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The Azure Community Promotion was launched in mid Dec and allows the user group (UG) community members to grow their skills while giving back to their UG.  It is open to all user groups and user group members in Canada.  imageAt the center of this promotion is skills growth, giving back and trying something new.   If any UG member takes the initiative to trial azure through the introductory special offer or their MSDN subscription benefit then sends us an email which includes, a screenshot of their live application, their usergroup of choice to support, mailing address and with feedback from the experience….. we will donate $25 per trial to that usergroup and send the individual a $25 gift card. (see below for offer details).   There is no limit on how many UG members can participate and everyone that applies for this promotion needs to have done the trial and submitted their validation screenshot to cdnazure@microsoft.com by Dec 31st. 

Detailed how to instructions can be found both at Colin Melia’s blog or the videos on Barry Gervin’s and Cory Fowler’s Blog :

This offer has only been in market for two weeks with the only promotion being driven by UG leads to their members and the efforts of Objectsharp from our pilot AzureFest event yet from the early numbers… many UG members across Canada are participating!   This is really cool as to date their participation has lead to over $2,100 of community investment!     This means over 80 people have given back to their UG and will get a gift card!

This is a great start and given all the benefits we get from our UG, I would love to see us get to over $3,000 by Dec 31st!

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To me this is level of participation is great to see, especially at a time when everyone is so busy!  It’s also special as it’s an idea that came from the community.  We really need to thank the great work and effort put forward by Barry Gervin, Guy Barrette, Chris Dufor and many other UG leads that have taken a leadership role and worked together on this opportunity. 

I hope that this promotion offer is another way to better engage and support you along with helping your community.  If you have any questions or want to share any feedback please feel free to send me an email or give me a call.

Happy Holidays and all the best to you and your families!

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John Oxley
Director Technical Evangelism
Microsoft Canada | Direct (905) 363- 8589| joxley@microsoft.com | Twitter:joxley

Azure Community offer is good only in Canada, limited to members of community usergroups and there is a limit of one gift per person.  This offer is non-transferable and cannot be combined with any other offer.  This offer ends on midnight 31 Dec 2010, and is not redeemable for cash.  In order to qualify for the promotion you must trial azure through the introductory special offer or your own MSDN subscription benefit then send an email to cdnazure@microsoft.com which includes, a screenshot of the live site, your usergroup of choice to support and mailing address. Taxes and azure charges, if any, are the sole responsibility of the recipient.  Any gift returned as non-deliverable will not be re-sent. Please allow  6 - 8 weeks for delivery of your gift and we reserve the right to substitute a gift of equal or greater value.

Azure Community Promotion Background:

If you are a member of a usergroup (UG) in Canada you already know the value it brings to you: the skills they help you grow and most importantly the connections you make through participation.  The power of the professional network and the UG leaders that selflessly organize the group are a key support pillar in the community and one that we would would love to give you an opportunity to support while growing your skills!   As well, you know the importance for organizations to support the community especially in times of technology disruption and change.  We are at one of those times and the journey to the cloud is an important one.  A journey that everyone should take a step to start growing your skills now to prepare for future opportunities.  It’s not a big step, it’s one you can leverage your current skills…..but learning is about one step at a time.  Taking in account importance of the cloud and how it’s going to play a key role in IT going forward combined with giving back to the community we worked with many UG leads across the country to create the Azure Community Promotion.