Meet the winners of the 2019 ARN Innovation Awards

​Outstanding partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals honoured

ARN has honoured the leading talents and players across the IT industry in an exclusive evening for the Australian IT channel, recognising the achievements of an outstanding line-up of partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Hosted by author and comedian Adam Spencer, the 640 attendees witnessed more than 30 companies and individuals being recognised for their achievements in the past year.

More than 60 partners and start-ups made the final shortlist this year after receiving more than 400 award submissions, playing host to the most competitive and comprehensive selection of leading innovators across Australia.

There were also more than 40 vendors in the run up in addition to 14 distributors.

Security once again dominated the submissions from a technology standpoint, alongside a multitude of nominations across cloud and digital transformation categories.

In its 13th edition, the ARN Innovation Awards continues to celebrate and reward excellence across the Australian IT channel and has welcomed three ARN Hall of Fame inductees: Rhody Burton; Vlad Mitnovetski and Nathan Lowe.

The 2019 ARN Innovation Awards recognised customer value and innovation, honouring the channel across nine categories: Start-up; Partner Value; Emerging Technology; Homegrown Innovators; Vendor Value; Distributor Value; Personal Innovation; Channel Choice and Hall of Fame.

See the full list of winners below.



Winner: Thomas Duryea Logicalis
Highly commended: Data#3


Winner: blueAPACHE
Highly commended: The Missing Link


Winner: eNerds

Customer Value

Winner: ASI Solutions

ASI Solutions won for overhauling the video conference capabilities of Transport NSW through the deployment of Microsoft technologies. In migrating to an all-in-one hosted cloud solution, Transport NSW has enhanced user connectivity and network bandwidth alongside boosting employee collaboration.


Winner: Cloud Collective

Cloud Collective won this award for the creation of a strategic alliance comprising three Microsoft Gold partners ⁠— Antares, Modality and Quorum. The trio operate under one commercial arrangement to provide enterprise customers with end-to-end capabilities across modern workplace, business applications, data, AI, applications and infrastructure.



Winner: GorillaStack


Winner: Buttonwood Cloud Exchange
Highly commended: Look Who’s Charging

Customer Value

Winner: Arinco

Arinco won this award for overhauling a customer’s traditional IT workplace through the deployment of Microsoft Teams and collaboration technologies. Through a virtual assistant bot, employees can now focus on more high value tasks through a streamlined service desk.


Winner: Sachin Verma, Oreta

Sachin won this award for demonstrating leadership in two organisations to drive market growth across enterprise and SMB. Through leveraging the capabilities of Oreta and Telstra Business Technology Centre in Melbourne, the combined offering now provides end-to-end capabilities on a national scale.


Service Provider

Winner: Araza
Highly commended: Macquarie Cloud Services


Winner: Kiandra IT


Winner: Dicker Data



Winner: DXC Technology

DXC Technology was awarded for the deployment of a modern cloud solution at South Australia-based Accolade, leveraging Oracle technologies through specialist division Red Rock. Key business benefits include enhanced scalability, resilience and reliability, alongside improved performance, security and accuracy.

Smart Technology

Winner: Fujitsu

Fujitsu won for the development of a smart police car prototype designed to integrate disparate technologies in police vehicles into a common interconnected ecosystem. The project removes seven different login system with biometrics identification through Fujitsu’s PalmSecure technology.

Digital Transformation

Winner: Solista

Solista was awarded in recognition of transformation work with Service NSW through the roll-out of a proactive operational cloud platform model using advanced analytics, dash-boarding and machine learning. Key business benefits include boosting customer response times by 70 per cent through the deployment of New Relic technologies.

Internet of Things

Winner: Data#3
Highly commended: Insight

Data#3 won this award for the creation of an IoT solution designed to help a customer overcome temperature challenges in the company’s food production factories. Leveraging Microsoft Azure IoT Central, the offering enhances room and remote monitoring capabilities alongside improving data collection and decision-making.

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Winner: Exclusive Networks
Highly commended: DNA Connect


Winner: Nextgen Distribution
Highly commended: Rhipe


Winner: Dicker Data



Winner: Microsoft


Winner: Dell Technologies
Highly commended: Hewlett Packard Enterprise


Winner: ConnectWise
Highly commended: APC by Schneider Electric


Winner: Sophos
Highly commended: CrowdStrike


Winner: Cisco


Winner: Veeam
Highly commended: VMware


Winner: Telstra


Channel Excellence

Winner: Neels du Plooy, VMware
Highly commended: James Walters, Nextgen Distribution

Neels was recognised for spearheading the roll-out of VMware’s new partner operating model in Australia and New Zealand, in a global first for the vendor. The move upended more than 10 years of traditional operating procedures and resulted in partner business growth of 36 per cent year-on-year.

Technical Excellence

Winner: Jay Isikli, Datto
Highly commended: Yusuf Mustafa, Arrow ECS ANZ

Jay won this award for his technical work with Datto channel partners and reconfiguring and rebuilding the vendor’s data centre in Sydney. Jay is tasked with up-skilling MSPs and through his technical expertise has helped expand the base of MSPs from three to 1,300 in four years.

Management Excellence

Winner: Damian Zammit, Thomas Duryea Logicalis

Highly commended: Jo Masters, Tquila ANZ

Damian was awarded for his expertise in leading the merged businesses of Thomas Duryea Consulting, Logicalis and CNI, through the creation of a unified internal team. The leadership structure implemented by Damian has supported 23 per cent year-on-year growth across the transformation business unit.

Marketing Excellence

Winner: Tristan Yeatman, Dicker Data

Tristan was recognised for architecting and implementing an incentive reward campaign for Cisco that delivered an incremental $10 million in revenue for the distributor’s Cisco business. Through this initiative, Tristan also increased the number of active Cisco partners transacting with Dicker Data by 14 per cent during the promotional period to a record high amount.

Sales Excellence

Winner: Ashley Steadman, The Missing Link

Ashley won this award for achieving year-on-year sales growth of 164 per cent during FY19. According to one customer, Ashley is valued for his ”technical advice, transparency and honesty”, performing the role of trusted advisor for new and long-standing accounts.


Partner: The Missing Link

Hardware Vendor: HP

Software Vendor: Cisco Meraki

Distributor: Leader Systems

Channel Enabler: Michael Brogan, Sophos


Rhody Burton
Vlad Mitnovetski
Nathan Lowe

ARN congratulates all winners, finalists and nominees, and thanks a judging panel comprising of over 170 of the industry’s leading influencers.