2020 entries will open 3rd of February.

If any questions please contact Simon Sharwood ssharwood@nextmedia.com.au

The CRN Impact Awards celebrate the technology providers delivering outcomes for customer organisations and building Australia’s innovation economy for the future.

This page contains detailed information about the CRN Impact Awards, including:

  • Category descriptions
  • Rules
  • Timeline
  • Benefits
  • Tips for an effective entry

We recommend you download the 2019 CRN Impact Awards Entry Kit, which contains comprehensive information for your submission.

We also request that you fill out the first page of the entry form as soon as possible. This will only take a minute and it will help us manage entries and follow up on any incomplete submissions.

The seven 'Project' categories are open to channel partners for delivering technology projects for Australian customers.

The three 'Innovation' categories are open to Australian technology companies that have commercialised their intellectual property.

The 'Distribution Performance' category is open to IT distributors.

It is free to enter (single or multiple entries).

Please send any enquiries to impactawards@crn.com.au

Project categories

Digital Transformation

This award recognises projects that help customer organisations modernise internal systems and harness the power of data. Projects eligible for this award would centre around analytics or custom application development. Projects could include migrating software to public/private/hybrid cloud or upgrading internal business systems for customer organisations.

Workforce Empowerment

This award recognises projects that promote flexible working and enable mobile workforces. This category would include telecommunications and connectivity, including smartphones and tablets. Projects centring on unified comms and activity-based working would fit this category, as would contact centre and wi-fi projects.

Modernising Infrastructure

This award recognises projects that take customer IT infrastructure to modern platforms: to support cost savings, efficiencies, growth and innovation. This category would include upgrading compute, storage, core networking or converged systems, end-user devices or printing. Data centre improvements would also fit. We may decide to award two winners (one for smaller projects; one for larger projects).

Trusted Systems

This award recognises projects that protect customer assets and data, build resiliency, ensure business continuity and protect transactions. This category would include security, backup, disaster recovery and business continuity projects. It could also cover security advisory and consultancy services.

Network Evolution

This award recognises networking projects that connect teams and organisations, speed up communications and break down silos between teams, data and environments. This category would fit telecommunications and network infrastructure projects, including moving to software-defined networking.

Customer Experience

This award recognises projects that help client organisations better service their own end user customers in a digital, mobile world. This category could include technology in retail, hospitality or customer service environments: driving sales and marketing outcomes and supporting customer transactions or interactions. This could include websites, mobile applications or wireless.

Working Together

While this award centres on a customer project, the judges will be primarily focused on how multiple providers have collaborated to deliver an outcome. This category is aimed at what are often called “partner-to-partner engagements” or “partnering with other partners”. This category could include specialist providers working together or mainstream/broad IT suppliers enlisting a niche/specialist partner.

Distributor category

Distribution Performance

This award category is for distributors that have gone the extra mile for vendor/s and channel partner/s. This entry should be based a discrete project, campaign or initiative run to support a vendor, or perhaps a new service launched into the market. For example: supporting a vendor to launch a new product into market; helping a vendor or reseller/s achieve a specific sales result; managing a marketing campaign/strategy; delivering pre-sales, enablement or training around a vendor's technology; or launching a new go-to-market offering. 

Innovation categories

Exporting Innovation

This award is for Australian software / tech firms that have developed their own intellectual property, successfully commercialised it and are winning export sales from international customers. Judges will be looking for entries from companies that can prove they have scaled their product outside Australia through direct sales and/or channel sales. The judges will want to see supporting information, including testimonials from international customers, details on the commercial model, pricing and information on reseller programs. This category is typically aimed at older, more established companies. Younger, emerging companies that are not yet exporting are welcome to enter the ‘Emerging Innovation’ category. 

