If you are a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), you should be sure to check out Georgeo’s blog. He is the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Community Marketing Manager (as of June) and before that he managed the MSDN Webcasts Program.
Yesterday he announced some new benefits for MCPs worldwide as part of the MCP 2008 program. These benefits are part of MCP 2008 Phase 1. As long as you have your MCP ID, you can log in to the the MCP site and start using the new benefits right now.
As part of MCP 2008 Phase 1, the following new benefits are available (taken from the announcement):
Certificate Manager – MCPs will be able to download their high resolution new generation Microsoft certifications in both XPS and PDF file formats. While traditional welcome kits take up to 4-6 weeks for delivery worldwide, MCPs who earn the new generation of certifications will be able to download their certificates online within 72 hours of achieving their new certifications. We’re going to slowly start adding other older certifications back in, but we decided to first reward the folks who are taking the time to keep their certifications current and up to date. We’re working to add the MCSE, MCSA, and MCSD certificates as downloadable certificates that you can download and print yourselves.
Logo Manager – MCPs will enjoy continued access to their logo library of Microsoft certification logos. Certification logos downloaded for use for their resumes, websites and business communications.
Transcript Manager - Enhanced transcripts to match the look and feel of the new generation certificates, and will be made available in both XPS and PDF file formats.
Community Profiles – MCPs worldwide will get to build and maintain their personal landing page on the Microsoft.com website to help drive community interaction as well as improve discoverability of the MCP worldwide community of 2.1 million members. MCPs will be able to decide who can access their community profile in the online Membership Directory: worldwide public, MCP peers, or Microsoft only. I know the pages look boring and plain. That’s okay, because our MCPs are colorful and full of character…sometimes they’re real characters like Trika.
Member Directory search – There are some truly amazing MCPs out there worldwide. In order to find other MCPs near you, the Member Directory Search will enable you to find folks such as, Wayne Anderson, who is an MCSE. MCPs will be able to locate their peers worldwide within a city, state or country for purposes of professional networking, MCP mentoring, and MCP community involvement.
Internal Knowledge Base Access – Folks, this is the benefit that I’m most excited about. It’s time we started treating our MCP community as part of the Microsoft family and start providing you folks some important access and benefits. Yeah, I can almost hear you thinking, “What’s the big difference? You can already search at http://support.microsoft.com and find the necessary information.” Well, as a certified professional, MCPs will have privileged access to the highly coveted Microsoft internal partner level knowledge base that include exclusive technical information that is not available to the general public. Say you got Bill and Ted working in IT support for a bank. Their boss, Steve, comes in and says, hey, my scanner that used to work with Windows XP doesn’t work anymore in Vista. Can you fix this? So Bill goes and searches on http://support.microsoft.com and finds out that the driver isn’t available, and comes back and says, “Hey Steve, the driver isn’t available…stupid Microsoft”. Ted, who’s is an MCP, goes and searches the internal knowledge base at https://mcp.microsoft.com/mcp and finds out that a driver was submitted, but it didn’t pass certification, and it was causing the system to crash. The Vista team has filed an open bug on the driver that their working to resolve. He also find out that the dev team is working with the hardware vendor on a driver that will be available in the next thirty days. It also provides other partner level information that is not available on the public knowledge base site. Ted comes back and tells this his manager, Steve. Steve now views Ted as knowing something that others couldn’t have told him. Because Ted is an MCP, he gets the inside track on important technical issues that will make him and other MCPs more valuable to their peers and employers worldwide. Benefits like the internal knowledge base access will give our MCP community the leg up in coming across more knowledgeable and competent, and providing a real value in hiring an MCP.
There are also two Live Meeting Webcasts with Georgeo, Trika Harms zum Spreckel, and Bill Wall (Director of Certification Strategy), to talk about the new benefits that are part of Phase 1. Register for one of the sessions at October 31 at 7:30 A.M. Pacific Time or at October 31 at 5:00 P.M. Pacific Time.