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MVP Award Program – July 2012

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.

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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:

Influencer Technical Expertise Country/Region
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.

Also, If you don’t know exactly what the MVP Award Program is, take some time to subscribe to our blog as you’ll find some interesting stories to read…

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 !

Microsoft MVP Award – January 2012 !

It has been an incredible year, full of events and activities embracing new technology directions which will impact us in the future. Well, it has an impact on a lot of us already, if you think about Windows Phone and the social media integration as a well as the XBOX gaming gaming experience. Some people like it, some people don’t but you have to admit it’s a step further compared to a “normal” Smartphone experience.

Ok, ok, next blog post I’m gonna talk about that, not on this one :). Aren’t you a little curious to see who got the MVP Award this cycle? It’s always a pleasure for me to Welcome new people as exceptional community Leaders, online and/or offline. I’m not saying they were not Leaders and strong community-oriented guys before the Award, I’m just saying I’m truly honored when I award people like that and I’m more when I have the chance to meet them.

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So here is the list, freshen up & ready for the 2012 Year (sorted by name):

MVP Technical Expertise Country
Adis Jugo SharePoint Server Bosnia-Herzegovina
Boris Ulik Enterprise Security Slovakia
Drahoslav Dvorak Project Czech Republic
Gabriel Enea ASP.NET/IIS Romania
Hrvoje Hudoletnjak ASP.NET/IIS Croatia
Maciej Grabek Windows Phone Development Poland
Mihai Nadas Windows Azure Romania
Nenad Trajkovski Project Croatia
Sebastian Wilczewski Project Poland
Slaven Sola SQL Server Croatia

(this is related to 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 so don’t you think MVPs take it for granted. The MVP Award lasts 12 months and everybody are treated as normal candidates 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 sincerely want to wish you a very Happy New Year and, if took some time off, Happy Holidays ! I’ll be on holiday for a while but I’ll still be around (you’ll definitely find me on Twitter :)).

BTW, If you don’t know nothing about the MVP Award Program, please take some time to subscribe to our blog as you’ll find some interesting stories to read…

Also, did you notice my blog URL has changed? The RSS Feed has been automatically updated but I wanted to let you know anyway (some personal promotion doesn’t hurt :))

Enjoy your Award and Congratulations Again !

@alead

A glimpse of the future !

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)

mobilityday

SQL TUNEIN – Zagreb, Croatia (September 26, 27)

SQLTuneIN

Bleeding Edge 2011 – Gozd Martuljek, Slovenia (September 29th, 30th)

Bleeding Edge

DevReach – Sofia, Bulgaria (October17-18)

DevReach

Microsoft TechDay 2011 Baltic Region (October 18th till 20th)

Estonian page contains links to TechDay Lithuania & TechDay Latvia as well

TechDay Baltics

Microsoft Technology Summit – Warsaw, Poland (October 18-19)

MTS

Sinergija – Belgrade, Serbia (October 18-20th)

Sinergija11

Microsoft Vizija – Skopje Macedonia F.Y.R.O. (October 20-21)

Vizija

Virtualization Conference 2011 – Milan, Italy (November, 16-17)

Virtualization Conference

Windows Professional Conference – Milan, Italy (November 22-24)

WPC

Microsoft Fest 2011 – Prague, Czech Republic (November 26-27)

MSFest2011

ITPro-Dev Connections 2011 – Athens, Greece (November 26-27)

ItproDevcon2011

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 !! :)

Microsoft MVP Award – July 2011 !

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 !

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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):

MVP Technical Expertise Country/Region
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.

 

BTW, If you don’t know nothing about the MVP Award Program, why don’t you subscribe to our blog? You’ll definitely find some good interesting stories to read !

Enjoy your Award and join me in congratulating them !

@alead

IT Camp 2011

It’s a big 2 days timeframe for developers and ITPros in CEE.

