A tale of woe from the front line

A friend of mine phoned me up in a tizzy last week. His company had thrown him for a major loop but he doesn't feel he can leave because of the state of the economy.

Here's the deal. My friend is a network manager at a major manufacturer. He has spent a good part of his many decades in the business pursuing every Novell certification available. He built up what he believes to be an incredibly stable shop full of the best Novell gear. He has also made allowances for Windows connectivity because of the multiple mergers and acquisitions his company has gone through with predominately Microsoft shops.

To that end, he has some Microsoft training, but has not delved as deeply into the world of Microsoft certifications as he has for Novell.

However, he recently received word from his corporate executives that the company would be switching over to an entirely Microsoft shop. To boot, he would have to plop down part of the money for training - a sum of at least $4,000.

His conundrum is twofold. He does not have the time or money to pursue this new career course. The company has already bought some of the Microsoft equipment and placed it at various sites around the country. So he has to figure out how to tie it neatly into the current Novell system. He had proposed an alternative solution that would allow for some Microsoft integration, but something that would be more manageable. His higher-ups turned him down flat. They are committed to this new Microsoft direction.

He also is concerned that going with a complete switchover to Microsoft products when they are predominately a Novell shop is a bad strategy. He thinks there are going to be more hassles than benefits just because of how far-reaching the Novell gear is in the network.

Because his managers won't listen to him, he is frustrated. At the core of his frustration is the fact that it has taken him his whole career to reach the pinnacle of Novell expertise and suddenly, dramatically, he is expected to do a complete turnaround and start out fresh with Microsoft's offerings.

What do you think he should do? Let me know at mailto:sgittlen@nww.com.

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