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Channel honours 2009 award winners

More than 300 channel executives gathered in Dubai to recognise the winners of the second annual Channel Middle East Awards last night

More than 300 channel executives gathered in Dubai to recognise the winners of the second annual Channel Middle East Awards last night.

Regional management figures from IT vendors, distributors, resellers, VARs and retailers turned out in force to ensure a lively affair that saw 17 awards handed out during the course of the evening.

The results of each category have been keenly anticipated — and just as keenly speculated — by the regional channel community since nominations began pouring in ahead of last month's entry deadline.

Those who made their way to The Westin hotel made their appreciation evident for the channel development and success stories that have shaped Middle East market during the past year.

A full list of the winners can be found below, but in the vendor categories the highlights included Citrix scooping the Software Vendor of the Year title for demonstrating considerable commitment to channel training and enablement, and Sun Microsystems beating off strong competition from companies such as Acer, EMC and Toshiba to net the Systems and Hardware Vendor of the Year accolade.

The distribution categories were as competitive as the real market landscape with no fewer than nine companies vying for the IT Distributor of the Year award, which was won by Aptec Holdings. UAE-based security distribution outfit ComputerLinks, meanwhile, landed the equivalent award in the value added category.

Pro Technology was crowned SMB and Commercial Vendor of the Year, and Al-Futtaim Technologies fought off strong nominations from the likes of GBM, Emitac Technology Company and last year’s winner, Emirates Computers, to win 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.

Microsoft’s Bahrain-based partner chief, Wael Abdel-Aziz, took to the stage to collect the Best Vendor Channel Programme of the Year award for its Gulf Partner Programme, while Westcon’s Six-Step Selling Cycle was deemed the Best Growth Initiative by a Distributor.

Taj El-Khayat netted the Channel Executive of the Year title for his role in restructuring Juniper regional distribution network and reviewing and updating the networking vendor’s internal channel processes.

The final award of the night award saw Al Yousuf Digitial boss Ahmad Qasem honoured for his outstanding contribution to the Middle East channel.

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.

A special thank you must go to the sponsors, which included Symantec, Kaspersky, Western Digital, FDC, Aptec, Seagate, Metra, Emitac, Redington Gulf, Almasa and Micro Automation, 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 2009 Winners

Components Vendor of the Year: Western Digital
Networking Vendor of the Year: Cisco
Peripherals Vendor of the Year: Promate Technologies
Printing and Consumables Vendor of the Year: Xerox
Software Vendor of the Year: Citrix
Systems and Hardware Vendor of the Year: Sun Microsystems
IT Distributor of the Year: Aptec Holdings
Value Added Distributor of the Year: ComputerLinks
Retail Distributor of the Year: Redington Gulf
Direct-Selling Distributor Channel of the Year: Seanet
SMB and Commercial Reseller of the Year: Pro Technology
Enterprise Reseller of the Year: Al-Futtaim Technologies
Retail Company of the Year: Sharaf DG
Best Vendor Channel Programme of the Year: Microsoft
Best Growth Initiative by a Distributor: Westcon Middle East Group
Channel Executive of the Year: Taj El-Khayat
Outstanding Contribution to the Middle East Channel: Ahmad Qasem