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When Burns burns a shebeen …

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Mark Davison at the Cisco One Africa Partner Summit, Legends Resort – Cisco South Africa marketing head Cathy Burns and her team outdid themselves when they turned a typical warehouse-like bushveld shebeen into a near replica of New York’s famed Studio 54 at the company’s partner awards ceremony last night.

Delegates who, minutes before, enjoyed pre-prandial drinks huddled around a traditional, blazing witdoring fire pit were left open-mouthed when they were finally allowed entrance to Legends’ renowned Shebeen which, with multi-coloured and multi-technology lighting, white streamers, cotton reels, table lamps and vibrantly coloured table cloths had been transformed. The regular serving staff’s smiles were wide with approval while even wizened hacks nodded at each other in begrudging approval.

Cisco handed out 10 awards to its partners on the night with Dimension Data taking the lion’s share with three of these. But Comstor and Business Connexion were not far behind with two awards apiece, while the showpiece award for African Partner of the Year went to Telkom.

The award winners were as follows:
* African Architectural Excellence, Data Centre Partner of the Year: SEE (Egypt);
* African Architectural Excellence, Service Provider Architecture Partner of the Year: Equinox (Egypt);
* African Architectural Excellence, Enterprise Networks Partner of the Year: Dimension Data;
* African Security Partner of the Year: Business Connexion;
* African Collaboration Partner of the Year: Comstor South Africa;
* African Cloud and Managed Services Partner of the Year: Dimension Data;
* African Services Partner of the Year: Business Connexion;
* African Distributor Partner of the Year: Comstor South Africa;
* African Solution Innovation Award: Dimension Data; and
* African Partner of the Year: Telkom.