Becoming a Microsoft MVP for the first time

So, yesterday I found out that I was awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for my contributions over the last year in the Microsoft Dynamics GP community. Yay! I must say, the entire day was a whirlwind of emotions, varying from “holy cow” (yes, I used a different word there!), to “oh my god, what now?”, to “woohoo I’m an MVP!”, to “Am I really deserving of this?” etc. Well, you get the idea. Excitement, happiness, anxiousness, nervousness, doubt, all of those came and went throughout the day! iphone-2016-10-01-10-08-35-000

If you are unfamiliar with what an MVP is, the definition is this:

Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, or MVPs, are community leaders who’ve demonstrated an exemplary commitment to helping others get the most out of their experience with Microsoft technologies. They share their exceptional passion, real-world knowledge, and technical expertise with the community and with Microsoft.

Some Stats

It is quite an honour just to be nominated for the award, let alone to be awarded the MVP status. It’s both overwhelming and humbling at the same time to think that this is a very select group I’ve now been invited to be a part of.  Here are some of the stats I looked at yesterday after receiving the news:

  • There are more than 4,000 MVPs worldwide!
  • In my category, Business Solutions, there are 226 MVPs in the world, and 18 of us who specifically focus on Dynamics GP
  • In Canada, there are 186 MVPs over all of the categories, 10 in Business Solutions, and I’m the 2nd one for Dynamics GP

The Business Solutions category is for everyone whose primary focus is on the Dynamics products or Project. Yes, Project is included with Business Solutions, which strikes me as a little odd. What is also interesting to me is Dynamics SL is not listed in Business Solutions, nor anywhere on the list! Hmm… interesting omission if that is the case! There are no longer specific MVPs for the individual Dynamics products and the focus is on community involvement in multiple areas, vs. one specific area.


I was officially nominated by Belinda Allen, back in June, and I believe unofficially several of the existing MVPs put in a good word for me. I don’t want to attempt to list people and then miss anyone who did their part to get me to this point, but I sincerely appreciate all of your efforts, thank you!

I’d also like to specifically thank Victoria Yudin, and David Musgrave, who wayyyyy back in November 2010, both gave my blog a shout out in its early stages and immediately increased my audience and readership, something I simply would not have had at that early stage without it. A significant portion of my qualification for the MVP award was my blog and readership. and I have both of them to thank in large part!

The process of becoming an MVP

The process is quite interesting, and you don’t know what it looks like until you’ve been nominated.

  • First, you get an email telling you “you’ve been nominated for consideration” and by whom. Before it goes any further, you have to accept the nomination for it to go any further.
  • Second, in accepting the nomination, you have to submit information about yourself, your community involvement and your social media profiles, if applicable. The MVP team reviews this to see if you are eligible to proceed through the process further.
  • Once that is reviewed, someone from the Microsoft MVP Award team contacts you with even more things to fill out. At this point you are officially nominated and they tell you for which period you are in consideration for. Since I was nominated in early June, I was eligible for October’s award. The data collected for the October award is from August 1st to July 31st, so I had to catch up quickly by documenting the details I had already and then tracking for June and July the rest. Along the way I submitted some information to get feedback and they had some recommendations on where it was strong/weak etc., to help me through the process. It was interesting what is weighted higher or lower than other activities. It was also interesting to me to realize how difficult it is to obtain reliable statistics from 3rd party sources like the Dynamics Community website and forums or GPUG forums for example. (It turns out you can contact the Dynamics community folks to get a monthly analysis of your blog contributions and readership etc.).
  • On August 1st, I submitted my completed spreadsheet for review and waited.
  • In late September, I received an email asking for my phone number and address to complete my nomination. I took that as a good sign that it might mean I was going to be successful but I still was trying to not get ahead of myself. The last week of September was a killer… I couldn’t stop thinking about October 1st to see if I would get it or not. If I wasn’t awarded it in October, I would be eligible for January 1st so all would not be lost.

What is interesting is since the award is based on involvement over the past year, you then are given an excel spreadsheet to track your involvement - blogs, readership, books, presentations, twitter followers, etc., basically anything that can be measured in numbers, they want to know. You are measured solely on voluntary involvement that is community facing so some of the work I’ve been doing behind the scenes for the Association of Dynamics Professionals for instance, wasn’t included in the evaluation of my involvement.

Anyway, the end result is, I’ve got the award now and I am excited at the year ahead and working hard to be even more involved in the community!  I don’t know yet how much this will change my business or career, if at all, but it’s a thrill and I hope to post every year from now on that I have been renewed for another year!

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