Emerging Innovator

This award is for Australian software startups or other emerging tech firms that have developed their own intellectual property and successfully commercialised it. Judges will be looking for entries from companies that have passed the R&D phase and are firmly scaling their product in the market through direct sales and/or channel sales. The judges will want to see supporting information, such as testimonials from customers, details on the commercial model, pricing and information on reseller programs. This category would typically suit younger companies and startups. More established software/tech companies should consider entering the ‘Exporting Innovation’ category. 

Evolving Innovator

This category is aimed at Australian solution providers (such as resellers, system integrators, MSPs) that have diversified by building their own intellectual property around a third-party platform. Entrants will need to show they have a history as a reseller or service provider and that their solution is built around a third-party ecosystem, such as a hyperscale cloud provider marketplace or with API integration to a major vendor product/platform. 


Only live, commercial projects and products are eligible for the CRN Impact Awards. If a project was a proof-of-concept, clearly explain this in the submission.

Entrants are welcome to make multiple submissions. You will need to contact us for an additional login before you can make any extra submissions.

The entry form includes a dedicated section for confidential information (such as commercial details and testimonials). Entrants can opt-in to share confidential information with judges and/or in articles we publish about the awards.

Please try to keep the response in each box to 200 words or less. Aim for quality of information, not quantity of words. We recommend the use of paragraph breaks, bullet points and other formatting to ensure the entry is easy to read.

CRN reserves the right to decide eligibility.

Additional rules - project categories

Projects must be led by a channel partner/s or local solution provider/s. Vendor-only (direct) deals will not be considered for the project categories, however, Australian vendors may be eligible for the 'Innovation' categories below.

We must have approval to publish the name of the customer organisation.

The CRN Impact Awards are only open to Australian IT projects. For projects with an international footprint, the project must have been negotiated or commenced in Australia.

To be eligible for the 2019 CRN Impact Awards, any projects must have taken place in the 2018 calendar year.

For multi-year projects, a significant, measurable phase of the project should have completed in the 2018 calendar year.

For ongoing services contracts, the contract should have been live for the majority of the 2018 calendar year and still be retained at the time of entry.

Additional rules - innovation categories

The innovation categories are open to Australian technology companies that have developed their own intellectual property (such as software, cloud or apps).

To be eligible for the 'Evolving Innovator' category, the entrant must be able to show it has diversified or spun out of an established reseller, MSP or IT service provider business. 

To be eligible to enter the 'Emerging Innovator' or 'Exporting Innovation' category, the entrant must be able to share information on customer successes that took place in the 2018 calendar year.

For the 'Exporting Innovation' award, entrants must provide evidence of international sales, including testimonial/s from overseas customers.

Testimonials should apply to the 2018 calendar year.

Additional rules - distribution category

This category is open to any distributor active in Australia, both Australian and international companies, as long as the project, campaign, initiative or service being submitted was focused on the Australia market.


Awards submissions close at 5.00pm on Friday 1 March. 

On the first page of the online entry form, you can provide contact information and a very brief overview of the project/solution. We recommend you fill in this information as soon as possible so we contact you with updates.

Entries will be judged by a panel of CRN editorial judges and industry experts.

Winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony at the CRN Pipeline conference in Sydney on Thursday 23 May.

All finalists will be expected to travel to Sydney to collect their award at the ceremony.

Finalists will be informed approximately five weeks before the awards to allow time to plan travel and accommodation.


All winners and finalists will be announced and promoted on the CRN website and email newsletter - get your brand in front of tens of thousands of readers!

CRN will publish profiles of all winning projects in our printed magazine in June.

Winners will be revealed at a gala awards dinner in front of the IT industry and called up on stage to accept their win.

Winners will receive a trophy acknowledging their win.

All winners and finalists will receive a brand pack containing the awards logo to use on their website and marketing

We may also recognise Highly Commended and Commended companies in each category. 


The CRN Impact Awards will be judged by a CRN editorial panel and industry experts, who will consider how well the project achieved the customer's desired outcome

We will consider whether the project achieved its desired outcomes in terms of scope, timeframe and cost.

The judges will look favourably on innovative uses of technology, customer service, strength of partnerships and return on investment.

