2008 CRN Channel Champions Awards3:37 PM EST Tue. Mar. 11, 2008
A Little Piece of Century City History
Hyatt Regency's landmark Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles served as the site for this year's XChange Solution Provider conference, where Everything Channel handed out its 2008 CRN Channel Champions awards. The historic hotel is located just steps away from Beverly Hills and its posh Rodeo Drive shopping district and has hosted everyone from movie stars to dignitaries to U.S. presidents. It served as the site of "The Dinner of the Century" in 1969, where President Richard Nixon awarded the Apollo XI astronauts with the Medal of Freedom, and was later nicknamed "The Western White House" because President Ronald Regan stayed there so frequently.
Glitz and Glamour
The 2008 CRN Channel Champions awards event honored 19 vendors in 26 product categories for earning top marks from solution providers across technical, channel and financial criteria.
Red Carpet Treatment
XChange Solution Provider attendees strolled the red carpet, Hollywood style, before attending the awards event. Here, Manuel Villa, president of Via Technology, a San Antonio, Tex.-based solution provider, heads to the ballroom.
Not Ready for Their Close-ups?
Arian Soheili, managing director of Cantatus Systems Group, Portland, Ore. (right) and Frank Ballatore, president of The New England Computer Group, Ridgefield, Conn., duck the paparazzi on the red carpet.
Behind the Velvet Rope
Everything Channel Senior Vice President Dan Dignam walks the red carpet with Ann Moser, senior vice president of Ricoh Americas. No word on who they were wearing.
Hail From the Chief
Everything Channel Chief Executive Robert Faletra welcomes XChange Solution Provider attendees to the 2008 CRN Champions awards event.
Setting the Stage
Dan Dignam, senior vice president of Everything Channel, lays the groundwork for the 2008 Channel Champions awards. Each product area features one Overall Channel Champion for the category, as well as winners in each of three sub-categories: Technical Criteria, Program and Support Criteria and Financial Performance Criteria.
Let's Get it Started
Robert DeMarzo, senior vice president and editorial director of Everything Channel, takes the stage as the host of the awards ceremony.
Intel's Nick Davison, North America channel director (center), accepts the first award of the night from CRN Associate Editor Damon Poeter (right) and Everything Channel's Bob DeMarzo . Intel swept Client and Server Processors, winning the Overall category award for the third year in a row.
Liebert took home the Channel Champions award for Program and Support in the UPS Data Center Power Management category. Liebert's Randy Sein (left) accepts the award from CRN Associate Editor Damon Poeter.
Websense won two awards within the Client Security Software category. David Roberts, vice president of Americas sales and channel (back) and Erin Malone, director of channel enablement (middle), accept trophies from CRN Associate Editor Stefanie Hoffman and Everything Channel's Bob DeMarzo.
Trend Micro garnered several awards including the Technical Criteria award and CRN Channel Champions Overall award for Client Security Software, as well as the Overall award for Network Security Software. Nancy Reynolds, vice president of channel sales and marketing (center), accepts Trend Micro's trophies from Everything Channel's Bob DeMarzo and CRN's Stefanie Hoffman.
Juniper's vice president of U.S. channels, Blaine Raddon, accepts the award for Financial Performance in the Network Security Appliance category from CRN's Stefanie Hoffman.
Acer won the Channel Champions award for Financial Performance in the Flat Panel Displays category. Dirk Olsen, director of U.S. commercial channel sales for Acer (left), accepts the award from CRN Editor/News Steven Burke.
Betsy Larson, senior director of channel sales for NEC, accepts the Channel Champions award for Program and Support in the Flat Panel Display category from Everything Channel's Robert DeMarzo.
Chris Franey, vice president of sales and marketing at Samsung (left), accepts the trophy for Technical Criteria and the Overall Channel Champions award in the Flat Panel Display category from CRN's Steven Burke.
No stranger to the CRN Channel Champions awards, Microsoft for the fourth year in a row picked up the trophy for Overall winner for Collaboration Software, sweeping the category. The company also took home awards for Program and Support and Financial Performance in the Data and Information Management category, Program and Support and Financial Performance in Enterprise Business Software Suites and the Financial Performance award in the Middleware category. Robert Deshaies, vice president of Microsoft's U.S. partner group and Joelle Thompson, senior marketing manager of Microsoft's U.S. Partner Group, accept their awards from Everything Channel's Robert DeMarzo (left) and CRN's Steven Burke (right).
APC took home the trophy for Technical Criteria, Financial Performance Criteria and the Overall Channel Champions award in the UPS Data Center Power Management category. Mike Hall, channel development regional manager at APC (right), accepted the award from Larry Hooper, VP/Editor of ChannelWeb.
