Over two days of assessment and discussion, industry judges helped whittle down the finalists for the 2017 CRN Impact Awards, spot the exceptional and decide the awards winners.
Here, we share insights and feedback from some of the 2017 judges, as well as videos that were screened during the awards ceremony.
“Business outcomes are critical. As an industry, we are moving away from product delivery and towards customer centricity – the outcome, not how much they like the product. These awards are critical in that regard because we need to recognise the companies that make that transition successfully, that go beyond the sales cycle to implementation and service delivery.”
- Susan Sly is a former public sector Chief Information Officer and 2013 CIO of the Year. Susan now runs Lueur, which helps business executives and technical professionals implement strategies that exploit technology for business success.
“The ones that really stood out showcased the best of what Australian technology providers have to offer. They showed imagination, they showed the ability to adapt, and they were very customer-centric. Some were automating paper-based scenarios into technology – that was one of the first things that stood out. Others that stood out had very big constraints. Some submissions were working in low-bandwidth or no-bandwidth environments with mobile workforce applications, they really stood out because they had to use some imagination to make a difference for their customers.”
- Oscar Trimboli is a mentor, leadership coach and former director of the Office division at Microsoft. He has coached, mentored and advised people in a wide range of roles from founders, CEO, CFO, COO, CMO, CTO and a variety of other leadership roles.
“I’m a big fan of industry awards. They are a great vehicle to talk about successes and for companies to get visibility about these successes. The CRN Impact Award entries always had partners involved – technology partners, integration partners – and clients. Part of the success story is how they came together to deliver outcomes and how that integration effort was successful in the end. I was inspired by some of the stories in the submissions because of what they have shown is possible.”
- Keith Price is a Director at Black Swan Group and a cybersecurity expert with more than 25 years’ IT experience.
“I was very excited to see Australian organisations and Australian companies that are doing state-of-the-art deployments in technologies that are making a big difference. In past years, a lot of technology was based around refreshing something that was already there. Now, technology has moved on and evolved. There’s a lot of innovation. And with that innovation, and driven by things like mobility, the internet of things and big data, technology is now an enabler for a customer outcome.”
- Ian Poole is the former CEO of UXC Connect, part of UXC Limited, now owned by CSC. Ian was not present for judging of the Trusted Systems category, which was won by his former company UXC Connect.
“In the Australian market, customer and supplier relationships are even more important because we’re such a small country. We’re seeing some great examples of people using global technology and things that are out there on the global stage to get real results here in Australian businesses. In the Digital Transformation category, there were some really great examples of some big names and technology being used really effectively here in the local market.”
- Sonia Cuff is a Microsoft MVP and the co-founder of The Missing Chair consultancy, providing virtual CIO services that help small businesses make technology decisions and adopt Microsoft solutions.
“It’s important to recognise the transformational work the channel does. It’s often forgotten when you see IT that there was often a partner sitting behind that, that was driving it in concert with the customer. You’ve got to start at the end. If there is not a business outcome, well, why would you do it? The strongest projects were the ones that very clearly enunciated why they were there in the first place.”
- Nate Cochrane is the former Editor in Chief of CRN and iTnews. His work in tech and business journalism has appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, BRW, The Age, BBC, The Australian and more.
A note on judging: All judges were asked to declare potential conflicts of interest and in some cases excused themselves from judging to ensure transparency and credibility.