Disrupting The Age Of Disruption – Celebrating Kiwi Innovation At The 2021 Microsoft Partner Awards

 |   Matt Bostwick

partner awards

While 2021 has brought a whole new set of challenges to the table, the result is that tech invention and change has accelerated at an incredible rate. Innovators around the world have helped customers not only rise to every challenge, but go further and faster than ever seemed possible.

Who would have thought, two years ago, that we’d see a worldwide shift in ways of working, online service delivery and cloud migration over such a short period? It’s certainly an exciting time to be in the tech industry, and I’m proud to say New Zealand stands tall among the leaders. Looking back on the winners of last year’s Microsoft Partner Awards, it’s clear to see the bar was raised high and I’ve seen numerous examples of innovation, leadership and skill that show 2021 is no different.

As entries open for the 14th annual Microsoft New Zealand Partner Awards 2021, I’d like to celebrate some of the outstanding examples of partner innovation we’ve seen in the past 12 months.

Fusion5 is a mighty New Zealand partner that won New Zealand 2021 Partner of the Year at the recent global Microsoft Partner Awards, helping its customers achieve more with Microsoft technologies. Fusion5 has created new Azure solutions, built a SaaS product for HR and payroll on Azure, and has ambitious plans to digitally transform 90% of New Zealand’s universities through data and Dynamics 365.

The global Microsoft Partner Awards also recognised other New Zealand partners for outstanding innovation. Congratulations to Mobile Mentor for winning the global Modern Endpoint Management category, for their work as the InTune partner for the US Coast Guard, Mayo Clinic, Vanderbilt Health and New Zealand public sector organisations. Dicker Data New Zealand was a finalist in the Indirect Provider category at the global awards, while Auror was named as the inaugural NZ Growth Partner of the Year, for the fantastic work they do to help protect companies around the world to stop retail crime.

While COVID-19 threw the world curve balls left, right and centre, our partners have thrown solutions back even faster. At last year’s 2020 Microsoft New Zealand Partner Awards, Fusion 5 was recognised for helping disability services agency Manawanui identify vulnerable clients in need of PPE as quickly as new directions were issued by the Ministry of Health.  Defend stepped up to the challenge too, receiving accolades for protecting Zespri against cyber-attacks. Datacom landed the Azure Migrate category award for helping the Financial Markets Authority keep data safe with the power of Microsoft cloud and security tools.

With industry automation now progressing at lightning speed, the team at Rocos can rightfully call themselves our robot overlords, winning recognition for their Azure-based platform which allows robotics engineers to manage fleets of robots.

Diversity and inclusion cannot be forgotten in the race to digitise. Notably, Datacom took out the Cloud for Good award last year by supporting Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara to build a cloud platform enabling iwi members to access and connect with their whakapapa (people, land and heritage) online. NV Interactive was awarded for teaming up with Te Puni Kōkiri to create Tupu.nz, a digital solution that helps equip Māori landowners with information to connect to their whenua and navigate their land ownership journey.

This year we want all partners to demonstrate how they are enabling diversity and inclusivity in their organisations, no matter which category their work falls in, showing how they are helping their customers drive change for all people in Aotearoa. Without a broad talent pool and even broader perspectives, we limit our innovation – and as we’ve seen, the solutions our partners develop reach into all areas of our society.

This year we have 11 award categories including security, modern work, data and AI, Azure migrate and more.

I strongly encourage all Microsoft New Zealand partners to enter the 2021 awards, not only to get publicly recognised for your efforts, but because of the additional opportunities winning this award can open up. We want everyone to hear about the amazing work Microsoft partners are doing, so we’ll be promoting them hard and ensuring all our outstanding finalists are celebrated too.

I wish each and every partner the best of luck, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to see who this year’s Microsoft New Zealand Partner Awards finalists will be.


The submission period runs until 15 October 2021 and the awards evening will be held at the Auckland Town Hall on Friday 3 December. More information can be found at www.msnzpartnerawards.co.nz.

The full list of Microsoft New Zealand Partner Awards 2021 categories are:

  1. Security Award
  2. Modern Work Award
  3. Data and AI Award
  4. Digital & Application Innovation Award
  5. Azure Migrate Award
  6. Business Applications Award
  7. Surface Award
  8. Channel Development Award
  9. Cloud for Good Award
  10. SaaS Award
  11. Emerging SaaS Award