By Mark Davison – Due to various reasons we’re all familiar with, It’s been a while since they last held them – but last night at The Roof in Bryanston, VMware hosted the event of the channel calendar so far when it recognised its top partners at its WeConnect awards.

A packed venue of invite-only guests saw Dimension Data acknowledged as VMware’s Partner of the Year.

“I’m personally very excited that we’ve got this event going again, and great credit must go to Michael Wilson and his team for making it happen,” says Lorna Hardie, senior director, sub-Saharan Africa at VMware. “Tonight is a celebration of all our channel partners – it’s about you,” she told the audience. “It’s recognition of the fact that we can’t do what we do without you.

“I’ve been here for more than five years now and can attest to the journey we’ve been through at VMware – and alongside you,” Hardie adds. “And I’m incredibly proud of what we have been able to achieve.”

Michael Wilson, channel manager for VMware sub-Saharan Africa, says the process for selecting nominees – and then winners – for the various awards was challenging.

“It involved the whole channel team,” he says. “Once a week, every week, for months, we sat down and white-boarded each and every candidate in each of the categories. It was a slog, yes, but it was wonderful to see just how many competent partners we have.”

Four individual awards and four company awards were presented.

The individual awards were:

  • Solution Architect/Pre-Sales Person of the Year: Benjamin Coetzer, Routed Hosting
  • Brand/Vendor Manager of the Year: Alexia Sideris, iOCO Solutions
  • Sales Person of the Year: Jacky Sinclair, Dell
  • VMware Ambassador of the Year: Frans Taueatsoala, Dimension Data

The company awards were:

  • Growth Partner of the Year: Silicon Sky Consulting
  • Collaboration and Value-Add Partner of the Year: Strategix Technology Solutions
  • Technical Partner of the Year: Redvine Networks
  • Channel Partner of the Year: Dimension Data

Wilson also made a special mention – and presented an additional local award – to BCX for being recognised as VMware’s EMEA Cloud Consumption Partner of the Year.

“When you consider the relative size of the market and the current conditions in South Africa – and the fact that BCX was competing against companies operating in the likes of France, Italy, and Spain – then you can begin to understand what a phenomenal achievement this is,” Wilson says.