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Awards a big hit with VARs

The fourth annual CDN Channel Elite Awards brought many surprises to the channel

Everyone likes to win.But sometimes winning in the eyes of your customers makes you a champion.
This year’s rendition of the Channel Elite Awards was exactly that.
For the fourth annual industry competition, we asked solution providers to bring their key customers to the awards presentation at the Liberty Grand in Toronto.
For some resellers this was an odd request.
One prominent Ontario-based VAR, who will remain nameless, said: “I would never bring any of my customers to an event with other solution providers. I would be afraid they would steal them from me.”
But that, in my opinion, is not a very forward way of thinking.
Solution providers should be confident in their work and believe customers will stay with them no matter what.
Secondly, wouldn’t it feel great to have your customer there as you are chosen by a panel of industry judges as a Channel Elite Award winner?
Certainly to the client it would signify that your work, or your team’s work, is worthy enough to be recognized.
Peter McMahon, a vice-president of London, Ont.-based Protek Systems, told me at the Sept. 22 event that he knew his firm wouldn’t win but it was great to be nominated and to be part of an industry boosting event.
That’s a worthy attitude, one that will make him a lot of friends in this business.

Co-opatition
Also, part of this new reselling age is that teams from different solution providers are increasingly working together.
This is a norm in the industry, not a rarity any more.
Vendors have made it difficult for every solution provider to attain all the necessary certifications and authorizations to be a full-service VAR in Canada.
Sure, NexInnovations, Comp-ugen, Xwave and a few others can. That is why they are national VARs. But for the most part solution providers are forced to work with each other to satisfy customers.
So why not show that kind of unity at a high profile event such as the Channel Elite Awards?

The numbers are in
Approximately 250 people attended the Channel Elite Awards, a huge spike from last year.
The recognition program also had a 29 per cent uptick in the number of submissions from last year.
Several of those came from new solution providers who, despite the gloom and doom predictions of our industry, believe being a solution provider a worthwhile profession.