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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

Polish MVP Award website is now live!

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.

Polish MVP Website

Last but not least, the website has some basic Twitter integration as it shows all Polish MVPs tweets in a side gadget.
The whole look-and-feel was designed to resemble the @Metro UI philosophy, implemented in plain html/css/javascript.

It has been built using Nancy (http://nancyfx.org/) for web application layer and Simple.Data (https://github.com/markrendle/Simple.Data/) for data access."

What about the minds behind that?

Maciej Aniserowicz for once ! And then Jakub Gutkowski who helped Maciej with the twitter integration and testing. The UI was done for free by DevCore.NET.

Congratulations guys, the site is awesome!

Link to: Program Microsoft MVP w Polsce

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 !

MVP Award Program – April 2012

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.

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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:

Influencer Technical Expertise Country
Alessandra Salvaggio Office System Italy
Damir Arh Data Platform Development Slovenia
Francesco Valerio Buccoli Virtual Machine Italy
Goran  Milanov SQL Azure Serbia
Ivan Florian Project Romania
Ivan Kardum Visual Studio ALM Croatia
Luka Manojlovic Small Business Server Slovenia
Marek Pyka Virtual Machine Poland
Mario Serra Directory Services Italy
Michal Gajda PowerShell Poland
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!

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…

Feel free to follow @MVPAward and myself on Twitter: you may find a lot of real-life stories, covering different Microsoft products and technologies…

That said, Enjoy your Award and Congratulations Again !

@alead

Virtualstudy.pl: let’s go virtual !

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.

BTW, I’d like to point out a great article on the event (in Polish) by MVP Piotr Pawlik.

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:

MTS Group

And this is me, powered by a customized Chrome-Joke T-shirt (:)), when I just got a nice & unexpected gift:

The Gift

Thank you for the wonderful time guys: I’ll see you next time in Warsaw (or even before, @ the MVP Global Summit !!)

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