Microsoft Australia has revamped its partner awards by cutting down the number of awards from 30 to just 5.
Partner capability development manager Sarah Arnold wrote in a blog post that the change was designed to move away from product and focus on transformative work and customer outcomes.
"Not only will this allow us to really highlight the winners in a significant way, but it offers partners to demonstrate the outcomes they are driving for our customers with less constraints," she wrote.
The new categories are:
- Engage Your Customers Award for Excellence: for partners creating solutions to build stronger customer engagement by connecting data. The award focuses on partners investing in emerging technologies such as the internet of things, smart machines, computer vision, digital agents, bots and speech recognition.
- Empower Your Employees Award for Excellence: for partners deploying Microsoft's suite of collaboration tools including Office 365, Dynamics CRM, Yammer, Sharepoint and Skype for Business. Includes partners that have deployed a unique solution around Microsoft Office and Dynamics.
- Optimise Your Operations Award for Excellence: for partners helping their customers to reshape operations through analysing data. Includes solutions using Microsoft's cloud data services such as HDInsight, Azure Machine Learning, Azure Stream Analytics and Azure Data Factory.
- Transform Your Products Award for Excellence: for partners that reinvent products, services and business models with a unique solution. The winner will display a thorough understanding of a specific vertical and high quality, predictable service.
- Cloud for Good Award for Excellence: for partners deploying cloud solutions for a non-governmental, non-profit organisation.
"These categories are designed to bring to life the digital transformation that you’re driving with your customers built on Microsoft technology, whether it’s a solution, a managed service, an application, a new way of doing business, or even a joint venture!" Arnold said.
Winners will also receive a few new perks, including customised logos and web banners, custom public relations templates and an invitation to an exclusive awards celebration at Microsoft's new conference, Microsoft Summit.
Last month, Microsoft revealed it was doing away with the Australian Partner Conference after 20 years. The new Microsoft Summit now targets customers, partners and developers, and will take place on 14-17 November. The Australian Partner Conference also played host to the Australian Partner Awards in the past, but with this latest announcement, Microsoft confirmed that the awards would now be hosted at Microsoft Summit.