Hewlett-Packard head office caught the industry by surprise yesterday with the $3-billion acquisition of 3Com – and last night the company's local subsidiary sprung a surprise on the channel at its annual partner awards.

As pundits eagerly anticipated one of either Drive Control or Tarsus being hailed as its distributor of the year, they were left open-mouthed when DCC was announced as the runner up and Axiz declared HP's outright winner.
Neither Tarsus, nor the newly-named Pinnacle Africa, warranted a mention.
Datacentrix was named as the company's Gold Partner of the year, while Preferred Partner of the year went to Ilembe Technologies.
Other category winners were:
Gold Partners
Highest growth IPG: Vision IT
Highest growth PSG: Digital Planet
Highest growth ProCurve: Datacentrix
Highest growth TSG: Eclipse Networks
Highest growth HP services: Business Connexion
Preferred Partners
Highest growth IPG: Graylink Media
Highest growth PSG: Ilembe Technologies
Highest growth TSG: Titan IT
Retail Channel partner of the year: Incredible Connection