Okay, DON’T confuse this with the external Developer contest! Phase-1 of that contest is open till Feb 27th, 2009. We extended it, remember?This one is about the INTERNAL developer contest. It closed on Jan 12th, 2009. For those who don’t know, this was something we mentioned in one of the previous blogs. In conjunction with the external contest we adopted a two-fold approach to this contest, with an internal version focused on our Sales and Network Engineering community with a small prize pool. Since our SEs are among the closest technical liasons to our customers, and understand the branch problem space the best, we thought it’d be a great idea to get them to submit innovative ideas, and tap into their knowledge of customer deployments. Over the last few weeks, we received a few questions about our internal contest results and if the winners were finalized. I thought it’s perhaps a good time to give an update.Since we don’t expect any of our Sales Engineers to code (a lot of them probably are hardcode coders though), we restricted the entries to proposal submissions only. Yeah, the shrewd observer will realize that it somewhat concurs with the Phase-1 of the external contest. There were some differences though -- the template for the internal contest was geared towards customer relevance and applicability of the solution to deployments familiar to them. I just want to exult for a moment and state that our global SE community rose to the challenge and delivered a number of innovative proposals, many with detailed schematics of the solution and its possible implementation. A panel of judges with diverse areas of expertise did the honors and it was tough to shortlist and choose three. Why am I sharing details of the internal contest here? Because we intend to share some of the innovative ideas from our SEs in this blog and on the contest website.. There were a number of honourable mentions too. We’ll try to bring them on and get their perspectives as well. When? Due to legal restrictions and to ensure a level playing, we will share these results and abstracts of the proposals after the close of the external contest on Feb 27th, 2009. It’ll be fun to see how some of these ideas measure up with the ones that we got externally. For all those sending in their entries for the external contest, we do know this is a challenging contest. You’re not only submitting a proposal, but are required to follow through and develop proof-of-concept applications in a timebound manner. So give yourself a pat on the back for taking this on. The next few months are going to be quite interesting, so enjoy the ride!