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Mon 27 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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Channel Awards set to return next year

The cream of the region's IT channel assembled earlier this year to mark the first ever Channel Middle East Awards. While the winners might still be basking in their glory, attentions have already turned firmly towards 2009.

The cream of the region's IT channel assembled earlier this year to mark the first ever Channel Middle East Awards. While the winners might still be basking in their glory, attentions have already turned firmly towards 2009.

In a little over two months' time, vendors, distributors, resellers and retailers will be eligible to submit their nominations for the 2009 Channel Middle East Awards - and the race to earn recognition from the regional channel community will have officially begun.

The 2009 Channel Middle East Awards will follow the same format as the inaugural awards ceremony that took place at The Monarch, Dubai in March this year. Once again, the emphasis will be firmly on paying tribute to the channel development and market success stories that have taken place in the region throughout the last year.

The work that the channel carries out to meet the increasing demands of customers - and the efforts of vendors dedicated to local channel development - often goes unnoticed in a region where the pace of transformation remains as dynamic as anywhere else in the world.

However, the Channel Middle East Awards seek to alter that by providing recognition where it is due - and in front of an audience comprising the leading channel executives in the region.

It also gives attendees an ideal opportunity to put their rivalries aside for the evening - or until all the awards have been given out at least - and catch up with their peers within the industry.

The 2009 Channel Middle East Awards will again be open to vendors and their business partners - including distributors, resellers, retailers and integrators - operating in the Middle East.

There will be 16 categories in total, including two ‘Readers' Best' awards, voted for in an online poll by the readers of Channel Middle East.

This year's recipients of a 'Readers' Best' award included HP, for its Preferred Partner Programme, and Aptec, for its E-Supply Chain initiative. It won an extremely tight contest that featured distributors such as Almasa, Al Yousuf, Comstor and Online Distribution.

In addition to this, there will be two 'individual' awards given out to the personalities that have made an impact in the market.

Nasr Al-Bikawi remains the current occupant of the ‘Channel Executive of the Year' award following his role in driving the growth of Cisco's partner network in Saudi Arabia.

Dikran Tchablakian, i2's senior president for retail, also took to the stage to collect his 'Outstanding Contribution to the Middle East Channel' award having served the regional channel for more than 20 years and founding IT retailer CompuMe.

More than 300 executives from the entire channel spectrum were on hand to see Tchablakian - and the other winners - pick up their prizes and hear the reasons for the judges' decisions.

In the hardware vendor of the year stakes, Intel, Juniper Networks, Genius, Xerox and EMC all came up trumps, while CA pipped McAfee to the post to land the software equivalent.

The outcome of the distribution awards was equally well-anticipated and culminated with Emitac winning the IT Distributor of the Year title, while Al-Jammaz, from Saudi Arabia, snatched the value added award.

Ashley, meanwhile, carried off the Retail Distributor of the Year crown, beating a strong field of entrants that included Al Rammah, Delta, E-Retail, Fatila Technology, ITE and Jumbo Distribution.

Channel Awards

WHAT:An awards ceremony to honour outstanding achievement among vendors and channel players in the Middle East

WHEN:March 2009


HOW:Entries to the Channel Middle East Awards cannot be made before January 1st 2009, but you can access the awards website for more details now.

The retailer and reseller awards also attracted plenty of entries, although there could only be one winner in each category.

Jacky's Electronics ran away with the Retail Company of the Year accolade, while Jordanian HP consumables ace ISS returned with the SMB and Commercial Reseller of the Year trophy.

Last but not least, Dell specialist Emirates Computers won the Enterprise Reseller of the Year award although it faced stiff competition from Pro Technology, Alpha Data and MDS.

Once again, the majority of the 2009 awards will be judged by a panel of industry experts with knowledge and experience of the Middle East IT market.

The judging panel will assess all the nominations and determine which companies warrant their moment in the spotlight based on the awards criteria.

If you are a vendor, distributor, reseller or retailer with an eye on winning a Channel Middle East Award in 2009 then just bear in mind that nominations can only be submitted from the beginning of next year.

After all, there are still two months of this year to go for aspiring hopefuls to add to their list of achievements and demonstrate commendable examples of channel development.

However, there is no reason why you can't prepare yourself for the process ahead. Just click on the link below for more information on the steps that you will need to follow to enter the 2009 Channel Middle East Awards.

If you're uncertain about the content you'll need to include in your nomination, or think you'll simply require a few pointers to help you on your way, then just click ‘Nomination Guidelines' on the awards website menu.

It is important to note that the Channel Middle East Awards are about honouring channel development and examples of progress and innovation - not about who has the most revenue or the largest operation.

Companies are free to nominate themselves and can enter as many categories as they wish providing a separate nomination form is completed for each entry.

In the meantime, we will shortly be confirming the venue for next year's Channel Middle East Awards so keep your eyes peeled and continue to visit the awards website.

Awards categories

Components Vendor of the Year

Networking Vendor of the Year

Peripherals Vendor of the Year

Printing and Consumables

Vendor of the Year

Software Vendor of the Year

Systems and Hardware

Vendor of the Year

IT Distributor of the Year

Value Added Distributor of the Year

Retail Distributor of the Year

Enterprise Reseller of the Year

SMB and Commercial

Reseller of the Year

Retail Company of the Year

Channel Executive of the Year

Outstanding Contribution Award

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