Your chance to shine – Microsoft Partner Awards 2020 entries are open

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Peter Griffin

In any given year, Microsoft’s annual awards showcase the best innovation from across the partner network. 

But the enabling role of technology in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic has produced an unprecedented number of mission-critical projects worthy of recognition.

Microsoft New Zealand Partner Awards entries close October 9 – visit the awards website to find out how to enter.

Matt Bostwick

Matt Bostwick, Microsoft New Zealand’s Commercial Partner Director, says the 2020 Microsoft NZ Partner Awards will stand alone in acknowledging the resilience and adaptability of our local tech innovators during “unimaginably challenging circumstances”.

“We’ve seen tech innovators adapt overnight to new methods of delivering essential services to their customers, while also supporting those organisations to find new ways of doing business that would have seemed unthinkable a year ago,” says Bostwick. 

“Time and time again, I hear people say, ‘the project we’ve just completed in 24 hours was supposed to take us six to 18 months’”, he adds.

Beyond the Covid disruption

Every Microsoft partner has been busier than ever navigating lockdown alert levels and assisting customers with business continuity. The winners of the 2020 Microsoft NZ Partner Awards, says Bostwick, will have demonstrated how they helped those customers not only survive the current disruption, but build more sustainable businesses and stronger customer relationships.

“The best tech companies are not just driving digital transformation for the sake of it, but because it makes their customers’ businesses stronger, helps them serve their own customers better and ultimately supports a stronger and more diverse economy that benefits everyone,” he says.

The Microsoft Partner Awards have 12 categories spanning everything from the Cloud for Good Award to the Engaging Customers Award. 

Tips and tricks to win – a guide to crafting a great Microsoft New Zealand Partner Awards entry

Enlighten Designs, which last year won the Transforming Products Award, embodies what it takes to pick up one of the sought-after awards. When leading Waikato-based security systems developer Gallagher sought to branch out into local small business security, Enlighten helped it revamp its web platform and customer experience.

It means that Gallagher now captures data that give it a richer understanding of its customers who can monitor sites and activate alarms from their phones.

Standing out from the competition

Intergen, last year’s winner of the Modern Workplace Award, helped tertiary provider Te Wānanga o Raukawa realise their vision of a fully integrated online platform to provide rich student data in one place.

Now students have the ability to access kaupapa-based education at their own pace, in their own place, and fit their learning around work and family commitments.

“We’ve seen huge acceleration in digital transformation, but it won’t stop there,” says Bostwick. 

“Once everyone is on the same playing field, there will need to be new ways of standing out from the competition, meaning innovators will be more in demand than ever.”

Says Bostwick: “I can’t wait to see what this year’s awards have in store.”

If you’re a Microsoft Partner with an amazing project that deserves some recognition, enter the awards here. Entries close on 9 October 2020.


2019 Microsoft New Zealand Partner Award winners

New Zealand Partner of the Year (global award) Winner 


Azure Innovate Award Winner

Aware Group – Port Otago

Azure Migrate Award Winner

The Instillery – Carter Holt Harvey

Business Applications Award Winner


Empowering Employees Award Winner

Information Leadership – Todd Energy 

Modern Workplace Award Winner

Intergen – Te Wananga o Raukawa

Highly Commended: DXC Eclipse – Fonterra

Highly Commended: Information Leadership – Todd Energy

Engaging Customers Award Winner

Intergen – Lumino the Dentists

Optimising Operations Award Winner

Intergen – Les Mills

Transforming Products Award Winner

Enlighten Designs – Sitecore on Azure

Highly Commended: Datacom – UDC Finance

Surface Partner Award Winner

The Laptop Company

Channel Development Award Winner

Exeed Ltd

Cloud for Good Award Winner

Enlighten Designs – Sustainable Coastlines

Highly Commended: Fusion 5 – Barnardos

Highly Commended:  Spark New Zealand – Oranga Tamariki

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Peter Griffin

Peter Griffin has been a journalist for over 20 years, covering the latest trends in technology and science for leading NZ media. He has also founded Science Media Centre and established Australasia's largest science blogging platform,


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Microsoft is a technology company whose mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. We strive to create local opportunity, growth, and impact in every country around the world.

Enlighten Designs

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Enlighten Designs creates beautiful, user-friendly digital solutions. As an award-winning creative technical agency, our mission is to deliver digitally transformative experiences for customers ranging from small businesses to enterprise clients. Founded in 1998, Enlighten Designs is based on our passion to bring exceptionally designed, innovative and custom technology solutions from the shores of New Zealand to the world.

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