Friday, December 10, 2004

Mary Jo reports on problems in MVP Land

Mary Jo Foley writes a nice site over at She also writes a subscription newsletter (Microsoft Watch). This week she's reporting on "Trouble in MVP Land" suggesting in a roundabout way that the programme might be cancelled, in whole or in part. It seems folks are adding 2 and 2 and getting 22 again.

The MVP programme certainly has ramped up quickly from around 600 a couple of years ago to over 2000 today. Much of that growth has been in taking the programme global - with Japanese, Indian, and other MVPs being added to the ranks. And with this huge growth in the number of MVPs has come the growth in the amount of staff required to manage the programme. When your CEO wants to shave $1bn off the cost structure, every large programme needs to look for economies of scale!.

At the same time, MVPs come in many different shapes and sizes - and MS is looking at how to get the best out of their significant investment. Some MVPs operate at different levels, and provide a different degree if 'value' - and may need to be recognised differently.

Of course, in addition to the MVPs, there are also Regional Directors, and other influential communities. There are a bunch of things (administrivia mainly) that probably could usefully be consolidated, and at the same time, there's the age old questions of who gets what, when, how, etc. The constant readjustment of any on-going programme continues. One very positive sign for the MVP programme, to me at least, is how so many of the product groups are pro-MVP.

So will the MVP programme be killed? I very much doubt it. But I'm certain it will evolve. Expect a formal reaction from Microsoft to Mary Jo's article shortly.

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