#MVPbuzzChat with Paul Keijzers

Related imageFor Episode 19 of the #MVPbuzzChat interview series, I was able to catch up with another fellow Office Servers & Services MVPPaul Keijzers (@KbWorks), an Office 365 Specialist with Wortell who is based out of the greater Amsterdam area, The Netherlands (a very beautiful part of the world, btw). As I share in the interview below, Paul is one of those people whom I have known for many years, interviewed and been interviewed by, and just assumed was also an MVP. And then I found out he wasn’t, and was happy to help support his nomination — and see him receive his award a year ago.

In the video we talk about the feedback mechanisms to Microsoft, and how important it is for customers, partners, and community members to provide direct input to Microsoft on how well they’re doing. This might include pointing out issues with Office 365 and each of the workloads within the platform, identifying gaps in features and integrations between products, and even highlighting “nice to have” features that would make you life a whole lot easier. We discuss how much Microsoft has improved with this kind of feedback since we both attended the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas back in 2009, which was his first SPC, and where both of us connected with many of the MVPs that we know today.

We discuss the primary channels through which people can provide feedback to Microsoft as 1) the Microsoft Tech Community, which is where you’ll find Microsoft product, marketing, and engineering teams responding to questions and providing details on existing features, as well as future road map; 2) UserVoice, which is the site to add your requests, and get support for your ideas from others within the community for SharePoint, Teams, Office 365, and every other product or platform; and 3) through partners, MVPs, and to Microsoft individuals themselves — if you are connected to any of these folks through social or email.

For those who may be unfamiliar with UserVoice, this is a platform where you can submit feature requests directly to Microsoft, and then people will vote on your submission and add comments — and if Microsoft takes action, follow the progress of your request with notifications. And if you’re wondering “Well, Microsoft will never respond to my request,” realize that it only takes a handful of up-votes to elicit a response from the product teams. However, there is a right way to approach UserVoice: my suggestion is to first research whether the item has already been added to  UserVoice, and if not already there, then second to add your feature request (if it already exists, then vote for it!), and third to post the URL to your UserVoice submission back on the Tech Community site and ask people to vote for your request. Of course, if it’s something that would help your team/company, then you can also send out an internal request to have people sign in and vote. It’s all good.

Based on this discussion (and an email exchange with Matt Wade a couple weeks back), I also came up with the idea to focus the April 2018 #CollabTalk TweetJam on the topic of community, and specifically ‘community management.’ If this topic is interesting to you, be sure to join this discussion on April 25th. More details here.

If you would like to reach out to Paul and connect with him directly, you can find him on the Microsoft Tech Community (where he is very active), TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and his blog.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP, and the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Lehi, Utah, through which he provides fractional-CMO for partners in the Microsoft ecosystem.