Well, this is something I was never expecting to write on my blog. Something huge, at least for me, something that marks a personal milestone in my life.
I’ve been working for the MVP Award Program for several years: first, as a Community Program Manager (aka MVP Lead) for Italy, then, little by little, my manager gave me this great opportunity to take also care of the MVP Program in Central and Eastern Europe. That was a big change too, not only because of the increased number of MVPs I was about to represent, but also managing the business in 21 Countries meaning talking to the local stakeholders and making sure the MVP Program was getting enough visibility and awareness for the sake of both parties.
During this journey I met Amazing People, from so many different Countries and with different cultures and backgrounds I only dreamed of. Amazing and talented people from half of the Continent, I had the pleasure to attend so many different events and social gatherings, I had the opportunity to visit places that were only in my dreams. And all of this, I still have vividly on my mind.
Now is the time for a change. Big change. Huge change, as I said, at least for me. Well, to be honest I am not going anywhere (if someone is worrying about me leaving the Company I love ). Even more, I’m not leaving the MVP Award Program, the Program I helped to build and that I never, for a moment, doubted its existence and its power and strength in the online and offline Communities.
So what’s the big deal then? I’m thrilled and honored to announce that I’ve been appointed Regional Manager for EMEA. WOW !! I still can’t believe that. The amazing thing is that the Team I love, the Program I love, the Communities I started to love years ago, will still part of my life .
I’ll be driving the Program in the whole Region, going to talk to a lot of different colleagues (internal awareness, as in all the Companies, it’s an important part of any Program) as a sort of “MVP Evangelist” as well as externally to the broad audience.
I’ll be responsible for the “EMEA Dream Team”, Talented People who, on a daily basis, take care of the MVP Award Program in different areas of the Region, driving the business in the Countries they represent and making sure other parties engage the MVPs in various activities.
This wouldn’t have happened without the learning process I’ve been involved in: great Managers, a great Executive Team, great people around me from which I learned a lot and to whom I’m really grateful. And it’s not just a bunch of people, I think the learning curve went up in the last 2 years also because of the many people I had the pleasure to interact with. Whether it was during an event, on Twitter, on Facebook, by e-mail, through Lync meetings and in-person discussions and roundtable. Wow, if I think about that I really can’t count the number of online and offline interactions I had during the last few years !
Having said that, I’ll be soon announcing, by email this time, the changes that will happen in the Region. Specifically for CEE & Italy MVPs, don’t worry about a thing, you’ll be in good hands! But right now I just wanted to drop down a few lines, making sure you’d see me happily jumping in the office, from one meeting room to another (you got the picture right? )
Thank YOU so much for trusting me, I’m intending to return the favor by doing my best and make the Program, with the help of the EMEA Team, even better in the whole Region !
We had a lot of exciting activities, events and engagements during the last few months.
And time really passes by when you enjoy yourself doing these kind of things.
Other than the local events (which are lot, considering Microsoft events and User Groups/Community events), we had the MVP Global Summit 2013 in Seattle, WA which was a stunning experience! MVPs had the opportunity to interact not only among themselves (which I think brings a lot of adding value in terms of networking and mingling) but also with the Product Teams, the Teams who actually build and develop Microsoft Products. And that is only the tip of the iceberg, only one of the things you can get from the event itself …
Also, we recently had a refresh of the MVP Award Website, which, IMHO, is the best we ever had. A brand new website with tons of features and content (I love it !)
