If you want a shot at a CRN IMPACT Award, pay attention to our rules and recommendations.

This page and the competition categories are also available in our 2020 Entry Kit (pdf). We also recommend using our practice entry form (.docx) before you attempt our online entry form.

Rules

Only live, complete, projects conducted for a client are eligible for the CRN Impact Awards. Proof-of-concept projects are welcome - but please explain that status in your 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.

You must have approval for CRN to publish the name of the customer organisation and details of the project before entering, as CRN writes stories about projects selected as finalists.

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 2019 calendar year.

For multi-year projects, a significant, measurable phase of the project - either a major functionality milestone or completion - should have completed in the 2019 calendar year.

For ongoing services contracts, the contract should have been live for the majority of the 2019 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 2010 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 2019 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.


Timeline

Due to the rescheduling of the CRN Impact Awards to Thursday September 3rd and to allow entrants to finalise submissions, we are extending the deadline for entries until 30 April.  If any questions, please email: impactawards@crn.com.au 

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 3rd September, 2020.

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.


Benefits

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. 


Judging

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. Past unsuccessful entries only included client testimonials about the technology. Make sure you explain why the channel partner was essential to this project's success.
     
  • 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 the vendor's offering. 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 the outcome the project delivered. Use numbers. "This project delivered $100,000 in new revenue" is powerful and excites judges. "This project improved revenue" is less exciting. Clearly state what made your project a winner!

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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