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Pitching Novell to the Powers That Be

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

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Posted: 19 Nov 2004

We have a winner!

The judges have reviewed all the entries, and after much deliberation have selected a grand prize winner. There were several excellent submissions, and we will be posting all the finalists over the next weeks, and sending t-shirt to all who get published.

The grand prize ($1000) was awarded to Duane Fish, the creator and master of the website. You should take a look at his site: it's packed with great links and information, and we've seen several new additions over the past weeks.

Here's what he said about his entry:

I created and keep current the website,, out of frustration in not having enough information to fight off the M$ FUD Machine.

It has had great results for me, as well as for others. Since it was too much to put in a single document, the website was created.

I'm not sure if this fits your criteria for entry, but I really want a Novell shirt!

About the Contest

Heads Up: With one week left in this contest, we're upping the ante. The top prize has been replaced with a $1000.00 (US). We've gotten a few good entries, but we're betting (a thousand bucks) that a lot more of you have something cool to enter in this contest, and we're hoping this cash prize will be a bit more inspiring duing this pre-Christmas season.

Note: In case you're wondering, all entries previously received are eligible for the $1000-dollar prize as well as anything else we receive before the contest deadline.

You've got fabulous odds -- so don't be shy.

We've been in on lots of pitch meetings where people sell their bosses on a new technology, and we're fascinated by the endlessly creative ways people approach the Powers That Be. From diagrams scribbled on napkins over lunch, to flow charts done in 3D, to slide decks with every available transition animation, we've seen enough to know that when it comes to selling up the chain, one size definitely does not fit all. Bottom line: if it worked for you then it is, by definition, a great pitch.

So we thought it would be fun to have a contest to see how you've been pitching Novell products up and down the org chart in your company. And we thought you'd probably love to see what's working for everyone else, so you could rip off ideas shamelessly (in the spirit of open source) when it's budget season again.

The Contest

Send in a description of how you pitched Novell, NetWare, SUSE Linux, or Open Enterprise Server (OES), to get your boss to see the value and at least agree to evaluate it, and we'll put your entries before a panel of seasoned IT managers and let them pick three or four of the coolest presentations. (If you are a boss who was successfully pitched to, we'd love to hear what your employees/colleagues used to make the case.) .

Plus, the first 50 valid entries we receive will also receive a t-shirt.

Here are the kinds of things we're looking for:

  • Documents
    Memos, Emails, briefs, anything you sent them to get their attention

  • Presentations
    Slide shows, movies, iambic pentameter, whatever you used during the pitch

  • Total Cost Studies
    Most of you have to prepare some kind of cost analysis at least yearly. We've heard some poor saps have to do it quarterly. Make the most of your hard work by submitting it here.

  • Downtime Comparisions
    Most people pitching NetWare love to show how reliable it is.

  • End User Satisfaction Surveys
    If you've conducted any surveys, send the results in.

  • Useful Websites
    If you've found sites that have provided great fodder for your pitch, we'd like to know about them.

  • Competitive Studies
    Do your bosses like to see how Novell stacks up against competitors? Show us what you showed them.

  • White Papers
    If you've found (or written) anything that helped sway the decision, fire away.

  • Security/Vulnerability Comparisons
    This is another hot button for most executives.

  • Architecture Diagrams
    We saw a cool one last year where they showed in a diagram how many fewer boxes they'd need by switching to a new configuration. Very persuasive to the bean counters as well as CIO types.

  • Feature Comparisons
    This is an old standby in the pitch department. Show us what worked for you.

  • Scalability/Capacity Comparisons
    This is particularly interesting for companies who expect to grow their business fast. If that's you, we'd like to know how you addressed that issue.

  • Strategic Direction Documents and Presentations
    IT Managers have to make these puppies a lot. Dig out your best ones and send 'em in.

  • Analysts Recommendations
    We're wondering if anyone really pays attention to what the analysts say.

  • Administrator to End Users Ratio Comparisons
    Don't know if you have this kind of thing lying around, but if you do, we'd like to take a peek.

Note: You'll probably want to sanitize all the top secret stuff out of any of these (company name, people's names, company revenue, etc.).

You've probably got folders full of these things. Just dig them out of your archive, clean them up for public consumption, send them in, and we'll take them before the judges to see how they stack up. We'll be posting the best ones for ripping-off purposes (aka "leveraging"), so please don't send anything in that you're shy about seeing on the web.

Submission Process

  1. Create a cover letter/email that explains who you are, what company you work for, your IT role, and the country in which you work.
  2. Make sure you explain what you're submitting, how you used it, and how well it worked for you.
  3. Be sure you attach the document you are submitting (put them in a zip file if there are multiple documents in your submission).
  4. Send it to us.
    eMail your entry to with Pitching the Boss in the Subject line.

Note: Anything we receive in this contest we consider fair game for posting.

If yours is one of the first 50 valid entries, we will contact you for shipping info, and send you a t-shirt. The contest will end on November 14, 2004. The judges will select the winners, and they will be notified by email.

We respect your privacy -- your personal contact information will not be used for any purpose other than to administer this contest and award prizes. Your personal contact information will not be published with your entry without your express permission.

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