Pandemic-fueled innovation highlighted at 2021 Channel Conference and Awards

Seven Canadian channel organizations were celebrated this week for the creation and deployment of novel solutions solving pressing problems during the Channel Daily News 2021 Channel Innovation Conference and Awards.

The virtual event also saw the release of the annual CDN Top 100 Solution Providers ranking, a listing of channel organizations that collectively generated more than $10 billion in revenue during 2020. Channel organizations are a unique and valuable part of the technology ecosystem.

“Given the uneven impact of the pandemic on business in general, it’s not surprising that there was considerable movement in the rankings this year,” said ITWC CEO Fawn Annan. “Companies with a solution that helped facilitate remote work or e-commerce have performed well. Companies with solutions related to tourism or retail found it more difficult.”

Top Solution Providers

CDW Canada, a leading technology solutions provider, topped the ranking for the third year in a row and a record-setting seventh time in the history of the awards.

Softchoice, a cloud migration and digital service specialist, came in second, and Insight Canada, driven by the integration of recent acquisitions, came in third.

Compugen and Long View Systems rounded out the top five. Long View’s ranking marked a return to the top five after a few years of absence.




The 2021 Benchmark Report is an essential reference tool for the channel. Based on the information provided by the top solution providers, it was released during the conference. It showed that in addition to remote work and cloud-supported transformation, mergers and acquisitions reshaped the channel significantly in 2020. CDN editor Alex Coop and analyst Michael O’Neil went over the data during a presentation at the virtual event. You can watch them peel through the report’s data here.

Channel Innovation Winners

“The release of the Top 100 Solution Provider ranking acknowledges the companies that are thriving financially,” said Annan. “But we also wanted to shine a spotlight on innovation and new approaches. The Channel Innovation Awards are important recognition for companies, regardless of size, who develop breakthrough solutions, seek niche opportunities, and break new ground in serving partners and customers. Both are important recognition to support the channel. ”

There is much to celebrate in this area. Although six Channel Innovation Awards were up for grabs, the efforts of eight organizations were recognized after judges decided the Innovator of the Year award should be shared by three organizations. 

Esri Canada received two awards, Data Management Master, for its work with the New Brunswick 911 system, and Remote Work and Collaborative Workspaces Wunderkind, for its GIS work on a social distancing app for the Government of British Columbia. Insight Canada received the C4 Award for Diversity and Inclusion due to its extensive list of equity-oriented workplace programs. 

Here are this year’s Channel Innovation Award winners:

Each of the winners receives a crystal trophy and a digital badge for use on their website or on social media. Anyone who hasn’t already registered for the event can do so right here and watch the entire event on-demand.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Steve Proctor
Steve Proctor
Steve is Vice-President Marketing and Communication with ITWC. He spent 25 years in progressively senior positions as a journalist and editor with the Halifax Herald, with his final ten years as Business Editor. He has published two books and his freelance articles have appeared in national and regional magazines. He has led social media and communication efforts for two crowdfunding ventures and written and directed numerous dinner theatres for charitable endeavours.

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