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Our first Surface Hub Event !

Yes, the title says it itself, although it’s gonna be more than that. But yes, we are gonna host the first IBV event related to the #SurfaceHub (and the #HoloLens) here in Zurich next week. You can’t imagine the excitement I can feel around me! And the excitement is pretty high on my side too as it’s the first IBV event that I co-organize somehow. I wish it could all be perfect but, although we know we can’t hit the top (the 100% perfection), me and my “counterpart” Michi are very confident it’s gonna be successful and we’re gonna get close to that number!

But let me do a step back on: Why we are doing this? Well, since I joined IBV one of the things we started to do was to embrace new technologies, technologies you can bet they’re going to represent the future for all of us. No matter what the size or the weight they have right now, in just a few years we will see them getting better and better (as it always happens with technology, or at least most of the times). This concept perfectly applies to #virtualreality or #augmentedreality or better #mixedreality devices. We don’t know what will come up in the near future, we just know that some technologies will be more successful than others. That’s a fact, or at least this is what we believe as part of our Vision. That is why we are concentrating our efforts on two of the most exciting hardware devices Microsoft has built over the course of the last few years: the Surface Hub and the HoloLens. These 2 devices have a complete different story and of course some of you may wonder why we put them together. Well, first of all because they somehow represent, together with other things we do here, our playground for now and the future of IBV, then because it’s really clear Microsoft is betting a lot on these devices and third, well the 3rd one is more like a surprise if you’re gonna attend our event 🙂

Me and Michael today are gonna do some preparation because, hey, I forgot to tell you something important. The event is called “Surface Hub meets the HoloLens” and I told this has a meaning and it’s not just a marketing keyword to attract more people (or is it? :))

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The location is the Swisshotel in Zurich. It’s a location that is also very much used by large Corporations (including Microsoft Switzerland) to host their events as it’s close to the city center and the airport, very close to the train station, together with other amenities you can’t find in other places. I found in there well-prepared organizers and technicians so I think we’re safe on that side.

I’m also really excited as the “Crew” (this is how I like to call it) is formed by amazing and passionate people: Michael, Gian, Tamara, Livia, Marina, Nicole and Corrado and of course our CEO which I’ll try not to involve too much (you know, he’s the Big Boss, he might be busy :)). But I’m really confident, as I’ll be surrounded by these amazing people, that not only the event is gonna be successful but it will surely be repeated somewhere else in Europe soon.

I wish I could tell you more but the only thing you can do is to really immerse yourself in this journey together with us and to take a flight and be here on Wednesday, next week! Alternatively, you can still come back here or in our new website to get content and follow up of the event 🙂

Talk to you soon!

And the Journey continues, better than ever!

I finally got a chance to refresh my blog and also found some time to write something worthy and meaningful, at least for me.

I’ve been working for Microsoft for like 15 years (oh my!) and that was a really long time. I had amazing colleagues, friends, people I interacted with on a regular basis, in Italy, in Europe, in EMEA, in US, in Asia-Pacific, Worldwide.

It has been an incredible, amazing adventure to me and I’ll never forget that not only for the many things I learned there, but also for the broad network of people I had the privilege to meet and talk with. Including the Microsoft MVPs of course!

It came a time to me, few months back, to decide whether to continue this journey or put my skills and my learnings at a service to something else, something different, unique and incredibly exciting. And that actually happened when I came to Zurich, Switzerland, to visit a friend, Gian Paolo Santopaolo. Last time we met was at the MVP Global Summit, few years ago for the first time. He was showing me the Surface Hub (it had a different name at a time) and we had very pleasant conversations during those evenings in Bellevue.

With him, we drove to Zurich, specifically to Bonstetten, as he wanted to show me what he was working on, the workplace and everything surrounding it. And then, what happened completely, and positively, changed my professional life.

I met amazing people here, I had long chats with Michael, the COO of the Company, and with Andreas Gorog, the CEO. They showed me around, they introduced me to the other employees, they showed me what they were working on. In short, very enthusiastic, smart, kind and incredibly passionate people. Yes, Passion is something that keeps on driving me and I was really amazed to see what was happening there at that particular moment of time.

I gotta tell you, it was like a “snap”, something clicked on my mind and my first thought was “Yes, I want to work here!” and I was so excited about that.

After a few days I was already onboard and my journey started (and I was incredibly excited about it!).

I joined as the CDO of the Company, a Small/Medium Business specialized in customized solution, IT Security, Data Management, CRM Solutions etc. (with another Branch in Berlin, Germany). Not only that, IBV was on the point to embrace a new path and I really wanted to be part of it.

This new path has a name: a new business model. Specifically, we started working on the Microsoft Surface Hub and Microsoft HoloLens solutions. Really, REALLY exciting.

Gian was already working on it for some time, and at the same time another Microsoft MVP, and a friend, Corrado Cavalli, joined me at the same time. Later on, Livia Formisani, a Professional Content Manager and writer (and a great friend) who previously worked with me in Microsoft in the EMEA Community Team, joined us and I was really happy about that too.

Now, as I plan to share more about what we do, let me leave you with something: in less than 2 weeks, on September the 21st to be exact, we will host our first IBV event where we will showcase some of the things the Developer Team created on those two devices. I hope to see you there but if not, I’m sure we will meet somewhere else soon! 🙂

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,500 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Categories: Announcements

Big change, No changes…

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.

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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 !

Microsoft MVP Award – April 2013

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:

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Congratulations to the newly Awarded Microsoft MVPs (sorted by name), living in Central, Eastern Europe (excluding Russia and CIS Countries) and Italy:

Influencer Technical Expertise Country
Alexandru Dionisie Office365 Romania
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.

BTW, If you want to know more about the MVP Award Program, subscribe to our blog and check our Facebook Page to know more about it…

Enjoy your Award, hoping this would also be a nice Easter Holiday gift :)

@alead

Microsoft MVP Award – January 2013 !

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 !

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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:

Influencer Technical Expertise Country/Region
Bill  Stavroulakis ASP.NET/IIS Greece
Boriana  Petrova Excel Bulgaria
Darko  Jovišić Dynamics CRM Croatia
Grzegorz  Gałęzowski PowerShell Poland
Jovan  Popovic ASP.NET/IIS Serbia
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 !

BTW, If you want to know more about the MVP Award Program, do subscribe our blog as you’ll find some interesting stories to read…

Enjoy your Award and Congratulations again !!

@alead

Regional MVP and KulenDayz report

If you were there, you know how it was. If you weren’t there for any reason, you can read the full report here…

Cheers :)