April 2008 - Posts

Announcing the launch of the USER GROUP SUPPORT SERVICES pilot

I am proud be part this global initiative program, to support technical community World Wide" I am sure that, this global initiative going to bring new changes and new technology to new generation of IT world.

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Please contact mfleming (Senior Online Community Lead) with any questions on this pilot.

Consistency and scale in the services we provide to User Group Communities has been a challenge and a source of consternation for all of us over the past years.

Microsoft is pleased to announce that as of last month’s User Group Leadership Summit and based on global feedback, we have a model that delivers progress that can be universally appreciated and used by your local User Group Communities.  Our pilot, User Group Support Services, launches today May 8!

The pilot emerged from community feedback, efforts from UC and Windows and from work led over the past 2 years by the US Subsidiary with their rollout of Codezone in the US.  Thanks to their work and bolstered by the great feedback from the community, we have taken on the commit to build and sustain UGSS as a part of our global offering.  The pilot is available at this time for English speaking regions – but stay tuned as in early H1 FY09 we will have additional language offerings. If you wish to be among the first to pilot this program in your region, please contact mfleming.

WHAT IS USER GROUP SUPPORT SERVICES?

First of all, User Group Support Services (UGSS) does not replace local engagement and local investment. These tools enhance corp-to-user group engagement and have the capability to enhance your engagement with your local Microsoft field. UGGS is a  platform with an underlying framework which drives consistency in how we engage UGs across our Technical Audiences and enables the community to participate in a direct dialog with Microsoft.  The focus of this platform is on providing a process and a portal that helps improve the quality of content available to User Group Leaders for their events and tools that help them manage their groups.

This platform has two distinct offerings:

1. Access to content built specifically for User Group events by Microsoft Product teams
UGSS has partnered with Microsoft product teams to provide content built specifically for User Group events (demos, discussion presentations and other content). This content will be free to User Group Leaders and available through the UGSS Connect portal. In the future, User Group Leaders can access community led launch event content as well as explore other Beta Connect program opportunities.

· How do I know what’s available to me? A user group specific content editorial calendar is available through two interfaces:

· Public planning interface for Developer through Codezone

· Public planning interface for ITPRO Culminis – JUNE 2008

· Where can I go to download the content? UGSS Connect portal (user group content fownload center) is accessible from:

· MSDN

· TechNet

· Codezone

· Culminis (ITPRO) – planned release for JUNE 2008

· Online user group tools wrapped in a consistent UI
UGSS framework offers a free set of tools specific to user group management. In the pilot, these services continue to be surfaced through: Codezone (Developer & INETA supported), and for ITPRO will be released through Culminis – planned for JUNE 2008. These services include:

· Speaker's repository

· Sponsorship Repository

· Event management & attendance tracking

· Member management and communication

· Consolidated User Group Management Interface

· User Group Kits: Available in supported regions

· Study Groups

ADDITIONAL USER GROUP BENEFIT

  • Free Live Meeting Accounts for User Group Leaders (contact Culminis, INETA or your local Microsoft evangelist for more details)

Some asks of you..

Because this is a new program from a global perspective, we are looking for your help.

Evangelize these services in your region.  This includes: Event content, Speaker's Bureau, Sponsorship Repository, and UG Leaders resources

Help to localize User Group Event Content for your region and offer this for download through the UGSS Connect portal.

Help to localize the regional feedback into English for Corp to consume and act on

We will…

Advance the tools/framework based on your feedback

Provide new content from Product Groups based/impacted by your feedback

Aggregate your feedback from the interface to participating subsidiaries and product groups

Maintain UGSS as the one place from which to access all Microsoft content for Community Led Launch Events

FY09 Corporate Deliverables (planning)

Community Lead Launch event kits/cycles:

  • Virtualization Deep Technical / H1/H2
  • SQL Deep Technical- H1/H2

Days to produce localized versions based on field commitments (plan in place July 15, 2008)

Editorial calendar detailing content to be delivered (see above)

New features, to include reporting functionality for User Group leaders, among others. The full set to be communicated in JUNE 2008.

THANK YOU!

We’d like to say a huge “THANK YOU” to you all for moving this effort forward, especially the following User Group Leaders:

  1. Graham Jones
  2. Lee Benjamin
  3. Kaliyan selvaraj
  4. Bill Wolff
  5. Brendon Schwartz
  6. James Johnson
  7. Eric Selje
  8. Matt Rigling
  9. Michael Steinberg
  10. Robin Edwards
  11. Shawn Weisfeld
  12. Stephen Swienton
  13. Tim Rayburn
  14. Mike Wells
  15. Christopher Reed

Announcing the launch of the USER GROUP SUPPORT SERVICES pilot