Every year, Microsoft holds an event for the individuals who have earned the distinction Microsoft MVP at their Redmond campus. Microsoft MVPs earn the title by being community leaders who love sharing their passion and knowledge for Microsoft products within their award category. There are approximately 4000 Microsoft MVPs worldwide.
My name is Kelly Kane, and I have been honored to hold the Microsoft MVP title for the past two years in the Business Applications category. I work as a Business Analyst for Ellipse Solutions and work daily with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.
The real MVPs
The event that I mentioned is called MVP Summit. It is a widely attended global event, with attendees from many countries. One of my favorite parts about being an MVP and attending MVP Summit is the global diversity. At any given time, I was sitting in a room with people from such countries as England, Scotland, Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia, Czech Republic, Spain, Norway, and Japan! It was a fantastic way to collaborate with, understand, and grasp some very broad viewpoints and different perspectives on how to use Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.
Top secrets, for now
One of the benefits to being a Microsoft MVP is that Microsoft invites you to take a sneak peek at what is in the upcoming releases to their products before it is generally available to the public. Microsoft values the input of the MVP group, providing product demos of new functionality and asking for insight, but there is a catch – there is a very strict NDA in place in order to keep the information under wraps. Sorry guys, you will have to wait until the information is generally available to the public. Keep a close eye on the Microsoft Roadmap and the Ellipse Solutions blog for additional insights as they become available!
In addition to the great top secret product information, there is a Community Pre-Day that is chock full of activities for MVPs. This year, the theme was Diversity and Inclusion. As a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Board, I was able to help design and steer the content for this extra day. One thing I participated in was a Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable event, acting as a discussion facilitator surrounding hiring and recruiting best practices.
Then, when you can’t seem to fit any more into your busy schedule, Microsoft hosts nightly events such as Product Category Happy Hours, Regional Get-togethers, and a large Attendee Celebration for everyone.
How does one become a Microsoft MVP?
Microsoft MVPs are the people who are blogging, providing product feedback, presenting content at conferences, and actively engaged in their local user groups. In order to become a Microsoft MVP, ramp up your engagement through social media platforms and answering questions on forums. Start writing blogs about topics that interest you in the Microsoft product sphere. Get out of your comfort zone and step up to speak at a conference. Even if you don’t speak alone, the engagement counts! Find a speaking partner and present a topic with them. There are plenty of people looking, all you have to do is ask. Lastly, find a Microsoft employee or MVP to nominate you and then spend a few days entering your contributions on the MVP website.
Becoming a Microsoft MVP has been rewarding and has definitely been a highlight of my career. It has opened doors for me and helped me learn more about the products I work with.