MVP Spotlight

Raphael Koellner

Office365 MVP Raphael Köllner has been contributing to various technical and legal communities for more than 14 years. You will find him online in MSDN forums, XING, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but also offline at various conferences. The topics he currently loves talking about the most are Cloud computing and especially Office365. “I love the combination of mutual help to achieve a common goal on the one hand and the chance to meet very nice people on the other hand,” Raphael said.
Currently Raphael is in the final stages of his law studies, focusing on media and communications law at the University of Cologne. “At the same time I have a job as a working student at Microsoft with my dear colleague Anika. We manage the DreamSpark Program in Germany. Moreover I have the opportunity to implement a variety of projects: a series on Office365, lectures on Cloud topics or simply Office365 projects with universities, companies and associations,” Raphael said. One of his recent projects is the development of the official Windows Phone App for the German Parliament together with Raphael’s teammates. “We would like to catch up to the success of the official Windows 8 App. Finally I wrote a book about the Cloud for MS Press, including practical tips for admins. I want to show admins that legal issues also open up new opportunities,” explained Raphael.
After he became an MVP, some things changed in the way Raphael works. He began receiving more technical information and has had the unique chance to deliver that information even more precisely in his community work. Another advantage for Raphael is the international contacts within the Office 365 MVP community. Even extremely complicated problems have been resolved almost within minutes. “I am optimizing my current processes. I want to have enough time to answer all the questions in my inbox quickly,” said Raphael.
Currently Raphael is working on a lecture series and a blog series about the Cloud and data privacy for legal audiences to explain the technical side in combination with the law. “Especially ‘hot topics’ in the press have recently shown that it might help if a lawyer has some technical understanding and if IT experts understand how lawyers think. Furthermore I am planning an Office365 conference with my MVP colleagues in Germany with support from Microsoft to gather all the expertise in Office 365 in one place for two days,” said Raphael. There are also many presentations at conferences coming up for Raphael, and he is always looking for smaller spontaneous activities he can engage with.
Raphael already has a favorite MVP moment: it happened a short time after the first offline MVP meeting in Cologne. “I organized this meeting so could easily get in touch with each other personally. In the evening, as we were having a beer together, I recognized how quickly we became friends or even very good friends in such a short timeframe. Implementing projects is a lot of fun with so many great people from the MVP community. Big thanks go to our MVP program managers Katrin and Anna, who helped me create this event and took care of every little question the entire time,” said Raphael.