Eric Berg received the glad tidings on 1 October 2015: Microsoft has awarded him the title of “Most Valuable Professional” (MVP). The qualified business engineer received this accolade for his outstanding work in the Microsoft Community. After all, besides his wife and two daughters, Eric has another great passion: Microsoft technologies! We asked him a number of questions about the MVP award. Read the interview here.
Hello Eric, congratulations! This Microsoft award is a major distinction. How did you end up on the honors list?
How I ended up getting the award?! That’s a good question! :) I’ve been extremely active in the Microsoft Community for a few years now. I blog quite a lot, sometimes bilingually. I am also on Twitter, and contribute to the Microsoft forums. I have been a Microsoft Partner Technology Solutions Professional (P-TSP) on behalf of Microsoft since 2014. My role as a P-TSP means I support technical product demonstrations, develop strategies with customers, and provide instruction on technical options and contexts. The MVP award shows me that I have made a valuable contribution to the Microsoft Community, and of course that thrills me.
What is your specialty? Which MVP expertise do you have, and why did you pick that one?
I focus mainly on Microsoft infrastructure solutions. That means I’m particularly interested by everything outside of the productivity tools Exchange, SharePoint or Skype for Business. My Blog concentrates primarily on System Center, Azure, Windows Server and Client topics. That’s also why I was nominated as MVP for System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management. Minor restructuring has taken place since then, and now my expertise is simply called “Cloud and Datacenter Management”, or CDM for short.
Has the award impacted your daily work?
Not directly, although the MVP calls mean that by the evening my schedule is fuller than it used to be. First and foremost, the MVP Award is a personal distinction that honors extraordinary services and technical expertise within the Microsoft Community. People have already mentioned the award to me. But it is still fairly recent, so let’s just wait and see what happens.
How can people contact an MVP to receive support?
Basically, MVPs are active in the Microsoft Community, where they share their technical expertise and practical experience with other users. For instance, it is quite likely that an MVP will respond to someone posting a question in a TechNet Forum.
Have you already met other MVPs?
My activity in the community means that I have already met some of my peers. Just as an example, I met a few German MVPs at this year’s Microsoft Ignite in Chicago. There has also been regular contact since the award. And that is bound to continue: Over 2000 MVPs from all over the world will get together to network, to talk shop with the product groups and to take a look at all the new features at the Global Summit in Seattle at the start of November. But unfortunately that is strictly hush-hush … NDA. :)
Do you have any perks as an MVP?
MVPs benefit first of all from the large community. You also have a designated contact person at Microsoft, receive exclusive information from the product groups, are given access to technical resources, insight into new products, and you are invited to provide active feedback to help shape product development. You are also given even more opportunities to contribute actively within the community, for instance as a speaker at conferences, a trainer in the Microsoft Virtual Academy or by posting videos on Channel 9.
And how do the COMPAREX customers benefit?
COMPAREX customers benefit in several different ways. First of all, they have access to a consultant with verified and recognized technical expertise. The information that Microsoft passes on to MVPs can also help customers. Information is transported faster, and upcoming innovation and technical solutions can be implemented ideally, although we do need to wait for their official Microsoft release. What’s more, COMPAREX customers can send me their feedback in my role as MVP. I can pass on these responses to the relevant product groups, which allows me to represent the interests and wishes of COMPAREX customers. Perhaps it can even help us make the products that little bit better.