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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): You

BYOD, an acronym we heard several times in the last year or so. Now it seems a bit obsolete because, as we very well know, technology runs faster than the blink of an eye (or maybe because marketing did a darn good job at the time!).

A “buzzword”, or a cool word, that has been used several times to apply something that was so obvious for a lot of people but somehow it was not really happening in the business world. Bringing your personal device, from home to the office, and connect it to the domain/active directory or whatever you have/had in the workplace. Why? Because it’s easy, fast, efficient, …. (fill in the blanks with any other powerful word you can think of!).

Time Magazine

When I was working for Microsoft, it was even more obvious to me that we needed to bring our own device and configure it as a personal/business device (and I’m not talking about those nice-keyboard-but-very-hard-to-configure Blackberry devices). It didn’t happen a few years back and then Microsoft, and many other Innovators, realized that.

But why starting a blog post with something like this? Well, it’s not really about this buzzword I want to focus your attention on. The attention is on two main points: “You” and “Personal”.

These 2 concepts are part of the Evolution, or better Re-volution (Re-Evolution), that we are experiencing right now. Not of all us really understand what’s happening (lack of knowledge, or simply disinterest) and I’m definitely not calling myself an expert on this field. But there is this wind blowing, this fresh air you can smell, and that’s happening right now. You can feel it, at least heard about it, and, not only that, this will have an impact on us and our children for many years to come. There is no turning back.

But what is this Re-Evolution and why this is somehow related to the Personal Technology?

Everything is personal, even if it’s loaned or temporarily provided it to you by the Company that hired you. Think about iOS or Android: everything that it’s in there is personal (although the “Data” you digest, in and out, are not really yours but that is another story). You have all these services and tools that are tailored to your needs. And here the Cloud concept played a huge role affecting all of us, business or leisure-related data or service you can think of. There is no difference anymore; these 2 things are not completely separated anymore. And, whether you like it or not, that’s a key difference from the past.

People want to embrace the “personal” and the “business” because it’s easy, because it makes sense and, why not, because it’s even fun sometimes.

Personal Technology. The BYOD concept was about bringing your personal into the business, now you don’t have to do it anymore. Because YOU are the technology and there’s nothing more personal than you, right? 😊

Wearable glasses, virtual reality, more personal computing (and yet another buzzword): put all these things together and you got yourself what? You. We are experiencing all these revolutionary technologies that will change our lives forever and the best part is that they are all “You-Centric”.

Think about all the devices you have: your laptop, maybe a PC at home, a couple of smartphones, a GPS in your car. You won’t need all of this anymore because the technology is (and will be) all around you. Devices that are always on (like the Amazon Echo), lenses that communicate with you, holograms that come out from a display (HoloLens in-primis), watches that measure your pulse and who-knows-what in the near future. This is the big step forward I think human kind did since the Invention of fax machine (maybe bad comparison but gives the idea 😊).

HoloLens in action

Why do you need to type when you can use your most natural gestures? Why do you need to click when you can speak? And why do we need a computer when this fast-changing world will be able to “compute” itself?

This will be your Personal Technology: something which is always on, something which is always there whether you turn left or right. But it won’t be you that will have to learn how to use an application anymore: the application, or more in general, the technology will be around you.

So, prepare Not-To-Bring-Your-Own-Device anymore because you will be already in it 😉

(Link to the original article)

 

Our first Surface Hub Event !

Yes, the title says it itself, although it’s gonna be more than that. But yes, we are gonna host the first IBV event related to the #SurfaceHub (and the #HoloLens) here in Zurich next week. You can’t imagine the excitement I can feel around me! And the excitement is pretty high on my side too as it’s the first IBV event that I co-organize somehow. I wish it could all be perfect but, although we know we can’t hit the top (the 100% perfection), me and my “counterpart” Michi are very confident it’s gonna be successful and we’re gonna get close to that number!

But let me do a step back on: Why we are doing this? Well, since I joined IBV one of the things we started to do was to embrace new technologies, technologies you can bet they’re going to represent the future for all of us. No matter what the size or the weight they have right now, in just a few years we will see them getting better and better (as it always happens with technology, or at least most of the times). This concept perfectly applies to #virtualreality or #augmentedreality or better #mixedreality devices. We don’t know what will come up in the near future, we just know that some technologies will be more successful than others. That’s a fact, or at least this is what we believe as part of our Vision. That is why we are concentrating our efforts on two of the most exciting hardware devices Microsoft has built over the course of the last few years: the Surface Hub and the HoloLens. These 2 devices have a complete different story and of course some of you may wonder why we put them together. Well, first of all because they somehow represent, together with other things we do here, our playground for now and the future of IBV, then because it’s really clear Microsoft is betting a lot on these devices and third, well the 3rd one is more like a surprise if you’re gonna attend our event 🙂

Me and Michael today are gonna do some preparation because, hey, I forgot to tell you something important. The event is called “Surface Hub meets the HoloLens” and I told this has a meaning and it’s not just a marketing keyword to attract more people (or is it? :))

area-map

The location is the Swisshotel in Zurich. It’s a location that is also very much used by large Corporations (including Microsoft Switzerland) to host their events as it’s close to the city center and the airport, very close to the train station, together with other amenities you can’t find in other places. I found in there well-prepared organizers and technicians so I think we’re safe on that side.

