What Are “User Reference Programs”

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urpsWhen Niraj Patel picks up his phone, a reporter on the other end asks him for a few minutes of his time. Patel, the network and telecommunications manager for General Motors Acceptance Corp., a national finance company, settles back in his chair, interrupting his work for a conversation that could last 30 minutes. Hes used to calls like this. As part of Novell Inc.s user-reference program, he gets requests for interviews at least once a week.

Although its not an official part of the job, Patel and dozens of other IT executives at Fortune …

3Com Execs Were Smart, But Not Smart Enough To Win

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3comThey’ve pinned down 10 deals–and a reputation as M&A champions–by buying technology and talent, not companies. Let Janice Roberts and John Boyle show you the ropes.

They don’t go by names like The Mortician or Macho Man. They don’t bellow threats. And they don’t fling themselves around the ropes. But don’t let that fool you. Janice Roberts and John Boyle are the industry’s championship tag team in the arena of mergers and acquisitions. Wearing 3Com’s corporate colors, they’ve pinned down 10 new companies in the past 18 months. Along the way, they’ve muscled 3Com into …