SonicWall turned in a strong showing in the SMB Wireless LAN category, winning the Program and Support, Financial Performance and Overall awards. Marvin Blough, vice president of Americas sales (right) accepted the awards from Everything Channel's Robert DeMarzo.
Oracle took home top prizes in Enterprise Business Software, winning Technical Criteria and the Overall award. The company also garnered a victory in the SMB Business Software Suites category, winning the award for Technical Criteria. Judson Althoff, Oracle's vice president of worldwide alliances and channels (right) accepted the award from ChannelWeb's Larry Hooper.
Seagate nabbed the Overall award for High Capacity Hard Drives. Seagate's Jennifer Weise, Channel Marketing Program Manager, accepts the trophy from Everything Channel's Robert DeMarzo.
IBM took home an armful of trophies, including awards for Program and Support in Collaboration Software; Technical and Overall winner in Data and Information Management; Technical, Program and Support and the Overall winner in Middleware; Financial Performance and Overall winner in External Backup; Financial Performance in Network Storage and a sweep of the Midrange Server category, including the Overall win.
Everything Channel's Robert DeMarzo; Jim Corgel, general manager of ISV and developer relations, IBM Software Group; Mike Gerentine, global vice president, IBM Channels & Solutions Marketing; Bruce Maule, director of worldwide channel strategy and business partner programs for the IBM Systems & Technology Group; Charlie Andrews, director of product marketing, IBM System Storage and ChannelWeb's Larry Hooper.
Xerox broke new ground as a first-time winner in Multifunction Printers, taking awards for Technical Criteria, Program and Support Criteria and the Overall award for the category. The vendor also nabbed trophies for Program and Support, Financial Performance and the Overall award for Workgroup Color Printers. Gary Gillam, vice president of North American channel operations for Xerox, accepts the awards from CRN Associate Editor Jennifer Lawinski.
Lexmark's Sharon Brindley, vice president of U.S. business channels and SMB (right), accepts the award for Financial Performance Criteria in the Multifunction Printer category from CRN's Jennifer Lawinski.
Cisco won Channel Champions honors in five technology categories, sweeping the Enterprise Networking category for the second year in a row. It also swept the VoIP category. In addition, Cisco picked up trophies for Technical, Financial Performance and the Overall winner in Enterprise Wireless LANs; Technical, Program and Support and Overall winner in Network Security Appliances; and the Technical award for SMB Wireless LANs. Cisco Senior Vice President of Worldwide Channels Keith Goodwin (center right) and Alex Thurber, senior director of technology go-to-market for worldwide channels (center left), accept the awards from CRN Managing Editor of Technology Jennifer Follett and Everything Channel's Robert DeMarzo.
Sage took home awards for Program and Support, Financial Performance and the Overall award for SMB Business Software Suites. Nina Smith, president of Sage's business management division, accepts the award from CRN Industry Editor Craig Zarley.
HP and its ProCurve Networking by HP division came away the big winners, nabbing victories across nine product categories. The vendor swept five categories, including Notebooks and Mobile Computers, SMB Networking Hardware, SMB Volume Servers, Storage Management Software and Network Management Software. The company also won for Program and Support in the Enterprise Wireless LAN category; Technical, Program and Support and the Overall winner for External Data Back-Up; Technical, Program and Support and Overall winner in Network Storage; and the Technical award for Workgroup Color Printers.
From left to right:
Everything Channel's Robert Demarzo; Adrian Jones, vice president of HP's Solution Partners Organization - Americas; James Ensten, manager of partner marketing for ProCurve Networking by HP; Tom LaRocca, vice president of partner development and programs for HP's Solution Partners Organization - Americas; CRN's Craig Zarley and Janet Pretti, director of partner marketing for HP's Solution Partners Organization - Americas.
Actor and comedian Jay Mohr took the stage, bringing a little bit of Tinseltown to the event. In addition to headlining comedy clubs across the country, Mohr also has starred in movies such as Picture Perfect with Jennifer Aniston and Jerry Maguire with Tom Cruise, where he played slimy sports agent Bob Sugar. He currently appears on the small screen in TV's Ghost Whisperer.
"We're all Scientologists here, right?"
Mohr riffed on everything from annoyingly condescending IT guys to how embarrassing it is to get beat up by someone with a British accent. All of the business travelers in the audience particularly identified with his bit on Southwest Airlines: "They won't let you on the plane with a bottle of Pert, but they'll let you wander around the tarmac for 20 minutes." From his opening line ("We're all Scientologists here, right?") to his closing Christopher Walken impression, Mohr kept the crowd laughing.
The Gang's All Here
Comedian Jay Mohr (front, center) poses with several of the 2008 CRN Channel Champions and the editorial staff of CRN.