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Local Microsoft partners recognised by Microsoft Partner Programme Awards 2006

Johannesburg, 28 Aug 2006

Microsoft South Africa has announced the winners of the 2006 Microsoft Partner Programme Awards.

The awards recognise Microsoft Gold Certified and Certified Partners, as well as registered members in certain areas, that delivered exceptional performance over the past year.

"It is our pleasure to congratulate the winners for the outstanding contributions they have delivered to their customers over the last year," said Pfungwa Serima, managing director of Microsoft South Africa.

"Microsoft`s success is built on our close relationship with our partners and by working with them to ensure that we are meeting the unique needs of our customers. It is this level of collaboration that enables Microsoft and our partners to continue helping local businesses maximise technology to reach their full business potential."

Winners were announced at the Microsoft Partner Summit 2006, the company`s premier annual event for industry partners. This year Microsoft recognised partners in each of the 13 competency areas, as well as awards that are aligned with Microsoft`s key strategic initiatives, namely Customer Experience, Winning Customers, Distributor of the Year and the Small Business Specialist Community. There was also a special award this year, presented on behalf of the OEM regional director, which signified the beginning of the new OEM organisation formed within Microsoft South Africa. The coveted managing director`s award was also presented at the ceremony.

More than 121 entries were submitted by partners throughout South Africa and these were judged, and winners appointed, in each of the 17 self-nomination award categories. Judging teams for each award category were made up of several stakeholders within Microsoft to allow for cross-sectional representation of all areas of the business. Each submission was judged on 7 key criteria, namely: strategic value, revenue impact, reference-ability, customer satisfaction, innovation, corporate responsibility and bonus factors.

The winners are:

Special Award: OEM Regional Director`s Award

This award signifies the beginning of the new OEM organisation formed within Microsoft South Africa, to focus on multinational, named and system builder partners, and recognises a partner that has closely aligned its business with Microsoft.

* OEM Regional Director`s Award - Pinnacle Micro

Customer Experience Award Winner

The Customer Experience Awards recognises the outstanding customer service that partners have provided to their customers by demonstrating an understanding of their needs, and honours partners` ingenuity in developing unique and relevant approaches to customer outreach.

* Customer Experience Award - 3Fifteen

Winning Customer Awards

The Winning Customer Awards recognise the successful implementation of solutions on the Microsoft platform, resulting in the migration of customers to Microsoft technologies from competing technologies such as Novell`s NetWare, Unix or Linux. Partners received this award by expertly developing customer solutions that exemplify the benefit of working on the Microsoft platform rather than those of other technology vendors.

* Winning Customers Award - i5 and Mint Net

Distributor of the Year Award

The Distributor of the Year Award recognises the distributor that achieves the targets set by Microsoft; is strongly aligned to Microsoft initiatives; and whose approach to customer satisfaction ensures a high level of service to the channel.

* Distributor of the Year Award - Workgroup and Rectron

Small Business Specialist

The Small Business Specialist Awards are for Microsoft Small Business Specialists that demonstrate the innovation of deploying a Microsoft-based solution in a business with fewer than 50 employees or fewer than 25 PCs. Key Microsoft products in the small-business solutions stack include Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003, Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006, Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Small Business Edition and Microsoft Small Business Financials.

* Small Business Specialist - Space Age Technologies

Advanced Infrastructure Solutions

The Advanced Infrastructure Solutions Awards recognise partners with proven expertise in designing and/or implementing any or all of these complex infrastructure specialisations. Network infrastructures are growing increasingly complex with the demand for Web-based applications, internal and external portals, solutions for managing large amounts of data and translating it into business intelligence, and more efficient communications both within the enterprise and from remote sites. Enterprises are looking to Microsoft technologies to meet these demands, and looking for technology partners with the skills and expertise to design and implement innovative, cost-effective solutions that incorporate these technologies.

* Advanced Infrastructure Solutions - Dimension Data

Business Process and Integration Solutions

The Business Process and Integration Solutions Awards recognise best practices for selling and deploying business process management (BPM) and integration solutions. These awards are intended for systems integrators, solution and service providers, and software developers that concentrate on enterprise application integration, business-to-business application integration, BPM, and adapter development using Microsoft BizTalk Server.

* Business Process and Integration Solutions - Business Connexion

Custom Development Solutions

The Custom Development Solutions Awards recognise partners that focus primarily on development of customised solutions and tools built on Microsoft technologies and solutions using the Visual Studio family of development tools. Specifically, custom development partners may deliver highly custom-built solutions to support customer-unique business practices, deliver individual enhancements that allow customers to integrate existing systems with new technologies, or develop extensions to existing Microsoft solutions that the customer may already employ.

