It was a fantastic evening in Toronto to recognize and celebrate with the best of the best in the Canadian IT industry. Every year we conduct a huge 3-month national survey of the entire channel to get their opinions on vendors and distributors. They vote for the companies that they believe do the very best job in 82 categories (each year we add and subtract categories to reflect the reality in the channel). The companies with the most votes win a Reseller Choice Award. Well over 500 vendors were nominated by the channel.

From Left to Right: Tech Data Bluestar IT Cloud

Again this year, everything Cloud and SaaS showed the most growth. We are having to research many more nominees because it’s the first time that we are seeing them. We also added a category exclusively for Cloud Distributors where the winner was IT Cloud (recently became a Microsoft distributor) with Sherweb a close runner up. We expect this category to heat up this year.

From Left to Right: Cisco Fujitsu Epson

Many of the expected-to-win vendors and distributors held on to the #1 spot but some upsets did happen. Eset made tremendous gains to take the #1 Security Vendor. Datto continues to win lots of awards including the top prize for Best Vendor. Microsoft, HP, Cisco and Lenovo took home multiple awards. Epson continue to dominate the projector categories and made more gains in printers. Zebra has also made huge gains in several categories.

From Left to Right: Fujitsu Solarwinds MSP HP

Tech Data again took the #1 spot for the Best Distributor for the 11th year and Bluestar took the top spot for specialty distributor. We are also seeing other distributors gaining on some of the sub distributor categories like Best Customer Services, Terms and Conditions. Sherweb also did very will in the specialty distributor category and could be the one to watch in 2018.

From Left to Right: Microsoft Zebra ESET

There were many interesting stories that came between #2 through #10 spots as vendors and distributors continue to rally. We will be reviewing this further to bring some highlights. Vendors and distributors should leverage this annual report card as a good benchmark to help improve their game in 2018!

From Left to Right: Datto ESET Lenovo

It is also very interesting to monitor how vendors and distributors are ranked year over year. The decade-long patterns tell great stories. The story gets bigger when you benchmark the rankings by region and channel management year over year. More Vendors and Distributors should take this channel report card more seriously. It matters a lot when their partners vote or don’t vote for them!

From Left to Right: Connectwise Lenovo ESET

It is clear that the channel partners are putting more importance with their vote towards vendors with recurring revenue solutions. We are also seeing an incredible amount of previously unknown-to-us companies getting votes.

DATTO’s team

As with every year, we merely rank every vendor and distributor in each category based on the number of votes that they receive by Canadian VARs, MSPs, ITSPs. Voting by vendors do NOT count. Each VAR, MSP or ITSP may only vote for one company in each category, but does NOT have to cast a vote in every category.

Here are the winners of 2017…

Best Of Category Name First Place Second Place Third Place
Best 3D Printer HP Inc.
MakerBot Stratasys
Best Anti-Spam ESET Microsoft Malwarebytes
Best Anti-Virus ESET Bitdefender Webroot
Best Availability/Delivery Tech-Data Bluestar Ingram Micro
Best Backup and Recovery Datto Veeam Acronis
Best Black & White Laser Printer HP Inc.
Lexmark Brother
Best Broad-Based Distributor Tech-Data Ingram Micro Synnex
Best Business Desktop Lenovo HP Inc. Dell
Best Business Intelligence/Analytics Microsoft SAP Sage
Best Business Notebook Lenovo HP Inc. Dell
Best Business Projector Epson InFocus Viewsonic
Best Business Router Cisco WatchGuard Datto
Best Mobile Device Management Microsoft Cisco SOTI – Sophos
Best Distributor Channel Event Tech-Data Synnex Bluestar
Best Cloud Application Datto Microsoft Google
Best Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery Datto Veeam Microsoft
Best Cloud Distributor IT Cloud
Best Cloud Platform as a Service Microsoft Sherweb AWS
Best Cloud Services Vendor Datto Microsoft AWS
Best Cloud Storage/Solution Datto Microsoft AWS
Best Colour Laser Printer HP Inc.
Lexmark Xerox
Best Consumer Notebook Lenovo HP Inc. Apple
Best CRM Microsoft Salesforce Connectwise
Best Customer Service Bluestar Tech-Data Synnex
Best Data Centre Microsoft Cogeco Peer 1 Q9 – Bell
Best Database Microsoft MySQL Oracle
Best Digital Signage Samsung Viewsonic LG Electronics
Best E-Commerce Solution for VARs Shopify CNET – Quotewerks Synnex LeadGen
Best Endpoint Security ESET Webroot Sophos – Bitdefender
Best Enterprise Switch Cisco HPE Extreme Networks
Best Enterprise Telephony Cisco Avaya Polycom
Best Financial Software/ERP Sage Intuit ACOMBA
Best Firewall Cisco Fortinet Sonicwall
Best Gaming Desktop Asus Lenovo Dell
Best Home Theater Projector Epson BenQ Samsung
Best Home/Consumer Router Asus D-Link Cisco
Best Infrastructure as a Service Microsoft Sherweb AWS
Best Ink-Jet Printer HP Inc.
Epson Canon
Best IT Assessment Tool RapidFire Tools Connectwise Kaseya
Best Label Printer Zebra Dymo Brother
Best Messaging/Collaboration Microsoft Skype Google
Best Moblie App Microsoft Waze ZOHO
Best Mobile Device Vendor Lenovo Samsung Zebra
Best Mobile Scanner Fujitsu Epson Brother
Best Multi-Function Printer HP Inc.
Lexmark Xerox
Best Multi-Purpose Display Viewsonic HP Inc. LG – Samsung
Best NAS QNAP Synology Lenovo
Best Networking Vendor Cisco Datto Extreme Networks
Best New Vendor Pax8 Altaro Nutanix
Best Online Channel News Media E-Channelnews CDN ChannelBuzz
Best Overall Vendor Datto Lenovo HP Inc.
Best Personal Laser Printer HP Inc.
Brother Lexmark
Best Portable Printer HP Inc.
Zebra Canon – Epson
Best Portable Projector Epson BenQ InFocus
Best Portable Storage Western Digital Seagate LaCie
Best POS Vendor ELO Touch Epson Toshiba
Best Print Managed Services HP Inc.
Xerox Epson
Best Product Support Tech-Data Bluestar IT Cloud
Best Productivity Software Microsoft Adobe SAP
Best Professional Display Samsung Viewsonic Lenovo – HP
Best Rack or Server Cabinet Schneider APC Tripp Lite Startech
Best Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) Solarwinds MSP TeamViewer Connectwise
Best SAN Lenovo Dell HPE
Best Scanner Fujitsu Epson HP Inc.
Best Security Vendor ESET Cisco Sophos
Best Server Lenovo Dell HPE
Best Service Automation (PSA) Connectwise Solarwinds MSP Autotask
Best SMB Network Switch Cisco HPE Datto
Best SMB Telephony (VOIP) Cisco 3cx Fortinet
Best Software as a Service Datto Microsoft Google
Best Specialty Distributor Bluestar Arrow – Westcon Sherweb
Best SSD Samsung Kingston Intel
Best Storage Vendor Lenovo HPE Dell
Best Computer Systems Vendor Lenovo HP Inc. Dell
Best Tablet Apple Lenovo Microosft
Best Terms/Conditions Tech-Data Bluestar Ingram Micro
Best UPS Battery Backup Schneider APC
Eaton Tripp Lite
Best Vendor Channel Program Datto Lenovo Zebra
Best Virtualization Software VMWare Microsoft Veeam
Best Wide Format Printer HP Inc.
Epson Canon
Best Workstation Lenovo   HP Inc. Dell