But, back to the topic:
Congratulations to the newly Awarded Microsoft MVPs (sorted by name), living in Central, Eastern Europe (excluding Russia and CIS Countries) and Italy:
|Bruno Kovačić||Windows Azure||Croatia|
|Danijel Malik||Visual Studio ALM||Slovenia|
|Dávid Fülöp||Visual C#||Hungary|
|Fabio Franzini||SharePoint Server||Italy|
|István Király||Setup & Deployment||Hungary|
|Luchian Grigore||Visual C++||Romania|
|Marek Chmel||SQL Server||Czech Republic|
|Pataridis Panagiotis||Remote Desktop Services||Greece|
|Patrick Lamber||SharePoint Server||Italy|
|Toni Petrina||Visual C#||Croatia|
A BIG CONGRATS to the Microsoft MVPs who have been renewed this Award cycle: the list is long so I apologize in advance if I don’t post the whole list but I still want to congratulate them for their community involvement. Being renewed is as tough as being awarded for the first time and being involved in the online and offline community environments is a challenge.
And for the ones who didn’t make it, don’t lose hope: I’m sure if you put a little extra effort you’ll be able to get the Award again.
Enjoy your Award, hoping this would also be a nice Easter Holiday gift
After Christmas, holidays (for the lucky ones who had them) and the New Year, I really hope you enjoyed them as mush I did.
This post is something a lot of people are waiting for: this is about the new Microsoft MVP Awardees @ the 1st of January.
As you may know, the Microsoft MVP Program is an Award given to exceptional people who voluntarily shared their knowledge on Microsoft products. Whether it’s an online forum or a technical speech, the Microsoft MVPs are independent people who gained the trust of their peers by facts. It’s about communities, it’s about sharing the personal/professional experience they acquired on the field. It’s about giving feedback, providing guidance to their online and offline peers. It’s about sharing.
And every 3 months, we evaluate old and new potential and current MVPs to get the best and brightest and I hope we’re doing a good job !
Finding the right people is the #1 goal and, as said, sometimes it’s not easy. But I can tell you I’m helped by a lot of people in this process. So now please join me in Congratulating the following awarded people as Microsoft MVPs (sorted by name), living in Central, Eastern Europe (excluding Russia and CIS Countries) and Italy:
|Darko Jovišić||Dynamics CRM||Croatia|
|Robert Voncina||SharePoint Server||Slovenia|
|Vlatko Ivanovski||Visual Studio ALM||Macedonia F.Y.R.O|
A BIG CONGRATS to the Microsoft MVPs who have been renewed this Award cycle: the list is long so I apologize in advance if I don’t post the whole list but I still want to congratulate them for their community involvement. Being renewed is as tough as being awarded for the first time and being involved in the online and offline community environments is a challenge. Think about it: do you have time to dedicate to the others? Do you have time to travel to another City or Country to make a speech or participate as an Ask The Expert during a Microsoft and/or a Community event? Do you have time to write articles and technical blog posts? Yes, the list is long and I can go on and on… But the driver is not the MVP Award, the driver is the Passion these people have, Passion to organize User Group events in their spare time, Passion to support users in troubleshooting their technical problems, Passion to write about the products they love more, Passion to share their experience on the field so others can benefit from that. Easy, eh?
And for the ones who didn’t make it, don’t lose hope: I’m sure if you put a little extra effort you’ll be able to get the Award !
Enjoy your Award and Congratulations again !!
If you were there, you know how it was. If you weren’t there for any reason, you can read the full report here…
“Microsoft SharePoint Server is an undeniable market leader and practically a standard when it comes to cooperation as well as managing contents and documents. SharePoint is a platform that connects people, organizations, information and ideas. How widespread and popular SharePoint products are, can also be concluded from the numbers: 80% Fortune 500 companies use SharePoint with a total of 125 million sold licenses. If it were an independent company, SharePoint would still be among the 50 largest in the world.
The other two members of the same group of Microsoft products, Microsoft Project and Microsoft Project Server, do not need a special introduction: they have become synonyms for projects managing tools. The first project managing tools that comes to mind to most professionals is, in fact, Microsoft Project.
After the recent Microsoft’s release of its bets version of the new generation Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Office products (which belong to Microsoft Projects), the already big interest for these products has increased even more. For this reason, for the first time in this region, a specialized conference about Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Project technologies will be held in Zagreb on 28 November, 2012 under the name SharePoint and Project Conference Adriatics. A total of eighteen lectures will be divided into three parallel tracks: BIZ, DEV and IT Pro.”
