Channel Champions Awards: The Big Winners

In the ubercompetitive information technology world, solution providers are always looking to partner with the best IT vendor for any given product category. Partnering with the top echelon not only helps solution providers run their day-to-day operations more smoothly, but it also casts a positive glow on their own consultancies.

CRN's Channel Champions survey asks IT solution providers to grade their vendors in 26 product areas on a number of different criteria within three subcategories centering on support satisfaction, technical satisfaction and financial factors.

Cisco Systems came home with the most overall wins in this year's Channel Champions survey. IT solution providers -- surveyed earlier this year -- gave the company high marks in areas that were integral to their success as trusted advisers.

Cisco won the overall Channel Champions distinction for five product categories: Enterprise Networking Hardware, SMB Networking Hardware, Unified Communications/VoIP, Videoconferencing and Network Security Appliances.

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In second place in the number of overall Channel Champions wins were Hewlett-Packard (SMB Network Storage, Systems & Network Management, Volume Servers, Workgroup Color Printers) and Microsoft (Business Intelligence, Cloud Applications, Collaboration Software, Data & Information Management), followed by IBM (Middleware, Midrange Servers, Backup & Recovery Software).

This is CRN's 21st Channel Champions survey. While the product categories have evolved and vendors have changed names or merged, the survey's intent has remained the same: The CRN Channel Champions study quantifies evaluation criteria most important when selecting a vendor's products and services, and highlights IT solution provider satisfaction with vendors' products and programs.

This year, 102 vendors were rated across 26 product categories.

All category and subcategory winners were honored in early March at Everything Channel's XChange Solution Provider in Orlando, Fla. In the pages that follow, each of those category winners is profiled, along with the scores they achieved. See how your vendors fared; you might also find a few new sources to tap.