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January 4, 2019
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 …
… best picture. Many will enter. Only one will win.
While we’ll use the above to categorize entries, our judging criteria are all about transformative impact. We will award points based on:
Business value: This includes demonstrated cost savings, productivity gains or efficiency improvements. 20 points
Customer experience: How well did the solution improve the client employee and end customer experience? 20 points
Digital transformation: How well did you help the customer transform its processes through a combination of technology, services and out-of-the-box thinking? 20 points
Revenue: Did the project result in new revenue? 20 points
Relevance to the category: Does the solution fit the category in which it was submitted? 10 points
Vision: Did you use newer techs, or think outside the box to use an older tech in new ways? 10 points
We’ll carefully evaluate all entries. If your submission demonstrates expertise in the technology and a focus on comprehensive, innovative approaches to digital transformation, there’s a good chance you’ll be named to the short list and invited to the ceremony. From there we’ll choose finalists, those whose submissions are among the five best in each category. You’re an inspiration to your peers, and we’ll offer up your story as an example of what’s possible. Finalists will be mentioned on stage at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. We’ll show your logo on the big screen, and each finalist will receive a trophy.
Then, 12 winners will be announced at the awards ceremony — one per category, plus our Vertical Virtuoso and Digi Master. These winners will be given their trophies on stage and singled out for their achievements.
So Why Enter?
Not convinced that this is the competition for you? Here are five reasons to enter by Feb. 15:
Entering is easy. You’ve already done the hard work by implementing a highly successful project for your customer, or your own company. Now with a few simple steps you can get the recognition you so richly deserve. Who wouldn’t want a personalized Digi Award winner logo on their website?
We’ll shower you with attention. Like the MSP 501s, the new Digi Awards are sure to inspire envy among peers and recognition of your expertise among customers and suppliers. Short-listers, finalists and winners will receive coverage on the Channel Partners website, at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo and across our social media networks. You might even get to join Digi on our podcast.
You can share the spotlight. Besides well-deserved bragging rights for your company, by telling the tale of your top projects, your clients, individual employees, master agents and distributors, suppliers and peer partners can share in the recognition.
Ten categories equal many chances to win. The CP 360° awards recognized 25 winners. Now, with 10 categories plus two special awards and the ability to enter multiple projects, the odds are ever more in your favor.
Networking opportunities. The Influencers & Innovators Digi Awards reception will be one of the hottest tickets at #CPExpo, and the only way in is to land on one of our short lists.
To enter, download the application form and tell us about a customer success story, in case study format. Ready? Go Digi!
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