System Administrator of the Year

Congratulations to the 2011 Systems Administrator of the Year!

Windows IT Pro, Cloud IT Pro, SharePoint Pro, and Business Technology want to congratulate John Wischmeier for placing first in our first annual Systems Administrator or the Year contest. More than 3,000 people voted in our survey, which presented essays from IT pros in which they described a heroic problem-resolution scenario that they spearheaded. In the end, more than 1,200 people catapulted John to the top of the heap in this contest, enjoying his essay about the way he tackled a particularly tough communications problem.

Our initial 10 finalists were chosen by staff editors based on the following criteria: problem-solving creativity, cost-savings, use of available and emerging technology, business value. John’s story hits a home run on all counts.

John’s grand prize consists of the following:

•Xbox 360 + Kinect (donated by ScriptLogic)

•Apple iPad 2 (donated by Specops Software)

•Up to 100 Specops Deploy licenses (for winner’s employer)

•Windows Server 2008 MCITP Enterprise Admin Training Package (donated by Train Signal)

•Exchange Server 2010 MCITP Training Package (donated by Train Signal)

 

All 10 of our Systems Administrator of the Year finalists will receive the following

 •TrainSignal coffee mug

•Specops hat

•Up to 100 SpecOps Password Licenses for their employer

Windows IT Pro prize package (tee-shirt, tote bag, portable USB charger)

Here’s John’s winning essay:

My name is John Wischmeier. We have eight locations and require access to an outside vendor within our WAN infrastructure. Our existing MPLS circuit wasn’t fast enough between a few of our locations, and the cost to upgrade the existing lines was out of reach. I shopped for a new provider and discovered that the outside vendor was only willing to work with our existing provider. That was discouraging, but I kept working on it with the hope of an answer. I found a new provider I was comfortable working with, but the solution they offered was very expensive, and we still needed to keep a line of communication to that outside vendor, which added even more expense to the proposition. Making it even more expensive was the idea that our outside vendor is critical to our business and we can’t just have one connection to them. Everyone else had given up on the project, deciding that we were either going to have to pay a very high price or we were going to have to sacrifice reliability and go with another vendor that didn’t offer the redundancy we required. I just kept pushing forward, knowing there had to be a solution out there that fit us. One night, I was eating pizza with my family and I thought to myself, “If you can order a pizza with different toppings on the two halves, why can’t you do the same thing with WAN infrastructure?” The next day, I called our existing vendor and asked if they could work with that and called the prospective vendor and asked them to put a plan together for me using those parameters. What I ended up with is an MPLS circuit with our existing provider that gives us the required redundant connection to our outside vendor, only connecting to three of our locations instead of all eight. I have another MPLS circuit with the new provider that is very high speed and has redundant paths between our locations. I then have an internal MPLS circuit that ties the other two together at multiple locations. I now have the best of both worlds: the connections I need to keep the business going with the added speed to efficiently get the job done, and we didn’t have to sacrifice reliability. We actually improved it! My favorite part was telling the owner that I was able to accomplish this and, while doing so, lower our monthly communication expenses by 25 percent!

Congratulations, John!

Stay tuned next year for our second annual Systems Administrator of the Year contest, which will coincide with System Administrator Appreciation Day, July 27, 2012.


Update: The Top 10 finalists are now posted! Please follow the link below to vote for your favorite system administrator.

Windows IT Pro, Cloud IT Pro, SharePoint Pro, and Business Technology are sponsoring a contest for readers to submit (and vote on) the Systems Administrator of the Year. The winner will be announced on August 19, 2011 August 31st, 2011.

Rules: Anyone can nominate their favorite IT professional or systems administrator, or they can nominate themselves. IT pros submit up to a 500-word essay (via an online form) describing a heroic problem-resolution scenario that qualifies this person as Systems Administrator of the Year.

Criteria: All entries will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Creativity: The winning entry will describe a scenario in which the IT pro used an especially creative or ingenious way to solve an IT problem.
  • Cost-savings: Mentioning third-party products and services is acceptable, but we’re not looking for entries that essentially say, “I had a problem and product X saved it.” We’re looking for cost-effective solutions to complicated problems.
  • Best use of available and emerging technology: Using available products and tools to solve the problem is a big plus, as is adopting new solutions that have operational and cost-saving benefits.
  • Business value: The best IT solutions are the ones that also advance the broader goals of the company or organization that employs the IT pro. Solutions that increased operational efficiency *and* saved the company money will rise to the top!

Judging:  An online form to process submissions will be posted on Wednesday, July 6th, and will remain open for submissions until Wednesday, July 27 Wednesday, August 17th. Editors from Windows IT Pro, Cloud IT Pro, SharePoint Pro, and Business Technology will review the applications and select 10 finalists. These finalists will be posted online on Friday, July 29th Friday, August 19th, and site visitors can then vote on which systems administrator should be selected as Systems Administrator of the Year.  The winner will be announced Friday, August 19th Wednesday, August 31st.

               July 27th August 17th - Deadline for Online entries
               July 29th August 19th - Top 10 Finalists selected by editors and posted       July 29th is System Administrator Appreciation Day
               August 19th August 31st - System Administrator of the Year announced



Grand Prize Winner received:

  • Xbox 360 + Kinect (Donated by ScriptLogic)
  • Apple iPad 2 (Donated by Specops Software)
  • Up to 100 Specops Deploy licenses (for winner’s employer)
  • Windows Server 2008 MCITP Enterprise Admin Training Package (donated by Train Signal)
  • Exchange Server 2010 MCITP Training Package (donated by Train Signal)

Top 10 Finalists

  • TrainSignal coffee mug
  • Specops hat
  • Up to 100 SpecOps Password Licenses for their employer
  • Windows IT Pro prize package (T-shirt, tote bag, portable USB charger)

Prize Sponsors

                     

Media Sponsors

Windows IT Pro Logo           Business Technology Logo

SharePoint Pro Logo           CLoud IT Pro Logo

Community Partners

Gitca Logo                        SysAdminDay Logo

Contest Rules

Introduction: PENTON MEDIA INC., d/b/a (Windows IT Pro, Business Technology, Cloud IT Pro and SharePoint Pro) AND Scriptlogic, Specops Software, and Trainsignal Inc. are offering the System Administrator of the Year Contest. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. Contest may only be entered in or from the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada. Any entries originating from any other jurisdiction are not eligible for entry.

