Congratulations 2018-2019 Microsoft MVP!

Sunday, July 1, 2018
I'm very pleased to announce that I have been given the Office Servers and Services Microsoft MVP Award again for 2018-2019. I have been awarded every year since 2009, so this will be my 10th consecutive year.

The MVP Award is an important recognition to me and I'm honored to receive it. It includes several benefits, but the most important one to me are all the interactions with the great product groups at Microsoft. These relationships allow me to reach out to specific product team members to provide feedback and get clarification on product features and behaviors.

It's a mutually beneficial partnership -- under NDA, Microsoft is able to talk with MVPs about product futures, provide access to technology adoption programs (TAPs) to test new software, and solicit our MVP feedback. As MVPs, we are able to provide important and honest feedback to the product teams about how new features and behaviors will affect our customers, beta test new software and file bug reports, and be advocates for you, the customer.

This has been somewhat of a nerve-racking award cycle. As Microsoft truly morphs into a cloud services company, its priorities are changing faster than ever before. Longtime MVPs have been notified that they were not going to be awarded this year because their community events do not align with Microsoft's vision. Entire groups that focus on on-premises technologies have been cut from the MVP program. I understand why, but I am sorry to see them go.

Another program change is that the re-award cycle changed from quarterly to yearly. I used be awarded on April 1 every year (I always worried that my award email was an April Fool's joke), but now all MVPs are awarded the same date, July 1. That means that the MVP leads have to review hundreds or thousands of MVPs at the same time. That takes a lot of work by them and I appreciate it.

If you think that you or someone you know deserves to be an MVP, you can learn what it takes to be an one and nominate them from the Microsoft MVP Site. Microsoft reviews and awards new MVPs every month, with a renewal cycle on July 1.

The MVP Award adds value to my IT consulting business, EXPTA Consulting. It's evidence that Microsoft values my leadership in the community and real-world experience, which I bring to each and every engagement. Customers know that I provide the best results as their trusted advisor.

I feel great!

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