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VARBusiness 500 Awards Honor Top Solution Providers

Var Business – by Jennifer Bosavage

The VARBusiness 500 Awards honor the top among the annual VARBusiness 500 listing. From revenue generation to technological expertise and Executive of the Year, these highly anticipated awards were presented in front of a packed ballroom at the Manhattan Marriott Marquis. The solution-provider award winners experienced tremendous growth and revenue increases in 2006.

Agilysys chairman, president and CEO Arthur Rhein earned this year's VARBusiness 500 Executive of the Year Award. Under his leadership, the Boca Raton, Fla.-based VAR grew 11 percent last year on revenue of more than $513.6 million. Rhein has been a member of the company's management team for more than 25 years and has more than 40 years of industry experience. Agilysys is No. 86 on this year's list.

Special recognition was also given to Javed Khan, president of Jeskell, this year's recipient of the VARBusiness 500 Lifetime Achievement Award. For nearly 30 years, Khan has been a pillar of the IT and channel communities. After emigrating from Pakistan in the late 1970s, he worked for IBM as a sales rep before striking out on his own in 1991. A valued IBM partner his entire solution provider career, he has earned several Beacon awards for sales and technical excellence. Jeskell, No. 199 on this year's ranking, is a $130.1 million solutions provider that enjoyed 13 percent growth last year.

The VARBusiness 500 Company of the Year Award recognized a provider of complete IT and storage management solutions. Incentra boasted 75.7 percent sales growth last year with revenue of $66.6 million. Its clients include enterprises and managed service providers worldwide.

Incentra, No. 291 on our list, offers professional services, hardware and software products with first-call support, IT outsourcing solutions and financing options. Working closely with its clients, it provides cohesive solutions in storage, security, networking and servers.

VARBusiness recognized other solution providers for their revenue growth and profitability, beginning with the Top Revenue Generators. In the less than $100 million range, B2B Computer Products vice president of sales Chris Kurpeikis accepted the award for his company, which saw more than 161 percent growth in 2006, placing the company at No. 424 on this year's VARBusiness 500 list. For companies in the $100 million to $500 million range, the award for revenue growth went to FusionStorm, which grew 93 percent in 2006 to $256 million, landing on this year's list at No. 138, up from 183 last year.

Moving up to the more than $500 million range, this year's Top Revenue Generator was awarded to Presidio Networked Solutions, a company that saw its revenue climb 221.8 percent in 2006 to $695 million, and came in at No. 72 on this year's list, a whopping jump of 78 ranks. Merger activity played a large role in the company's growth, edging it toward the $1 billion mark.

One of the leading indicators of success is a company's ability to partner either in a prime or subcontracting role. The winner of the VARBusiness 500 best partnership award, SoftwareOne, clearly demonstrated excellence in this area: The company earns 70 to 75 percent of its revenue through partnerships. Last year, its business grew nearly 35 percent to more than $235 million annually. No. 146 on our list, the company was recognized as a model of how partnerships add value to solution provider relationships and strengthen the overall channel.

The Top Technology Practices category recognizes three areas of specialization: security, storage and business intelligence. The Top Technology Practices Award for Excellence in security practices went to Reston, Va.-based Carahsoft. With focus on the government sector, Carahsoft's solutions and services aim to deliver best-of-breed hardware, software, and support solutions to federal, state and local government agencies. Carahsoft, No. 242 in the VARBusiness 500, posted impressive revenue of $91.1 million in 2006, up 150.3 percent from its $36.4 million in revenue generated in 2005.

In storage, Regan Technologies took the top prize. Regan, No. 365 on our list, supplies data center services, infrastructure, storage applications and virtualization to its clients. The $47 million solution provider saw 93.8 percent growth last year, building and designing cost-effective and high-performance solutions, specifying cutting-edge systems from market-leading manufacturing partners, and implementing solutions.

The third award in technology was for business intelligence software. EPAM Systems (No. 281) delivers software product development, testing, maintenance and support services, as well as complex industry solutions using advanced development methodologies like Agile. CIS countries Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, where EPAM has its major development centers, leverage the unique CEE benefits in outsourcing. EPAM architects systems that cover multiple channels from Web sites to POS to call centers and sales force, as well as develops industry-specific CRM solutions that help retailers and consumer products companies understand their customers and support their sales.

The VARBusiness 500 is a ranking that companies aim to be on each year; new companies are critical to the health and success of the list. Therefore, each year, we take the opportunity to recognize three growing companies that are new to the VARBusiness 500 — growing from too-small-to-be-listed last year to making the cut this year. Newcomer Awards went to $27.3 million Column Technologies, $139 million FishNet Technologies and $36.6 million Bear Data Systems.

The coveted Editor's Choice Award is presented to a company that has been a standout organization during the past year by adopting new business models, embracing new technologies, penetrating new markets and defining best practices. This year's award went to MICROS Systems, a company that exclusively serves the hospitality and specialty retail industries. MICROS caters to table service and quick service restaurants, hotels, the leisure and entertainment industry, and specialty retail stores, with complete information management solutions. This solution provider, No. 73 on the VARBusiness 500, saw impressive growth — 2006 revenue climbed from $597 million to $679 in 2006. Its commitment to finding new ways to provide effective, quality and leading edge solutions to its customers earned it the 2006 Editor's Choice.