Microsoft MVP Profile
Steve Goodman is one of Content+Cloud’s principal technology strategists and has been with us for over six years.
He has been an MVP since 2012 and since then has been re-awarded Microsoft MVP status 10 times in the Office Apps and Services category.
Steve’s journey to MVP status
Having previously worked in the private sector, public sector, and for the last ten years, in the Microsoft Partner ecosystem as a consultant and practice lead, Steve has worked with businesses and organisations of all shapes and sizes, across a variety of sectors.
Before becoming a consultant, Steve was an IT manager responsible for a large organisation’s server infrastructure and helped them become one of the first adopters of what’s now Office 365.
As a consultant, practice lead and in his current role, Steve has guided hundreds of organisations smoothly to Microsoft 365. When he’s not designing large programmes of work for our clients, Steve still gets hands-on on complex projects.
Where you can follow Steve
- Steve co-hosts the All About 365 podcast with his Content+Cloud colleague and fellow Content+Cloud MVP Jason Wynn.
- He also acts as a site editor for the Practical 365 community website.
- Steve can be found writing articles for the IT knowledge database Petri.
- He creates learning content for Microsoft, authors the occasional book and speaks at Microsoft conferences.
- Stay up to date with the latest news from Steve via Twitter – @stevegoodman
Quickfire Q&A with Microsoft MVP Steve Goodman
What does being a Microsoft MVP mean to you?
If you like the technology, you find it interesting, you’re passionate about it, and you also enjoy sharing what you know with other people, then, naturally, you’ll start to blog about it. Or maybe you’ll go to a user group and network with other people. You might even write a book about it like I did. It becomes a bit of a hobby. It’s definitely not all-consuming, but it’s also not part of the day job – you choose to do it because you enjoy helping people. You enjoy sharing what you’ve learnt about the newest technologies, and you genuinely want to help people avoid the problems you’ve encountered.
Over time, somebody might nominate you for the Microsoft MVP award. That might have to happen several times before you achieve it, but when that does happen, it’s great. It doesn’t mean that you’re better than anybody else, or that you know more than anybody else, it just means that you’re sharing what you know, often, and what you’re sharing is good enough quality to be recognised by Microsoft.
Microsoft is looking to see which people have the biggest impact in the Microsoft 365 space. Who are the people they look at to get a good idea of not just what our customers are thinking and doing, but also to get a wider picture of where we’ve been helping people in all sorts of ways on a daily basis?
How does being a Microsoft MVP help your work at Content+Cloud?
For our work at Content+Cloud, the most important thing that being an MVP gives myself, Jason, Anoop and Chris (my fellow C+C MVPs) is the ability to directly feed the things that our clients need back to Microsoft very quickly.
Over time, by going out to the Microsoft HQ in Redmond, or by talking to different product groups on a regular basis, you build relationships. So, should a customer need to know something or have a specific requirement, we can go directly to the product group and relay their needs.
On the other hand, we’ve got a good visibility of what’s going on at Microsoft. Although we can’t share everything Microsoft tells MVPs with our customers, we know, to an extent, what Microsoft is planning to do.
We know what the overall state of play with Microsoft’s platform might look like in six- or 12-months’ time, which is impossible to predict, even if you have worked at Microsoft. We’ve got a much better idea than many as to what to expect, and we’ve got the opportunity to join preview programmes.
Which Microsoft products do you enjoy working with the most?
I’ve always enjoyed working with whatever is new and most likely to make a big difference to people who need to use technology to get work done. Prior to Microsoft 365, this was often focused on behind-the-scenes improvements that make technology more reliable and respond quickly – scaling out open-source and Microsoft solutions to serve tens of thousands of users, where a good result is nobody complaining.
With the cloud – and in particular, Microsoft Teams, the Power Platform and Viva – behind the scenes is taken care of. My focus turns to how we build upon the platform to deliver innovation that delivers genuine improvements to people’s daily working lives.
That’s often listening to people from the business describe problems or blockers they have today and looking for the right combination of Microsoft 365 tools or devising concepts of a new integrations or applications build on Microsoft 365 that our teams can then deliver.
How do you contribute to the Microsoft community?
I co-host the All About 365 podcast along with Jason Wynn. I also write for Petri, a Microsoft-focused press outlet, and I am a chief editor for audio and video content for Practical 365, a Microsoft community blog which I contribute to every few weeks along with other MVPs.
Paul Robichaux (a fellow MVP and chief editor for the blog) and I also host the Practical 365 podcast together. The podcast focuses on thought leadership. Essentially, it’s our own views on what some of the latest Microsoft news, changes and updates actually mean to both customers and those working on the consultancy side.
Most of what I write or create videos about for Practical 365 is very hands-on with new technologies. For example, a little while ago we got out on a racetrack to push Walkie Talkie in Microsoft Teams to its limits.
So, we cover fun stuff like that, but also more serious content, like security issues that people really need to know about, and what they need to do to protect their organisations. It’s not just about how to put the plaster on, it’s about how to avoid tripping over and hurting yourself in the first place.
Microsoft will also often ask MVPs to speak at conferences, such as Ignite, which is where we generally share deep knowledge on the technologies that we’re working on with other people. Community conferences are really hands-on – what can we share in terms of new tech or good practice that other people can actually take away and do themselves?
There are a lot of people who may not be able to attend conferences for a number of reasons, such as budget or location. When I worked on the customer side (for a university), I never had the chance to visit conferences. So, when I had the opportunity, I started a local conference in the UK, Evolve, and made it free so that everybody could attend. Around the same time, I started, alongside several fellow MVPs, the Microsoft Cloud User Group, which I’m still running in-person on a regular basis.
What is your favourite thing about the Microsoft community?
There’s the ability to try and change things for the better – trying to bring in new talent from various backgrounds. Running a conference is a good opportunity to do this. When Jason and I were running the UC Day and Evolve conferences before the pandemic, we had an opportunity to bring forward new speakers and to help people become Microsoft MVPs.
We’re trying to change the dynamic a bit. We’re not just trying to help one demographic. It takes people from all backgrounds to make technologies like Microsoft 365 most useful.
When I worked on the public sector side, it was more diverse. And that was by design and meant what we delivered was better aligned to people’s needs. When there’s less of a difference in views, it doesn’t make things better; it doesn’t help us to engage with the business in a better way. It’s better when everybody can contribute their experience that helps one another in some way.
Another of my favourite things about the Microsoft community is that, when I’ve got a problem and I’m looking for help with that, I know that I can reach out to an expert who might not work at Content+Cloud., They may work at a partner in the US or somewhere else, but they know this issue better than anybody else.
It opens that door to be able to speak to them, and we can share knowledge both ways as well. We’re all in it together; we can help one another and support each other.