Nominations Open--Apply Today!

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Think you're a cut above the run-of-the-mill solution provider? Then VARBusiness is looking for you for our inaugural VARs of the Year competition--the first of its kind in the industry. Later this fall, VARBusiness will recognize six VARs of the Year in six different categories covering excellence in business innovation and technology. They are:

1. Home-Grown Technical Innovation: Good VARs recognize good technology when they see it. Great VARs develop and create intellectual property that others can benefit from. Be it advanced solution design, software development or hardware integration, this award honors the original work solution providers do to create new and exacting solutions for customers.

2. Sales Excellence/Demand Generation: VARs and IT consultancies have made great strides improving their ability to prospect, target and close new business. Creating demand also takes more than mere sales prowess and closing power. It takes ingenuity to demonstrate the power of technology. To win in this category, the VAR of the Year in Sales Excellence/Demand Generation must be able to articulate how a new sales initiative propelled revenue to new heights fueled by creative event marketing, clever advertising and/or the smartest go-to-market strategy.

3. Advanced Technology Deployment/Security: Scores of VARs have built security practices. But how many offer iron-clad guarantees to customers? This award will go to the company that has gone the furthest to protect customers, both from a technical standpoint and a business standpoint, to build a truly world-class, competitively differentiated security business.

4. Advanced Technology Deployment/Mobility: Mobile-oriented solution providers have shown an uncanny ability to improve almost any business function or process by transforming a tethered solution into a mobile one. This award will honor the solution provider that offers benefits to customers with repeatable mobile solutions that leverage a variety of hardware and software technologies.

5. Customer Return-On-Investment: Of the hundreds of billions of dollars that customers spend on IT each year, the percent that is spent effectively is always in doubt by technology detractors. This award singles out the best in technology deployment from a cost-effectiveness point of view.

6. Business Ingenuity: Some VARs are able to define or shape a market segment in excess of their global reach. That's because they embody true innovation, be it in the business models they have developed, the customers they pursue and/or the manner in which they finance their organizations. This award will honor a trendsetter that is establishing new business models and/or methods for delivering exacting IT solutions to customers.

If you believe that you or one of your business partners qualifies for one or more of those distinctions, then please go to and complete a VAR of the Year application for those categories. But hurry: The deadline is Friday, Sept. 30. There is no cost to enter. Applications will be reviewed by VARBusiness editors and evaluated by our panel of third-party advisers. Award winners will be showcased in our annual State of the Market issue slated for Nov. 28, 2005.

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