CRN's 2012 Channel Champions

For 22 years, CRN has awarded the Channel Champions distinction to vendors that have earned the right to be called the ’créme de la créme.’ More than 2,000 solution providers were surveyed last fall about the vendors with which they have current relationships. Participating VARs were asked to rate the importance of technical and support satisfaction, and financial factors, and vendors’ performance in those areas as well.

Although the survey has evolved over the past two decades—the CRM Software and Tablets categories are our latest additions—its goal has not wavered. The Channel Champions survey serves the solution provider community by providing information on a wide swath of vendors’ capabilities, thereby allowing the channel to make the very best vendor selections. But Channel Champs is valuable for vendors, too, because they can see where they need to step up their game, according to the VAR respondents.

Last month, the winning vendors were honored at an awards ceremony during XChange Solution Provider in Los Angeles. Top executives from companies celebrated their excellence and toasted the channel that honored them.

The Champions:
Backup & Recovery Software
Business Intelligence Software
Client Security Software
Cloud Applications
Collaboration Software
CRM Software
Data & Information Management
Data Center & Power Management
Enterprise Network Storage
Enterprise Networking Hardware
Flat Panel Displays
Midrange Servers
Multifunction Printers
Network Security Appliances
Network Security Software
Notebooks/Mobile Computers
Midrange Servers
SATA Hard Drives
Server & Desktop Virtualization
SMB Network Storage
SMB Networking Hardware
Unified Communications
Volume Servers
Workgroup Color Printers

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2012 Channel Champions: Methodology
More than 2,000 readers rated 115 vendors across 27 product and service categories. The ratings quantify the evaluation criteria considered by respondents to be most important when selecting vendors' products and services. The criteria measured fell into three subcategories: technical, support and financial satisfaction. The results highlight solution provider satisfaction with vendors' products and programs. Vendors were chosen based on the results of a pretest conducted in November 2011. Ultimately, Channel Champion vendors were determined by findings of pretest, market share data from third-party research sources, and input from UBM Channel reporters and managers. The Internet-based survey was conducted in January and February 2012.

Some solution providers were qualified to rate multiple vendors within a category and were able to respond to multiple product categories. Only solution providers currently selling vendors' products and/or services in a category were eligible to respond. All scores are weighted: Solution providers rated the importance of each criterion within a category on a scale of 1 (least important) to 7 (most important). Results were normalized to a scale where 1 is considered "average" importance. The raw rating scores for each vendor were then multiplied by the weighting factor.