This is the continuing series of special interviews appearing first here in the Canadian IT Managers (CIM) forum from top-ranking business and technology leaders.

Earlier this week we began our discussion with Nestor J. Portillo, and provided Nestor's rich history in the industry.

Today I put these questions to Nestor:
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SI: Together with technical communities such as user groups, how do MVP awardees contribute to the business community?

NJP: MVPs makes an important contribution to the business community not only by sharing their knowledge and experience but also by driving product/technology innovation as a result of their interaction with other community members and professionals. MVPs are able to provide valuable product feedback back to Microsoft understand by catalyzing conversations at the community level and by magnifying the voice of the world's users in an independent way.

SI: What does the MVP program mean to the academic community? [How do they (awardees) contribute to education?]

NJP: The MVP program means the same to the academic community as the professional community. Today the MVP program does not make a specific distinction between the professional and the academic communities because both are valuable for us and we recognize outstanding contributors in the same way. In regards to awardees' contribution in this space - I would say that it is very similar to the professional community because we award people who are very actively sharing their knowledge and helping other community members in a professional and courteous way. In the Americas we have an important number of MVPs from the academic community.

SI: When describing initiatives, it helps to explain how it is differentiated and the value it provides. How does the MVP program differentiate itself and what value does it provide?

NJP: The MVP program differentiates itself from other programs through its maturity and technical nature. With more than 13 years of existence, the MVP award is highly recognized by the community and the industry and is synonymous with high technical knowledge, expertise and quality recognition. Answers provided by our MVPs are considered reliable and of high quality. The value beyond the technical enablement provided to our MVPs is the indirect participation at the local communities as another participant.
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Look this week for more of Nestor's insights. Tomorrow, Nestor will describe the five biggest issues facing technical communities and their solutions.

I also encourage you to share your thoughts here on these interviews or send me an e-mail at sibaraki@cips.ca.
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Thank you,
Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P.