Our guest blogger and intrepid reporter is CRM MVP Julie Yack. Julie is also the host of the xRMVirtualUserGroup.
A while back Dylan Haskins contacted me about his interest in starting an xRM group in South Africa. If you're reading this, then you know me well enough to know that that just pleased me to pieces and I wanted nothing more that to help him any way I could to have some xRM love in South Africa. He'd been working on forming the group off/on between work and life obligations, but hadn't quite cemented it, but not for lack of want.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when my hubby was asked to teach a VS2010 class in Johannesburg, to which I responded "cool, I'm going too dear." I emailed Dylan, it had been a while, to see if by chance they would be having a meeting while I was in town. I really wanted to see them in action. He quickly responded that they wanted to have a meeting if I was going to be around and ta dah, they scheduled one. Thinking back to the start of my xRMVirtual Endeavour, I needed that final push from my buddy Shan McArthur to get that group going. What are friends for, eh?
When I say they scheduled a meeting, that is underselling what he and the others in South Africa accomplished. They got the word out and had a membership drive, membership opened 8 days ago and they have over 100 members already. The room today was filled for the meeting. The content was great, prefect intro to see what the group wanted/needed. I was honored to be asked to say a few words.
The local Microsoft folks, like Paul Slade, have an initiative for xRM rock stars, the xRM Rangers. It's like a stepping stone for the awesome folks we all know will one day be Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVPs representing South Africa. The first group of Rangers were announced today as well.
Over the years I have worked with several groups getting started, including my own. Most of them start their first meeting with 3 guys huddled around a single laptop, not a full room and rockstar lineup of speakers. These folks deserve a huge pat on the back.
Thanks so much to the group, Dylan, Paul, Sean, John for your hospitality and for making this girl with a funny accent feel welcome. I look forward to another trip to South Africa.
On the picture above we have the xRM Rangers, v1.0: Johan Lotz, Dylan Haskins, Yolanda Du Preez, Keith Hertz, Sean Vowles and Paul Mare. And here’s a shot of our full room.