13th Year as an MVP

mvp13July 1st is always a day that I both look forward to and dread.  That’s the morning I find out whether my MVP status has been renewed or not. I really started worrying this year when I saw lots of my friends and colleagues announce their re-awards at a little after 11:00 AM Eastern time.  By noon I was convinced that I had not been re-awarded. The one piece of hope that I tried to hold onto was that MS said they would send emails to all MVPs with the re-award decision whether they were re-awarded or not. With a sigh of relief I finally got my email around 12:30 Eastern time.  I’m not sure why my email was later than it has been in previous years, but it was a reminder to me how much I value being an MVP. I am particularly honored and grateful for Microsoft’s continued recognition this year.

But now its time to plan for the new year.  The Covid-19 pandemic has really cut into my time speaking at conferences, since most conferences have been cancelled or postponed.  But I have spoken at a couple virtual conferences this spring and as fall approaches it looks like I will have a busy schedule speaking at conferences that were postponed from earlier this year.

Over the last year I’ve been spending a lot more time working with Power Apps and Power Automate, particularly as it applies to SharePoint and Teams.  In addition to being re-awarded as an MVP I’ve also been named a Dual Super User in the Power Apps and Power Automate community forums. With the announcement last week that SharePoint workflows are going away these two areas will become even more important for working with SharePoint online.

So here’s to another year as an MVP. I’m really looking forward to it.

12 years as an MVP

July 1st is always a day that I both look forward to and dread.  That’s the morning I find out whether my MVP status has been renewed or not. I was particularly worried this year since its my first year after I semi-retired. I’m still working as a consultant, but I’m letting business chase me rather than me chasing business.  So I’m not as busy as I used to be. That’s been both a good and a bad thing. Its a good thing because I have more time to spend with my family and doing things for the Office 365 community. Its a bad thing because I don’t feel like I’m doing as much as in previous years. But I have evidently been doing enough because I was renewed for my 12th year as an MVP this year. I’m looking forward to another year of learning new things and helping spread that knowledge throughout the community.

Last year as I contemplated retirement I made an offer to community leaders.  I would like to expand on that offer this year.

Community Leaders this is for YOU

If you are looking for a SharePoint, Office 365, PowerApps or Flow speaker for your event, and you can help me defray travel expenses, I will be willing to travel almost anywhere, at anytime to share what I have learned over the years. If you don’t have any funds I can also do remote presentations.

Over the last few years I’ve been spending my time working with SharePoint, PowerApps, Flow, and Office 365 Security & Compliance center.  I’m still working to learn new things in the industry and plan to keep  consulting and training for many years to come.  But if paying jobs don’t happen to come my way then I’ll live off my retirement savings and spend even more time speaking and answering questions.

So here’s to another year as an MVP. I’m really looking forward to it.

Re-awarded as an MVP for the 11th Year

MVP_Logo_Secondary_Blue288_RGB_300ppiFor the last 10 years July 1st has always been a day that I both looked forward to and dreaded.  I’ve looked forward to it because its anniversary of the day that I was awarded the honor of being named as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for the first time. But I’ve also dreaded it.  Because no matter how many presentations you’ve made or how much you’ve answered questions on the forums or active you’ve been in the community, you always wonder if its been enough. But then sometime around mid-day the email arrives saying that you have been re-awarded for another year as an MVP.  That email arrived for me today around 11:40 AM (9:40 AM Redmond time). So for the 11th year Microsoft has decided that my contributions to the SharePoint and Office 365 community were sufficient to earn  me an MVP award again for the category of “Office Servers and Services”. 

But this coming year will be a little different than previous years because I plan to move towards partial retirement from my consulting career. Before you get the idea that I’ll be less involved as an MVP, think again. Being an MVP has always been about your contributions to the technical community over and above your regular job. So in the past I often took vacation time to speak at conferences or spent time on the forums before and after work.  Since I won’t be focusing on “earning a paycheck” anymore I’ll be able to devote even more time to community activities. I’m expecting my contributions to the community will go up as I move to retirement, not fade away.

So, I make this offer to Community Leaders

If you are looking for a SharePoint or Office 365 speaker for your event, and you can help me defray travel expenses, I will be willing to travel almost anywhere, at anytime to share what I have learned over the years.

SharePoint, Office 365, and Dynamics CRM are subjects that I’m passionate about. And my moving towards retirement is just a partial thing. I still plan to continue to do consulting and training for many years to come. If consulting/training opportunities come my way I will continue to work. Because that’s now I keep learning new things. But if paying jobs don’t happen to come my way then I’ll live off my retirement savings and spend even more time speaking and answering questions. 