* Custom Development Solutions - Intervate Solutions

Data Management Solutions

The Data Management Solutions Awards recognise partners that provide both mission-critical transactional applications and business intelligence solutions. The broad data management story is supported by two specialisations:

Business intelligence. These solutions help organisations improve their business insight by enabling all employees to make better, faster and more relevant decisions.

Database management. The backbone to any mission-critical application, these solutions demand high availability, mission-critical reliability and high performance. Companies that deploy innovative applications are the ones that will be the front-runners in the competitive marketplace.

With increasing demands on IT resources, companies must find new ways of maximising their data platform investments. Microsoft provides the next-generation data management platform that enables customers to unleash the full potential of their data assets.

* Data Management Solutions - IS Partners

Information Worker Solutions

The Information Worker Solutions Awards recognise exceptional partners that have excelled in offering breakthrough Microsoft Office system solutions. These awards recognise partner solutions that showcase a unique and positive impact on their customers` business pain points through their expertise in the Information Worker Solutions Competency.

* Information Worker Solutions - i5

ISV/Software Solutions

The ISV/Software Solutions Awards recognise partners that specialise in developing and marketing packaged software solutions based on Microsoft technologies. Independent software vendors (ISVs) face a unique set of challenges among Microsoft solution partners. Increasing business needs and ever-changing customer and technology demands all add to the pressure of running a successful software business.

* ISV / Software Solutions - FlowCentric Solutions

Learning Solutions

The Learning Solutions Awards recognise partners` commitment and ability to deliver high-quality learning services using a consultative engagement model. It also validates the impact that skills assessment, technical training, student mentoring and Microsoft Certified Professional exam preparation have on customer satisfaction, and the application of Microsoft technology to solve business problems.

* Learning Solutions - Bytes People Solutions

Licensing Solutions

The Licensing Solutions Awards recognise partner innovation and sales and marketing expertise, as well as specific capabilities related to licensing delivery or software asset management specialisations. The Licensing Solutions Competency was created to allow partners to establish their licensing and software asset management expertise and differentiate their services in the marketplace.

* Licensing Solutions - Dimension Data

Microsoft Business Solutions

The Microsoft Business Solutions Awards honour partners that are unsurpassed in providing product and service excellence. These are true champions of financial management, supply chain management, customer relationship management, and/or retail management software whose energy, persistence and integrity have allowed Microsoft to strengthen its leadership across multiple platforms and markets. These partners demonstrate leadership in managing their businesses through new customer additions, total revenue and revenue growth.

* Microsoft Business Solutions - i5

Mobility Solutions

The Mobility Solutions Awards recognise partners that specialise in developing, deploying, supporting and marketing packaged software solutions and services based on Microsoft Windows Mobile technologies. Companies and organisations worldwide are implementing mobile business solutions to accelerate business cycles, increase productivity, reduce operating costs and extend their enterprise infrastructure. ISVs, systems integrators and related services partners are utilising this unique opportunity and very effectively developing, deploying and supporting breakthrough mobility solutions.

* Mobility Solutions - Oakwell Solutions

Networking Infrastructure Solutions

The Networking Infrastructure Solutions Awards honour partners that have infrastructure practices with proven proficiency in implementing solutions based on the Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 operating systems. These awards also recognise partners with innovative solutions that help small and midsize customers realise their potential by providing operational efficiencies with the help of the Windows Server System.

* Networking Infrastructure Solutions - Space Age Technologies

OEM Hardware Solutions

The OEM Hardware Solutions Awards recognise outstanding system builders, independent hardware vendors and original device manufacturers. As customers expand and upgrade their information technology assets, there is a demand for high-quality hardware solutions - such as desktops, servers and peripherals - built and designed to work with Microsoft technologies. These hardware solutions are configured according to the customers` needs and supported to ensure customer satisfaction.

* OEM Hardware Solutions - Corex IT

Security Solutions

The Security Solutions Awards recognise exceptional partners that have demonstrated expertise in providing the most advanced security solutions and services to protect their customers` information assets.

* Security Solutions - BUI

Managing Director`s Award

The Managing Director`s Award recognises a partner that has over-achieved in a number of areas important to Microsoft and the industry. These include: corporate and social responsibility, alignment to Microsoft and its objectives, revenue and market share growth, innovation and customer satisfaction as well as an overall commitment to excellence.

* Managing Director`s Award - Mustek


Microsoft`s Partner Summit

Microsoft`s Partner Summit provides Microsoft`s partner community with access to key marketing and business strategies, leadership, and information regarding specific customer solutions designed to help partners succeed in the marketplace. Along with informative learning opportunities covering sales, marketing, services and technology, the summit is an ideal setting for partners to garner valuable knowledge from their peers and from Microsoft.


Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

Editorial contacts

Suzan Ngubane
Text 100 Public Relations
(011) 361 7485