The Microsoft Partner Program Impact Awards where handed out last night at the Liberty Grand in Toronto.

The second annual event acknowledges the outstanding work solution providers are doing with Microsoft products. Resellers submitted a record number of entries, more than 300, this year across

the country.

The Impact awards program was open to system integrators, large account resellers, direct market resellers, value added resellers, distributors, system builders, authorized education resellers, certified partners for learning solutions, Microsoft certified partners, independent software vendors, channel suppliers, Microsoft Business Solutions partners and OEMs.

Lora Gernon, director of partner sales and marketing for the Mississauga, Ont.-based Microsoft Canada, said this year’s group of nominees raised the bar in the market place

“”Looking back on tonight’s event we wanted to recognize partners who made an impact on the Canadian marketplace with mutual customers.””

For Tech Data Canada, which won in the distributor of the year – OEM category, the Impact award is of great importance, according to president Rick Reid.

“”Microsoft is one of our top five vendor partners and to be recognized by them and the system builder community jointly is an honour,”” Reid said.

In was a good night overall for distributors as three others took home the crystal prize.

Synnex Canada Ltd. won for distributor of the year, in part for their efforts in promoting awareness and education around compliance and software asset management. For this, the distributor was one of two firms presented with the Northern Lights award. SoftChoice was the other in the large account reseller category.

Ingram Micro Canada picked up the distributor of the year – finished goods Impact award and Markham, Ont.-based Daiwa won the Impact award for associate distributor of the year.

Michelle McLay, vice-president of marketing for Navantis, which won for Information Worker Solution of the Year, said she was honoured to be a Microsoft solution provider. “”For our team this (Impact award) is rewarding. We work hard at attaining this kind of achievement,”” she said.

Navantis built a collaborative internal portal solution for the city of Vaughan, Ont. to help city employees share information better throughout the municipality.

Frank Clegg, president of Microsoft Canada, was not surprised by any of the winners at the Impact Awards last night. He said Microsoft Canada knows their partner base. “”The important thing here is we do invest a lot of time and effort in supporting these partners who work hard and we want to recognize that,”” he said.

Clegg, who presented the last award of the evening, the Platform Value prize, which went to Softworks Consulting Group Ltd., a company that successfully converted a customer from Linux to a .Net solution, said the Community Affairs and Customer Satisfaction awards are the most important.

Little-known DevStudios International Inc. of Edmonton beat Dell Canada out for the Community Leadership Award in what was one of the major surprises of the evening.

“”These two awards are about the investment we are making in becoming a trusted company in the community,”” Clegg said.

Other winners were:

  • LegendCorp for Advanced Infrastructure Solution of the Year;
  • IntelliGauge for Business Intelligence Solution of the Year;
  • Cyence International won the Channel Builder Award;
  • Spirit Systems Group Ltd. of Burnaby, B.C. won the Customer Experience Award;
  • Loki Management Systems Inc. of Delta, B.C., won the Independent Software Vendor Innovation Award;
  • Dakis Decision Systems Inc. of Montreal for Integrated E-Business Solution of the Year;
  • LPI Level Platforms Inc. of Ottawa for Networking Infrastructure Solution of the Year;
  • Cyberplex Inc. for Security Solution of the Year;
  • Tectura Corporation (formerly Options Software) for MBS – ERP Solution of the Year MBS – ERP Solution of the Year;
  • GaleForce Solutions Inc. of Vancouver for MBS – CRM Solution of the Year;
  • Ideaca for MBS – Rookie of the Year;
  • WellPoint Systems Inc. of Calgary for MBS – Independent Software Vendor Solution of the Year;
  • Axentia of Toronto for MBS – Evangelist of the Year;
  • Express Computers won the Co-Marketing Award;
  • CDI Education of Toronto won for Certified Partner for Learning Solutions of the Year;
  • Mini-Micro Canada won the System Builder of the Year award;
  • Microserve won the Top VAR of the Year – Revenue award;
  • Conpute of Oshawa, Ont. won the Top VAR of the Year – Revenue Growth award;
  • SoftChoice won another award for Top LAR of the Year – Volume Licensing Sales;
  • Acrodex won for Top LAR of the Year in Academic Sales and Healthcare;
  • 3-Soft Group of Brossard, Que.won the award for Top LAR of the Year – Academic Sales – Education; and
  • Dell Canada won two awards. One for marketing innovation and the other for OEM of the Year.

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