Join famous speakers like Michael Noel, Joel Oleson, Agnes Molnar, Wictor Wilén, Zlatan Džinić, internationally acclaimed experts as well as Microsoft’s MVPs from the Region Toni Frankola, Adis Jugo, Nenad Trajkovski, Darko Milevski and others !
I’m very happy to announce that the Unofficial MVP Polish website is now live !
It has completely built from the ground up from the Polish MVPs with the aim to have a local website to feature local activities, publications, profiles and a lot more.
One interest data is the list of former and actual Microsoft MVPs (http://msmvp.pl/lista-mvp). You’ll also find interviews, photos, personal links and bios published by the MVPs.
More data is expected to come soon so I’d recommend to check back the site for more info.
In addition, static content includes an MVP Award Program description and a simple FAQ.
One of the most complex solutions in the whole project is the RSS aggregator that combines all Polish MVP blog feeds (those that agreed and provided their feeds) and makes it available for consumption. The aggregator itself was extracted to a separate side-project, hosted on GitHub.
Last but not least, the website has some basic Twitter integration as it shows all Polish MVPs tweets in a side gadget.
What about the minds behind that?
Congratulations guys, the site is awesome!
Link to: Program Microsoft MVP w Polsce
Holidays are approaching, slowly , @ least for the lucky ones, and it’s a good exercise, during this period, to look back and see what we as a Program have achieved from a community standpoint. Lots of events in the whole Region I represent (Central, Eastern Europe & Italy, excluding Russia & CIS Countries which are managed by my dear colleague Yulia Belyanina), lots of Product Group Interactions, lots of articles, webcasts, forum posts, blogging, local projects with every single Microsoft Subsidiary: it was definitely tons of things! I’m really happy about the Program, of course, because it changes a bit every year but the nature of it is still intact.
Just an example: we recently announced the new MVP Award Program website, which has been totally rewritten with a Metro-style UI, and the possibilities to do a lot more than the old one.
Back to the Nomination process, and as you may know, we have 4 Nomination Cycles:
- January, 1st
- April, 1st
- July, 1st
- October 1st
This is about the III one, the July Award Cycle. The cycles involves lots of stakeholders and nothing is taken from granted (renewing MVPs knows that very clearly ). The are people from the local Microsoft Subsidiaries, of course us Community Program Managers (aka MVP Leads), the Business Group Leads and the Product Teams.
I cannot stress enough the fact that the Most Valuable Professional is, in fact, an Award. It’s not a certification, it’s not a Partner-affiliation program, it’s an Award. And it is given to the ones who consistently shared their expertise, with their peers, in the online and offline communities. It’s something you gain in the field. And Microsoft, with this Award, wants to THANK these people for their extraordinary community activities, together with a strong competency on a specific area/Product.
With that said, Please WELCOME the new awarded Microsoft MVPs, sorted by Name:
|Jan Matejka||System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management||Czech Republic|
|Kamil Skalski||System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management||Poland|
|Laura La Manna||Visual C#||Italy|
|Lukasz Kaluzny||Virtual Machine||Poland|
|Marius Ene||Directory Services||Romania|
|Tomáš Slavíček||XNA/DirectX||Czech Republic|
A BIG CONGRATS to you guys MVPs and of course to the ones that have been re-Awarded. The MVP Award lasts 12 months and every single candidature is treated carefully and thoroughly so I totally understand the excitement (and sometimes the pain ) to wait for an email saying that you’ve been Awarded again.