Tips for your entry

Avoid these mistakes

  • In the project categories, the channel partner is the entrant, not the vendor. Too many unsuccessful entries only included client testimonials about the technology and/or the vendor but fail to explain how the channel partner was essential.
  • Failing to mention other suppliers, sub-contractors or partners is risky. If the judges think you are taking credit for work done by a larger group, your submission could be marked down.
  • If the project involved commercial off-the-shelf technology, make sure to focus on the innovation and value-added above and beyond this installation. A straight reseller deal is rarely an award winner, no matter how impactful it was.

What to do

Do: Tell us in a clear, brief overview why this project was significant. Too many entries fail to grab the attention, to excite the judges and to clearly state what makes the project stand apart from the rest.

Do: Start asking for testimonials now. Getting approved testimonials from customers and partners can be the most time-consuming part of your entry and this information is the most valuable to judges. Entries without testimonials will be scored down. You can use this email template for any testimonials. 

Do: Secure approvals from customers and vendors. Some of the content in your entry can be kept confidential but much of it should be approved for publication. Ask which stakeholders in the customer or vendor organisations need to be across this (such as the communications/PR team).

Do: Think about your customer's customers. The best entries explain how the technology provider has helped their customer organisation to better serve their own client base.

Do: Plan in advance. Write your entry and ask colleagues or clients to proofread. You can use this Word document to prepare your entry, however, you must submit your entry via the online form, rather than email your responses in.

Do: Bring in other partners as part of your entry (channel, vendors, sub-contractors). Effective partnerships hold weight with judges, and this could also make your entry eligible for the 'Working Together' category. Failing to mention the contribution of other partners can work against your submission, especially if judges think they are not being given the full story.

Do: Use business language and focus on outcomes. The ‘why’ as well as the ‘what’ and ‘how’. Judges come from many backgrounds, so write clearly and make it easy for a non-technical audience.

Do: Keep in mind there is a diverse panel of judges – end users from technical backgrounds, end users from non-technical backgrounds, other channel partners, vendor technical people, vendor sales people, analysts and more. You are talking to all of them.

Do: Ask yourself, would the project overview pass the ‘BBQ Test’ or the 'Elevator Pitch'?

Do: Focus on impressive technology. While the awards are not about product or feeds and speeds, people are impressed by uses of innovative and exciting technology.

Do: Use data and metrics to back up your claims. Tell us why the project achieved an outcome for the customer and then use data to back this up. Looks for numbers that indicate saving time or money, improving customer satisfaction, growing business or hitting client KPIs.

Do: Use images or videos to back up your entry.

What not to do

Do not: Leave your entry to the last minute or submit late. The deadline is fixed and we want a level playing field.

Do not: Enter without client testimonials. These are highly important in the judging process and can easily mean the difference between being a finalist, a winner or missing out entirely.  

Do not: Enter without customer approvals. Once the submission has been made, CRN reserves the right to publish any content supplied unless indicated otherwise in the entry form.

Do not: Overthink this. While we are looking for comprehensive entries, the entry process should take a few hours not a few days.

Do not: Focus too much on the products and technology. The judges want to understand how you produced an outcome but will not be not impressed by a litany of acronyms and cannot be expected to effectively judge one vendor’s product versus another. A simple software installation that saves a customer a large sum will be graded more highly than a complex architecture that fails to explain the benefit.

Do not: Get bogged down in the detail. You should use your entry to focus on customer outcomes and share easy-to-read data to back up your claims.

Do not: Be vague. Get someone to sanity check your entry and point out anything they don’t understand or that is unquantified.

Do not: Use too many acronyms or industry jargon. Assume even simple acronyms may not be understood. Spell it out, explain why it is significant, or leave it out.

Do not: Forget to secure customer buy-in. Your entry will be judged by a panel of industry experts then, if you are lucky, published for all to see. This should be a positive outcome for all; the last thing anyone wants is a customer to be surprised and to push back because they were not kept in the loop.

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