Microsoft Canada partners from across Canada came to Toronto recently to honour innovation and achievement in the software giant’s partner ecosystem at the 2008 Impact Awards.
Some 31 different awards were handed-out, including four categories that were new for 2008: Unified Communications Partner, Large Account Reseller – Program Excellence, Strategic Reseller and Hosting Solutions Partner.
The awards dinner was held at Toronto’s Granite club.
This year’s Impact Awards saw a 30 per cent increase in submissions, speaking to the strength of innovation in the partner community.
Some 90 people across Microsoft Canada were involved in judging the submissions, a testament to how seriously the organization takes the awards.
The MC for the evening, radio personality Maureen Holloway, kept the audience entertained with her comedic takes on current events and her layperson’s thoughts on IT issues.
Holloway is best known for her The Last Wordsyndicated celebrity gossip segment that runs on radio stations across Canada, and she also hosts the mid-morning show on Montreal’s Q92.
Microsoft Canada president Phil Sorgen expressed his confidence that, even in tightening economic conditions, Microsoft and its partners are positioned for success.
“We know we have the solutions that address the three most important areas customers are looking for: things that enable their people to be more productive, things that enable them to be a more agile organization to respond to new opportunities, and things that help them save money,” said Sorgen. “That plays to our strong suits and our partner strong suits.
Mississauga, Ont.-based Envision IT, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and development shop, took home the Custom Development Solution award for its work with Cadillac Fairview using SharePoint Server 2007 and .Net.
The project involves the creation of 26 public Web sites built on SharePoint for various Cadillac Fairview properties, beginning with the Toronto Eaton’s Centre. The Web sites include a .Net interface that allows mall tenants to post content to the Web site, from store promotions to job openings.
Richmond Hill, Ont.-based IT service provider and systems integrator Compugen was a double Impact winner, taking home the awards for LAR of the Year – Program Excellence and Desktop Deployment of Office & Windows Vista.
Compugen president and CEO Harry Zarek said the LAR award recognizes that customer requirements for the purchase of software are changing from “transaction” to “adoption” and that it’s no longer of sufficient value to customers to simply transact a license sale.
Brian Bourne and Toronto’s CMS Consulting Inc. were winners of the Impact award for Security Solution of the Year. CMS was also a finalist in the Unified Communications Partner of the Year category.
“Working with our partner, Envision IT, our nomination in the Security Solutions category recognizes our expertise in providing the most advanced security solutions and services to help protect our customers’ information assets,” said Bourne.
Toronto IT services and solution provider Softchoice scored a hat trick at the Impact Awards, pulling-in the trophies for LAR of the Year – Licensing Revenue, Licensing of Software Asset Management Solution of the Year and Marketing Innovation Award – Enterprise.
“This was a big night for Softchoice and a testament to the success and growth we continue to realize as Canada’s largest provider of Microsoft solutions,” said David MacDonald, president and CEO of Softchoice.