There are also people (very few, to be honest) who has not been awarded: as I’m not happy about that, sometimes there are reasons: people changed their jobs, moved to another Country, or for whatever reasons they decided to stop being active in the communities or they’ve not been active enough to be re-awarded. I always tell them that they can keep me as their primary point of contact for contacting Microsoft moving forward: and you never know, one can be out of the Program for a while and then back after a few months so, as I always say, don’t lose faith . We also launched an initiative to keep in touch with both, MVPs former MVPs through a LinkedIn Group (membership is limited to active and retired MVPs) http://ow.ly/bKmIC which, IMHO, is a good way not to lose contact with the MVP community as a whole.
If you’re on Twitter, feel free to follow @MVPAward , myself and the #mvpbuzz hashtag: you’ll be amazed to see a great MVP community sharing a lot of real-life stories (covering different Microsoft products and technologies) that may also comes at hand when you’re in trouble
That said, Enjoy your Award and Congratulations !
I’m really excited about the recent announcement about Windows Phone 8, as you can imagine.
I’m also happy to see that our Windows Phone 7.5 will be upgraded to 7.8 version, with those beautiful Live Tiles I fell in love with
It is the time, yes, to communicate the new MVP Awardees for the April cycle. As you may know, there are 3 different cycles and every 3 months I publish information about newly awarded Microsoft MVPs on my blog regarding the Region I represent: Central, Eastern Europe & Italy.
I know many people are anxious when it comes to re-awarding, especially on the 1st of April, where it may seems to be a joke (but it’s not! ), and it’s totally understandable. When you get the MVP Award, it means you dedicated a lot of time and efforts to help your peers, whether it was online or offline, and the meaning of this Award is a THANK YOU for what you did for the communities, for your peers, using your technical skills to make sure people understands how to use our product in a 1:many relationship. So I guess it’s natural to be a little bit nervous…
I’m truly honored to represent this prestigious Award and I’d like to CONGRATULATE the following new MVPs, sorted by Name:
|Alessandra Salvaggio||Office System||Italy|
|Damir Arh||Data Platform Development||Slovenia|
|Francesco Valerio Buccoli||Virtual Machine||Italy|
|Goran Milanov||SQL Azure||Serbia|
|Ivan Kardum||Visual Studio ALM||Croatia|
|Luka Manojlovic||Small Business Server||Slovenia|
|Marek Pyka||Virtual Machine||Poland|
|Mario Serra||Directory Services||Italy|
|Mirco Vanini||Device Application Development||Italy|
|Silvio Di Benedetto||System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management||Italy|
(this list is related to the new MVPs in the Region I represent, which is CEE & Italy, excluding Russia and CIS Countries).
A BIG CONGRATS to you guys MVPs and of course to the ones that have been re-Awarded. And being re-Awarded is tough as well: don’t you think MVPs are taking it for granted. The MVP Award lasts 12 months and every single candidature is treated carefully and thoroughly so I totally understand the excitement (and sometimes the pain ) to wait for an email saying that you’ve been Awarded again.
That said, I’ll be travelling abroad in the Region so I really hope we can meet in person!
I also wanted to spend a few words for the ones who haven’t been award so far or who have been declined on this cycle: as I’m really sorry for that, I’m sure you’ll get a chance to be nominated again so don’t lose faith!
That said, Enjoy your Award and Congratulations Again !
I had some great holidays during this summer, up in the mountains.
And I deliberately chose not to bring my laptop with me so not to be tempted to work. Anyway I used my Windows Phone to check my emails: not on a regular basis but at least to check the most important stuff that was going on. I wanted to take out job stuff from my vacations but I couldn’t resist. Every year I bring my laptop with me mostly for the candidates’ reviews (to see if everything was working the way I was expecting to).
So that was my first lesson: never leave my laptop @ home.
Because after I came back, I switched it on only to realize that the hard disk was broken. Oh my, I was so disappointed, especially because I was not so sure that I backed everything up.
With all the cloud services we now have at our disposal, none of them had all the stuff (at least the recent one) I was supposed to reinstall on my laptop. Fortunately, I made a backup on May, 2011 on my external hard disk so not everything was lost. Also, SkyDrive and Windows Live Mesh did help me in recovering some of the most important files I had.
