Category Archives: MVP

Office 365 MVP for another Year!

I’m super excited to announce that my MVP status has been renewed for another year making me one of the few worldwide to maintain the status for 6 years in a row (4 for SharePoint Server & 2 for Office 365).

The MVP award was a remarkable milestone in my career as well as my personal life. It gave me the opportunity to reach, influence and empower thousands of people across the globe, network with extremely genius IT professionals, engage with different product groups in Redmond, and fly to 25+ cities across 4 different continents for consulting opportunities, speaking engagements, product launches, etc…

MVP Award Kit

The amazing thing about the MVP program, is it’s an award, not a credential. It’s always great being associated with such a smart and influential community, it’s something that I appreciate a great deal.


Last but not least, I would like to thank my family, my Office 365 community friends, the amazing MEA MVP Community,  my blog followers, all those who attended my sessions and all those who helped me progress in my career. Without you guys, I would have never been able to achieve anything.

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Microsoft MVP for the 5th Year in a row – This time for Office 365!

Ayman El-Hattab MVPMy MVP award anniversary this year is special and deserves its own way for celebration. A few minutes ago, I received an email from Microsoft informing me that my MVP status has been renewed for another year but this time for Office 365 rather than SharePoint Server. I’m really glad about the change in my MVP expertise because it reflects a  switch in my area of focus during the past two years. Now that Office 365 has been announced during SharePoint Conference 2014 ( #SPC14 ) to be the fastest growing product in Microsoft’s history (a title that SharePoint held for quite some time), I’m even more excited to be aligned with the direction Microsoft is heading.

If you are not familiar with the Microsoft® MVP Award (I doubt), it is an award given by Microsoft to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. Of more than 100 million users who participate in technology communities, around 4,000 are recognized as Microsoft MVPs.


My SharePoint MVP Journey

I received my first MVP award for SharePoint Server in April 2010 and have been renewed every year since then. It has been an honor to be associated with the fastest growing product in Microsoft history (Till Office 365 eclipsed) for four years and to be part of such a vibrant, knowledgeable and helpful community. My journey with SharePoint started back in 2006 and it took me around two years to publish my first article on Code Project, the article was titled “SharePoint Delegate Controls Unclouded” and the feedback I received from my colleagues was phenomenal and was the main reason for me to start the blog that you reading now. During the past six years, I’ve been very active in the online and offline communities but I’ll give you some examples for some of the best in terms of reach and impact:

Office 365, an exciting Journey ahead …

To be honest, I was not a big fan of Microsoft BPOS offering but when Microsoft officially launched Office 365 back in June 2011, I realized that something big is happening. It took Microsoft a few years though to announce its cloud first strategy. Microsoft was clear that, at some point of time, the new features will be released to the Service (Office 365) first rather than the Server (SharePoint On-prem, Exchange On-prem, etc…).

Fast forward a few years à At Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2014, Microsoft announced the following:

  • 500% increase in Office 365 users in the last year.
  • 60 % of Fortune 500 companies are currently using Office 365.
  • Office 365 has generated $1.5 B of revenue to Microsoft in the last year.
  • 75+ new features have been added to Office 365, some of them will not even be part of the upcoming on-prem releases.
  • Office 365 is now the fastest growing product in Microsoft history.

As mentioned earlier, I dedicated some of my time and focus in 2013 & 2014 to broaden my skill-set to include the different Office 365 workloads. I saw what was coming based on Microsoft’s “Devices + Services” announcements as well as the discussions I had with the Office & SharePoint Product Teams at the global MVP summits in Seattle. I launched a YouTube channel called O365ForAll and I spoke at many events and conferences (including #SPC14) about the Cloud App Model and how to apply Application Lifecycle Management practices to Office 365 Apps. I’ve also tackled other important cloud topics for developers like Visual Studio Online & Microsoft Azure throughout my speaking engagements & blog posts.

