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…
We have a lot of stuff coming up in FY13, lots of events (one above all, the Regional CEE & Italy MVP Summit during KulenDayz), Build, MVP Global Summit in US, and all the local events, MS and community events that will be held in the whole Region (and they are a lot, believe me..).
There are also lots and lots of online activities, from the forums posts to the webcasts/screencasts, from books and e-books to technical articles. Microsoft MVPs, the User Group Presidents, the Student Partners, the Regional Directors. In a word, the whole community ecosystem is already on track to deliver world-class technical activities f which thousands and thousands peers and users will benefit of.
I thought this was the best time to take some days off and make a blog post using my Windows Phone before the whole “community machine” will unleash its full power.
So now I’m taking a full break, relaxing a bit before the “unleash hell” command will be given
See you very soon!
“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 !
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 !
When I was @ the Microsoft Technology Summit in Poland few weeks ago I had the pleasure to talk with a lot of MVPs @ the Community Booth that had been set up for the event. BTW, that was a HUGE event with, I presume, almost 2.500 attendees. As you can imagine, it’s the biggest annual Microsoft event in Warsaw and, from what I’ve seen, it was a real success.
Well, during these conversations a lot of interesting things normally come up. One of those was regarding the VirtualStudy.pl (not to mention all the other communities like WSS.pl, codeguru.pl and a lot more).
Thanks to the hard of the community members, VirtualStudy.pl now has a full support of English language, an English forum and even a few videos in English available as VOD.
At the same time the board is now looking for presenters who would like to prepare and present sessions in English (possibly with good presentation skills).
VirtualStudy.pl was created to allow users to attend online meetings and learn free of charge. Since the beginning they had quite a few interesting courses like Windows Server, SharePoint 2010 Training, SQLServer 2008, Windows Phone 7 programing, as well as 6 month C# training course which finished with an exam and certificates) where the average number of attendees was around 200-300 people.
Currently VirtualStudy.pl hosts all the previous sessions on a on-Demand basis (few hundred sessions are already available to watch).
These online sessions do not contain any marketing content, but it’s pure technical Microsoft knowledge.
And at the moment they are currently organize their first VirtualStudy.pl Conference 2011.
So this is a call to action for anyone with technical skills on Microsoft Technologies who wants to deliver English presentation.
And, just to close the topic that I started at the very beginning, these are some pictures from the MTS:
And this is me, powered by a customized Chrome-Joke T-shirt (), when I just got a nice & unexpected gift:
Thank you for the wonderful time guys: I’ll see you next time in Warsaw (or even before, @ the MVP Global Summit !!)