5 Reasons You Need To Apply for Channel Partners’ Digi Awards

Digi Awards logo

In my last column I mentioned a new awards program. Now it’s time to formally announce the 2019 Digi Awards, inspired by a certain bot who joined the team last year and holds a lot of sway around here.

The program will be capped off by an upgraded networking reception at Channel Partners Conference & Expo where we’ll recognize partners who deliver stellar business outcomes for their clients. If you think that sounds a bit like the Channel Partners 360° Business Value Awards, you’re right. The Digi Awards are the next iteration: Winners still need to demonstrate that value. But now, we’ll recognize specific achievements across 10 categories, plus two very special awards. Rather than judging solely by our editorial staff, our advisory board will be involved, bringing a real-world eye to entries. And rather than having 25 winners who all had to meet the same level of proficiency, we will now recognize standouts in various aspects of channel services and digital transformation.

What drove the change? Largely the success of our new Channel Futures MSP 501 awards program, which this year gained 10 special categories and a festive reception at Channel Partners Evolution in October, where Rob Rae, Datto’s vice president of business development, and Jennifer Anaya, Ingram Micro’s vice president of marketing for North America, passed out some hardware on our main stage.

Frankly, as the world’s largest channel event, #CPExpo needed to up its game.

We realized that the Channel Partners audience has expanded from creating business value to empowering digital transformation for customers. Digital services now comprise the majority of monthly recurring revenue for many partners, and the opportunity is growing. Thus, the Digi Awards will recognize 100 “short listers,” 10 per category. These top partners will be invited to the reception, where we’ll name one winner per category, plus one Vertical Visionary and one Digi Master. You’ll hear from our 2019 Channel Influencer of the Year, and the ceremony will be hosted by Craig & Kevin of Coffee With Craig & Kevin fame. Attendance will be by invitation only.

Think the Golden Globes, with fewer sequins, slightly less-expensive booze and no lengthy acceptance speeches.

The fine print: Partners may enter each individual customer project in as many as two categories. There’s no limit to the number of entries overall or to the number of awards a partner firm may win, and as with all Channel Partners and Channel Futures lists and awards, there is never a fee to enter or win. While we encourage suppliers, master agents and distributors to make partners aware of the awards, even help with entries, only agents, consultants, MSPs, Sis, VARs and other partner firms may win.

With that out of the way, here’s a quick rundown of the categories. Don’t worry, you’ll also find this info in the entry form along with guidance on how to best classify your projects.

  • Brand Builder: Recognizes partners who used improved processes and insights as well as tech to improve their client’s end customer experience — and thus increase brand loyalty and profit margins.
  • Cloud Builder Award: Recognizes excellence in helping customers cloud-ify their businesses. Includes cloud brokering/consulting or provisioning and managing on-premises, public cloud or colocated data center capacity.
  • Code Controller: Recognizes partners who help customers with custom application development, design or deployment or use of APIs, mobile UX, building an agile or DevOps culture, or similar effort.
  • Consultant of the Year: Recognizes excellence in developing, provisioning and managing personalized, specialized IT services that may not fit in other categories but transformed how your customer does business. Includes Virtual CIO, CISO or CTO engagements.
  • Master of Disaster: Recognizes partners who take creative steps to protect customers from data loss and the resulting business disruption.
  • Next-Gen Telecom Award: Recognizes excellence in delivering telecommunications and collaboration capabilities, including client call center/user support.
  • Purveyor of Productivity: Recognizes excellence in helping customers wring maximum value out of their investments in people, systems and technology.
  • Vanguard Award: Recognizes a partner who turned digital transformation expertise inward to revitalize their own business.
  • Visionary Award: Recognizes partners who employed newer, cutting-edge technologies including machine learning, AI, virtual or augmented reality, blockchain or IoT as the primary enablers of their solutions.
  • White Hat Award: Recognizes partners who protect customers from cyberthreats. Also includes physical security, such as video-surveillance projects.

We will also select one Vertical Virtuoso, recognized for excellence in retail, health care or another vertical, and one Digi Master, a partner whose entry wowed the editors with its digital-transformation brilliance. This is like the Oscar for …

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