Today I went and signed a contract with Microsoft here in Western Australia to join the "Virtual Technical Specialist" programme. I've had plenty of questions on what this role actually is…so here goes from what I know already.
Effectively as a Virtual Technical Specialist I will be reporting to William Cornwill (@codejedi) who is based in Victoria as a SharePoint Technology Solutions Professional for Microsoft.
The role is there so that I can assist the local sales team with their technical queries around SharePoint. This is because William and Gayan Pieris are the only full time people for Australia in this specialist SharePoint role and can't service all the requests.
To fulfil this they have gone out to the market to leverage on the skills. Elaine Van Bergen (OBS - @laneyvb) and Leah Dent (Vivid Group) both based in VIC are also in the programme.
The programme is only present here and in Canada and if you do a Google, I mean Bing, search you'll not find any information…until this post is indexed ;-)
This programme is so new that there is currently no official Job Title in the HRMS and the contract I signed was for an "Administrative Assistant" ;-) I've made it pretty clear to William that he can make his own coffee and clean his own desk!
It is an unpaid role which will probably take about ~3 days a month of my time. The main benefits from my perspective is that I have now signed an NDA and get access to Microsoft internal network information (not as much rights as FTE's, but does include internal training material) to allow me to assist in the sales enquiries. I also now have "direct access" to the product team to help with my enquiries also.
This is a very exciting opportunity to get closer to the Microsoft business process and sales cycle and build relationships with them locally, nationally and internationally. My long term goal is still to go work for the Product Team in Seattle, hopefully next year after my wedding this October! So this is all a good step in the right direction!