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‘ECA: 2011 Awards’ – VENDOR WINNERS

by Stuart Wilson, Monday 14 February 2011

Hundreds of distributors from across EMEA packed into Monaco’s glittering Salle des Etoiles venue last week for the ‘EMEA Channel Academy: 2011 Awards’. Using a transparent live electronic voting process, distributors voted for their preferred vendors across 10 product categories. Microsoft picked up a total of three awards with Lenovo, HP, AMD, Apple, WD, D-Link and HTC all winning one apiece.

The ‘EMEA Channel Academy: 2011 Awards’ took place in conjunction with DISTREE XXL 2011, the largest independent channel event in the region for vendors, distributors, retailers and e-tailers. Distributors were asked to assess vendors on a number of criteria including partner engagement, channel strategy, pricing, stock management, product evolution, margin potential, channel management and partner programmes.

Farouk Hemraj, CEO at DISTREE Events, the organiser of the awards, said: “We were delighted that the ‘EMEA Channel Academy: 2011 Awards’ took place once again alongside DISTREE XXL 2011. Since their launch in 2009, these awards have grown and matured as vendors and distributors from across EMEA understand the intrinsic value and relevance created by the unique voting system that determines the winners.”

“I would like to congratulate all of this year’s vendor winners,” he added. “Having the support of the distribution community is an vital part of a successful go-to-market strategy in the EMEA region. The continued diversity of national markets amplifies the importance of constructive and mutually beneficial relationships between vendors and distributors. This year’s winners – and also the other nominees – are all performing strongly in this respect.”

The first vendor award of the evening was for ‘EMEA Desktop/Notebook/Netbook Vendor of the Year’ with Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo and Samsung all nominated and in the final five. In a closely fought live vote, Lenovo emerged victorious claiming the award for the first time. Lenovo’s victory also denied Asus a hat trick of wins after its success in both 2008 and 2009.

The ‘EMEA Printing Vendor of the Year’ was won for the third year in a row by HP, underlining the giant vendor’s continued dominance of this sector across the EMEA channel. Canon, Epson, Lexmark and Samsung also received official nominations but could not displace HP from top spot when it came to the live vote.

In the components space, the ‘EMEA Channel Academy: 2011 Awards’ produced a different winner for the third year in succession, demonstrating how channel opinions can change from year to year. The five nominees for ‘EMEA Components Vendor of the Year’ were AMD, Asus, Gigabyte, Intel and WD. AMD picked up this year’s award with an impressive 46% of the live vote. In 2010, this award was won by WD with Intel picking up the prize back in 2009.

“We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award recognising our complete dedication and commitment to the channel,” said Darren Grasby, corporate VP sales EMEA at AMD. “2010 has been a great year for AMD and it’s never been a better time to be an AMD partner."

"The recent launch of the AMD Fusion Family of APUs, designed to transform the computing experience of end users, highlights AMD’s ability to provide innovative technology you can trust. This accolade from our peers and the very channel partners we serve highlights that our commitment is well-placed,” he added.

It was two in a row for Microsoft in the ‘EMEA Software Vendor of the Year’ category as the vendor repeated its success at the 2010 awards to claim the 2011 title as well with 43% of the vote. Microsoft was up against fellow nominees Adobe, Citrix, Kaspersky and Symantec this time around. Kaspersky won the software title back in 2009. This was also Microsoft’s second award of the evening.

In the ‘EMEA Digital Lifestyle Vendor of the Year’ category, there was only ever going to be one winner. Apple picked up the title for the third year in a row, cementing its status as a clear leader in this product segment. Apple picked up a massive 68% of the distributor vote indicating the channel’s appreciation for the demand generated by the vendor’s products in EMEA and the knock-on business benefits. The other official nominees for this award were LG, Logitech, Samsung and Sony.

The ‘EMEA Channel Academy: 2011 Awards’ also witnessed the launch of some new categories with storage, gaming, home networking and mobile communications all launched as new standalone awards.

Hemraj explained: “There was previously a ‘Peripherals Vendor of the Year’ award but it had become apparent that vendors from very different product areas were going head-to-head for the prize. This made it very difficult for distributors to select a winner and the obvious way forward was to split this award into new separate categories."

The five nominees for the inaugural ‘EMEA Storage Vendor of the Year’ award were Buffalo, Hitachi GST, Samsung, Seagate and WD. With 53% of the vote WD claimed the accolade.

Microsoft picked up its third award of the night in the ‘EMEA Gaming Vendor of the Year’ category, fighting off the challenge of EA, Logitech, Sony and Ubisoft to claim its hat trick of titles. The success of Xbox Kinect in late 2010 played a significant role in helping Microsoft’s position in this category.

The penultimate vendor award was the ‘EMEA Home Networking Vendor of the Year’ category with Asus, D-Link, Intellinet, Cisco and Netgear lining up as the five official nominees. D-Link picked up the prize, securing 41% of the distributor vote.

The final vendor award of the night saw mobile heavyweights Apple, RIM, HTC, Nokia and Samsung go head-to-head. HTC emerged victorious with 44% of the distributor vote to claim the new ‘EMEA Mobile Communications Vendor of the Year’ title.

Prior to the live electronic voting session, thousands of distributors across EMEA were polled to compile the list of five official nominees for each award. Planning is already underway for the ‘EMEA Channel Academy: 2012 Awards’. The EMEA Channel Academy and DISTREE Events thanks all distributors and vendors for their participation in this year’s event.

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