Reseller News

Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020: and the winners are...

​Outstanding partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals honoured
  • Leon Spencer (New Zealand Reseller News)
  • 22 October, 2020 05:00

Reseller News is proud to honour New Zealand’s best and brightest channel players, recognising the achievements of an outstanding line-up of partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals at the 2020 Reseller News Innovation Awards.

Held in Auckland on the evening of 21 October and hosted by comedian and television personality Te Radar, the event saw hundreds of attendees representing New Zealand’s channel community come together to celebrate the achievements of more than 30 winners on the night. 

Among the winners were Datacom, The Instillery, CCL, Base2, UneeQ, SecureCom, Company-X, Lexel Systems, SAS IT, Enlighten Designs, vBridge, Base2, Aportio Technologies and many, many more.  

Once again, Datacom won awards in two categories, including Emerging Technologies - IoT, and Partner Value - Enterprise, the latter in recognition of the company’s work with Hitachi Vantara to build a Hitachi Content Platform solution to eliminate unstructured content silos.

Aportio Technologies and UneeQ also appeared twice each in the winners’ list, under their own names in the Homegrown Innovators - Start-Up and Emerging Technologies - Smart Technology categories, respectively, and again as part of a consortium with Consegna, under the name Inteso, which took out the Partner Value - Collaboration gong. 

Lexel Systems and SAS IT, meanwhile, tied to become joint winners of the Partner Value - Customer Value category, while Acquire and Exeed were among this year’s Channel Choice winners, along with Palo Alto Networks and HP.

On the vendor side, Veeam Software, HP, Vocus, Cisco and Microsoft won at least a category each. At the same time, channel talent from the likes of Veeam Software, Network for Learning (N4L), Acquire, SAS IT and Kordia went home with Entrepreneurship awards.

Among the distributors, Ingram Micro won two awards, in the Distributor - Hardware and Distributor - Cloud categories, while Westcon-Comstor and Chillisoft also claimed wins on the night, with Duo, a division of Sektor, and Umbrellar being highly commended.  

The evening also saw a new channel stalwart inducted into the Reseller News Hall of Fame, with Datacom Group director of sales and longtime channel veteran Mark Hardie joining past inductees.  

Below is the complete list of winners and highly commended finalists from the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020.

Reseller News congratulates all winners, highly commended, finalists and nominees, and thanks a judging panel comprising many of the industry’s leading influencers.



Winner: Datacom 

Datacom wins this award for its design and delivery of a new IT system that provided its client with a range of new capabilities, including fleet optimisation, real time data capture and field force job management in the form of a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering.  

Smart Technology

Winner: UneeQ  

UneeQ wins this award for the development of its conversational AI digital human creator platform, UneeQ Creator, which provides machine learning functionality and the ability to create and deploy unique ‘digital humans’ capable of recreating natural human interaction.  

Digital Transformation

Winner: SecureCom  

SecureCom wins this award for implementing a digital transformation programme that enabled its client to move its infrastructure to the cloud, gain greater visibility of its IT environment and transform the way it works, while resulting in substantial cost savings.   


Winner: The Instillery

The Instillery wins this award for the rapid deployment of a cloud solution leveraging Microsoft Azure and Zscaler that helped to dramatically reduce its client’s operating costs while enabling the seamless transition of its workforce to a remote working environment. 


Service Provider

Winner: vBridge 

Highly commended: SecOps NZ 

Highly commended: SecureCom 

vBridge wins this award for the development of its MyCloudSpace management platform, a multi-tenant portal, companion mobile app and set of APIs allowing for self-service provisioning, management, reporting, pricing and billing.


Winner: Company-X  

Company-X wins this award for designing and deploying a platform with a Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) editor to automate a labour-intensive manual process for its client, introducing automated workflow technology to transform the process for users.  


Winner: Aportio Technologies 

Aportio Technologies wins this award for the development of its enterprise grade service for processing emails and messages using machine learning and natural language processing techniques, along with the inclusion of its solution on the AWS and Datto marketplaces. 



Winner: Base2  

Base2 wins this award for the development of digital transformation technology to improve business process and automation it uses to assist in the advancement of the SMB market, within which it counts more than 450 organisations as clients.    


Winner: CCL 

Highly commended: CodeBlue 

Highly commended: Lexel Systems   

CCL wins this award for its work assisting clients in the mid-market impacted by COVID-19, helping them to reduce running costs and defer payments, create efficiencies where practical, change business models and deliver services remotely and much more.   


