Meet this year’s CEA winners
This year’s annual CDN Channel Elite Awards event, held at Toronto’s Paramount Conference and Event Venue, saw 26 awards handed out across 10 categories. In addition to the usual awards categories, this year’s event also introduced a new category: Best Cloud Computing Solution.
by Maxine Cheung of Computer Dealer News
Best Green Solution
The gold award winner for Best Green Solution was Compugen Finance, a subsidiary of Compugen Inc.
The company’s Green4Good IT asset disposition solution is made up of two components: IT asset disposition and charitable support. Compugen’s Green4Good solution is an end-of-life technology disposition service that allows organizations to dispose of their retired IT hardware assets in a safe and environmentally sound manner. The process consists of one of three different paths: reuse, resell or recycle.
Compugen’s charitable support program enables businesses to realize net gains from IT asset disposition. Compugen helped TD Bank Financial Group with their “tens of thousands of decommissioned assets” by helping them realize that more than 95 per cent of their desktops, laptops, printers and monitors, and more than 80 per cent of the parts were of “sufficient value” that could be resold. The net proceeds then went to a number of different charities and donations were made in the form of cash, products and services.
The other winners in this category were IT Weapons Inc. for silver and Atum for bronze.
Best Collaborative Solution
Insite Computer Group Inc. was the gold winner in this category for its work with communications company Maxx Global.
Maxx Global was tasked with helping its customer, SNC Lavalin, move its infrastructure and facility. Thirty days before the move, SNC found out they couldn’t move their network backbone to the new location because it didn’t have the fiber access needed for their OC3 lines.
Insite was brought in to provide 24 x 7 managed support for SNC’s network backbone, which included firewalls and switches from Insite’s own data centre in Toronto. Insite also ensured that SNC had the proper secure infrastructure that was required. With help from Insite and Maxx Global, SNC was able to move on time and have now been in their new location for nine months.
Best Cloud Computing Solution
IT Weapons is the gold winner in this category for its work with IRC Building Sciences Group.
IT Weapons developed and implemented a centralized, high-availability, cloud-based computing, storage and messaging system for IRC’s more than 100 employees across six different locations across Canada. This fully virtualized system was delivered from IT Weapon’s own cloud and offered the customer high-performance, scalable and on-demand resources.
Because the computing and storage environment of IT Weapons’ cloud is housed inside its own secure data centre, IRC employees can safely access their work at the office or at home on thin clients and notebooks, reducing the need and costs often associated with desk-side hardware and maintenance.
The silver award went to Insite Computer Group and the bronze went to OnX Enterprise Solutions Ltd.
Best Managed Services Solution
Compugen Inc. is the winner of our gold award in this category for its managed print services (MPS) solution.
With its MPS solution, Compugen was able to help Mac’s Convenience Stores Inc. revamp and optimize the printing environment at its new head office in Toronto. The solution allows the 145 office employees to print, copy, scan and fax whenever they need to.
Not only did Compugen help Mac’s to rebuild its entire print infrastructure and print service directory, it also offers ongoing fleet monitoring and management for the 90 print devices the customer uses.
IT Weapons Inc. won the silver award in this category and Conpute won bronze.
Best Service Organization
IT Weapons Inc. won the gold award as this year’s Best Service Organization. The company has developed its managed services practices over the past six years and has a data centre, as well as a 24/7 network operations centre staffed by a team of certified helpdesk technicians.
Some of IT Weapons’ industry certifications include application delivery, data centre management, security and virtualization, in addition to having partnerships with vendors such as Citrix Systems, HP, Microsoft and VMware.
Two of the core values at IT Weapons centre around integrity and expertise. These help the company to build and maintain long-term and successful relationships with customers. Because the company doesn’t have sales quotas or staff members working on commission, employees are able to take their time to get to know and understand the business needs of their customers.
The silver and bronze winners in this category were Insite Computer Group and Achievo Netstar Solutions Co.
