Best In Show: 2013 CRN Channel Champions Awards
2013 Channel Champions
CRN celebrated its 23rd annual Channel Champions awards as part of its XChange Solution Provider conference in Orlando, Fla., this week. The event paid tribute to vendors that earned the highest satisfaction scores in a survey of more than 4,000 solution providers across 30 technology categories, including three new areas: Network Connectivity Services, System Management/Network Management and WAN Optimization/Acceleration. Awards were presented to both the overall winners in each of the 30 categories, in addition to subcategory winners in the areas of technical satisfaction, support satisfaction and financial factors.
Here's a look at the winning lineup.
Kicking It Off
Before diving into the awards, UBM Tech Channel CEO Robert Faletra spoke to the changing landscape of the IT channel since the first Channel Champions awards 23 years ago.
"We have all seen a lot of changes in the vendor makeup and general landscape since then," Faletra told the crowd. "Many of the companies that won the first year no longer exist. And some of the companies that will win tonight didn't exist when this research was conceived."
Xerox was this year's clear-cut winner in the Workgroup Color Printers category, scoring a win in the technical satisfaction, support satisfaction and financial satisfaction subcategories. Xerox also managed to steal a subcategory win in support and financial factors in the Multifunction Printers category.
Accepting the awards from CRN Vice President and Editorial Director Kelley Damore is Xerox's Tom Gall, director of channel marketing (second in from the right) with the Xerox team.
In a clean sweep, Seagate scored the overall win in the SATA Hard Drive category. Accepting the award from CRN's Editor, News Steve Burke is Angel Wen, channel marketing manager at Seagate.
Oracle was another big winner this year, sweeping the Middleware category, and earning top scores in the support satisfaction, financial factors and technical satisfaction subcategories. Accepting the award from CRN's Kelley Damore and Steve Burke is Oracle's Lydia Smyers, group vice president, worldwide alliances, and channel programs and communications.
Intel once again dominated the Processor category, earning high scores in technical support, financial factors and support satisfaction. Accepting from CRN's Steve Burke is Jay Wilson, North American channel manager at Intel.
Lenovo's fast growth in the PC market apparently didn't go unnoticed by partners this year. The company swept the Notebooks and Mobile Computers category, with a win in all three subcategories. Accepting the award from CRN's Kelley Damore is Alan Andrade, director of North American channel operations at Lenovo.
Eaton nabbed two subcategory wins -- financial satisfaction and support satisfaction -- in the increasingly important Power Protection and Management category. Accepting the award from CRN's Steve Burke is Belinda Whitaker-Gary, Channel Marketing Manager.
APC/Schneider Electric was a standout winner of the night, grabbing the overall win for the Power Management category for the 20th straight year. The channel vet also managed to nab the technical satisfaction subcategory. Accepting the award from CRN's Jennifer Follett, Executive Editor, Online is APC/Schneider Electric's Senior Vice President Rob McKernan (second in from the right), Shannon Sbar, VP Channels, North America (third in from the right), Himanshu Patel, Global Strategic Marketing Manager, IT Channels (fourth in from right), Gordon Lord, Director, IT Distribution and Channel Marketing (far right) and others from the APC/Schneider team.
Samsung managed to walk away with two awards this year, including one in the new Tablets category introduced last year, and an overall win in 19-30" Flat Panel Displays. Accepting the awards from CRN's Steve Burke is Samsung's Richard Hutton, director of channel marketing.
Channel mainstay ViewSonic rounded out the Flat Panel Display category with a subcategory win for both support and financial satisfaction. Accepting the award is ViewSonic's Colleen Browne, director of sales, from CRN's Jennifer Follett.
Symantec also clenched a win in multiple categories, with a clean sweep in Client Security Software and a technical satisfaction and overall win in the Backup and Recovery category. Accepting the awards from CRN's Steve Burke is Senior Director of Symantec's Channel Marketing Tricia Atchison, and Senior Director Commercial and SMB Channel Sales John Belle.
Time Warner Cable Business Class
Time Warner Cable Business Class secured the support satisfaction win in the new and increasingly relevant Network Connectivity Services category. Accepting from CRN's Jennifer Follett is Greg Iuzzolino, senior director of partner sales at Time Warner Cable Business Class.
Comcast's efforts to build up its channel program are apparently paying off. The cable and communications giant pulled out the overall win in the Network Connectivity category, claiming victories in both technical and financial satisfaction. Accepting the award is Craig Schlagbaum, vice president of indirect channels at Comcast, from CRN's Steve Burke.
