The 2011 ARN IT Industry Awards will feature a new category, telecommunications, with four awards.
The additional awards were announced at the ARN IT Awards Judges Lunch at the Ivy Room in Sydney.
More than 70 people also heard ARN president and publisher, Susan Searle, announce the theme for the 2011 Awards - Channel Strong for 20 years. This recognises both the on-going strength of the reseller channel and the fact that 2011 is the 20th anniversary of ARN magazine.
Telecommunications was chosen to be added this year as a result of the profound growth in external communication - both land-based and wireless - across Australia, and a similar growth within businesses and homes. The importance of the social network within offices and the revolution in communication and business it offers the channel is undeniable.
Taking these and many other factors - including the on-going development of the National Broadband Network - into consideration and given the blurring and convergence of products within the channel it became obvious that telecommunications needed to be included - and the businesses and workers within it recognised.
Within the category there will be four awards: vendor, distributor, reseller and best telecommunications initiative.
The vendor award recognises the vendor delivering telecommunications via the IT channel. The winner will have gone the extra mile to embrace resellers and assist channel partners where possible. They will have provided an exceptional product or products, relevant support programs and services to facilitate the channel.
The distributor award applauds the distributor who has done the best job delivering a telecommunications offering to resellers in order for them to add a new revenue stream to their business (or increase an existing one). Key offerings will include product breadth or specialisation, systems and service delivery, support programs and exceptional customer service.
The telecommunications reseller award will recognise the reseller, solutions provider or services integrator who has successfully integrated telecommunications as part of their customer solutions over the last 12 months.
We want to hear about how you have embraced telecommunications, what your value proposition is for your customers (based on your converged product offering) and the deal – which demonstrates a true end-to-end IT and telco solution – that was your best.
The reseller must be able to show growth over the past 12 months, as well as investment, business development and reputation.
Finally, the Best Telco Initiative recognises the best technology, product or business-based initiative introduced by any telecommunications-related company over the past 12 months.
The winning entry could be a newly established business unit, it could be complementary business units, solution and technology programs, or reseller services.
Judges will consider market relevance, innovation, channel friendliness and how the initiative has helped to bridge the gap between IT and telecommunications.
Further criteria will be announced when nominations open on June 16.