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8×8, RingCentral, CDW Among Inaugural Avant Award Winners

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**Editor’s Note: Click here for our recent list of “Top Partners: The Best of the Best,” featuring channel partners recognized by numerous companies in the industry.**

Avant Communications Wednesday named the winners of its first annual Special Forces Summit Awards, recognizing recipients across 20 categories based on sales achievements and resourcefulness.

Avant's Ian Kieninger

Avant’s Ian Kieninger

“Honoring our partners’ tremendous achievements is a highlight of the Special Forces Summit event,” said Ian Kieninger, Avant’s CEO. “We’re inspired to continuously help improve our partners’ sales abilities through sales enablement tools, resources and training events such as the Special Forces Summit, [held earlier this month in Chicago]. We are thrilled to honor these top performers who truly represent the best of the best in the channel.”

Channel sales winners were chosen based on performance. Vendors were elected by Avant’s channel partners.

The Special Forces Partner Excellence Award categories and winners are:

Top Channel Performance — based on Avant’s 2018 fiscal year ending March 31:

  • Top Sales Performance (more than $500 million in annual sales): CDW
  • Top Sales Performance (less than $500 million in annual sales): Pro Strategy Solutions
  • Rookie of the Year: Myriad Supply
  • Top Deal in UCaaS: Digital Direction
  • Top Deal in IaaS: CDW
  • Top Deal in SD-WAN: CDW
  • Top Deal in Security: FCS
  • Top Deal in WAN: Pro Strategy Solutions
  • Top Deal in Colocation: ePlus

Best use of sales resources:

  • Best Use of Avant BattleLab: MNJ Technologies
  • Best Use of IQAs: Myriad Supply
  • Best Social Media Presence: Kyle Burt of Catch Solutions
  • Best CIO Event: Nuvalo

Top Vendor Awards — with criteria based on key attributes for success from the Avant Cloud Channel survey:

  • Most Revenue Potential in 2018: 8×8
  • Best New Vendor: CloudGenix
  • Best Sales Engineers: Masergy Communications
  • Easiest to do Business With: 8×8
  • Most Responsive Vendor: RingCentral
  • Most Responsive Vendor: RapidScale

“The resources and the knowledge that Avant brings to the CDW AIM team [are] second to none,” said Andrew Ballema, CDW’s senior manager of AIM services. “They operate at the highest level of efficiency and their team continues to help us drive forward to achieve our highest goals together. We consider them not only an extension of our team, but we also consider them friends. We truly thank Avant for their unwavering support.”

“Master-agent partners like Avant are critical as we continue to grow our channel business — it’s impossible to have the kind of year-over-year growth we’re targeting without the sales velocity a partner like Avant provides,” said Christopher Peters, 8×8’s global channel chief. “8×8 and Avant were both born in the cloud, and their commitment to it has been unwavering. They’re focused on enabling their subagents to sell cloud services like 8×8, which has produced a very strong partnership, and their differentiation in our market as an adviser who truly understands next-gen, best-of-breed technologies, is a unique strength we hope to build off of to continue to do a lot of business with them and their partners in the future.”

“We have an incredible partnership with Avant, whom we regard as the most forward-thinking company in the vendor relationship space,” said Bart Zimmerman, Digital Direction’s CEO and founder. “Our business model provides professional services and consulting to larger clients across the globe, which demands we are always in the know. Avant’s research and pulse on the market gives us that competitive advantage to bring to our clients.”

Avant was a Channel Maker winner at last month’s Channel Partners Conference & Expo.


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