I’m also really excited as the “Crew” (this is how I like to call it) is formed by amazing and passionate people: Michael, Gian, Tamara, Livia, Marina, Nicole and Corrado and of course our CEO which I’ll try not to involve too much (you know, he’s the Big Boss, he might be busy :)). But I’m really confident, as I’ll be surrounded by these amazing people, that not only the event is gonna be successful but it will surely be repeated somewhere else in Europe soon.

I wish I could tell you more but the only thing you can do is to really immerse yourself in this journey together with us and to take a flight and be here on Wednesday, next week! Alternatively, you can still come back here or in our new website to get content and follow up of the event 🙂

Talk to you soon!

How to build a successful Community

In my previous post, I talked about the Power of Communities. Now, I hope you digested this information (or you probably already knew about that) and made it yours because it opens up a world of opportunities.

As we now already covered the WHAT and the WHY, I would like to talk about the HOW, which is the most difficult part (at least for some people and some Companies as well). We all know that there are plenty of Communities out there, talking about different things: cars, travels, technology, apparel, houses, (even Banks!), you name it. And there are a myriad of articles related to this topic. I just want to give my contribution to it. And this time, I would primarily focus on the Technical Communities…

 

Continue reading…

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:

mvp_horizontal_fullcolor

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 !

mvp_horizontal_fullcolor

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

WPC 2012: my personal summary (and slides)

I recently had the chance to participate to the latest WPC 2012 (local Windows Professional Conference) in Milano, Italy.

It was a terrific event: 27 Microsoft MVPs as speakers, an Ask The Expert Booth with +12 MVPs (+ a lot of friends and other Influencers) covering different technologies, together with the Microsoft Technical Support. Hundreds of technical sessions, giving full coverage of almost all the Microsoft Products and Technologies.

It was a great success in terms of Reach, Awareness and Support. Reach: almost 400 attendees, from ITPros to Developers to Consumers. More than 300 tweets around the Conference (#wpcit12).

In terms of awareness, the Microsoft MVP Award was highly valued during the conference: some minutes spent during the Keynote talking about it, the #Branding was everywhere, and MVPs often were wearing t-shirts with the MVP Logo on it. Recognition was another big part of it.

Just FYI, during the ATE the MVPs had around 250 technical discussions with the attendees. Divided per technology each day, attendees had the chance to interact not only with the speakers @ the Booth, but also with the other MVPs who voluntarily agreed to be part of the Conference supporting the attendees.

DSC_0238 DSC_0585

So now you know the MVP Award was a big part of it. But what about the rest of it?

Well, I also delivered a session on #SocialMedia called “Social Media in the IT World” and I have to say it was really interesting for the attendees. It was Different, not the kind of presentation you normally expect during a technical event. It was Relevant, according to the numbers of feedback and questions I gathered after my session. And for me it was fun too!

Understanding that many people still don’t understand the Power of the Social Media, the World of Mouth, the “Unmarketing” concept, Crowdsourcing, Personal #Branding and many others was kind of unexpected. So that is probably why my session was really valuable for the attendees.

I share my slides here, in a pure community spirit (as the MVPs taught me :)), hoping that someone else will benefit from that:

I did not have the chance to show how I use my Windows Phone to “unleash” the Power of the Communities, but I’m sure I’ll have time to do that in my next talk.

And, by the way, we also had the chance to have some fun (in a pure community spirit :)):

DSC_0495 DSC_0574

I need to thank a lot of people for a very successful event:

First and foremost, Barbara Palumbo, the “Puppet Master”, for his energy, proactive approach, driving the #wpcit12 team to Excellence. Claudio Salano, “The Boss” for having me @ the Conference. Nino Crudele, “Grinch” and #BizTalk Expert, for his tremendous valuable tips & tricks. And all others, all the MVPs, the Influencers, all the People I had the pleasure to meet for the first time, etc.

THANK YOU everyone for this wonderful experience !

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.

mvp_horizontal_fullcolor

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 !