Eligibility: Entrant must be a legal a resident of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia or Canada, must be 18 or older as of July 6th, 2011. Employees of Sponsors, their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies and their family/household members (defined as parents, spouse, children, siblings, grandparents) are not eligible to enter. Void outside the fifty United States, the District of Columbia and Canada and where prohibited, taxed, or restricted by law. All federal, state and/or local rules and regulations apply.

Start/End Dates: Contest begins at 12:00:01 a.m. E.T. on July 6th and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. E.T. on August 31st.

How to Enter: Visit http://www.windowsitpro.com/awards/system-administrator-of-the-year and fill in required entry information. Entrants may enter once and only one entry will be considered in the selecting the winner. Entrants must have a valid email address and contact information. No automated entry devices and/or programs permitted. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, illegible, stolen, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible, misdirected, technically corrupted or garbled entries, which will be disqualified, or for problems of any kind whether mechanical, human or electronic. Proof of submission will not be deemed to be proof of receipt by Sponsor.

Judging: An online form to process submissions will be posted on Wednesday, July 6th, and will remain open for submissions until Wednesday, August 17th. Editors from Windows IT Pro, Cloud IT Pro, SharePoint Pro, and Business Technology will review the applications and select 10 finalists. These finalists will be posted online on Friday, August 19th, and site visitors can vote on which systems administrator should be selected as Systems Administrator of the Year.  The Grand Prize winner will be announced Wednesday, August 31st.

Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Finalists will be notified by e-mail on Thursday, August 18th, 2011. The Grand Prize winner will be notified on August 30th, 2011. Each entrant selected as a potential winner must comply with all terms and conditions set forth in these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all such requirements.

Prizes: The following prizes will be awarded:

Grand Prize Winner receives:
•    Xbox 360 + Kinect (Donated by ScriptLogic)
•    Apple iPad 2 (Donated by Specops Software)
•    Up to 100 Specops Deploy licenses (for winner’s employer)
•    Windows Server 2008 MCITP Enterprise Admin Training Package (donated by Train Signal)
•     Exchange Server 2010 MCITP Training Package (donated by Train Signal)

Top 10 Finalists
•    TrainSignal coffee mug
•    Specops hat
•    Windows IT Pro prize package (T-shirt, tote bag, portable USB charger)
•    Up to 100 SpecOps Password Licenses for their employer

Approximate retail value of each Grand Prize: $3500 plus variable based on number of Specops Deploy and Password licenses awarded. Total Approximate Retail Value of All Prizes combined: $4000 plus variable (see above). Sponsors make no warranties with regard to the prizes. Prizes are not transferable. No substitutions of prize allowed by winner(s), but Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value due to prize unavailability. Prizes are not redeemable by winner for cash value. All taxes, fees and surcharges on prizes are the sole responsibility of winner.

Affidavit of Eligibility/Release: The winner will be required to execute an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Liability Release and where lawful, a Publicity Release after prize notification. If the winner cannot be contacted or if prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, if winner rejects his/her prize or in the event of noncompliance with these Contest rules and requirements, such prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be selected from all remaining eligible entries. Upon prize forfeiture, no compensation will be given. (Limit one prize per person or household).

Conditions: Sponsor will have right to photograph winner. Entry constitutes permission to winner’s name, picture, likeness, and city and state of residence for purposes of trade, publicity or promotion for no additional compensation except where prohibited by law. By participating, entrants, winner(s) and travel companion(s)] agree to release and hold harmless Sponsors, and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotions agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors, from any and all liability, for loss, harm, damage, injury, cost or expense whatsoever including without limitation, property damage, personal injury and/or death which may occur in connection with, preparation for, travel to, or participation in Contest, or possession, acceptance and/or use or misuse of prize or participation in any Contest-related activity and for any claims based on publicity rights, defamation or invasion of privacy and merchandise delivery. Sponsors are not responsible if Contest cannot take place or if any prize cannot be awarded due to travel cancellations, delays or interruptions due to acts of God, acts of war, natural disasters, weather or acts of terrorism.

Miscellaneous: All entries become the sole property of Sponsor(s) and none will be returned. In the event of a dispute, entries made by Internet will be deemed made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of entry. The "authorized account holder" is deemed the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, service provider or other online organization that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address. A potential winner may be requested to provide Sponsor(s) with proof that the potential winner is the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the winning entry. If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including due to infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failure, human error or any other causes beyond the control of Sponsor that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Contest, Sponsor(s) reserve(s) the right in [its/their] sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process, and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries. The Sponsor(s) [is/are] not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail or entry to be received by Sponsor(s) on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any web site, any combination thereof, or otherwise, including any injury or damage to entrant's or any other person's computer related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials in the Contest. Sponsor may prohibit an entrant from participating in the Contest or winning a prize if, in its sole discretion, it determines that said entrant is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, hacking, deception, or other unfair playing practices (including the use of automated quick entry programs) or intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other entrants or Sponsor representatives.

CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR(S) RESERVE(S) THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

List of Winners/Winner's Name: To obtain a listing of winners, visit the contest award web page after August 31st, 2011.

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