The call for product nominations for the Best of TechEd Awards, produced by Windows IT Pro and SQL Server Magazine, is now open!

These awards recognize the innovative products and services showcased at Microsoft TechEd North America 2009. All Microsoft partners exhibiting or sponsoring at TechEd North America 2009 are eligible to submit nominations for their products/services.

Note: You can also download a PDF version of this document here.

The winners will be selected by a judging panel of editors from Windows IT Pro and SQL Server Magazine, and are evaluated based on each finalist's strategic importance, competitive advantage, and value to customers. TechEd attendees will also be able to vote for their own favorite products with the Attendees’ Pick Award. Winners to be announced at an awards ceremony to be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 in Los Angeles at a location near the Conference Center. Winners will be announced, from Windows IT Pro and SQL Server Magazine booth, during lunch on Thursday, May 14, 2009.

Dates & Deadlines

  • Nomination submission online form available - Friday, February 27, 2009
  • Nomination submission deadline - 5:00 pm (PDT) on Friday, March 27, 2009
  • Finalists will be notified - week of April 20, 2009
  • Awards ceremony- Wednesday, May 13, 2009
  • Announcement of winners- during lunch on Thursday, May 14, 2009

Products/Service Categories

  1. Best Microsoft Product: This award recognizes the most significant Microsoft product at TechEd 2009. Products must be demonstrated at the show, discussed in sessions, or announced at the event to be considered for the award.
  2. Breakthrough Product: This award is for the best single product of TechEd 2009, and could be from any award sub-category. Note: Exhibitors shouldn't nominate products in this category, as judges will select the Breakthrough Product by choosing among nominees in all exhibitor categories.
  3. Business Intelligence: The Business Intelligence Solutions category is used for analyzing and reporting on business data. This includes products that enable the use of OLAP, data warehousing, or data mining.
  4. Database Administration: This category is designed for products that help you to manage data and databases. This category would include both relational database products themselves as well as products that are used to manage databases or replicate database data across between platforms.
  5. Database Development: This category is for products that enable developers to create custom, data-driven applications for a variety of database platforms, including Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, and others.
  6. Developer Tools: This category is for software that enables you to create applications. This includes editors, debuggers, testing and interactive development environments.
  7. Hardware, Networking and Storage: This category includes computers, laptops, wireless devices, mobile devices, smart phones, KVMs, switches, and network appliances, as well as storage solutions like DAS, NAS and SAN.
  8. Messaging: The Messaging category includes all products that are used to send messages. This includes exchange, e-mail, instant messaging, fax, mobility software, and VOIP solutions as well as both server and client technologies. However, it does not include messaging security products which fall under the security category.
  9. Productivity & Collaboration: This category includes collaboration, workflow, SharePoint, and Microsoft Office related products. It also includes desktop utilities and other products that enhance personal productivity. It does not include products used to create applications which would go in the Developer Tools category.
  10. Systems Management and Operations: This category includes systems and network management products. This includes products that are used to manage networks, monitor event logs, manage Active Directory, perform patch management, perform server provisioning, automate network operations, and deploy client software.
  11. Security: The products in this category are focused primarily on security. This includes firewalls, security scanners and intrusion detection software. This category also includes products that may be related to other categories. For instance, a product focused on securing e-mail would belong in this category rather than messaging.
  12. Software Components & Middleware: This category is for software products that facilitate building software applications. The products in this category are building blocks that are used to create programs. This includes middleware, as well as .NET components, Java, ActiveX, COM and class libraries.
  13. Virtualization: The products in this category focus can focus on any aspect of virtualization technology, including desktop virtualization, server virtualization, application virtualization and OS virtualization.

Rules and Eligibility Requirements

Entries are limited to official Microsoft TechEd North America 2009 sponsors and exhibitors only. The submission process will open on Friday, February 27, 2009 and close at 5:00 pm (PDT) on Friday, March 27, 2009. Award submission guidelines are outlined below:

  • To submit your product/service you must complete all fields of the electronic nomination form, via the link located on the Add’l Uploads Tab of the Event Management System tool on the Microsoft TechEd exhibitors page at https://www.msteched.com/ws/. Note: A separate nomination form must be included for every product/service that is being submitted. Optional: Submit no more than a 1-page overview about the product (Word or PDF document only). No additional attachments will be accepted.
  • Each product may be entered in one (1) category only. If a company has multiple products, each product may only be entered in one (1) category.
  • Each entry requires a completed form submission.
  • Entries must have been released to the market before Tech·Ed 2009 begins (May 11, 2009).
  • Judges will reserve the right to not grant an award if, in their opinion, the submission(s) do not justify just recognition.
  • Submitted entries will not be returned and non-finalists will not be notified.
  • Entry deadline for product nominations is 5:00 pm (PDT) on Friday, March 27, 2009. NO LATE OR INCOMPLETE ENTRIES will be accepted.
  • Each entry will be evaluated on its merits by a panel of distinguished; unbiased judges provided by Windows IT Pro and SQL Server Magazine. Please note: Microsoft is not involved in the judging of awards or selection of winners.
  • Judges will visit all finalists on the Partner Expo floor at Tech·Ed 2009 during the exhibit hours. A representative of the nominee’s organization (preferable a representative with technical knowledge and understanding of your product) must be available to meet with the judges.
  • Windows IT Pro Magazine will notify all finalists the week of April 20, 2009 to set appointments for the product interview with the judges at onsite at Tech·Ed. Note: the schedule of onsite appointments is subject to change.
  • The announcement of the winners will take place at the Windows IT Pro and SQL Server Magazine booth during lunch on Thursday, May 14, 2009.

Award Judging Criteria

The Best of Tech·Ed North America 2009 Awards recognize companies who offer innovative products in the industry. Products and services will be evaluated on the basis of: strategic importance to the market, competitive advantages, and value to customer. Only companies sponsoring or exhibiting at Microsoft Tech·Ed North America 2009 are eligible.

Entry/Judging Process:

  • The submission process will open on Friday, February 27, 2009 and close at 5:00 pm (PDT) on Friday, March 27, 2009.
  • Once the nominations have been submitted, the editors of Windows IT Pro and SQL Server Magazine and OfficeSharePointPro.com select three (3) finalists in each category to be judged in person at the event.
  • Finalists will be notified via phone or email the week of April 20, 2009.
  • Appointments will be made with each finalist for judges to view the actual products on the show floor.
  • Based on set criteria, judges will determine winners to be announced at an awards ceremony to be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 in Los Angeles at a location near the Conference Center.
  • Winners will be announced, from Windows IT Pro and SQL Server Magazine booth, during lunch on Thursday, May 14, 2009.

Best of Tech·Ed Questions

If you have any questions regarding your product entry, please contact one of the following individuals:

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