Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award is a way for Microsoft to celebrate the “best and brightest technical community leaders” across the Microsoft Partner Network. It’s a big honour (there’s only 3,090 around the world), and we are incredibly proud and excited to announce that Chris Huntingford has been recognised as a Microsoft MVP – specifically a Microsoft Business Applications MVP (of which there are only 169 globally!)
Part of the Dynamics 365 Pre-Sales team, Chris has been an invaluable member of Hitachi Solutions for four and a half years now.
We sat down with Chris to say congratulations, and also ask what becoming an MVP means to him.
Firstly Chris, congratulations – what a brilliant achievement! For people who might not know about the Microsoft MVP award, can you explain what it is and what it means to you personally?
“The MVP award recognises exceptional community leadership and people who contribute to the Microsoft ecosystem. It’s about being an evangelist and influencing the way people perceive the product you promote, along with sharing accurate and valuable information within the community.”
“I placed a load of importance on the MVP award at the beginning of my career. I wanted to contribute, and I wanted the status of being an MVP, because it is a huge honour. It then became less of a direct focus, and more of a bi-product, because ultimately, I wanted to contribute in my own way and focus on doing great work at Hitachi Solutions and in the Microsoft community.”
How valuable is the Microsoft community?
“For me it’s hugely important. You have users, you have partners, you have ISVs, and you have Microsoft’s employees. The great thing is that all these people are interacting together and helping each other.”
“My focus lies in Dynamics 365 customer engagement, and I truly believe that when people utilise this, when they implement it in their businesses, it changes the way that they do business – it increases growth, profit and value.”
“I believe in it so much that I couldn’t help but get involved in the community, explaining the benefits and showing people how to get more out of the platform, because ultimately sharing knowledge is the most important thing.”
What are the best channels for reaching out?
“Everyone has their own way. A lot of people write blogs. Some people make videos. We have a community website called Those Dynamics Guys. We bring content together from various people, write our own content and distribute it on social. Off the back of that, I have spoken at a lot of events, worked closely with Microsoft on a number of initiatives, and we even recently ran a hackathon, hosted by Hitachi Solutions, which had 60 attendees.”
What do you feel, contributed towards your Microsoft MVP award?
“My area of expertise is marketing, social, and the generation of meaningful interactions between users and customers. It’s something that’s earned a lot of my attention and focus, because I understand how valuable it is for a company. In particular, the impact of social media as the marketing sphere has evolved. That doesn’t mean just posting on social media channels but rather creating more meaningful conversations with customers.”
“My other focus is on the customer engagement side of things. More recently, Microsoft released a part of the stack called Power Platform, which contains a product set called PowerApps. We got involved in this straight away on the Those Dynamics Guys site. We started learning why it is valuable, why customers need to use it and how it can help.”
“Then we started sharing our knowledge. The way I think about it is this: the more people you can educate, the more they understand. The more they understand, the more they utilise. The more they utilise, the more the community grows.”
What role has the team at Hitachi Solutions played in helping you become an MVP?
“Everyone at Hitachi Solutions has been really awesome in supporting me and giving me the time to do this ‘extracurricular’ stuff. The leadership at Hitachi really understand the value of community interactions. Being a Microsoft MVP opens up a lot of doors. It’s been a fantastic marketing mechanism for both me and Hitachi. We have worked collaboratively and have both understood the value of this award I couldn’t have asked for more support, help or enthusiasm!”