This past summer, Idera introduced a program to the SharePoint community – an expansion of an existing program for the SQL Server community – called the Advisor and Community Educator (ACE) program for SharePoint.
The ACE program is one of Idera’s ways of contributing to, and investing in, the SharePoint community by assisting active community members by sponsoring their travel to SharePoint events. This allows those of us who don’t have large companies supporting our community efforts to go to events we might not have submitted to. In exchange, we recognize Idera for that sponsorship and community contribution. We don’t advocate for their products or company as a salesperson would, but we are given access to their products to learn about them ourselves and provide feedback to Idera.
I was lucky enough to be selected to be part of the first ‘class’ of SharePoint ACEs along with John Ferringer, Liam Cleary, Nedra Allmond and Michael Lotter. We only get to participate for a year, after which a new class will be chosen. Being this was the first year that Idera offered the program, the community exposure was pretty low – spread by word of mouth. We hope there will be a lot more interest in it next year as word gets out.
My first trip through the program was to attend the Ozarks SharePoint Saturday a few weeks ago. I hope to get some more trips in and make the best of the opportunity.