Winner: Datacom  

Datacom wins this award for its partnership with Hitachi Vantara to build a Hitachi Content Platform solution to eliminate unstructured content silos, deliver compliance-level data protection, centralise data management and employ best-in-class metadata architecture.  

Customer Value

Winner: Lexel Systems

Winner: SAS IT  

Lexel Systems wins this award for solving its client’s long-standing SQL server issues in the space of a week, eliminating performance issues and bringing one of its client’s key systems back to its former glory, improving processing times and reducing costs.  

SAS IT wins this award for its work taking on the management of its client’s business as usual environment, freeing up the client’s high-value resources, while also providing the basis for a range of technology solutions and helping to deliver new products.  


Winner: Inteso – a consortium between Consegna, UneeQ and Aportio  

Inteso wins this award for its Digital Human Contact Centre Agent ‘Tess’, a cloud-based technology jointly built by UneeQ, Aportio and Consegna. Tess draws on UneeQ’s digital human technologies, Aportio’s email and chat integration and back-end conversation processing and Consegna’s advanced AWS consulting and integration competencies.  

Corporate Citizen

Winner: Enlighten Designs 

Highly commended: Base2 

Highly commended: Network for Learning  

Enlighten Designs wins this award for its efforts promoting the possibilities of STEM careers in local secondary schools, along with its work in collaboration with the Microsoft European Communications team using Power BI to disseminate regional results from a study of 11,500 girls across 12 European countries, with a focus on understanding the current challenges to increasing the uptake of STEM subjects by girls and young women. 

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Software Vendor

Winner: Veeam Software 

Highly commended: Microsoft  

Hardware Vendor

Winner: HP  

Specialist Vendor

Winner: Vocus 

Highly commended: APC by Schneider Electric 

Highly commended: Datto  

Security Vendor

Winner: Cisco  

Cloud Vendor

Winner: Microsoft


Software Distributor

Winner: Westcon-Comstor 

Hardware Distributor

Winner: Ingram Micro 

Specialist Distributor

Winner: Chillisoft 

Highly commended: Duo, a division of Sektor  

Cloud Distributor

Winner: Ingram Micro 

Highly commended: Umbrellar 


Channel Excellence

Winner: Chad Kelly, Veeam Software  

Chad wins this award for contributing to more than half of new business revenue for Veeam in New Zealand to date, along with his efforts helping partners to drive operational efficiencies and constantly innovate, introduce new services, broaden their services and expand their business.  

Technical Excellence

Winner: Clayton Hubbard, Network for Learning (N4L)  

Clayton wins this award for spearheading the design of more than 2,450 wireless networks for schools around the country, with each school receiving its own individual network design to accommodate its unique building layout and connectivity needs, through a new nationwide upgrade of school network equipment.  

Sales Excellence

Winner: Monique Tipler, Acquire  

Monique wins this award for her excellence in the areas of acquisition, growth and retention, seeing 30 per cent revenue growth since lockdown, a 100 per cent growth in her account base over the past year and an average increase in spend across selected accounts of 233 per cent.  

Marketing Excellence

Winner: Jennifer Johnson, Kordia 

Highly commended: Jack Downs, The Instillery  

Jennifer wins this award for developing a strategic marketing programme spanning a range of initiatives from events, digital marketing and sponsorship, facilitating a calendar of over 40 events in 2019, redeveloping Kordia’s website and digital content and leading integrated brand campaigns to reposition Kordia in the market.  

Management Excellence

Winner: Matt Roberts, SAS IT 

Highly commended: Simon Goode, Westcon-Comstor  

Matt wins this award for establishing and leading a major transformation programme covering the whole of SAS IT’s operations in New Zealand and abroad, along with implementing company-wide changes, nearly overnight, to enable successful business continuity following the onset of COVID-19. 



Winner: Acquire  


Winner: Exeed  

Software Vendor

Winner: Palo Alto Networks  

Hardware Vendor

Winner: HP


The Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee for 2020 is: Mark Hardie, Datacom 

With over three decades in the local tech landscape, Mark Hardie has risen through the ranks, starting out as an account manager for Wang New Zealand and, after Wang became Gen-i — now Spark Digital — eventually progressing to the role of general manager of sales and marketing for the company.   

From there, Hardie held a series of high profile and important roles for several organisations across the industry, including Optimation New Zealand, Plan B, The Icehouse, IBM and, most recently, Datacom.

Today, Hardie stands tall in the local tech industry as director of sales for the Datacom Group.  

Reseller News welcomes Mark Hardie as this year’s Hall of Fame inductee and congratulates all winners, highly commended, finalists and nominees, and thanks a judging panel comprising many of the industry’s leading influencers.