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Today I received an email confirming my 5th Microsoft MVP award. Time has flown since those first nomination emails in 2017.

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The Microsoft MVP Award

For anybody reading this post I thought that it might be useful to explain what the MVP Award stands for. When do you get the MVP Award? And what do you need to do get get an MVP Award and become part of the Microsoft MVP program.

The Microsoft MVP award is given to community leaders who do an exceptional job within the Microsoft community.

So what does that mean? How to become a Microsoft MVP?

Well there is no answer to that question.

But I can tell you my story.

Once upon a time in 2017 …

In 2017 I’d already been blogging for a while, and what is now called SharePains.com, started to become my platform for sharing my experiences with SharePoint.

As you can see from the stats below, in 2017 my blog was really popular with just over 100,000 views.

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Then as I got more involved with organizing users groups and spoke at events like Ignite the Tour London I started to get to know more and more people within the Microsoft Community.

In 2017 Tomislav Karafilov and Paul Keijzers nominated me for an MVP award. This is how the MVP award works. Other Community leaders can nominate you to become receive an MVP award. (Before you all contact an MVP to nominate you, just act like that MVP and then become noticed, one day you might get nominated. Asking MVPs is really not needed, they are all on the look out).

I still remember that Sunday on 2017 when I went out for a walk and received that email confirming the first award.

Microsoft MVP Award email

That email gives you a shaking legs kind of feeling.

And then Covid-19 hit …

Covid 19 definitely changed the way the community worked. Together with Rory Neary, I started PowerApps4Kids, and the user groups moved online.

Online User Group, well it just isn’t the same. After a day of staring at screens, doing more Microsoft Teams calls in the evening, really didn’t work for a lot of people.

I still also did quite a bit of work on the Power Platform community forum. Answering questions that people post. And that gave me my next community idea.

I enabled the chat on SharePains.com, and that started a whole new community around Microsoft technology.

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So what does a Microsoft MVP do?

In my case I helped organize user groups and spoke at a variety of user groups and conferences, and over the years I’ve written many blog posts.

Initially my focus was just on SharePoint then Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Azure the Power Platform became the 3rd Microsoft product that I focused on. But really can you implement solution that fall in a single product area? Personally I have found that SharePoint, Teams, Azure and the Power Platform very often work together.

My first award was within the Category of Office Servers and Services. This covers SharePoint and Teams, then after the first year I received a dual category MVP award as Business Application was added. Business Applications covers Dynamics and the Power Platform.

One of the important things to remember is to focus your community efforts on a single category. Well you don’t have to, but it is easier to become noticed in one category than it is in two categories.

Time for some stats

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That is nearly 900 posts overall written over a 13 year period.

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As I mentioned earlier when I enabled the chat, I couldn’t have guessed how popular that the chat would be.

So far just over 2600 people from all over the world contacted me on the chat in a period of just under 2 years. I’m sure that you can understand that you may not always get an immediate response. I do happen to sleep and have some time off some times. But I will always try and respond by email to missed chats.

And then today happened

And today I got an email from Microsoft once again confirming my 5th Microsoft MVP award.

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Avatar for Pieter Veenstra

By Pieter Veenstra

Business Applications and Office Apps & Services Microsoft MVP working as a Microsoft Productivity Principal Consultant at HybrIT Services. You can contact me using contact@veenstra.me.uk.

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