Updated April 5th with the last RD logo
Two months ago, I had the honor to receive a message from Microsoft Corp informing me that I was awarded Microsoft Regional Director. In MS own words:
February 2, 2015
Dear Patrick Guimonet,
I am delighted to welcome you to the Microsoft Regional Director program! Your nomination has been accepted and I am looking forward to working with you to help Microsoft win platform battles in the Developer and IT Pro communities – and our field teams are even more excited to have such outstanding resources to help better engage within their communities.
The competition for admission to this prestigious program was rigorous. Your selection is a tribute to your deep technical and business knowledge, your community leadership, and your ability to connect with Microsoft customers, partners, prospects, and product group professionals.
As a new Regional Director, you will be joining forces with many experienced members of the program. I know that our veteran RD’s are excited to help you get the most out of the program and have great impact. We will help you get a fast start, experiencing life as an RD.
[…] Once again, congratulations. I look forward to working with you in the years to come. […]
Director, Community Marketing
It looks very attractive but what is it exactly about?
It is mainly a role of evangelist on Microsoft products, services, and solutions, with some similarity with the MVP program. But whereas the
- MVP Award is dedicated to one product (as far as I am concerned I am more than ever involved in the yOS – Yammer, Office 365 , SharePoint – community as Office 365 MVP !
- RD program distinguish itself by and approach oriented more toward :
- IT Architecture which imply a broader expertise on several products and several technologies, in one word a solution oriented approach, and
- Business (end-users and financial) benefits. As such it is interesting to notice that most of new RD have created their own company and develop everyday their own business (as far as I am concerned it is Abalon). This is an important selection criterion to become RD.
As all of this match exactly with what I am doing every day, I am especially delighted and honored to be on this experts panel.
However since I have been awarded, I realize that this program is less known than MVP one and a lot of questions are asked about it. I will try to answer here most of them.
Q1 : Why can’t we find so few information on the RD program ?
RD program exists since 1994 and was first targeted to developers’ community only. It extensively fulfilled its objectives and allowed Microsoft to broadly explain and expand the .Net platform.
Most of the resources you will find about RD program on the Internet were created at this time:
- Microsoft Regional Director on Wikipedia
- The official site http://msrd.io/ which is out of date now
- French site on MSDN as well
Following evolution of the strategy in the “Mobile first, Cloud first” direction, the RD program has been invigorated. Most of these sites should be updated before June 2015.
Now emphasis is clearly on:
- Cloud (Office 365 and Azure)
- Windows 10
Q2 : How many RD are there ?
There are 130 RD worldwide, 60 of them are new, coming from the February 2015 promotion. To compare things, there are now more than 4000 MVP worldwide.
Q3 : How long do we stay RD ?
RD mission is renewed every two years.
Q4 : This is a developers only program?
No really, as I said before, it is mostly dedicated to architects, with a broad vision of Microsoft technologies. I am a living example, among others that we can be RDs and Enterprise Solutions Architect, without being a developer. My job is clearly to design solution with preexisting bricks. If some developments are needed, another type of architects will be involved.
About 25% of RDs are IT Pros.
Q5 : Is it a paid position ?
No, as MVP, you do that freely.
Q6 : How do you become RD ?
There is no single and easy way to become RD. You can’t be candidate, you become it because someone at Microsoft (who you may not even know) nominate you. So you have to be a recognized player on several technologies and areas.
A french version of this post is available here : Microsoft Regional Director 2.0 !