Microsoft announces some key chages in the way it supports user groups
Today, June 20, Graham Watson, a senior marketing manager at Microsoft focused on technical communities announced some changes in conjunction with Culminis. These changes are designed to bring improvements across the board in how Microsoft supports user groups and how user groups ant their members interact with Microsoft. Graham's blog contains the announcement details. Here's a summary:
1. Culminis will become a volunteer-based organization, very similar to INETA, with regional boards.
· The initial board appointments will be selected by Microsoft and the Culminis company.
· The initial board will be in place for only one year, and will then be replaced by members elected by the community.
2. Microsoft will directly provide the following “core services,” many of which are currently delivered by Culminis.
· Event Support
· Community Development
· Content Delivery
· User Group recognition and reporting
· Newsletter support.
3. The core services will be available to the new volunteer Culminis community and INETA as well as other associations such as PASS. We think this is particularly advantageous to the community as a whole, as it ensures that Microsoft support is available to all User Groups and not just IT Pro groups.
The changes are siginificant and will take several months to implement. Supporting user goups world-wide has many levels of challenges to provide fair, meaningful and consistent support. Those challenges are legal, political, language, financial, technical and people related. No ease task.