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Channel salutes inaugural award winners

First ever Channel Middle East Awards gala dinner hosts 300 executives in Dubai

The first ever winners of the Channel Middle East Awards have been announced following a gala dinner and awards ceremony attended by almost 300 senior channel executives at the Dubai Monarch last night.

Regional management figures from IT vendors, distributors, resellers, VARs and retailers turned out in force to ensure a lively affair that saw sixteen awards given out during the course of the evening. With more than 100 nominations submitted to the Channel Middle East team ahead of last month's entry deadline, the results of each category were keenly anticipated by the region's channel community.

Those who squeezed into the Monarch's plush Al Maza ballroom showed their appreciation for the channel development and success stories that have happened in the Middle East market during the past year.

A full list of the winners can be found below, but in the vendor sector the highlights included CA scooping the Software Vendor of the Year category for the expansion of its channel base and commendable partner training initiatives during the past twelve months, and Juniper edging an extremely close-fought Networking Vendor of the Year category.

The distribution categories were as competitive as the real market landscape with no fewer than eight companies vying for the IT Distributor of the Year award. In the end, the accolade went to Emitac Distribution following its endeavours in the Gulf market and commitment to helping the reseller channel grow. Saudi Arabia-based Cisco outfit Al-Jammaz, meanwhile, deservedly landed the equivalent award in the value added category.

Jordan-based Integrated Standard Solutions was crowned SMB and Commercial Vendor of the Year, and Emirates Computers beat off strong competition from the likes of Mideast Data Systems UAE and Alpha Data Processing Services to scoop the Enterprise Reseller of the Year award.

The winners of the reader-voted categories were also revealed after an online poll that gave Channel Middle East readers an opportunity to have their say on the outcome of the award. HP's Solution Partners Organisation chief Salim Ziade graced the stage after the vendor's Preferred Partner scheme won Best Vendor Channel Programme of the Year, while Aptec's E-Supply Chain was deemed the Best Growth Initiative by a Distributor in the eyes of the magazine's readership.

The final two awards of the night culminated in Nasr Al-Bikawi picking up the Channel Executive of the Year title for his success at developing Cisco Saudi Arabia's channel, and CompuMe founder and current senior VP for retail at i2, Dikran Tchablakian, accepting the Outstanding Contribution to the Middle East Channel award.

As well as paying tribute to the countless examples of channel development and professional excellence that are evident in the Middle East market, attendees made use of the opportunity to network with colleagues and partners from across the region. The event represented the first time that the region's channel community has been brought together to recognise outstanding achievement in the channel.

A special thank you must go to the sponsors AMD, CA, Fujitsu, Golden Systems Electronics, HP and Xerox, all of which helped to make the event possible. Senior executives from each company were in attendance and came on stage to present awards throughout the evening.

For full coverage of the awards, including details of the winning entries and a rundown of all the finalists, make sure you read the April issue of Channel Middle East and Channel Arabic.

Channel Middle East Awards 2008 Winners

Components Vendor of the Year: Intel

Networking Vendor of the Year: Juniper Networks

Peripherals Vendor of the Year: Genius Computer Technology

Printing and Consumables Vendor of the Year: Xerox

Software Vendor of the Year: CA

Systems and Hardware Vendor of the Year: EMC

IT Distributor of the Year: Emitac Distribution

Value Added Distributor of the Year: Al-Jammaz Distribution

Retail Distributor of the Year: Ashley

SMB and Commercial Reseller of the Year: Integrated Standard Solutions (ISS)

Enterprise Reseller of the Year: Emirates Computers

Retail Company of the Year: Jacky's Electronics

Best Vendor Channel Programme of the Year: Hewlett Packard (Preferred Partner Programme)

Best Growth Initiative by a Distributor: Aptec Holdings (E-Supply Chain)

Channel Executive of the Year: Nasr Al-Bikawi, Cisco Saudi Arabia

Outstanding Contribution to the Middle East Channel: Dikran Tchablakian, i2-CompuMe

See an image gallery of the CME Awards winners here.

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