50% of itgroove staff are MVP’s! A paen to Sean and itgroove.

Our own Kelly Marshall was awarded OneNote MVP on October 1st.  That brought the MVP count in the company to 5 which is precisely one-half (50%) of our staff count.  It strikes me that is pretty unique.  I know there are one or two consulting shops in the US that are staffed 100% with MVP’s but those are the exception to the rule.  Most MVP’s are a count of 1 in their organization; we are a count of 5.  That is pretty amazing.  (And that doesn’t count the one former staff member who also was awarded his MVP during his time with us, that would have made 60% of the staff as MVP’s if he had stayed with us.)

If you were to ask how we ended up with half of our staff becoming MVP’s I would have to point you at two things:

  • First, I would point you at Sean Wallbridge, our president and fearless leader.  Sean is many things but most of all he is passionate!  He is passionate about his company, he is passionate about SharePoint (now there’s and understatement), he is passionate about enabling his people and he is passionate about sharing.  He was our first MVP and he sets the bar and the example and he challenges all of us to meet or beat his example.  If Sean wasn’t as passionate as he is I doubt that any of us would be MVP’s; it is his passion that “infects” us all and helps drive us to the next level.


  • Second, I would point you to the collaborative spirit that drives the company.  I have worked in many different environments but never have I worked in one that is as collaborative (and a wee bit competitive) as what we have in itgroove.  We all truly share in each other’s successes (and failures) and all of us are keen on sharing our knowledge and expertise with a forum that is larger than just the 10 of us in the office.  Sean encourages all of us to blog, post videos, be involved in user groups … the list goes on.  The mantra is “sharing is caring” and it is oh so true.

I know there sometimes is a perception that MVP’s are a “mouthpiece” for Microsoft and while it is true that we are an evangelical lot I can say, pretty unequivocally, that we are not another Microsoft “PR” channel!  Believe me, there are many people inside Microsoft that are more than a little singed and crispy about the edges due to the combined wrath of MVP’s who feel Microsoft has messed up or otherwise “let down the troops” on any number of issues.  If anything, MVP’s are the general user population’s “mouthpiece” back to Microsoft, relaying all the things that need to be relayed to the “powers that be” from “the real world”.  It is an interesting position to be in and we at itgroove have a large stake in it all.

For those of you that are thinking about trying for MVP I urge you to do so.  It is very rewarding to be acknowledged by your peers (your peers certainly have some say in the process) and you can have an opportunity to effect real change within the Microsoft community.  And if you are a tech firm looking at how to hit the “big bang” like we did I can only suggest that you emulate what Sean has done as that is the key to it all.  Sharing is caring!

2 responses to “50% of itgroove staff are MVP’s! A paen to Sean and itgroove.

  1. That’s great stuff, Robert. Well done on the way things are going for you guys. I only wish you weren’t based in Canada (I’m in the UK) or I might be interested in joining you!

    Perhaps it would be nice to see a post at some point as to how someone becomes an MVP. I’ve a clear idea on Microsoft’s certification programs (of which I sporadically embrace – working on the MCSA 2012 at the mo, with the first 33% under my belt!), but if I’m honest I don’t now what the MVP ‘acquisition’ process is. I’d love to be enlightened, perhaps in a future post! I’m subscribed to your excellent blog, so will look out 🙂



    1. Hey, Bobby!

      Thanks for the nice comments! It’s nice to know that someone is paying attention to my bleatings. And thanks for the idea for a post. MVP is not a cert, it is an award conferred on you by the Gods of Microsoft (I’m sure you already knew that.) That said, there is a process where you can work towards MVP which, I suppose, just ensures that you get on the radar of the Microsoft folk that manage the program in each geographic region. To be honest, we (itgroove) have had eyes on us from Microsoft because Sean has a high profile therefore the rest of us also get illuminated by that spotlight. But each of us has also worked to get there, as well. Our blogs are one of the stepping stones. Another one, I think, is offering honest opinions and honest assessments that others find useful. In the end the MVP selection process is something of a black hole … those of us that have been selected “sort of” know what we did to get there but it is still something of a mystery. Lord knows I was surprised (pleased, bu surprised) to get it. Now I’m working my tail off to keep it! 😉


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