September 22, 2009

Microsoft's recent changes to MVP Program

Microsoft made these non-NDA changes to the MVP Program last week

"Dear MVPs, Today, to align with the evolution and expansion of the global technical community, and based on MVP feedback and program participation levels, we are announcing some changes to the MVP Award Program. The technical community continues to expand into new technologies such as mobile and cloud computing, new venues such as social Web sites, and more countries. Microsoft understands the importance of community, and we continue to invest in community development. For example, to reflect the expanding community, we plan to develop new ways to recognize community influencers beyond the MVP Award Program. Meanwhile we are creating Microsoft Forums in 10 languages; building systems to help us to better listen to our customers worldwide; and expanding our investment in the MVP Award Program. We remain very excited about community and the opportunities it gives people.

The spirit of the MVP Award Program, including its core tenets and principles, is not changing. We continue to recognize leaders in the community, and say ‘thank you’ for the most outstanding community contributions and leadership through the MVP Award.

We remain committed to delivering a great MVP Award experience, including more focused, more relevant, and more targeted opportunities to enable you to offer us feedback, help people get the most out of their technology, and share your expertise and experience with others.

We want to offer benefits that are most relevant and beneficial to you and your technical communities. In order to invest in the most impactful MVP benefits, we need to remove some of the less significant benefits. Through our research, and MVP feedback, we discovered that less than 10% of MVPs use our e-Academy, e-Reference Library and MS Press book reviews. We also know that worldwide, MVPs’ experience of their MVP Bucks (eCompany Store benefit) can be impacted by local laws, taxation and customs.

From October 1, we will retire these benefits: Company Store (MVP Bucks), E-Academy, E-Reference Library, MS Press Book Reviews

Technical Experts Connection (TEC) - coming early 2010 As some of you will know from last year’s MVP Global Summit, we are investing in an exciting new online MVP portal site to enhance your program experience. The new site – Technical Experts Connection (TEC) - will enable you to see your benefits, easily access events and opportunities, and connect with your fellow MVPs and with Microsoft, all in one place. We anticipate that this new tool will save you time, dramatically reduce the volume of program emails in your inbox, and bring you closer to your program opportunities, engagements with Microsoft contacts and other MVPs. We will share more information on the new platform closer to launch in early 2010. Moving the program year from October to January, starting January 2010 In the past, the program year began in October to align with Microsoft’s business calendar. This caused some confusion, so we are moving the start of the program year to a calendar year. We will also adjust the dates of our twice-yearly MVP survey, in order to give you enough time to evaluate your award experience before offering us your feedback.

Our worldwide team is very excited about the developments in the community, and the investments we are making in the future of community engagement. The MVP Award Program continues to recognize the very best contributors in the community, and to say ‘Thank you’ to those outstanding people who share their knowledge and help people maximize the benefits of technology. Microsoft MVP Award Program"

Source: Activewin 

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