Being a BizApps MVP

About two years ago, I got that amazing email in my mailbox that started with “We’re pleased to present you with the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award,” which at the time (and still) was a bit surreal.

I have now had the title for two years, and I am writing this because I have just been traveling to my second MVP Global (in-person) Summit. This was an excellent time to reflect on what it means to be a BizApps MVP.

Microsoft MVP is a title you can get awarded for contributing to the community and helping others understand Microsoft products. You are awarded in one (or rare cases two, or even fewer cases three!!) award categories. My area is Business Applications since my main focus is on Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain; others are Azure, Development, Windows, and others. With the award comes access to multiple channels for Microsoft, such as email distribution lists and Teams channels, where we can ask questions to the different teams at Microsoft and our fellow MVPs.

Why I want to be an MVP

There are, of course, multiple reasons why I love being an MVP. Some of them are related to my work, and some of them are being part of a great community.

The Community

I have always been a huge fan of the “Community” and believe that together, we can be better and help each other. Being an MVP is a community title. Having a voice in the community is a great honor, and channeling the community feedback I get into the product groups and the product managers at Microsoft makes it all worth it. I truly believe that a good feedback loop between Microsoft and its customers benefits all. Being able to guide Microsoft to build a better product, making it more flexible where it makes sense, and helping them understand the customer challenges are important for customers and the product teams.

Meeting with the community at conferences and talking to end users and IT makes it possible to understand how the products are used. It also means that I get an opportunity to spread the best practices set in place by Microsoft.

In short, being an MVP means getting a voice and listening. You will listen to the users and consultants working in your area and be able to speak to (and be listened to by) Microsoft. It also works the other way; even though part of what we learn from Microsoft is under strict NDA, we can use it to understand and explain the direction Microsoft is taking the product we work with. Being a conduit between Microsoft and its customers is an important part of our work.

At work

As I mentioned above, the MVP title is not actually awarded for something you do in your line of work; in fact, paid work is not part of what is awarded. That does not mean that there is no connection to my work. When I talk to customers about challenges they are experiencing in projects with the product or when they need guidance on best practices, having the backing of the product groups at Microsoft and all the other fantastic MVPs is a great support.

This, however, is a two-way street. When my customers have challenges with implementing “their” Business Processes in Dynamics, being able to put the process in perspective together with Microsoft and give MS feedback around why this is not an optimal solution or helping them understand potential bugs also ensures that the product gets better for all Dynamics Customers.

Access to Product Groups

This brings us to the PGIs, or Product Group Interactions, another important part of the role. Microsoft Product Groups arrange regular meetings about the roadmap of new features; discussing design decisions, licensing, and what is coming down the line is valuable for understanding what is coming and for relaying issues, licensing mismatches, and general feedback, which is invaluable.

What is the Global MVP Summit?

As mentioned above, I just got home from the MVP Global Summit. One of my greatest experiences as an MVP was traveling to the Microsoft Campus in Seattle to experience three days of community, insight, and knowledge.

As if that was not enough, I also got to meet a lot of MVPs. Talking to everyone, not only with the ones in my group, and understanding how they leverage their knowledge and tools to help customers all day is an inspiration. It means I will have more perspectives on our everyday challenges.

Key takeaways

Apart from the community and being able to meet Product Teams and the other MVPs, I guess it comes as no surprise that this year’s MVP Summit had many sessions about Copilot, and with that many discussions on Data Governance, Ethical AI, and the best part according to me, the benefits of Copilot.

As for the sessions around Dynamics and Dataverse, there were many discussions on what is coming around Application Lifecycle Management and Security on Power Platform, which I look forward to digging into. On the Dynamics Finance and Supply Chain side, the highlights for me were a chance to look into the roadmap around the new environment strategy and the next chapter in the “One Dynamics, One Platform” story and, of course, Copilot.

In summary

Meeting many new people, reconnecting with friends, and experiencing the “MVP Summit Bubble” once again is a great honor. If it were possible to slow down time and forever stay in this, I would definitely do it. But all of this will remain in my heart and mind forever… I hope to be back once again for this experience.

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