be a finalist in each category we submitted is just fantastic.”
He is confident the company will succeed in some of the categories. “We have our fingers crossed that we cross the line on one or two of those nominations. But being a finalist in five categories is a great achievement in itself.”
Datasouth saw the awards as an opportunity to showcase its work with Microsoft, says Gerken.
“We believe we’ve been doing some pretty exceptional work and saw the awards as an opportunity to validate that against some of our peers.”
A total of 81 submissions were received from 35 partners for the awards, says Microsoft partner group manager Nick Fletcher, adding that the overall quality of entries were of a far higher standard than last year’s inaugural awards.
“We had an increase in the number of submissions across all categories. The standard is clearly a step up in terms of quality.”
Fletcher is particularly pleased with the high number of entries received for this year’s new categories – the Microsoft Software + Services Solution of the Year, Citizenship Solution of the Year and Rising Star of the Year awards.
The choice of Robyn Malcolm as host fits in well with the spirit of the awards, says Fletcher. “She is also a local success story as an award-winner actress. We like the fact that she can inject humour, but also has a more serious tone to who she is.”