Microsoft Regional Director and VMware vExpert Awards

Typically, February is not the most exciting month in my calendar. But this year it’s very different. On February 2, Microsoft notified me that they made me a member of the prestigious Microsoft Regional Director program. Only a couple of days later, VMware awarded me with the vExpert title. I’m very honored to become part of such influential groups of people. Now it looks like I’m the only virtualization expert worldwide who is Microsoft RD, Microsoft MVP, VMware vExpert and Citrix CTP at the same time. But what are my two new community awards about?

As a new Microsoft Regional Director, I will be joining forces with many outstanding members of this community program. In the past, only developers were on the RD program, but now Microsoft decided to add IT professionals to the group — which included me. Most Regional Directors are also Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, who are awarded based on a specific technology. I’m a Remote Desktop Services MVP since 2004 (Terminal Server MVP at the time when I was awarded).

Compared to the overall MVP program, the RD program is much smaller and exclusive, with direct access to Microsoft senior management. There are several thousand technology elite MVPs worldwide, but there is only a small three-digit number of Regional Directors from around the globe. RD selection criteria are technical expertise, community leadership, speaking expertise, online presence and business leadership with a strong field engagement focus. Neither MVPs nor RDs work for Microsoft, so independent knowledge of both Microsoft and competitive solutions is essential. RDs tend to have many media contacts and speak at large conferences where they sometimes articulate strong opinions in opposition to things Microsoft is doing. I’m looking forward to actively contributing to the RD program, acting as an advocate for the Microsoft community.

As mentioned previously, I was also granted the vExpert title for VMware’s global evangelism and advocacy program. This is great news and a big honor for me as I’m dealing more and more with VMware products, in particular around end-user computing (EUC), which is the term VMware uses for virtual desktop and remote session technologies. In essence, it’s all about access to Microsoft Windows desktop and application workloads on VMware infrastructure. In the past, I have done a lot of testing with GPU-accelerated remoting options of vSphere/View and I presented the results at several VMworld conferences. The vExpert program now gives me privileges such as access to private betas, free licenses and exclusive events.

At the same time, I was also accepted as a charter member of the vExpert EUC program. One of the goals for this pioneering group of about 20 individuals is to help create a foundation for an ongoing EUC influencer program. I’m really excited of being a member of such a great group of industry experts.

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