Any organisation planning to harness the power of Microsoft 365 and transition to a modern workplace will want to engage a Microsoft Modern Workplace Specialist. But how will an organisation know who’s a Microsoft Modern Workplace Specialist and who’s not?
One way to find out is to check whether the provider has any Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award-winners on their staff. (Spoiler alert: the Modern Workplace Alliance have a few!)
What is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional?
The Microsoft MVP award is an annual award given by Microsoft to ‘technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community’. Recipients of the award are people who actively share their expertise with different technology communities and the wider business community.
In other words, award-winners are recognised for how they help and give back to the tech and business communities outside of their job role.
MVPs have been awarded for more than 20 years, with each recipient receiving the award for one year. Award-winners are recognised for their Microsoft-related activity, contributions and influence over the previous 12 months.
One important thing about being awarded an MVP is that no-one can apply for one. (So no-one with an MVP is blowing their own trumpet – they’ve been recognised by experts in their field.) There are just under 100 MVP award-winners in Australia and just over 2500 globally so are pretty coveted.
Why have the MWA partners won these awards?
The Modern Workplace Alliance have collectively won a few MVP awards, with the majority held by Adopt & Embrace. Indeed, one Adopt & Embrace staff member has won the award for 11 consecutive years (any guesses who this is?).
Paul Woods, founder of Adopt & Embrace, believes there’s a reason why so many staff are being recognised as Microsoft Modern Workplace Specialists.
“At Adopt & Embrace we have five business values that we follow in how we engage with customers and how we deliver work,” he says. “One of them is ‘together, not alone’, and I think this is why we attract people who put this at the forefront of how they work – hence why we have a few MVPs in our business.”
More than an award – how MVPs benefit the customer
The recognition that comes from winning these awards is great for individuals and the companies they represent. But how does being recognised as a Microsoft Modern Workplace Specialist benefit customers?
MVPs see it first.
MVPs are at the forefront of tech. They get invited to events and conferences to see new tech way before everyone else. They have a close relationship with Microsoft, regarded almost as Microsoft staff in terms of access and rights. All this means that MVPs can start gearing their customers up for new tech or changes before anyone else knows about it!
“Both Adopt & Embrace customers and MWA customers will never get left behind,” says Paul Woods.
MVPs know their stuff.
MVPs know so much, have been exposed to so much, and move in world-class expert circles. What do most tech experts do if they don’t know the answer to a problem? They call MVPs because these people are very likely to know!
MVPs share their knowledge.
Knowledge-sharing doesn’t always happen in the tech community, but anyone awarded an MVP shares what they know, often the form of How To videos, ebooks or training days (amongst other things). “Another Adopt & Embrace value is ‘Always paying it forward’, which also explains why we have a few MVPs in our business. These people genuinely want to help others,” says Paul Woods.
For example, Darrell Webster, Senior Adoption Consultant at Adopt & Embrace and Loryan Strant, Product Manager of MWA partner InSync Technology, both publish YouTube vids and more recently Loryan presented at the Sydney Digital Workplace Conference.
MVPs go above and beyond.
MWA’s customers love our MVPs. As a result of this they’re always in demand because they want to help and are genuine. And our customers know they’re talking the most technically up-to-date people out there.
MVPs know the right people.
If MVPs don’t know an answer to a problem, they’ll definitely know who will! And their connections aren’t just in Australia – they’re global. An MVP’s contacts are at the forefront of anything Microsoft tech-related. If they need input from Microsoft they can get it in a heartbeat, because they have a fast-track hotline to the top people at Microsoft.
For MWA, it’s about more than recognition
While being recognised as a Microsoft Modern Workplace Specialist is great for recipients, their companies and customers, Paul Woods insists that recognition is simply a by-product of what the five organisations that make up the Modern Workplace Alliance stand for.
“If there was no award I would still do what I do,” he says. “It comes from a genuine place and it’s just nice that Microsoft rewards it and gives access to things, events, knowledge, and recognition. My work ethic wouldn’t change if I didn’t get the award though.”
If you’re interested in finding out how the MWA’s Microsoft Modern Workplace Specialists can help your organisation along their journey to a modern workplace, check out the MWA Accelerator.
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