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Netuitive Experience with the 2010 CODiE Awards

They say that lightning never strikes twice, so after having won a CODiE award in 2009; we had tempered expectations for 2010. But you have to try right?

Being still a relatively small (but successful) company, you always have to weigh how to spend budget on traditional lead generation, but also how to spend the precious few dollars you have just to get noticed. We don’t exactly have a “brand manager” or a huge PR budget.

So one area Netuitive has always focused on is trying to win industry awards by carefully choosing our battles. One important one for us is Best of VMworld in the virtualization space. The other one (that was introduced to us by our PR agency) was the CODiE awards given by SIIA. In many ways, we’ve always said that this is a “peer” award much like the Screen Actors Guild awards for actors.

So coming off a successful win at VMworld in 2009, we had plan for 2010 to try to win the CODiE again and to roughly align the announcement of the winners with a big new product launch of version 5.0 of our product. Risky? Yes, but if the stars align you come out smelling like roses.

Once we signed up to be evaluated for the contest late in 2009 we were sent contact information for two judges to whom we were either supposed to make the software available or at least to whom we needed to do a demo. Both judges had some background in systems management software, but it was a nice contrasting mix since one judge was an IT consultant (Brian Reed) with some marketing / positioning exposure and the other judge (Steven Sweet) was a pure IT guy.

It was hectic to try to schedule the demos starting just before the holidays, but we finally were able to schedule an hour with each judge and do a live demo for them. We also gave them access to the demo environment afterwards for some hand-on if they so chose. I must say the contrasting viewpoints of the judges were a nice surprise. One judge wanted to make sure he clearly understood how we were uniquely positioning the value of our software to the market, and the 2nd judge was more interested in the pure nuts and bolts of how the software worked. Both judges were very fair and pleasant to work with.

We were very happy to make it to the FINALIST round, which we consider newsworthy – so we did a Press Release on this early in the year. This is the point where you’ve done what you can and the process gets beyond what you can control.

We completed the profile information for our listing on the CODiE FINALIST pages and there was nothing left to do but to await the voting from the SIIA members on who the winner would be. It’s especially tough when you are not allowed to “lobby” for votes, but I guess that’s the more equitable way to do it.

When the time came for the Awards luncheon, I was stressing out because all of our Executives were going to be in a Board meeting. We asked a former representative from our PR firm to attend on our behalf (she introduced us to the CODiEs) and again, my blood pressure shot up when I heard she was involved in an accident the morning of the luncheon (her car was damaged but she was unhurt).

So you can imagine my elation when at the end of the day, we go an e-mail saying that we had captured the “Best Systems Management” CODiE award for the 2nd year. I was preparing for a major product launch on June 2nd and this was perfect news to lead up to the launch.

After hearing the news, put out a Press Release and I had to rush to add the CODiE 2010 award logos to all our key presentations and to our web site to take advantage of the synergies with our product launch.

So in closing, I’ll say what I think are the two best things about our experience and about winning a CODiE in general:

So that’s my take on winning the CODiE in 2010. Can I dare to hope for three in a row?