Mark Of XCellence: Solution Providers Vote On XChange Vendor Performance

Bragging Rights

To the winners go the spoils or, in the case of the XChange XCellence awards, bragging rights for vendors that outperformed the competition on-site at the XChange 2014 event.

Lisa MacKenzie, senior vice president, Events, The Channel Company, handed out XChange XCellence awards at the recent XChange 2014 conference in San Antonio, where 257 solution providers voted on the event's best-performing vendors across a number of categories. The awards are coveted by the sponsors because they provide immediate feedback on whether messages are resonating with partners or in need of a course correction. For the vendors listed below, they have bragging rights until the next XChange Conference takes place March 1-3, 2015, at the Gaylord Texan in Dallas. More than 87 vendors participated in the August conference.

Solution providers spent nearly a week assessing the performance of vendors that delivered keynotes, closed-door boardroom presentations or engaged with audience members in a variety of ways to communicate product and solution offerings. Here are the winners.

XCellence In Quick Fire

The nominees for XCellence in Quick Fire, the three-minute rapid-fire presentations delivered by vendors in a creative setting, were AirTight, BlackBerry, LogMeIn and ModernOffice. LogMeIn took home the award based on the creative lyrics of a song by Shannon Mayer, channel engagement manager, describing the company's product.

XCellence In Best Demo Room

MacKenzie and Robert DeMarzo, senior vice president, Strategic Content, for The Channel Company, were on stage to hand out XCellence for Best Demo Room, which went to ModernOffice, which topped nominees Eaton, Epson and Sophos.

XCellence In Recurring Revenue Workshop

Top honors in the Recurring Revenue Workshop went to Microsoft, which found itself ahead of Avnet, NetSuite and WTG. The August workshop was focused on helping partners increase their annuity business around a wide range of managed services and cloud offerings. Microsoft's Bryan Von Axelson, senior partner technical strategist for cloud, took partners through Microsoft's cloud strategy highlight Office 365, Azure and SharePoint.

XCellence In Solution Pavilion Strategy, Premier Vendors

Top honors for Solution Pavilion Strategy for large or premier vendors went to Intel, which was up against stiff competition from nominees Fortinet, Lenovo and ModernOffice.

XCellence In Best Executive Presentation

One of the most coveted awards is the one recognizing Best Executive Presentation. Solution providers are often judging the performance of an individual executive who takes the main XChange stage to deliver important partner or product information. Vendors deploy everything from peer panels to video to industry experts in hopes of driving home their message. The big brands and well-known executives take the stage, including IBM, Intel, Lenovo and VMware -- all of them top nominees for Best Executive Presentation. The winner was Lenovo, whose Brand Ambassador Ashley Rodrigue delivered a demo that featured something for the techies in the audience and those who cannot plug in a USB device.

XCellence In Boardroom Execution/Premier, XCellence In Hardware

Lenovo also captured premier awards for best Boardroom Execution where Fortinet, Ruckus Wireless and Samsung were also nominated, along with XCellence in Hardware where it competed against nominees Datto, Fortinet and Intel.

XCellence In Boardroom Execution/Event, XCellence In Solution Pavilion Strategy/Event

Datto captured five awards including Board Execution/Event, which was designed to recognize the work of midsize and small companies. Datto was up against AirTight, Condusiv and Reflexion. It also came out on top for XCellence in Solution Pavilion Strategy/Event where Airtight, BlackBerry and Buffalo Americas were the top nominees.

XCellence In Software, XCellence In Service-Based Solution

In the software category, Datto held up against stiff competition from large and small providers including Microsoft, ModernOffice and VMware, all nominees that witnessed an exuberant Datto team march on stage for an award recognizing its backup software offerings. Datto also captured the XCellence in Service-Based Solution, getting more votes than Microsoft, ModernOffice and VMware.

Best Of Show

The string of awards for Datto left no doubt who would capture the evening's Best of Show/Event award as it came out ahead of nominees AirTight, BlackBerry and Buffalo Americas.

The final award of the event went to Lenovo (pictured) for Best of Show/Premier based on its message around the durable ThinkPad and position in a growing mobile marketing, topping Fortinet, IBM and Intel.