From this point onward, you will see more focus from my side on Office 365. This doesn’t mean that I’m moving away from SharePoint. In fact, only in April, I have two important speaking engagements on my schedule:

Last but not least, I would like to thank my family, my SharePoint community friends, the amazing MEA MVP Community,  my blog followers, all those who attended my sessions and all those who helped me progress in my career. Without you guys, I would have never been able to achieve anything.

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MEA MVP Open Day 2014 – I’m inspired!

Last weekend, Middle East & Africa MVPs had their first local gathering since 2008. Although this was very close a long trip to Las Vegas to attend and speak at the global SharePoint Conference 2014, I made it to Istanbul on March 20th to attend “MEA MVP Open Day” and spend a couple of days in one of my favorite cities worldwide.

It has been an amazing event for me, not only did I get to make new friends but I also had the chance to meet some friends that I had previously met during global MVP Summits, TechEd events as well as local conferences.

During the two days, we had the opportunity to listen to great & informative talks by Aben Kovoor (MEA HQ DPE Lead), Michael Fosmire (Microsoft MVP Program Business Lead), Dariusz Zalewski (Nokia Developer Champion CEE Lead) and Ekaterina Lajintseva (International Senior Site Manager for MSDN & TechNet). We also had some MVP-to-MVP sessions and discussions, those for me were the coolest & most useful part in the two days!

Although I’ve been in the community for a long time, the MVP-to-MVP sessions in addition to our side talks inspired me to come up with new plans and work on new things:

  • I liked how Alistair Pugin (SharePoint MVP) united the efforts of the South African SharePoint User Groups & SQL User Groups to work together on joint big events, this is something that I’m planning to replicate in some of the countries that I regularly visit in Middle East & Africa.
  • I also liked how Taylor Gibb (Windows Consumer MVP) reached millions of technology users through his consumer-focused blog. Although I’m maintaining an active blog that deeply tackles many business productivity and collaborations areas, I still didn’t offer much in the consumer space. During the next months, I’ll also extend my focus to cover other products areas like Office Online, Skype and others.
  • I very much liked the personal branding tips and tricks presented by Daron Yondem (Azure MVP). Daron was kind enough to share with us very useful online services that can help boost the reach of our technology contributions. & are just two examples.

Besides, I enjoyed learning about some of the impactful activities in the past 12 months:

  • Yasser Makram’s (Client Dev MVP) well-received sessions at TechEd North America & TechEd Europe events.
  • Sherif Talaat’s (PowerShell MVP) two books in 1 year!!
  • Niyi Omotoyinbo’s (Directory Services MVP) contribution to the Cloud OS MVP Roadshow in Africa.
  • Ahmed Bahaa’s (Visual Studio ALM MVP) session @ MEA Visual Studio 2013 launch in Dubai.
  • And more …

Last but not least, I would like to extend a huge word of thanks to Hande Kayadeniz Torkan (MEA MVP Lead) and Sinem Eylem Arslan (Turkey MVP Lead) for putting together such a phenomenal event. Cannot wait to see you along with fellow MEA MVPs in Seattle (well, If my MVP status is renewed in April) J

November 2013 MVP Summit in Pictures

Last week and within five days, i was lucky to attend Microsoft MVP Summit 2013 – Part II . The date of this annual event was changed by the global MVP Team bringing the MVP summit to November instead of February. Microsoft experts from all over the world with expertise on a wide range products and technologies came to learn and meet each other.

The benefit of attending the MVP summit is the opportunity to interact with the Product Group members, my regional MVP leads as well as network with other MVPs from all around the world. I had some amazing discussions with SharePoint and Office 365 Teams on how customers in my region are currently using SharePoint and I delivered a good deal of feedback that I carried over form my region.

I’ll leave you with some pictures for now :














SharePoint MVP for the 4th year in a row!

I found the following email in my inbox yesterday :

Dear Ayman El Hattab,
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2013 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in SharePoint Server technical communities during the past year.

Yes, this is something that I’m really proud of .. The MVP Award turned 20 years during the latest MVP Summit and I got my 4th award a couple of months after. This means that I’ve been an MVP for almost 20% of the MVP Award lifetime 🙂