Microsoft New Zealand has announced the finalists for the 2016 Microsoft Partner Awards, with cloud solution providers dominating the pack.
With a record number of submissions, the 2016 annual Microsoft New Zealand Partner Awards is set to be the biggest in its nine years of existence, recognising excellence in the IT sector from companies integrating Microsoft solutions into products and services.
"This year we were happy to see a good mix of new and old, large and small partners entering compelling IT solutions in their submissions," says Brent Kendrick, Director for Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partner, Microsoft New Zealand.
"The relevance and impact of cloud computing continues to be a strong theme this year, and the finalist partners are, by no accident, those that are transforming their businesses most intentionally and effectively toward cloud-based services."
In 2016, Kendrick says a new special internal recognition category called Partner Seller will be included for the first time, which recognises partners who are not only best-in-class solution sellers but who also collaborate most effectively with the Microsoft team to deliver value to customers.
"This category is unique in that partners don’t submit projects themselves," Kendrick adds.
"Instead, the Microsoft New Zealand sales teams nominate and recognise the best partner sellers directly."
Kendrick notes that Microsoft - which won the Coud Vendor of the Year Award at the 2015 Reseller News ICT Industry Awards - believes the current crop of finalists will also excel globally, with New Zealand companies traditionally doing well in the Microsoft Global Partner Awards program.
As such, this year’s global winners will be announced at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference taking place in July in Toronto Canada.
According to Kendrick, the Microsoft headquarters team has taken "special notice" of the internal recognition category that makes its debut in New Zealand this year and has decided to include it as a new category at the global level.
"New Zealand has tended to punch above its weight in this global competition, as we celebrated two global winners and four global finalists in 2015," he adds.
"Last year we included our new Marketing Partner of the Year Award as a local New Zealand award for the first time ever.
"The Microsoft team in our Redmond headquarters loved this idea as well and have now included a similar marketing category in this year’s Global Partner Awards.”
Kendrick says the local New Zealand partner winners will be announced on the 31 March 2016 at a black tie, sit down dinner event at The Langham in Auckland with entertainment, speakers, networking opportunities and live music.
Here's a full rundown of the finalists:
- Dimension Data
- NV Interactive
- IT Engine
Collaboration and Content:
- Information Leadership
- Spark Digital