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Spectrum Technologies Success Story

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Buck Gashler

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Posted: 8 Sep 2004

Spectrum Technologies Growing Company and Customer List through Novell Small Business Suite Starter Pack Program

Two years ago, Don Shrum, President of Spectrum Technologies, Inc. in San Antonio, Texas was completely content with the small group of customers his company serviced. Shrum ran Spectrum with just two employees, performing a significant amount of Spectrum's computer network servicing calls himself. Spectrum services small businesses in a variety of industries, 90 percent of which utilize the Novell Small Business Suite as the means of their computer network, collaboration application, and network firewall.

Then in April 2003, Novell introduced a unique program where solution providers can install up to 5 users of the complete Novell Small Business Suite product at no charge from Novell. In other words, for merely the cost of service time from a qualified solution provider, a very small business could acquire a complete network suite of award-winning network products from Novell. Shrum quickly saw the benefits of the Novell Business Suite Starter Pack program and was one of the first Novell Solution providers to meet the requirements. In fact, Shrum picked up his first Starter Pack kit at BrainShare 2003 in Salt Lake City.

Shrum had a couple of one-time customers he had worked with in the past that were ideal candidates for the Novell Small Business Suite Starter Pack. These customers' businesses had grown to the point where they needed a true network operating system like NetWare, rather than the peer-to-peer configuration they were trying to get by with. In addition, Shrum knew that the collaboration features of GroupWise would make the offices much more efficient. Up to this point each of the businesses recognized the need for an office network, but had been putting off purchasing one because of the costs. Shrum knew that offering the Novell Small Business Suite Starter Pack was an offer that these customers would wholeheartedly embrace.

Shrum continues to find opportunities to deploy the Novell Small Business Suite Starter Pack, and consequently, grow the Spectrum customer list. Shrum estimates that he has added 15 new customers due to the Starter Pack, all through word-of-mouth, and associations he has made over the years.

As Spectrum's customer list has grown, so has Spectrum's staff. Shrum added one full-time engineer, a full-time office manager, and has recently begun hiring interns to meet the needs of new customers, along with his maintaining previously-established accounts. One rewarding aspect mentioned by Shrum is his observing Spectrum's new employees learn about Novell technology for the first time. These employees have backgrounds in Microsoft technologies and are aware of the inherent limits and security risks. The more they learn about Novell technologies, the more excited they have become about the opportunities they can now address. Spectrum's new engineer has even brought in new customers with challenging requirements that the engineer was previously unable to service adequately with Microsoft technologies, and is solving these requirements through Novell software.

In hopes of exposing more young engineers to Novell's superior networking technology, Spectrum has recently begun working with local colleges and trade schools with installing new or upgrading existing Novell software via the Novell Small Business Suite Starter Pack. The schools have been grateful for Spectrum's expert attention and Shrum is hopeful that these schools might be the source of future interns as Spectrum.

The enthusiasm at Spectrum for the Starter Pack has the company making plans for future advertising based on the Starter Pack program. Shrum was pleased to learn that Novell has a significant amount of marketing tools available today to help solution providers like Spectrum reach new customers. For more information, visit and click the items listed under the ?Tools? subheading.

Once content with a smaller customer base, Shrum now looks forward to continue growing the number of Spectrum customers. Among Shrum's, passion to service the small business, his ever-growing staff's expertise, and the Novell Small Business Suite Starter Pack program, Spectrum has discovered a formula for success.

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