MVP

CIAOPS Academy

Today I’m sharing Robert Crane‘s CIAOPS Academy service. He’s an Australian based Microsoft Office Servers and Services MVP, and seems to be rather busy with all his different projects, including the CIAOPS Need To Know podcast.

That podcast I highly recommend as an easy way to keep on on the latest Office 365 and Azure news. Even though I try to keep on top of it myself, they often raise other new features or changes that I hadn’t come across yet.

Beyond that though, the CIAOPS Academy is a service I personally pay for that Robert provides. I am on the lowest tier, but the private Facebook group that Robert runs is an invaluable source of fellow professionals who ask and help all things in the Microsoft tech space.

It’s different to other communities with it’s paywall, as everyone is invested and cares about the topics raised.

There’s also a referral program for signups – sure you can use my affiliate link to CIAOPS Academy or use one that doesn’t help me pay for my own access here. I’m not one to suggest services or products I don’t believe in myself, but I’ve had several questions raised already which has more than paid for the service in my mind.

The bronze level (which is what I use) is enough for me right now, but higher levels give you access to videos and other training materials.

The bonus news I can share here is that there is now a 7 day trial available, which is mentioned at the bottom of the patron page above. If you want to see what it’s about and check it’s worthwhile, you can now do it for free!

In summary, if you’re someone who is either new to, or currently managing Office 365 and Azure, this is a great group of people to be a part of. I’m not the only other Microsoft MVP there, which I think shows the value of this service.

Welcome to 2017

Welcome to 2017! I figured this was a great time to reflect over 2016, as well as looking forward to what 2017 holds.

Last year I wrote New Year 2016 Resolutions which is worth a rehash to see how I went:

1. Be more personal in what I do (selectively).
I did this a little, but can probably do it a little more. My last blog post in 2016 was an opinion piece, but I need to do more personal I believe.

2. Get less caught up in particular individuals or situations.
Mostly achieved :) It still happened a few times but I walked away quicker, continue working on this one too.

3. Be more positive
I think I did fairly well on this – I’ll still call someone out on it when I don’t agree, but overall I feel like I didn’t dwell on many negative things.

4. Get more involved in communities
Tick :) I was handed the Adelaide Windows User Group to run, and merged with Adelaide System Center User Community to become Adelaide Windows and System Center Community. I’ve also presented in the user group a few times, as well as another short presentation at itSMF. More presentations needed

5. Helping others
I always want to do this more, but I’ve tried to do this where possible. It’s been happening, which is great!

6. Do more writing
I did more but could have done more again. Will see how 2017 goes, I have a few external posts scheduled, and writing this post is a good start.

You can probably see a theme here – I worked towards what I wanted but felt I could have done more. What will 2017 hold for me then?

I’m off to a pretty good start. I was awarded the Microsoft MVP title in the area of Cloud and Datacenter Management! I can proudly display this logo now:

This category covers all these areas:

 

  • Azure Stack
  • Datacenter Management
  • PowerShell
  • Hyper-V
  • Storage
  • Networking
  • High Availability
  • Installation and Servicing
  • Enterprise Security
  • Group Policy
  • Windows Server for Small & Medium Business
  • Linux on Hyper-V
  • Chef/Puppet in Datacenter
  • Container Management
  • Linux in System Center/Operations Management Suite

This doesn’t mean I’m a pro at all of them either… don’t bother asking me about Chef/Puppet right now for example, as I’ve never had to use them in real life! If you want to know what a MVP is, have a look at Microsoft’s overview.

Who knows what this new title will bring, but it’s incredibly rewarding to be recognised at this level. I’m hoping to be able to visit Microsoft HQ as part of the MVP Global Summit later this year too :)

I’ve had a huge response to announcing my MVP title which has been very touching in itself; just people bothering to respond with a ‘congratulatons’ is a very nice feeling – thank you all who have!

Beyond that, I’m really going to be continuing on the points I set back at the start of 2016. Nothing’s really changed there, so I’ll continue down that path.

Right now, I aim to make the most of being an MVP and continuing to do what I do; there’s always lots more to learn, and plenty of opportunities to pass on those new skills and tips.

An area of focus for me will be Azure and Office 365 which is ever changing, and it’s where all the exciting new things are these days ;)

Looking forward to 2017 both work wise and family wise (and continuing to keep the balance between both) – bring it on!