AVANT Communications Announces Third Annual Special Forces Summit Awards

Avant Virtual Special Forces Summit Awards

During the 2020 Virtual Special Forces Summit, award winners were celebrated for commitment to sales results, innovation and disruption in the channel

CHICAGO – October 7, 2020AVANT Communications (“AVANT”), a platform for IT decision-making, announced today the winners of the third annual Special Forces Summit Awards. This year’s summit, held virtually, honored awards recipients across several categories for their sales achievements and sales resourcefulness. 

“Despite the challenges faced in 2020, we are pleased as always with the impressive achievements of our partners and the strength of the AVANT community. The Virtual Special Forces Summit is the most fitting place to honor our top performing partners,” said Ian Kieninger, CEO, at AVANT. “We are excited for all that we have in store for our Trusted Advisors for the rest of 2020 and to continue motivating them to take their businesses to the next level.” 

Channel Sales winners were chosen based on performance during the 2019 fiscal year and vendor award winners were elected by AVANT’s channel partners.


The AVANT Special Forces Partner Excellence Award categories and winners are:

Top Channel Performance – Based on AVANT 2019 Fiscal Year ending March 31, 2019

International Vendor of the Year – 8×8

Top Sales Performance, VAR: 1. CDW, 2. Presidio, 3. ePlus

Top Sales Performance, Trusted Advisor: 1. TechChoice, 2. Advocate, 3. Opex Technologies

Lifetime Achievement Award: CDW, Opex Technologies, C3 Technology Advisors

Fastest Growing Partner: : VAR: ISG, Trusted Advisor: AVAIL

Biggest Deal: VAR: ISG, Trusted Advisor: TechChoice

Top MRR in UCaaS: Advocate

Top UCaaS Provider: RingCentral

Top MRR in CCaaS: Acliviti

Top CCaaS Provider: NICE inContact

Top MRR in Cloud: Supreme Technology Group

Top Cloud Provider: Rackspace

Top MRR in SD-WAN: C3 Technology Advisors

Top SD WAN Provider: MetTel

Top MRR in Security: Shamrock

Top Security Provider: Alert Logic

Top MRR in Connectivity: TechChoice

Top Connectivity Provider: GTT

Top MRR in Colocation:CloudAdvise

Top Colocation Provider: Equinix

Best New Provider : Zoom

Best Sales Engineers: Masergy

Best Channel Program: RingCentral

Most Responsive Vendor: 8×8

Fastest Growing Provider:   Genesys


“Thank you for the AVANT Special Forces Summit Award in Most MRR in CCaaS in 2020. Acliviti has long valued our partnership with AVANT and the many benefits its ecosystem provides. Winning this award for the second year in a row is an accomplishment that Acliviti is very proud of. It is the result of strong vendor relationships, unparalleled expertise and guidance, and a commitment to excellence. We continue to prove that CCaaS technology enables companies to transform their business quicker, greatly enhance customer experiences, and achieve attainable ROI in less time than thought possible. 2020 confirmed that companies CAN move to the cloud quickly, painlessly, and successfully.” – Ryan Young, CEO & Co-Founder, Acliviti

“The Avail team is thrilled to be recognized as AVANT’s Fastest Growing Trusted Advisor!  Avant makes our business better through delivering unique business insights and market data that helps power successful consulting engagements.  AVANT is revolutionizing what’s possible for the channel industry and creates a competitive advantage for our company.  We’re honored to be part of this special community.” – Dan Marsh, Managing Partner, AVAIL

“AVANT is our go-to partner that has enabled the amazing success C3 has enjoyed. Every layer of the team from the founders on down care about the success of C3 and it’s felt in everything they do. We look forward to accomplishing our 10x goals with their help.” – Matthew Toth, President, C3 Technology Advisors

We are extremely humbled and honored by this award and AVANT’s continued partnership. We have enjoyed this partnership for years now and it keeps getting better! AVANT’s enablement and team work with CDW is what makes the dream work! We look forward to years of success in providing our customers with outstanding outcomes and growing our overall sales together! – CJ Steiner, Director, Integrated Services Engagement, CDW

