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.
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 …