Microsoft has unveiled finalists for its upcoming Microsoft Australia Partner Awards (MAPA), with a condensed line-up centred around customer innovation.
Following a year of sizeable channel change at the tech giant - both locally and globally - the 2017 finalists recognise customer-focused partners providing new levels of value through Microsoft solutions.
With the winners set to be announced during the Vision keynote at the Microsoft Partner Summit on 14 November in Sydney, the new-look awards span five pillars: Optimise Your Operations; Transform Your Products; Empower Your Employees; Engage Your Customers; and Cloud For Good.
As a result, partner finalists include GIS People; Bistech; Rackspace; Advance Computing; Sable37 and Velrada, alongside Insync; Kloud; Readify; Avanade; Enghouse Interactive and EYC3.
In addition, cloud specific finalists feature Cloud Collective; Single Cell; Object Consulting and Expose.
“Every year it's a huge privilege to be able to recognise through the MAPA those partners who have really stood out, delivering incredible solutions and extraordinary levels of service,” Microsoft director of One Commercial Partner Mark Leigh said.
“What really stood-out for me was the transformative nature of the stories submitted. Together, with our partners we are helping Australian organisations transform.
“Whether using the power of machine learning to identify unique markers in graffiti or leveraging technology to modernise retail operations, our partners are making use of Microsoft solutions to truly transform Australian organisations and position them for sustained success.”
The revamped awards line-up is in line with the removal of Microsoft’s annual Australian Partner Conference (APC) from the channel calendar, instead targeting partners, customers and developers through a unified event in Sydney.
As reported by ARN, the Microsoft Summit will take place in Sydney from 14-17 November at the International Convention Centre (ICC), featuring three events - Business Summit, Partner Summit and Tech Summit.
In a direct replacement for APC, the Partner Summit will target all existing partners, alongside potential new organisations, and will run from 14-15 November.
“Microsoft's mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to do more - and our partners bring that to life for our customers every single day,” Leigh added.
“Our partners truly are the lifeblood of Microsoft. In a world eager for empowering transformation, the opportunities for our partners are endless, and the amazing calibre of this year's MAPA finalists is testament to this.”
The move follows a round of internal restructuring at the tech giant, evident through the creation of One Commercial Partner.
As reported by ARN, the new division combines partner teams across the company, and is headed up globally by former Salesforce supremo Ron Huddleston.
Huddleston is widely credited with playing a major role in building the AppExchange marketplace at Salesforce, alongside launching the software giant’s cloud-based channel, OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and ISV programs.
The 2017 MAPA finalists are -
Optimise Your Operations
- Partner - GIS People / Customer - Queensland Government
- Partner - Bistech / Customer - Retail Food Group
- Partner - Rackspace / Customer - Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Australia
Transform Your Products
- Partner - Advance Computing / Customer - Waterpool Co-op
- Partner - Sable37 / Customer - City Beach
- Partner - Velrada / Customer - Sodexo
Empower Your Employees
- Partner - Insync / Customer - Central Highlands Regional Council
- Partner - Kloud / Customer - Qantas Airways
- Partner - Readify / Customer - South32
Engage Your Customers
- Partner - Avanade / Customer - Treasury Wine Estate
- Partner - Enghouse Interactive / Customer - City of Canada Bay Council
- Partner - EYC3 / Customer - People's Choice Credit Union
A Cloud for Good
- Partner - Cloud Collective / Customer - Mission Australia
- Partner - Single Cell / Customer - Centre for Aboriginal Health
- Partner - Object Consulting / Customer - Australia Danthonia Farm
- Partner - Expose / Customer - Eldercare