“WOW! What an honor for the Opex Technologies Team to be recognized as a 2019 Top 3 Trusted Advisor and to receive AVANT’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award!  This is a testament to the work and relationship’s our team builds daily with our clients and partners.  This recognition is a direct result of the alignment and collaboration between both the Opex and AVANT teams.” – Courtney Humphrey, CEO, Opex Technologies

“We are honored to be recognized with Avant’s Special Forces Summit Award for the Top Cloud Provider.   In this multi-cloud world, Avant’s Trusted Advisors and Rackspace Technology together are creating more success than ever for customers and prospects in the market.  We make an unstoppable pairing between Rackspace’s solution portfolio and expertise with Avant’s tools and Trusted Advisor network, we continue seeing unprecedented growth.   Our fanatical cultures are a perfect pairing and this recognition is proof positive that this is an unstoppable team.”   – Michael Stephens, Global Agent Channel Chief, Rackspace Technology 

“After an exhaustive review of master agent options we chose AVANT because of their sales enablement emphasis, which was a giant differentiator in the market.  AVANT has never let us down.  They have provided us with people and solutions at every turn.  We wouldn’t have received this award without AVANT.  We know we made the right decision.”  – Dieter Thompson, President, Global Network and Software Services, ISG

SUPREME Technology Group is honored to receive the AVANT Special Forces Summit Award in Most MRR in Cloud. We’re proud to be powered by the AVANT platform and the great people who support us day in and day out. AVANT allows us to leverage and marshall the resources of a much larger technology advisory firm, yet provide the personal touch and intimate relationships fostered by a smaller company.  – Dan Piercy, Co-Founder, Supreme Technology Group

AVANT’s network of Trusted Advisors is second to none, making it an exceptional honor for TechChoice to be recognized with the #1 Top Performance from a Trusted Advisor Award.   This validates our strategy and accurately quantifies the dedication that our people, partners and customers show daily. – Paul Storella, President, TechChoice

TechChoice is privileged to have access to the AVANT Team, its providers, and their collective knowledge.  The result of this joint effort is summarized in the award for Top Deal Sold. TechChoice provides process driven solutions to the enterprise and this award highlights that process and its ability to scale to meet the requirements of the most complex customers. – Paul Storella, President, TechChoice

“As the world’s digital infrastructure company, Equinix is honored to receive the “Top Colo Provider” award for the second year running from AVANT. Digital leaders harness our trusted platform to bring together and interconnect the foundational infrastructure that powers their success. The agent and extended trusted advisor community understands that with Equinix, their customers can place infrastructure wherever they need it, connect to everything they need to succeed, and seize opportunity with agility, speed, and confidence. Our more than 220 global data centers provide interconnections to key clouds and networks, helping digital leaders around the world deliver infrastructure for today’s hybrid multicloud architecture.” – Arquelle Shaw, Senior Vice President of Sales at Equinix

“GTT is honored to have earned the AVANT Special Forces Summit Award for the Top Connectivity Provider for 2020. AVANT is a valuable partner and vital to our growth strategy as we continue to expand our indirect channel. GTT works with partners like AVANT to provide an industry leading Tier 1 global IP network and comprehensive portfolio of services that are designed to meet the unique networking requirements of enterprise businesses.”  – Michael Gough, VP Channel – Central Region at GTT

TechChoice is thrilled to receive the award for most MRR in Connectivity.  Connectivity is the backbone of all solutions; careful design and delivery are vital to a successful engagement and the key to future growth.  AVANT’s tools and insight have strengthened our relationships with clients as we can now provide additional value, condensing the decision-making timeframe and improving the outcomes of our projects. – Abi McLaughlin, Director of Cloud Solutions, TechChoice

“Genesys is honored to receive AVANT’s Fastest Growing Provider award.  This is a real achievement for us and a validation point that we’re on the right track with our channel focus and our Award Winning, All-in-One, CCaaS platform.  As always, it’s the people and partnerships that make all the difference and we are grateful to have AVANT and it’s community of Trusted Advisors as partners.”   – Geoff Chretien, VP Master Agent Channel, Genesys

“Thank You AVANT. We are truly humbled by this recognition.  Our sales engineers are second to none in the industry grounded in finding the right solution for each and every client. Their technical prowess coupled with customer focus is what sets Masergy apart,” said Jim Glackin, SVP Channels, Masergy.

