The first “Exchange Oscars” happened at MEC 2014 as a way for the Microsoft Exchange product group to come together with the Exchange MVPs and gently roast each other while enjoying some food and drink. Of course, in 2015 MEC succumbed to the Ignite conference and no Oscars were awarded – until last night.
Thanks to the generosity of Netmail and Binary Tree, we took advantage of the annual MVP Summit to gather at the Tavern Hall in Bellevue and celebrate the second Exchange Oscars. I didn’t make it until the award ceremony (such as it was) was nearly ready to begin, but when I arrived it seemed like everyone was very jolly and had enjoyed the food and drink that was on offer. It was great to have Perry Clarke (head of Exchange development) and Phil van Etten (CEO of Netmail) join a good crowd of Exchange and Office 365 MVPs along with many famous members of the Exchange product group. And of course, the remnants of Flat Tony…
The avuncular and well-spoken Greg Taylor (he of elephant protocol handling fame) acted as master of ceremonies and handed out the Oscars (organized by Justin Harris – @NtExcellence) in the following categories. First, the awards to members of the Exchange group as voted for by the MVPs:
Most Helpful Product Group Member – The most-looking for a good end of year review award: Brian Day (or as he is known more commonly, Brain Day)
Best Product Group Presenter – The loves the sound of their own voice award: Greg Taylor (@GregTaylor_Msft)
Best Advice Given – The I wish I had been a therapist but I failed the exams award: Tim Heeney (who does a great job of helping people master hybrid deployments)
Best Tool – Which I thought was quite rude really, so let’s find out who the biggest tool in the chest is… ExRCA (the Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer): Shawn McGrath and Brad Hughes
Best EHLO Blog Post (please add the post author’s name) – The please please please love me award: Ross Smith IV (who has written many good posts in the last year such as “Enabling BitLocker on Exchange Servers” (@RossSmithIV)
We then had a set of awards for MVPs as voted for by the members of the Exchange product group:
Best at knowledge sharing – Also known as the read my greatness, admire my greatness, even though all I did was re-tweet your greatness award: Jeff Guillet (@expta)
Best code contribution – the I have a real job and can actually write code unlike you bunch of tarts who simply write about code other people have written award: Glen Scales (@GlenScales)
Most promising MVP – The I haven’t yet become a parent and so I can still work all hours award: Andrew Higginbotham (@Ashdrewness)
Best use of social media (please add the author’s name) also referred to as the Tinder award: Michael van Horenbeeck (VanHybrid – @MVanHorenbeeck)
Most influential blog (please reference the name of the blog and the author) – aka the I’m going to just keep writing and writing until eventually it pays off award: Tony Redmond and his WindowsITPro blog
Clearly there are many others who make a huge contribution to Exchange, the ecosystem that surrounds the product, and the community who deserve similar recognition. We’re just the folks who were fortunate enough this year.
According to its wiki entry and as far as I can recall at this remove, Microsoft released the first version of Exchange (4.0) to customers in March 1996. We’re rapidly approaching the 20-year anniversary and some debate occurred as to how this landmark should be recognized. Not many products have survived in such good shape, especially in terms of the transition to the cloud, and it would be nice to have an opportunity to celebrate all of the people who contributed to the success of Exchange. We’ll see what transpires here… Maybe it will be a mega-Oscars.
Follow Tony @12Knocksinna