Having said that, it was not over…
I ordered a new hard disk from HP (thanks to the local IT for the big help!) but it took about a week to have it. In the meantime, my smartcard was not working. Bummer !
As you may know, in order to have Direct Access on Windows 7 working, you have to use BitLocker and then use your smartcard to enable the corpnet access.
So I was lost…
Not to mention I got flu that took me @ home for almost a week.
So I went to the local IT and ordered a new one but it takes some time.
Long story short: I have my laptop (which is great), I recovered most of the files (even better) but I still need my smartcard. Well, close enough, I’m @ 80% I’d say…
Back to us,
during the hiking time back to the mountains I had some time to think about all the activities and top stories and the great collaborations with all the Countries I have the pleasure to represent as the Community Program Manager for the MVP Award Program. I guess everyone does that: when you have time and you’re relaxed, it’s much easier to build your last year’s history. Even better, you have a lot of creativity and lots of ideas that you want to put into action.
So, apart from being stuck right after my holidays, I’m SO READY to start the new (fiscal) year!
And you know what? There are a lot of things happening and planned to happen in the next 90 days. Lots of events, lots of engagements and of course the Microsoft and the 3rd party forums are still running and they get healthier.
You know I’m addicted to the social media and, to me, it’s the best way to monitor what is going on in the communities. As I represent 20 Countries, it’s not that easy to track everything you want to but at least you got what I need.
Also, I found a new way to use my Windows Phone more effectively: basically I created groups in which there are people (aka Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn accounts) that I want to monitor. In that way, and when you don’t have much time to use a PC client, I was able to get the most important things, at least important for me and the Communities.
So from an offline perspective, here is what is going to happen in the next 90 days (again, this is not a comprehensive list):
Mobility Day – Zagreb, Croatia (September 21st)
SQL TUNEIN – Zagreb, Croatia (September 26, 27)
Bleeding Edge 2011 – Gozd Martuljek, Slovenia (September 29th, 30th)
DevReach – Sofia, Bulgaria (October17-18)
Microsoft TechDay 2011 Baltic Region (October 18th till 20th)
Estonian page contains links to TechDay Lithuania & TechDay Latvia as well
Microsoft Technology Summit – Warsaw, Poland (October 18-19)
Sinergija – Belgrade, Serbia (October 18-20th)
Microsoft Vizija – Skopje Macedonia F.Y.R.O. (October 20-21)
Virtualization Conference 2011 – Milan, Italy (November, 16-17)
Windows Professional Conference – Milan, Italy (November 22-24)
Microsoft Fest 2011 – Prague, Czech Republic (November 26-27)
ITPro-Dev Connections 2011 – Athens, Greece (November 26-27)
As you can see many events (or I should say at least some of the most important ones) are happening in the Region, with a strong Microsoft MVP participation, whether the MVPs will be speakers or Ask The Expert. These are events that are community-driven and/or Microsoft-driven with the help of the Communities and I guess it’s a great opportunity for all the community members to stop by to some of these events and have a chance to talk with them about Microsoft technology.
And bear with me if I missed some events: feel free to comment on this post and let me know (I’m still digging around to see what’s going to happen and also starting to have conference calls and Live Meetings with my colleagues in the Region but of course it takes time so any help would be much appreciated!)
Of course I didn’t forget about the MVP candidates’ review, which is, as a matter of fact, the first thing I want & need to make sure it’s okay. So expect a blog post, as always, the 1st of October, late in the day, to see new names/new faces and great community contributors being awarded as part of this exciting community which is the MVP Award Program.
So, putting aside all the issues I had after my holidays’ return, I’m VERY VERY excited to start a new year with a lot of activities being so confident that the communities and the Microsoft MVPs will have a big part on the new wave of Microsoft Products and a strong impact on the future of Microsoft Technologies moving forward.