Nice inContact it honored to receive the Top CCaaS provider for 2019-2020 again! Two years in a row is a tribute to both companies focus on cloud contact center. We value our partnership with AVANT and its committed vision to the rapid growth of cloud contact center. We look forward to continued success in 2020 and supporting AVANT’s fantastic team as we drive together to outpace everyone as the leader with CXone. –Ray Hicken, VP, Strategy & Business Development, NICE inContact

“8×8 is truly honored to receive AVANT’s International Partner of the Year. AVANT and their Trusted Advisors have contributed to the success of 8×8’s global channel-first strategy, and we look forward to further strengthening the partnership as we maximize opportunities helping businesses move to the cloud and transform the digital workplace.” – John DeLozier, Senior Vice President & Global Channel Chief at 8×8

“RingCentral’s success is built in large part by partners like AVANT, so to be recognized by them as their Top UCaaS Provider and Best Channel Program for the second year in a row is truly an honor. As our partnership with AVANT continues to strengthen, we look forward to once again proving our commitment to them and the Channel.” -Zane Long

MetTel is honored to receive the top SD-WAN provider award from Avant for 2020. We are privileged to partner with such a successful and innovative Master Agency program at Avant and work with the bright and talented Trusted Advisors within the Avant ecosystem. Through our partnership with Avant and their trusted advisors, we’ve been able to drive success by offering customized solutions in this rapidly changing Digital Transformation age.  MetTel’s SD-WAN with Intelligent Automation, which leverages artificial intelligence and automation with cutting edge SD-WAN technology, has enabled us to differentiate our award-winning and Gartner-recognized offering from competitors in the marketplace.  MetTel is humbled and honored to have had so much shared success with Avant and we look forward to helping our partners win more business in the months and years to come.   – Timothy Hanley, Vice President of Strategic Sales, MetTel

Alert Logic is honored to be named AVANT’s 2020 top security provider. Through our strategic partnership, we provide AVANT’s trusted advisors the technical and go-to-market resources they need to grow their customer footprint and deliver unrivaled security value. Alert Logic’s leading managed detection and response solution combines technology, threat intelligence, and expertise to address the full spectrum of security requirements – cost-effectively and seamlessly – no matter how they evolve, expand, or change. – Dan Webb, Vice President Partner Sales and Strategic Alliances

“Eplus is honored to be awarded as a high performing partner with AVANT. As my team has built our business with AVANT, we have been tremendously impressed by the sales enablement they bring to the table. Not only do they have amazing technology to support our efforts, but we know we can count on their people to augment our team in a knowledgeable and professional manner.” – Scott Porter, VP Cloud Services Business Development, ePlus

“We’re thrilled to receive recognition from AVANT as Best New Provider for 2020. It’s been a very unique year for businesses around the world, and partnering with AVANT Communications and their network of Trusted Advisors amidst the crisis has been instrumental in helping organizations adapt to these new working environments. As the industry changes and partner and customer needs evolve, Zoom continues to innovate at a rapid pace—not only on our products— but on our channel program as well. This Master Agent program is at the core of our go-to-market strategy for Zoom’s video-first UCaaS platform, and we are proud to keep enterprises always connected alongside the AVANT community.” – Laura Padilla, Head of Global BD and Channel, Zoom


About AVANT Communications

AVANT Communications is a platform for IT decision-making and the nation’s premier distributor for next-generation technologies. AVANT provides unique value to its extensive network of Trusted Advisors with original research, channel sales assistance, training, and tools to guide decision-making around IT services that promote business growth. From complex cloud designs to global wide-area network deployments to the latest in security services, AVANT sets the industry standard in enabling its partners and clients to make intelligent, data-driven decisions about services, technology and cost-effective communications. For more information, visit www.goavant.co.uk, or connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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