The Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) Award gives Microsoft the unique opportunity to celebrate, honour and say thank you to top-notch technology experts who make outstanding contributions to their communities. These technology experts have an unstoppable urge to get their hands on new, exciting technologies and love to share their knowledge.
We spoke to our very own Paul Hunt (Solutions Architect at Trustmarque) about his sixth year as a Microsoft MVP. Paul has been an MVP since 2016, but he’s been involved with the Microsoft community since 2007 when he was introduced to SharePoint development.
Challenge for MVPs during the pandemic
“The biggest challenge during the pandemic has been engagement with the community. In our work lives, we’ve had to switch to the remote ways of working and we’ve had to do the same with the community events. I’ve found as a result that I’ve not actually presented that much this year to a wider audience, having only done a few webinars for events such as the Scottish Summit and CollabDays Benelux. For me, presenting to a virtual audience isn’t as engaging even with tools such as Teams, and I miss talking to a live in-person audience.”
“With the prospect of things opening up, I have a fairly busy schedule for the last quarter of this year, with Thrive Slovenia in October, the European Collab Summit – Dusseldorf. Rounding out an early Christmas at the Microsoft Collaboration Conference in Las Vegas at the start of December (my first time speaking in the US). All of these have been rescheduled from last year, so it will be great to hopefully see these back in full swing again.”
What does it mean to be an MVP?
“One of the main benefits that being an MVP affords me is a close working relationship with the Product Group across a number of the tools that we deploy for our customers. I’m able to provide Microsoft with real-world feedback as to how our customers use the Microsoft products, the types of issues that they face and the business problems they have to solve. This helps Microsoft steer the development of the various platforms and also provides a very useful line into the teams to report bugs as they are discovered, usually resulting in a very quick turnaround on fixes for our customers.”
“I also get very early visibility of product updates and releases, with early input into the development cycles. Whilst a lot of this is under NDA and cannot be shared internally, it provides me an insight to the direction of travel and helps me steer our technology teams in the right direction.”