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Strategy for Pitching Novell to the Boss: Use your Security Track Record

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Rene Kokenberg

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Posted: 9 Dec 2004

We recently ran a contest to see how our readers have been pitching Novell products up and down the org chart in their companies. Here is one of the entries we received; feel free to use this idea when it's budget season again.
If you have any additional suggestions, please let us know.

Rene Kokenberg is the IT Manager for Apotex Fermentation Inc. in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

I checked all my records for proposals and reports on why a particular Novell solution should be considered but found none. I have lots of proposals for upgrades/replacements of other software but not Novell-based solutions. This is not to say that our management does not need pitching. They need justification for money spend just like any other company. In our case the process was mostly verbal with tremendous help from our track record.

We have used Novell since 1994 starting with NetWare 3.12 on a few servers. We are a small shop managing up to 10-servers and 150-clients in a mixed environment. Simplicity is the key and that means manageability. NDS, now eDirectory, has provided just that. All solutions Novell provides reflect this.

Our management has seen the performance both security and availability wise. That alone was mostly sufficient; our additional details on how a new solution like ZfD or BM would keep us more productive and more secure with integrated management did the rest. We are two managing all IT related aspects at AFI.

Now we use NetWare 6.5 and 6.0, GroupWise 6.5, BorderManager 3.8, ZENworks for Desktops 4.1, iFolder 2.0, exteNd Director 4.1 SE and eGuide. Our upgrade paths have been extensive:

1) NW-3.12 >> NW-4.11 >> NW-5.0 >> NW-6.0 >> NW-6.5

2) MHS/Pegasus Mail >> GMHS/Pegasus Mail >> GW-4.1 >> GW-5.2 >> GW-6.5

3) ZfD Starter Pack >> ZfD-3.0 >> ZfD-4.1

4) BMEE-2.1 >> BMEE-3.6 >> BM-3.8

All these products share one directory = Productivity and have Security out of the box. Support is outstanding and patches are frequent. The knowledgebase is by far the best I have used, and believe me, we use that a lot from all vendors to keep the cost of ownership low during the lifetime of a product version.

NOTE: Training has been an integral part of the total solution.

Main management points are:

  1. Low IT staff operational cost.
  2. Mass email-viruses/worm immunity.
  3. Secure infrastructure at a low cost.

If Linux (and open source in general) is as secure out of the box as NetWare was and is, then pitching Linux and the like to the bosses will be relatively easy as well.

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