Microsoft honours top partners at Impact Awards

Impact Awards

Eric Gales (left) with Habañero's Steven Fitzgerald at the 2010 Impact Awards.

CMS Consulting, Navantis and Non-Linear Creations each walked away from this year’s Microsoft Impact Awards with two trophies.

Those three were among the winners of 28 total awards at Microsoft Canada’s annual gala and awards for top partners, held this week at the historic Capitol Event Theatre in Toronto. Eric Gales, president of Microsoft Canada, told partners that there were a lot of awards, but that “we’re in a lot of categories, and you’ve been doing great stuff in all of them.”

This year’s awards saw a cloud-specific award for the first time, and Gales reflected on Microsoft’s “all in” bet on the cloud, calling it a “new space” for many partners. “We’re learning a ton, and many of you are learning with us,” Gales told partners.

Corinne Sharp, director of the partner channel for Microsoft Canada, noted that the company had the most submissions it has ever had for the awards, for which partners put forth their best solutions in a given category for Microsoft’s consideration.

The 2010 Impact Awards also marked the first time the company has featured a Microsoft’s Choice award, where the company’s employees nominated their own choice. Sharp said that category winner Non-Linear was nominated for the honour by three Microsoft Canada staffers. sat down with Sharp, to discuss the awards, and also caught up with Brian Bourne, president of CMS Consulting before his company’s big two wins, to discuss what impact winning an Impact has for a solution provider.


Other notes from the event:

  • The Impacts were hosted by Cash Cab host and comedian Adam Growe, who asked “skill testing questions” of award presenters, with money going to the Boys and Girls Club – presenters earned $5,000 for their answers.
  • Winners took home not only their award and everything else that went with it, but Microsoft’s new Xbox 360 Kinect gaming system.
  • Memorable speeches included Habañero’s Steven Fitzgerald’s transformation from bridesmaid to bride, winning an award after several years of nominations; Andy Papadopoulos of Navantis’ humourous take on  all the “good” that came of his company’s solution for a customer and then later donating his Kinect system to the Boys and Girls Club; and Bourne’s succinct second acceptance for CMS, forgoing thank-yous for a chance to get the after-party going sooner.
  • Sharp announced that next year, the company will add a green-related award to the Impacts.

Here’s a complete list of the winners from the event:

  • Business Intelligence Solutions of the Year: Techtra
  • Community Leadership Award: Envision IT
  • Custom Development Solution of the year: Infusion
  • Customer Experience Award: CMS Consulting
  • Distributor of the Year – OEM: Supercom Canada
  • Enterprise Content Management & Record Management Solution of the Year: MGCG
  • Finance (ERP) Solution of the Year: Eclipse Computing
  • Hosting Solution Partner of the Year: Tenzing Managed IT Services
  • Infrastructure Solution of the Year: Compugen
  • ISV/Software Solution of the Year: ADXSTUDIO
  • Large Account Reseller of the Year: Long View Systems
  • Learning Solution of the Year: CTE Solutions
  • Marketing Innovation Award: Non-Linear Creations
  • Microsoft’s Choice Award: Non-Linear Creations
  • Mobility Solution of the Year: Soti
  • Online Services Partner of the Year: Steeves and Associates
  • Portals and Collaboration Solution of the Year: Habañero Consulting Group
  • Reseller of the Year – OEM: Memory Express Computer Products
  • Sales (CRM) Solution of the Year: Navantis
  • Small Business Specialist of the Year: Conamex International Software Group
  • Software Asset Management Partner of the Year: Softchoice
  • Ultimate VAR of the Year: Broadview Networks
  • Unified Communications Solution of the Year: Navantis
  • Virtualization Solution of the Year: Hyper Technologies
  • IAMCP Canada Partner of the Year: Argus Software and Planimetron

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners from!