Local cyber security specialist Defend was named as Microsoft's New Zealand partner of the year at the software giant's global awards overnight, with Tauranga-based LawVu named as finalist.
Two other Kiwi companies were named as global category finalists, Enlighten Designs in the Power BI category and Vodafone NZ in the meetings, calling and devices for Microsoft Teams section.
Microsoft's chief partner officer A/NZ, Rachel Bondi, said the awards at the vendor's Inspire partner conference recognised the channel across the globe for its innovative use of Microsoft technologies.
This year’s awards were the most successful ever for our A/NZ partners, she said.
"Collectively, they won a record five awards, and a further 14 companies were finalists."
More than 3900 Microsoft partners from over 126 countries submitted nominations for the 58 awards recognising everything from partner excellence in cloud to edge technologies, to entrepreneurial spirit and social impact.
Defend had "reshaped the security landscape in New Zealand", working in partnership with organisations on their cyber resiliency so they could continue to operate, innovate, and adapt securely to new ways of working, the awards citation said.
"Defend helped Foodstuffs North Island build a best-in-class, modern and secure supply chain," it said. "This enabled Foodstuffs North Island to ensure that food was on shelves during COVID-19 and spend more time focusing on higher-value areas of the business."
The award was the ultimate recognition for all Defend team members who directly and indirectly supported the company's customers, Defend CEO Nigel Everett said.
"Our partnership with Microsoft across New Zealand and Australia has been relentlessly driven to ensure cyber security provides business strategic breadth in alignment with technical depth to enable rapid execution, resilience and scale."
Cyber security was not an isolated competency, but is embedded in each and every element of technical, operational and strategic enablement, Everett said.
The company's team had shifted the focus to enable customers to leverage and extract the value from their entire technology investments to provide resilience, speed to market and sustainability.
"We are humbled at this global recognition that spans wider than cyber security and recognises our contribution to enable customers to deploy and manage their entire workloads across secure cloud, secure network and secure end point initiatives in partnership with the Microsoft team," Everett said.
LawVu, which develops cloud based legal matter and contract management system, had fully embraced Microsoft’s cloud capabilities to transform businesses in an increasingly complex legal landscape, its citation said. It had also built a resilient and globally diverse team to drive better customer outcomes.
"Our ANZ partners’ success highlights their ability to help customers build new capabilities and achieve true innovation by applying creative thinking and leveraging the latest technology," Bondi said. "Their achievements are deserving of recognition on the global stage."
Enlighten Designs was named a global finalist in the Power BI category while Vodafone NZ was named in the meetings, calling and devices for Microsoft Teams category.
“Being a runner-up for the 2022 partner of the year award is an achievement we are extremely proud of," said says Enlighten Designs' founder and chief executive, Damon Kelly.
"It recognises the work we do to improve digital storytelling and data journalism using Power BI and the strides we have made in expanding our sphere of influence."
Enlighten's expertise working with data and Power BI had resulted in it becoming Microsoft's trusted partner to deliver the global modern data journalism programme.
“We enjoy what we do and work hard to get results so to be recognised for this accolade is something we’ll cherish and celebrate," Kelly said. "We’re proud to be working in the Microsoft partner ecosystem to make complex data more accessible, interesting and compelling for our Power BI clients.”
New Zealand founded but now private equity controlled Flintfox, which develops an omni-channel management software platform, was named a finalist in the Dynamics 365 Finance category.