Update May 19, 2020: MConnect goes virtual.
A few years back, I was awarded the Microsoft Regional Director Status by Microsoft. No, it is not full-time employment with Microsoft. Instead, it is an honorary status bestowed by Microsoft to certain individuals who are industry & community leaders. There are less than 200 Microsoft RDs worldwide, most being in the US, and less than 10 in India. Of course, I am deeply honored and thankful to Microsoft for this recognition.
Now comes the interesting part. What special can I do as a Regional Director? I for one, do not accept any award or recognition if I cannot do justice to it. While most of my SQL/Data/AI community work may fall under my MVP status, I wanted to do something different that is truly upholding the status of being an RD.
Over the years (due to my work) I had developed quite a few professional connections at the VP/Director level. On the other side, I was seeing all the good stuff that Microsoft is doing, especially after Satya Nadella took over the realms of Microsoft. And an idea struck me to connect my connections to Microsoft – let leaders talk.
I conceptualized an exclusive, half-day, invite-only event called MConnect. The event is executed by DataPlatformGeeks in collaboration with Microsoft. The event is designed and only meant for VPs/Directors/Practice Heads. As of this writing, we have executed four MConnect events, and wow, what amazing feedback we have been getting from both sides! What amazes me is that MConnect happens on a Saturday and it is overwhelming to see that senior executives are willing to spend a few hours of their weekends in learning and networking with their peers and Microsoft. In contrast, this was originally their family time which they are sacrificing. This is incredible. Thanks to their participation and their kind words of appreciation about the event.
MConnect is an exclusive, invite-only event for Vice-Presidents, Directors, Practice Heads & Senior Managers, to connect, learn and share their knowledge on the latest technologies in Data, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud & Advanced Analytics. Each MConnect is based on a specific theme. Typically, there are demos cum executive/leadership-level discussions between Microsoft senior executives & the audience. MConnect fosters exclusive networking opportunities with Microsoft & Industry Leaders and a deeper understanding of industry trends and technology usage in businesses. Note that it is not a one-way delivery, rather a platform to exchange ideas. The audience tells Microsoft about their challenges and MS SMEs try to address them. This creates loads of opportunities to learn and innovate. To achieve this exclusivity and astounding experience, MConnect max attendance is 20 pax.
Testimonials from the attendees:
MConnect in my own words
Special thanks to Sandeep Alur (Country Director, Microsoft Technology Center, India), Shweta Gaur (MTC Architect) and the entire team for supporting my community efforts as an RD.
I am quite happy that another initiative from my kitty is delivering some good for the community. More to come
Update: Dec 14, 2019
My LinkedIn post – MConnect Dec 14, 2019