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Softchoice gets worldwide exposure

Softchoice won its third straight best channel marketing award at the Channel Elite Awards in Toronto last month

The Toronto-based solution provider once again came up with a unique approach to marketing themselves.

The launch of Windows Vista was on the minds of many IT professionals and Softchoice’s services group identified the IT management challenges behind delivering that solution.

Since Softchoice delivers hundreds of customer engagements, the team can spot trends that could make a great impact on the entire IT industry.

What Softchoice found was that the readiness of the average North American PC to handle Vista’s system requirements was going to be a challenge early on.

“But no one was talking about the issue,” said Eric Gardiner, Softchoice’s communications director.

Publishing a study on Vista readiness was a natural extension of the work the company was already doing in helping customers with its technology acquisition plans, Gardiner said.

The study received worldwide exposure and it drove thousands of hits to its Web site. The study itself was downloaded more than 600 times in the first month alone.

“(The study) positioned Softchoice as a forward-looking company committed to helping organizations understand and deal with emerging issues. This was a huge win for us,” Gardiner said.

News organizations such as the New York Times, Globe and Mail and the Christian Science Monitor picked up this story. According to Gardiner, it was the biggest media event in the company’s history.

“In doing the study, we’ve come to appreciate that our TechCheck Assessment Services give us access to information that is truly unique in our industry because it is IT environmental data. It’s real, factual and not survey-based, which makes it especially compelling. I think we also realized the power of PR as a critical component in our marketing mix. We spent only $9,000 on the media outreach but the exposure we received was probably worth many millions of dollars,” Gardiner said.

He added this study is easily repeatable for any other solution provider. “It was a big delight for our company to be recognized with a Gold Award. There aren’t many opportunities for giving recognition to the outstanding talent we have within the Canadian IT community. “

There was a tie for Gold in this category between Softchoice and Voda Computer Systems Ltd. of Kamloops, B.C.