CRN's 2016 Annual Report Card Awards

The Best Of The Best

Every year, the channel comes together to vote on the vendors they see as best-in-class in the industry.

In the 31st year of CRN's Annual Report Card awards, thousands of solution providers cast their votes, recognizing vendors in the categories of partnership, support and product innovation. The winners were revealed at an awards ceremony at XChange 2016 in San Antonio.

Take a look at the vendors honored with ARC awards at this year's ceremony, as well one industry veteran who earned a spot in the IT Hall of Fame.

IT Hall of Fame

XChange host and CRN parent the Channel Company teamed up with CompTIA for this year's ARC celebration. The ceremony included the induction of industry vet Jim Dixon into the IT Hall Of Fame, which was founded by CRN in 1997 and has been administered by CompTIA since 2010.

Dixon transformed CompuCom from selling PCs in retail stores to a $2.2 billion recurring-revenue behemoth thanks to a conservative cost structure, tight-knit client relationships and fierce employee loyalty.

Here, Dixon accepts his induction award with The Channel Company CEO Bob Faletra (left) and Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA.


Moving on to the ARC category winners, Comcast got things going by taking home the top prize in Network Connectivity.

The $75-billion telecommunications, Internet and cable services behemoth bested its 51.2 overall score from last year with a 56.6.

Comcast received its highest score, 71.1, for product quality and reliability.

Shown here accepting the award from CRN Executive Editor Jennifer Follett and Editor, News Steve Burke, is Craig Schlagbaum, Comcast's vice president of Indirect Channels.


Let's hear it for ... ConnectWise.

ConnectWise, a leading provider of business management platforms for solution providers, narrowly edged out runner-up SolarWinds N-able 1.1 points. ConnectWise posted an overall score of 74.5 thanks in large part by putting up a strong 81.8 points in Product Innovation subcategory.

Accepting the award from Jennifer Follett and Steve Burke for ConnectWise is Chief Revenue Officer Adam Slutkin.


Making a statement in the area of intelligent power management is Eaton, a leader in providing the channel with new services. Eaton pulled off a clean sweep in the Power Protection and Management category, earning a solid overall grade of 81.2.

Hitting the stage to accept the award from Jennifer Follett and Steve Burke is Curtiz Gangi, sales vice president for the U.S. channel.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

In 2016, servers remain one of the technology pillars of the IT industry and the channel. And that can also be said of this year's winner in this category.

Posting a clean sweep of its own, Hewlett Packard Enterprise brought home the bacon in the Server category with an overall score of 76.1.

Seen here, Jennifer Follett and Steve Burke present the award to Terry Richardson (second from right), vice president and general manager, U.S. channel sales, and David Gaston, senior director of HPE servers.

Kaspersky Lab

Every day the importance of security increases for the channel and with that comes increasing competition among the vendors they partner with. This was very evident in the ARC's Endpoint Security category where Kaspersky Lab narrowly squeaked by Sophos by three-tenths of a point.

Bill Cunningham, executive VP of North America Sales & Marketing, hit the stage to accept his company's award from Steve Burke and Jennifer Follett.


The rough-and-tumble notebook PC and mobile computer market is not for the faint of heart, making an overall win in the category this year all the more impressive.

Securing that bragging right is Lenovo, which bested runner-up Dell by less than a point.

Chun Lee, Lenovo's director of VAR sales, is shown here accepting the award from Steve Burke and Jennifer Follett.


Converged and hyper-converged infrastructure is one of the hottest IT markets today. And while many of the industry's biggest companies compete here, the overall winner of this category is a young upstart that's changing the rules of the game.

Taking home the top honor in the Converged/Hyper-Converged Infrastructure category is ARC newcomer Simplivity, which made a very impressive first impression, beating runner-up Dell by an overall score of 81.6 to 69.4.

SimpliVity VP of Global Channel Sales George Hope is seen here accepting the award.


The market for CRM and SFA applications is one of the most competitive in the industry. This year's winner was able to stand out by exhibiting a top-notch commitment to working with its channel partners.