Best Small Business Solution
Fortsum Business Solutions Inc. won the gold award for Best Small Business Solution for its Acomba accounting and management software.
The company helped interior design services company Décor Parent automate its procedures by implementing the Acomba solution. Before this solution was implemented, Décor Parent was conducting all of its processes manually, which often required quadruple data entry and led to some clients’ orders being forgotten. Fortsum’s solution now enables Décor Parent to take an order and have a copy of that information made available to accounting, administration and production staff. The automation of its processes has allowed Décor Parent to be more efficient and productive with its employees’ time and efforts.
Atum won the silver award in this category and Insite Computer Group won the bronze award.
Best Mid-Market Solution
Compugen Inc. took home the top honours in this category for its Infrastructure Optimization solution and its work with Kore Telematics.
Compugen not only helped this company to simplify its IT operations, but it also helped to lower its internal data centre costs while improving the performance and reliability of its external network to customers. It did this by building an entirely new IP WAN infrastructure with Cisco technology. Compugen was also tasked with duplicating the customer’s network infrastructure in another city for backup, redundancy and failover purposes.
Some of the benefits to the customer resulting from Compugen’s infrastructure rebuild included less power consumption, increased scalability and reduced maintenance costs.
Softchoice Corp. took home the silver award in this category and Illumiti Inc. brought home the bronze.
Best Enterprise Solution
Epic Information Solutions won the gold award in this category for its virtual solution implementation and work for WorldSkills Calgary 2009.
Epic’s work with WorldSkills Calgary began when the company responded to an RFP to supply a physical infrastructure of hardware and services. Instead, Epic introduced the idea of a virtual solution, which was eventually decided on by the customer.
The virtual solution required a hardware configuration from Epic that would be able to support an almost open-ended number of virtual servers for the week-long competition, which brought about 1000 competitors from around the world. The result included four physical servers that supported 40 virtual servers throughout the duration of the competition, which showcased skills across 45 different service, technology and trade vocations.
With competition organizers and visitors in attendance at the event, the virtual desktops created by Epic provided a common environment that would work with any individual’s computer, regardless of the type of machine, operating system or settings he or she was using.
The other winners in this category was Acrodex for silver and Jolera Inc. for bronze.
Best Channel Marketing Initiative
Epic Information Solutions took home this year’s gold award for its Extreme Technology Makeover 2009 initiative.
With help from technology partners including Cisco, HP and Microsoft, Epic was able to revamp one small business’ IT infrastructure, all at no cost. Epic chose a company it believed would benefit the most and, once selected, the company would have its IT infrastructure overhauled and improved.
Small businesses ranging between five and 50 users were invited to submit their applications for the contest. Each non-winning company that bought product or services, or entered into a managed services agreement with Epic, received a 15 per cent discount off of their purchases for one year. The winning company had its IT infrastructure reworked and overhauled at a value of $50,000. The prize also included new HP desktops and related software offerings.
The initiative helped strengthen Epic’s relationships and visibility with vendors and also raised awareness in the marketplace. Epic was also able to increase its number of managed services agreements as a result of the initiative.
IT Weapons Inc. won the silver award in this category and CMS Consulting Inc. won bronze.
Solution Provider of the Year
This year’s Solution Provider of the Year CEA honour went to IT Weapons Inc. With five other wins in other CEA categories this year, this solution provider really proved its desire to win.
With a team of just 44 people, the company still manages to actively manage and monitor more than 700 servers with almost 7000 users across North America in its own data centre.
The small, tight-knit team allows IT Weapons to be nimble and flexible when it comes to being accommodating to customer demands.
IT Weapons customers also have direct access to the company’s consulting team, its CEO and its chief architect for regular meetings.
Congratulations to all of our winners and nominees for this year’s CEA event.
For more CEA coverage, please visit:Channel Elite Awards: IT Weapons named Solution Provider of the Year