Softchoice Corporation (TSX:SO), a leading North American technology solutions and services provider, is excited to announce the winners of its first ever Makeover Your Data Center Giveaway.

BigMachines Inc., based in the United States, and Optimal Payments, based in Canada, have each won over $100,000 worth of products and services – including an IBM POWER7 Server, an IBM SAN Volume Controller and the support of Softchoice's Professional Services team to install the new equipment.

The winners will also get consultations with Softchoice's tenured server and storage virtualization experts to help design a new, more powerful and cost-efficient data center.

"We look forward to helping the winners leverage these great technologies," said David MacDonald, President and CEO of Softchoice. "For these companies it's a chance to realize the business value of an optimized data center in helping reduce costs and risk while maximizing efficiencies across the enterprise."

Softchoice announced the contest mid-June and received over 100 entries. The winners were selected based on answers to a short survey asking them how the addition of IBM's POWER7 and SVC would impact their organization.

Some common issues contestants identified in their data center strategies were a need for virtualization, overdue server refresh and a general lack of budget for the acquisition of new technologies.

"We are extremely excited to have this opportunity," said Peter Rennie, vice president of technical operations at Optimal Payments. "We anticipate the combination of POWER7 servers and SAN VC technology will be a perfect solution to the clear-and-present IT infrastructure challenges we face, with the added benefit of significant savings in software licensing and operational costs."

Jim Sim, director of IT Operations at BigMachines, is looking forward to the performance gains promised by his new data center.

"We are happy to have the opportunity to utilize this IBM equipment," he said. "Softchoice has provided excellent feedback on the potential performance gains and ease of management. This gives us the perfect opportunity to take the next step in our testing cycle."

As a Premier IBM Business Partner, Softchoice employs a tenured team of IBM specialists to deliver deep expertise designing, implementing and reducing risk for even the most advanced IBM solutions.