So here’s to another year as an MVP. I think it will be an exciting one.

MVP for the 10th Year!

MVP_Logo_Secondary_Blue288_RGB_300ppiFor me July 1st has always been an anxious day.  No matter how many times I’ve been awarded as an MVP I’m always nervous when my anniversary comes around and its time to be evaluated for a re-award. This year I am being joined by all the other MVPs as Microsoft consolidates and makes July 1st the re-award date for everyone.  But other changes in the program made this year’s wait more disconcerting than normal.  You can now have community contributions noted in multiple areas, but that also means that your contributions may be diluted by being split up.  But for the 10th year Microsoft has decided that my contributions to the SharePoint and Office 365 community were sufficient to earn  me an MVP award again for the category of “Office Servers and Services”.  In the coming year I will continue to focus on SharePoint and Office 365. But this year I hope to also expand by digging back into Dynamics CRM, especially how it integrates with Office 365.

I continue to start each day by answering a few questions on the MSDN and TechNet Forums.  But am also hoping to expand my presence on the public Yammer forums and the Microsoft Tech Community.  As a former trainer I still get excited by providing answers to interesting questions for people. Finding the answers to these questions often teaches me new things about SharePoint and Office 365.  I’m also looking forward to continuing to share what I know at several conferences this year.  I’m always looking for new topics that people would like to hear about.  If you have a question or a topic then drop me a line and my next talk may be inspired by you.

I’m also always inspired by my friends and colleagues in the MVP program.  The knowledge they have continues to amaze me and its a definite advantage to have so many intelligent friends. This last year has seen a number of my MVP friends leave the program to join Microsoft as employees. That is a constant reminder of all the great people who work for Microsoft.  Being able to network with them is also a great privilege.

But the bottom line is still that I wouldn’t be an MVP if it weren’t for all of you out there in the SharePoint community. Its been great to meet all of you in person and thanks for all the questions that you’ve asked. As long as you keep asking questions and listening to me at conferences I’ll keep trying to learn more and share what I’ve learned with all of you.  Without you I wouldn’t be receiving this award. I hope to continue to live up to the honor and hope that I never get complacent about what its really about: Helping to support the SharePoint and Office 365 community.

SharePoint MVP for the 9th Year

Most people look forward to July 1st because it means the July 4th holiday weekend is close.  For me as an MVP it has an entirely different excitement. No matter how many times I’ve been awarded as an MVP I’m always nervous when my anniversary comes around and its time to be evaluated for a re-award. But I’m happy to say that I received an email Friday morning saying that I’ve been awarded an MVP award again this year.  The categories have changed over the last year, so instead of an award for SharePoint server my new category is called “Office Servers and Services”. This of course includes SharePoint and Office 365 which are my focuses. No matter how the program changes I continue to be more excited every year.  This is my ninth year and I hope to continued my contributions for years to come. SharePoint and Office 365 continue to be exciting products to work on and there is always a lot more to learn.  This year in particular I will be focusing more on how hybrid environments that include SharePoint online, Azure, and SharePoint on-premises function.   

I continue to start each day by answering a few questions on the MSDN and TechNet Forums.  But am also hoping to expand my presence on the public Yammer forums. I really enjoy being able to help people find answers and frequently find interesting questions that I’ve never thought about that lead me to discover new and different things about SharePoint.  I often wonder how I learned as much as I did before I gained access to the resources and contacts available to me as an MVP.  I’m also looking forward to continuing to share what I know at several conferences this year.  I’m always looking for new topics that people would like to hear about.  If you have a question or a topic then drop me a line and my next talk may be on that topic.

This year I’m particularly excited that one of my colleagues at work was just awarded his first MVP award. Gareth Gudger works on Exchange and Office 365 and has a well read BLOG at https://supertekboy.com/. Gareth and I haven’t worked a project together yet since he is based in Cincinnati and I am based in Cleveland. But I hope to find more time to connect with him on Office 365 this year as he begins his MVP journey.

But the bottom line is still that I wouldn’t be an MVP if it weren’t for all of you out there in the SharePoint community. Recently I’ve been running into a number of people who have heard me speak at conferences or have seen me answering questions on the Forums.  Its been great to meet all of you in person and thanks for all the questions that you’ve asked. As long as you keep asking questions and listening to me at conferences I’ll keep trying to learn more and share what I’ve learned with all of you.  Without you I wouldn’t be receiving this award. I hope to continue to live up to the honor and hope that I never get complacent about what its really about: Helping to support the SharePoint community.