Four new categories have been introduced to the 2008 IBM Business Partner Awards held in association with New Zealand Reseller News, for which entries open today.
This year's awards have been expanded to better reflect the full scope of the work being doing by the channel, says Reseller News associate publisher Bill Bennett.
"The IBM Business Partner Awards is an important project for Reseller News. It allows us to celebrate excellence in New Zealand's information technology channel.”
The new categories are Best Energy Efficient Solution, Rookie of the Year, Best Co-Marketing Campaign and People’s Choice Reseller Award, which Bennett says is significant as it is an individual who demonstrates service excellence and delivers real benefits.
“The People’s Choice Reseller Award recognises individual performance that goes beyond the normal call of duty. Unlike the other awards that will be judged, this award calls for nominations and will allow people working in the industry the opportunity to vote for their selected individual.”
The Best Energy Efficient Solution category is for IBM business partners who have demonstrated a high level of understanding of green IT or sustainability, and whose solutions have become an important part of their customer’s corporate culture.
The Rookie of the Year award is for up-and-coming resellers who have shown excellence in delivering and supporting IBM’s solutions and services.
The Best Co-Marketing Campaign award will be given to the IBM business partner who, in the view of the judges, has made best use of their marketing budget.
“Specifically, judges will be considering the impact, originality, creativity and clarity of the offer. They will also be looking for campaigns where there has been a measurable return on investment,” says Bennett.
The four new awards bring the total of categories at this year’s IBM Business Partner Awards to 11, including the overall Supreme Award.
Meanwhile, last year’s Supreme Award winner Integral, which also took out the Infrastructure Innovation and Small Business Deal categories, is gearing up to compete once again this year, as it continues to gauge the benefits of its success in 2007.
Sales and marketing director Catherine Blinkhorn says winning the Supreme Award has been a great motivator for the company’s salespeople. “The momentum and feeling of being recognised by the rest of the industry was a huge motivational factor. It gave them renewed confidence in our business, products and services.”
Relating the win to customers has also been a benefit. “It means a lot as reinforcement around Integral’s business value particularly in our existing IBM customer base.”
The company has also drawn extensively on the awards in its sales and marketing. “When we launched our new brand, we used the awards as a key underpinning of that. We use it constantly in our marketing collateral and sales presentations.”
In addition, the Infrastructure Innovation award for a utility computing project has provided recognition for its utility computing model.
“It has been a huge spin-off. It lends credibility because utility computing is relatively new. The fact that we were recognised by IBM and the independent [judging] panel is important – we have gained new customers and had good growth in that area of our business.”
Industry awards create a sense of differentiation for customers, says Blinkhorn.
“To be able to say you stood above all the rest in the way you deployed IBM solutions is pretty unique.”
For more details on the awards or to enter visit: http://ibmbpawards.co.nz