Nominations have been extended for the enhanced Innovation Awards in 2021, with submissions set to close on Friday 30 July.
This year houses a modernised category line-up, revamped submission criteria and standout end-user market awareness as ARN raises the bar for industry excellence across Australia.
Set for Thursday 16 September, Innovation Awards will return as an in-person black tie event to bring the channel back together under the ARN roof at ICC Sydney – aligned to COVID-safe conditions of entry to in-person event formats.
In a step away from predictable awards programs, entire local ecosystem expertise will not only be acknowledged and celebrated, but transformative examples of partner best practice amplified further to more than 210,000 potential customers nationwide via a digital marketing alliance with the end-user media brands of IDG – CIO, CSO and Computerworld.
Notable enhancements centre around the increased prioritisation of customer case studies to showcase the innovative capabilities of expert partners, a commitment to expand reach into all states and territories and a heightened focus on both established and emerging providers.
Mirroring the market, Innovation Awards will recognise the standout work of managed service providers, system integrators and value-added resellers, complemented by bleeding edge start-ups, cloud specialists, independent software vendors, consultancy giants, boutique agencies and application developers — all collaborating, all contributing.
Likewise, innovation at vendor and distributor levels will also be magnified, recognising leading champions of the channel, creative thinkers, consistent performers and market leaders.
To achieve this, Innovation Awards will honour the channel across eight categories, spanning Partner Innovation, Tech Innovation, Australia-wide Innovation, Start-up Innovation, Personal Innovation, Vendor Innovation, Distributor Innovation and Hall of Fame.
In streamlining the program — reducing category count from 10 to eight and overall awards from 40 to 33 — the aim is to increase focus on the pace-setters of the local market, those revving up the innovation engine and powering ahead in the delivery of transformative solutions and services.
One new category introduced is Australia-wide Innovation which recognises partners headquartered outside of the three most-populated metropolitan areas in the country (Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) delivering customer value and transformation.
Other award additions include Think Differently, acknowledging partners operating beyond transactional engagement to deploy creative and unique solutions in the pursuit of customer transformation.
Specific to distribution, Incubation will honour pioneering distributors introducing innovative new vendor technologies to the Australian channel through a nurturing and next-generation approach to ecosystem transformation. This is in addition to Creativity, acknowledging distributors delivering outside-of-the-box initiatives to enhance vendor value propositions and spearhead partner innovation efforts, aligned to the collective goal of driving ecosystem growth.
Enhanced customer exposure
ARN has joined forces with the Enterprise media brands of IDG to enhance Innovation Awards value to emerging and established partners across Australia, providing heightened end-user exposure via market-leading CIO, CSO and Computerworld publications.
In a first-of-a-kind industry move, the alliance will centre on running targeted digital campaigns designed to showcase leading technology providers to potential customers nationwide, illustrating ecosystem excellence to more than 210,000 end-users in the process.
Specifically, the core stable of IDG media brands — Channel (ARN) and Enterprise (CIO, CSO and Computerworld) — will combine to raise brand awareness levels of transformative partners delivering innovative solutions and services, based on the finalist submissions for the upcoming Innovation Awards in September.
All shortlisted partners in 2021 will receive complimentary post-event media coverage and exposure via IDG’s prominent Enterprise publications — in addition to customary ARN publicity — to showcase specialised consultation, transformative projects and leading-edge implementation within the channel.
This will take shape in the form of strategic articles housed on each respective end-user brand detailing all partner category finalists and winners, providing opportunity to position partners as standout outsourcing providers.
The decision to add an outside-of-the-box marketing element to the Innovation Awards was motivated by a desire to further accelerate connection levels between partners and customers in Australia.
As an ongoing champion of the channel, ARN is uniquely positioned to not only advise and amplify the value of the ecosystem — via editorial content, executive conferences and awards programs — but to also assume an active role in contributing to partner success and future growth.
Shaped by EDGE Research — commissioned by ARN and delivered in partnership with Tech Research Asia — this approach is also designed to reflect the top strategic priorities of channel partners in 2021 and beyond, centred primarily around attracting new customers.
The equation for partners is simple: industry recognition via ARN Innovation Awards + media exposure via CIO, CSO and Computerworld publications = enhanced end-user brand profile and positioning.
Nominations have been extended and will run until Friday 30 July. Nominations can be submitted by an individual, an employee, employer or business partner with only Australia-based individuals and examples eligible. Finalists and winners selected by an executive judging panel of business leaders from partner, vendor and distributor organisations.
Innovation Awards categories in 2021:
Partner Innovation recognises customer innovation and excellence across the key market segments of Enterprise, Mid-Market and SMB, in addition to pioneering technology specialists and collaborative providers.
Tech Innovation recognises partners leveraging established and emerging solutions to enhance customer innovation levels, underpinned by deep levels of expertise and specialist services.
Australia-wide Innovation recognises partners delivering customer innovation headquartered outside of the three most-populated metropolitan areas in the country. This is partner is a market-leading specialist which thrives in challenging end-user environments, sparking new ideas and outcomes through an unconventional approach to technology consulting and implementation. Note: This award is open to partners headquartered outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Start-up Innovation recognises market-leading start-ups building unique businesses to bring innovative new technologies to the Australian market. Note: All submissions must be from Australian-based start-ups commencing business after 1 July 2016.
Vendor Innovation recognises vendors helping partners deliver transformative solutions and services to customers, operating market-leading approaches to engagement and enablement across the key technology segments of Cloud, Security, Hardware, Software, Networking and Specialist.
Distributor Innovation recognises distributors spearheading ecosystem innovation and growth through transformative approaches to vendor engagement and partner enablement, spanning the core categories of Hardware, Software, Specialist, Incubation and Creativity.
Personal Innovation recognises standout individuals who contribute to customer, company and channel success through a transformative approach to management, channel, sales, technical and marketing positions.
HALL OF FAME
Hall of Fame recognises long-standing leaders who have been instrumental in the development and enhancement of the Australian channel. One individual will be inducted into the ARN Hall of Fame in 2021 and will be determined by the executive panel of industry judges plus previous Hall of Fame inductees.
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