On May 26-27, the 2 Romanian communities CodeCamp and ITSpark organized a 2 days event dedicated to both developers and system administrators: the IT Camp 2011

Featuring International speakers, this event, which will be hold in the forth most populous city in Romania (Cluj-Napoca), will see 10 Microsoft MVPs, all of them with different technical backgrounds and from different parts of Europe (you can add their personal Twitter/LinkedIn/RSS from the speakers’ list).

ITCamp

You may want to know what the topics are…well, from their own voice:

“We will be discussing general interest topics such as Private Cloud, security, Windows Azure, RIA using MVC and Ajax, System Center, SQL Server, Dependency Injection in ASP.NET MVC 3, Exchange High Availability, ASP.NET and PHP apps on IIS, Workflow Services in Windows Azure, SharePoint Server support for ISO and COBIT certifications, Link, WCF and REST in the Cloud and more”. So a lot will be covered !

While I suggest you to follow them, you can register here !

Link to: IT Camp 2011

Microsoft WinDays 2011 !

Following the great success of the last year’s event,

Croatian WinDays strikes back with a new 2011 promising event !

WinDays2011

" There is no better place to search for new and different ideas than the leading business and technology conference in Croatia – Microsoft WinDays11!”

The Conference will be held in Rovinj, Croatia and it will be split in two conferences:

WinDays11 Microsoft Technology Conference 4 – 7 April, 2011

WinDays11 Business Conference 7 – 8 April, 2011

“Whether you’re an IT professional, company director, an expert in sales, marketing or business development, you can always happen to run out of new ideas. We are all here to help: a great source of ideas runs dry, and it is necessary to look for inspiration. There is no better way to do this than to surround yourself with people who, like you, live and profit from new ideas and their implementation, which is even better, ideas really begin to live only when you share it with others.”

MSWinDays-technology

Featuring MVPs Ilija Brajkovic, Marin Franković, Damir Dizdarevic, Robert Petrunic, Domagoj Pavlesic, Dobriša Adamec, Vibor Cipan and I’m sure many more, covering lots of Microsoft technologies (as you can also see by the picture above): from Lync Server to Windows Phone 7, from Silverlight to IE9 and Office 365 just to name a few…

Feel free to follow the upcoming news and see you in Rovinj! :)

Link to: Početna – Microsoft WinDays11. Prostori ideja. Drugačije ideje

Pan-Baltic MVP Open Days 2011 !

Thanks to my colleagues Andres Sirel & Tautvydas Dagys who made this happen,

I have the pleasure to announce that on Friday the 11th and Saturday the 12th I’m going to participate to the first Pan-Baltic MVP Open Days, gathering almost all the Microsoft MVPs from the Region.

 

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It will be a 2 days event totally dedicated to the MVPs and to the local communities.

From Andrejs Mamontovs to Domantas Jovaišas, from Gunnar Peipman to new MVP Heiki Tähis and Henn Sarv, Sergejus Barinovas, Tomas Dabasinskas & Valdis Iljuconoks, not to mention all the other community peers like Jevgeni Tšaikin , the audience is really differentiated. From ASP.NET to Windows Phone 7 to Windows Azure to SQL Server, just to name a few, we will all be in Latvia to exchange ideas, to discuss about the local Communities and to gather feedback and best practice to share with others (and of course more than that I’m sure !).

Furthermore, the 3 Microsoft Subsidiaries also organized the “Powered by MVP” 2011 technical workshop (happening today) where several MVPs and technical experts will talk about different topics related to both ITPros and Developers (for more info follow the link below).

Personally, I’m pretty excited to be there for the first time. I already met some of them during the last year’s MVP Global Summit in Seattle, the Regional CEE MVP Open Days in Greece and online on Twitter, but being altogether will be absolutely a unique experience, from a professional and personal way.

If you want to know what’s happening in real-time, be sure to follow the #balticmvp11 hashtag :)

 

Link to: Powered by MVP — Latvia