It may be something that has been repeated annually for 17 years, but I still feel so proud when the Microsoft MVP Award kit arrives at my door. We have seen changes to the scheme over the years, and my son tells me there are currently 3,550 MVPs around the world … or, as he sees it, currently $628m equity in Microsoft per MVP! Well, I don’t think I have added that much value to the shares, but I like to think that I have helped in the adoption of Microsoft Visio in many companies around the world, either directly or indirectly.
Microsoft Visio has been my main tool of choice for 25 years, which is 4 years longer than Microsoft have owned the product. In that time, I have had the pleasure of creating Visio-based solutions for many different areas, such as facilities planning, network design, organisation charts, road maps, process flows, and construction schedules. I have made these solutions either on-site or remotely, for many clients around the world.
I have been running this Visio technical blog for 13 years, where I try to explain how to enhance the Visio experience with tips, or answer readers questions in detail, or simply to document how to do something, not just for others but also for myself so I have something to refer to in the future. I have written 3+ books about Visio for corporate users (the + sign is because one of them was updated), and most of the content in each is still relevant for Visio desktop users. This is because the desktop app has been stable for many years, and contains much invaluable functionality that web apps can only dream of.
However, the web is the future, and the Microsoft Visio development team in India is very aware that relatively recently nascent Visio for the Web application has to grow up to be as powerful as it can be. It is extremely encouraging that Microsoft have decided that all M365 business users will get a lightweight version of Visio for the Web included in their subscription. I hope that this will create demand for more full Visio for the Web (Plan 1) and Visio for the Desktop (Plan 2) subscriptions when users see the potential for smarter business or operational intelligence visual data solutions.
One place to find expertise to assist in this is to search the Microsoft for MVPs with Visio experience ( Find an MVP (microsoft.com) ), however this website does not allow you to filter for those MVPs with deep Visio knowledge and solution providing experience. There used to be a separate category for Visio but now we are all part of Office Apps & Services. I look at some of the other MVPs in that list, and I am totally awed by their knowledge, but then there are only a few of us with a certain breadth and depth of Visio solution providing experience gleaned over many years. So, as long as I am willing and able to explain why and how Visio is so smart to others, then I hope I am worthy of being included in the list with the other MVPs.
So, what is the value of an MVP award? It is recognition for an individual that they are doing something worthy in the eyes of others, and an understanding for others that this person knows quite a lot about something.
The eagle-eyed readers will notice that the photo above has Seattle skyline in the background. This is a framed picture that I bought over there, back in 1997, when I was a speaker at the inaugural Worldwide Visio Conference, and since then I have presented about Visio at many conferences. I look forward to in-person conferences starting again when we are through this dark period in human history.