And you know what? I want to be part of it too !!
It’s the first of July and I’m here to announce another important milestone in the MVP Award Program.
We evaluated, scrutinized, “monitored” and got recommendations of outstanding community contributors in the Region I represent (Italy & CEE, excluding Russia + CIS Countries).
And it’s always a challenge, making sure we got all the information, making sure we nominate people in the right expertise (and it’s not always a piece o’ cake). But we ended up, hopefully, to Award the people that really deserve it !
I’m of course helped in this journey, which happens every 3 months: by dear colleague Marjorie, who really works hard on that period of time (and not only during that time ), by the local stakeholders, including the Audience Marketing Managers up to the DPE Leads, Directors and BMO Lead who can (and actually is very appreciated) give their opinions on the candidates that are in review. I guess the actual process really works thanks to all the people that are involved in this (and they are a lot, believe me ).
Having said that I would like to announce the newly Awarded MVPs for the 1st of July (sorted by name):
|Darko Milevski||SharePoint Server||Macedonia F.Y.R.O|
|Grzegorz Rycaj||Visual Studio ALM||Poland|
|Hajan Selmani||ASP.NET/IIS||Macedonia F.Y.R.O|
|Joanna Subik||System Center Operations Manager||Poland|
|Kaido Järvemets||System Center Configuration Manager||Estonia|
|Karel Klatovský||Remote Desktop Services||Czech Republic|
|Margarita Naumova||SQL Server||Bulgaria|
|Martin Wilhelm Angler||SharePoint Server||Italy|
|Peter Gubarevich||Enterprise Security||Latvia|
|Peter Holpar||SharePoint Server||Hungary|
|Piotr Pawlik||Exchange Server||Poland|
|Radi Atanassov||SharePoint Server||Bulgaria|
|Rok Bermež||Windows Azure||Slovenia|
|Salvatore Di Fazio||SharePoint Server||Italy|
|Slavko Kukrika||Windows Expert-IT Pro||Slovenia|
As soon as they’ll publish the good news (hopefully it’s a good news for them ) by blogging, micro-blogging and/or on their MVP Profiles, I will add the links to their names so you can start familiarize with them.).
A BIG CONGRATS to the MVPs who have been renewed this Award cycle: the list is long but I want to congratulate them for their hard community involvement. Being renewed is as tough as being awarded for the first time. Being involved in the online and offline community environments is a challenge (time constraints, few or no help from other community members, several trips to make speeches, spending big amount of time reviewing and writing articles and books and so forth). It’s the PASSION that drives us all, and it should always be like that.
Enjoy your Award and join me in congratulating them !
These are technical “networks” where you can find relevant information regarding User Group events/articles/content and any other interesting stuff for the topics you may be interested in.
Then we had UGSS, a repository of all the information, including all the topics and all audiences (Developers, ITPros, Information Workers and Consumers).
Now UGSS entered a new phase with the launch on http://www.technicalcommunity.com
The web interface is way better than the old one. From a user perspective, it helps you find content and events very easily.
From a User Group President perspective, you can do more. You can search for sponsors, available speakers when it comes to organize an event (by doing a search by audience/product), content and funding. There are also some User Group training kits (they don’t cover all technologies yet) available for you to consume.
It’s very easy to register and, if you are a user like me, you can subscribe up to 10 User Groups everywhere in the world so to be informed on what is going on in the Countries and the topics you are interested in.
So, if you are a technical speaker, this is a good chance to improve your reputation and start collaborating with other User Groups. If you are a User Group President or part of the Board, this is a good way to promote your events and find relevant speakers if you can’t find one, say, on Windows Azure. Also, you can make a request on booking one of the many Microsoft Innovation Centers to hold your event.
The existing data from UGSS have already been migrated but it’s still an ongoing process so please feel free to send an email to email@example.com to report an issue or make a request.
Link to: UGSS – Home