#ImagineCup – IT Challenge – Learning resources for Round II (Updated 2012)


This document and its content for Round II, is based on my own Imagine Cup experience. Please feel free to improve the content of this document and post it back in the Imagine Cup forum, or send us your feedback and we will update it. All the references in this material are optional and non-exclusive. There are plenty of resources available that you can use and this is only a small part of them.


First step is to better understand the products required in the proposal. One mandatory requirement is to use Latest Microsoft Products into your proposal. In that case you must know about each product recommended next elements:

  • Product versions (ex. 2007 Standard, 2008 Enterprise, 2008 R2 64b version)
  • Hardware requirements (processor architecture, RAM, HDD size, network bandwidth allocation etc)
  • Software requirements: OS, features or roles: IIS, SQL Server, etc., incompatibilities with…
  • Features and differences between versions

When you are made a proposal and a configuration must be sure that you meet all hardware and software requirements. Do not use Beta versions into your proposal.


1. About your proposal

For the beginning it is very important to write a clear business case, and you can try to respect the structure of an official document. Few references about how to write a business proposal:

Recommended sections into your business plan proposal:

  • Details about you: Name, Country, University
  • Table of contents for your proposal
  • Executive summary / Introduction / Overview: a general description of your proposal: 200 – 500 words. In this part you must specify what are you intend to present in the content of your proposal.
  • Product and Technology Recommendation: a list of software products used in headquarter and in branch offices including version, service pack, reason to use
  • Configuration Recommendation – how your products must be configured to meet the requirements. This part could be structured oriented per services: Directory Services, Infrastructure Services, Virtual Services, etc.
  • Bibliography (Optional) – Your proposal is not a research paper, but you can use if you want bibliographic references.

    2. Fundamental materials

    Technical references by products

    Greatest collection of resources for Round 2 into this reference: https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=75a27106a7b175cb&sc=documents&id=75A27106A7B175CB%212413


    3. General tools

    You have needed to use some Office tools for Round 2.

    • For writing Business Case proposal you can use Microsoft Word or other application compatible with DOC, DOCX, PDF, RTF, TXT, and HTML.
    • For drawing design diagrams you can use Microsoft Visio. IF you are using another application it is better to save your diagrams into an image format: JPG, GIF, BMP, TIFF or PDF.
    • You can purpose a project plan and resource allocation using Microsoft Project or Visio.
    • You can create a detailed list of hardware and software used into your proposal using Microsoft Excel.
    • A better resource in capacity planning could be Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit.

    4. Translators

    If you have problems with English you can chose an on-line translation tools:

    5. Virtual labs and software

    An important resource for your preparation, if you do not have access to www.msdnaa.net, is TechNet Virtual Labs. There is a list of Virtual Labs when you can experience the configuration of a system. You must sign up with your Hotmail passport.


    6. Final remarks

    Please do not Copy/Paste from these materials. In last year’s there were few people that are made that, and this is not fair for other competitors. You can use this materials as a general guides for your proposal but do not forget to be original and main goal is to provide a general proposal based on business requirements.

    Do you want to know more? Access this resource: https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=75a27106a7b175cb&sc=documents&id=75A27106A7B175CB%212413


    7. Important dates

    • 14 February 2012 – The Round 2 Case Study will start.
    • 28 February at 16:00 GMT or 29 February at 03:00 GMT Join IT Challenge Captains Rand Morimoto and Chris Amaris via Live Meeting and ask them about competing in the IT Challenge.
    • 27 March 2012 – Round 2 Closes


    8. Connected links

    Motivational stories: ImagineCup IT Challenge History and tradition

    Good luck!


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