I discovered and then learned to work with the Microsoft Communities in general and the MVPs in particular while I was working for Microsoft (five years at DPE for Microsoft France). Within my two main technological areas - SQL Server and SharePoint - I was often impressed by their level of expertise and commitment.
While I was still in my job at Microsoft, my role included sharing my experience with collaborative tools and database tools, so it was natural when I left Microsoft that I would want to continue my commitment to share my experience.
Over the years, my blog blogs.developpeur.org/patricg has become a collection of my good - and less good - experiences with these products, which take up a large part of our days (and sometimes even our nights)! I particularly like writing articles summarising the state of the art for a widely-debated issue or topic. Thanks to this enjoyment of writing and sharing, I became a SharePoint MVP. Having experienced the very exciting atmosphere at the major software and hardware producers, I wanted to discover the work of a business architect centred on SharePoint solutions at a major integrator. The work was technically interesting but did not however let me develop as a person in all the ways I wanted and so I naturally set up my own company Abalon in May 2011 to support my clients with roll-outs and issues associated with SharePoint.
Thanks to the MVP nomination, I became aware of the enormous potential of the relationships in the community of people working on Microsoft technologies. In France, I have already had the pleasure of meeting some of my counterparts regularly. But the MVP Summit is an unforgettable experience for meeting people and discovering similar experiences throughout the world!
Being an MVP is about technology and sharing, particularly on social networks, but that also imposes responsibilities and I wanted to take my turn helping people share their enthusiasm for SharePoint. This platform actually offers a vast array of opportunities, as well as a level of complexity that can make it difficult to deal with. I have had the good fortune to be able to do different and varied things every day. The richness of the technology lets it adapt to most business needs in many fields: website management, collaboration, CSR, Business Intelligence, business processes, etc.
Also, having taken part in the Parisian TechDays every time they have been held since they began in 2006 (I posted the first message on the TechDays blog, for instance!J), I took part in the launch - along with a team of five other enthusiasts, four of whom were MVPs - in the project for organising the first SharePoint conference in France! The American conference, which is held regularly in Las Vegas, provided a good template but we wanted to create a French-speaking event for sharing and exchanging centred on SharePoint. After an intense organising phase that lasted over six months, we were able to bring together 17 partners, 18 MVPs from five countries and over 60 speakers to receive 300 clients and partners, all focusing solely on SharePoint. We got a lot of feedback from the participants, who were able to share their enthusiasm not only with our fellows from Quebec but also from Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Tunisia and even one from New Caledonia!
We are also pleased to have been able to take part in this big initial event, which everyone is demanding should be repeated, in no uncertain terms.
I would like to conclude by thanking all those who helped me over the years in my various efforts for the community, and by underlining the fact that some of them have become not only business contacts over the course of time but also real friends.