And the winner is ... SugarCRM, which posted an overall score of 64.6, thanks in large part to a Product Innovation subcategory score of 72.7.

SugarCRM VP of Channel Sales Kevin Dunn (second from left), and Channel Sales Director Jim Reilly, are shown here accepting the award from CRN Associate Editor, Security, Sarah Kuranda (left) and Video Editor Meghan Ottolini.


A key technology area for many solution and service providers, the Desktop and Server Virtualization ARC category has long been dominated by one vendor.

And VMware did not disappoint, posting another overall win with a score of 71.4. VMware posted a clean sweep in the category, highlighted by 81.9 points in the Product Innovation subcategory.

VMware VP of Americas Partner Organization Frank Rauch hit the stage to accept the award from Sarah Kuranda and Meghan Ottolini.


Protecting networks and applications against cyberattacks is more important than ever today, and Fortinet flexed its security muscle by recording a clean sweep in the Web and Application Security category.

Seen here, Fortinet VP of Americas Channels and Enhanced Technology Joe Sykora handles the hardware with Sarah Kuranda and Meghan Ottolini.

Ruckus Wireless

A rising star in providing networking technology for both SMBs and large enterprise customers, Ruckus has proven to be a channel favorite. It scored a Product Innovation win in the Enterprise Wireless LANs category and swept the SMB Networking category.

Donna Telesky, director of Americas field marketing, accepts Ruckus' award from Sarah Kuranda and Meghan Ottolini.


Xerox has been a pioneer in helping its channel partners develop their own managed services practices and was awarded for its efforts, sweeping this year's Multifunction Printers category and scoring a tie for Support in Workgroup Color Printers.

Xerox notched its third straight Multifunction Printers category win by posting an overall score of 69.2.

Justin Visconti, Xerox's director of channel marketing, celebrates the win with Sarah Kuranda and Meghan Ottolini.


Microsoft, a long-time powerhouse in the software industry and in the channel, made its presence felt in this year's ARC. Microsoft swept two major categories - Business Analytics and Data and Information Management. It beat out rival Oracle in both categories.

Eric Martorano, Microsoft's GM of U.S. partner sales, accepts the awards from Bob Faletra (left) and Steve Burke.


Samsung is one of the world's largest IT companies, a leader in mobile devices, and is becoming an increasingly important player in the channel. This last statement was echoed by its partners, which propelled Samsung to an overall win in the Workgroup Color Printers category and a clean sweep of the Tablet Computer category.

Seen here accepting the awards from Bob Faletra (left) and Steve Burke is Greg Taylor, Samsung VP of sales.


After narrowly losing to Kaspersky Lab for the overall win in the Endpoint Security category, Sophos swept both the Network Security and Data Security categories.

It wasn't a complete loss for Sophos in Endpoint Security as the vendor won the Product Innovation subcategory.

Kendra Krause, Sophos' VP of Global Channels, Sales, showed off the trophy with Bob Faletra (left) and Steve Burke.


A long-time leading manufacturer of networking systems, Cisco has proven that it hasn't lost its innovative edge as it moves into new technology areas such as software-defined networking and the Internet of Things.

Cisco scored overall wins in the Enterprise Networking Infrastructure and Enterprise Wireless LANs categories, before really driving home its dominance home with a clean sweep in Collaboration.

Shown here, Tony Shakib, VP of IoT solutions, handles the hardware with Bob Faletra (left) and Steve Burke.


Wrapping up the ARC festivities was storage industry powerhouse EMC. The company swept the Data Protection Software and Enterprise Network Storage categories this year, was the Overall Winner in SMB External Storage Hardware, and the Product Innovation winner in the all-important category of Converged/Hyper-Converged Infrastructure.

Dave Rogers (second from left), senior director, North American channel sales, and Ray Lipsky, VP of Sales, Americas, Data Protection Solutions, celebrates the win with Bob Faletra (left) and Steve Burke.