VARBusiness Names Companies of the Year At XChange

Intel's Steve Dallman named Channel Exec of the Year At Ceremony

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The results of the 2005 VARBusiness Annual Report Card (ARC) are in, and vendors of the world have made sweeping gains across the board. After several years of declining satisfaction scores, grades given to vendors by their very own partners in the largest survey of its kind in the industry have improved.

The awards for best in partner satisfaction were handed out Tuesday night in Orlando, Fla., at the 2005 CMP Channel Group XChange event this week. VARBusiness awarded report cards based on surveys from more than 5,000 solution providers to vendors in 19 different categories.
Vendors were rated in Partnership, Product Innovation, Support and Loyalty. Several companies took home honors in multiple categories, including Microsoft, Cisco and IBM (Lenovo and Tivoli). As it did last year, Samsung achieved the single-highest ARC score this year, sweeping top honors in the Advanced Display Category.

In addition to the product categories, Steve Dallman, Intel's senior director of channels, was named Channel Executive of the Year by the CMP Channel Group, which represents not only VARBusiness, but CRN, The Institute for Partner Education & Development (IPED) and the XChange Conference Group.

Afterward, Dallman thanked his team and reflected on his tenure at Intel.

"It's been a wonderful ride, and I appreciate the opportunity Intel has provided. We've not always gotten it right, but we have persevered and made gains," he said.

In the specific VARBusiness ARC categories, Lenovo took home top honors in Advanced Desktops & Workstations. This ARC Company of the Year captured the first-place spot in all criteria. It swept all categories and trounced its rivals, scoring significantly above the No. 2 and No. 3 finishers.

In addition to its win with Dallman, Intel also took home top honors in the Client and Server Processors category.

In Enterprise Disk Drives, two companies shared the title this year: Maxtor and Seagate.

In the Network Storage category, Hewlett-Packard took home top honors as the Company of the Year. It won in Support and Partnership, jumping from last place in 2004 to first this year. Its win was not a sweep, however, as Hitachi picked up honors in Product Innovation.

In Mobile Computing, Lenovo won for Best Product Innovation and Partnership, en route to taking home top honors as the ARC Company of the Year.

This year, the Networking Infrastructure category was divided into two specialties: Voice Networking (VoIP) and Data Networking.

In Networking Infrastructure, Voice Networking, Cisco took home top honors, as it did in Business-Class Wireless LANs. In a surprise win, however, HP's ProCurve division toppled Cisco in its core category, Networking Infrastructure, Data Networking, taking home the Company of the Year award in a close race.

There were other surprises Tuesday night as well. Novell NetWare, for example, knocked off Microsoft in Server Operating Systems. But the Redmond, Wash., software vendor did not go home empty-handed as it won in Data Management Software, Web Infrastructure and Integration Software.

In another surprise, Oracle topped all rivals to take home top honors in Business Software. Clearly, the company's extended family of partners are responding to the company's push into midmarket software, and the more partner-friendly policies put in place by Rauline Ochs, vice president of channels.

"We're thrilled our efforts are garnering the respect from partners that we had hoped. There's more to do for sure, but we are making progress," Ochs said.

In Enterprise Storage Management Software, IBM Tivoli was the winner.

There were several ties as well. HP and IBM, for example, tied in Entry-Level Servers, while IBM tied itself in Midrange Servers. That's right: IBM's iSeries and pSeries divisions shared highest ARC scores in that category. Also, Cisco and TrendMicro tied in Security Management Software.

As it did last year, Xerox won in Network Color Laser Printers. And in Security Appliances, SonicWall won the ARC Channel Company of the Year Award.

Winners: ARC Promotional Package information is available here.

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