Riverbed was another new category winner, stealing both the overall win and financial satisfaction subcategory in WAN Optimization and WAN Acceleration. Accepting from CRN's Jennifer Follett is Randy Schirman, senior vice president of worldwide channels at Riverbed (far right).
VMware stole both the overall win and technical satisfaction win in the Server and Desktop Virtualization category. Accepting the award from CRN's Steve Burke is VMware's Frank Rauch, vice president, Americas Partner Organization, and Sandra Haan, director, Partner Communications, Global Partner and Alliances Marketing.
Fortinet took home a win for support satisfaction in the Network Security Appliances category. Accepting from CRN's Jennifer Follett is Gary Lopez, enterprise manager at Fortinet.
Fresh off of its Global Partner Conference, Juniper scored multiple victories in the Network Security Appliance category, including technical and financial satisfaction, and an overall win. Accepting the award from CRN's Steve Burke is Juniper's Luanne Tierney, vice president, Worldwide Partner Marketing and David Bankemper, vice president of Americas Partner Sales.
Solution providers applauded SAP in the Business Analytics category, where the software giant walked away with a win in the support satisfaction subcategory. Accepting the award is Mike Kozel, VP of Partner Management for SAP Americas, from CRN's Jennifer Follet.
In one of the night's most hotly contested categories, SonicWall/Dell clenched a financial satisfaction subcategory win in Network Security Software. Accepting the award from CRN's Steve Burke is John Keenan, director of North America Sales for Dell Security (middle) and Bob Skelley, executive director, Global Certified Partner Program and Channel (left).
Solution providers' votes propelled HP to the winner's circle for multiple categories this year. The company swept the Less Than $25,000 Volume Server category, won the technical satisfaction subcategory and overall win in the Multifunction Printer category, and, thirdly, won the subcategory of financial satisfaction in the Enterprise Networking Infrastructure category. Accepting the awards from CRN's Kelley Damore and Steve Burke is Matt Smith, director of Americas Channel Marketing for Printing and Personal Systems (second in from left), and Tony Anderson, Director of Americas Channel Marketing for Enterprise Group at HP (second in from right).
IBM had a strong showing in this year's Channel Champs awards, with a clean sweep in the Cloud Applications category, and the Data and Information Management Category, along with a technical satisfaction subcategory win in the Midrange Servers category. Accepting the awards from CRN's Steve Burke and Kelley Damore is IBM's Heidi Det-loff, VP of North America Business Partner Marketing (second in from left) and Lucy Hinckley, director, Business Partner and Midmarket Marketing (second in from right).
EMC was recognized by solution providers for its steady expansion into new markets and the SMB space. The storage giant took home 10 awards, sweeping the SMB Network Storage and Enterprise Network Storage categories, while also securing wins for support satisfaction and financial satisfaction in the Backup and Recovery Software Category. Accepting the awards from CRN's Kelley Damore and Steve Burke is Anna Dorcey, senior director, Americas Channel Marketing at EMC.
Cisco was another one of the night's big winners, securing an amazing 16 awards. Partner votes helped the networking giant sweep both the Unified Communications and SMB Networking Hardware categories, while also securing wins in the technical satisfaction, support satisfaction, and overall win in the Video Conferencing and Enterprise Networking Infrastructure categories. Cisco also claimed the support satisfaction and financial satisfaction subcategories in the Midrange Servers More Than $25,000 categories.
Accepting the awards from CRN's Steve Burke and Kelley Damore is Wendy Bahr, senior vice president of Cisco's Americas Partners Organization (second in from left), Richard McLeod, senior director of Cisco's Worldwide Collaboration Channel Sales (middle), and Thomas Wells, manager, Partner Operations (second in from right).
Microsoft walked away with an impressive 17 Channel Champion awards, with a clean sweep in the Collaboration Software, CRM Software and the System Management/Network Management categories. In addition, Microsoft claimed a number of subcategories, including the technical satisfaction win, the financial satisfaction win and the overall win in Business Analytics, the support satisfaction and financial satisfaction win in Server and Desktop Virtualization and the financial satisfaction win in the Video Conferencing category.
Accepting the awards from CRN's Kelley Damore and Steve Burke is Microsoft's Eric Martorano, senior director of U.S. SMB Channel (fifth in from right), Rob Sonderman, group manager, VAR Marketing (second in from left) and the Microsoft team.