In the first week of June, MSPs and ADEs from the Adriatic area organized the first MSP Adria workshop that was held in Split, Croatia. They had 15 MSPs from Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia on this first workshop. The ADEs also attended and participated there, Zoran Subic from the Microsoft Serbian sub, Oliver Zofic from the Microsoft Slovenian sub and Marko Sever from the Microsoft Croatian sub. Based on the pictures and the feedback, the experience was amazing.

The idea for organizing this workshop came a year ago, but this was the best time to organize this event. Reasons for which we wanted to do so can be put in several points:

  1. Those three countries share the same cultural and historical heritage, we also speak the same language. It seems natural to make a connections between best MSPs from these countries, because they are dealing with very similar challenges, on their own original way. We need to mix all those experiences in order to get the best possible effect on student bodies in all countries.
  2. Educational systems in the countries are also very similar.
  3. It is good to reward our best MSPs, at the end of a very long academic season, and take them to see other countries and to have some networking with their peers.
  4. ADEs could share their experiences also, and get to know each other a little bit better.

Best practice examples were the main reason that we wanted to organize this event, which I will try to explain in a few words for each country:

  1. MSPs from Serbia talked about organizing Student Tech Clubs by which they stated that it was their best case practice. They are organizing STC as student community. They are organizing workshops for STC in their institutions for students. They have reached approximately 100 students with STC. Also the best practice is that with STC all of the students have learned more about MS technologies.
  2. MSPs from Slovenia have talked about two best practices.
    • One was regarding School of the future program that they have started with Gymnasium and economics high school in Trbovlje. In the past 3 years they have renewed hardware for the school through government and EU grants, and they are managing to make this school the first example of the School of the future program by Microsoft in Slovenia. They managed to implement Single Sign-On on all applications with Microsoft Active Directory integrated with school information system, MSDN AA, Live@EDU, billboard school TV with calendar and restricted wireless access (EDUROAM).
    • The other was about sharing best-practice on how to build MSP community and what does Slovenian MSPs do to address more students. The presentation was about events, community site, workshops and good engagement of MSPs in companies.
  3. MSPs from Croatia talked about organizing events on institutions, Open Days, Student Technology Days and Install Fests. Through this events they are reaching students to get informed of the presence of the latest Microsoft technology on their institutions and all Microsoft programs that their institution is involved with.

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This was a great opportunity to put together MSPs from the region and to see what we can do together. One of the ideas that came during the workshop was to organize together student community portal and video portal, and also to bind together MSPs for discussion through live group and SharePoint that we have in Croatia. Each country is unable to achieve desired amount of content, but if we work together we could manage to have always updated and rich content portals. This is the first combined program that we will get involved with.

Some thoughts from MSPs that were on the workshop:

“MSP Adria Workshop was important to me because of the best practices presented by others which I was able to get to know during the group lectures which were held by other MSPs. Also, I am convinced that the personal contact established with other MSPs (from Croatia and Slovenia) during the course of the summit will be an awesome benefit in any future joint projects that are bound to happen.” from Dejan Dimitrijević, MSP in Serbia.

“I had lots of fun and gained new knowledge and friends. We should do it again A.S.A.P.”, from Andrej Šlegl, MSP in Slovenia.

“This was a summit to remember and it cheered everyone, and helped everyone to come to a lot of new information and to meet many new people! Definitely, we all agreed that it would be great if this continued, and become a practice. We came to a lot of information and ideas used by colleagues from neighboring countries and we hope that some of them will be implemented here so that we could make the MSP program better.“, from Silvio Šagovac, MSP in Croatia.

We all think this kind of events are very useful for small subs and countries because in combining efforts we can do much more then by ourselves.

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When we did not work, we had relaxing time. We went out to the city together to socialize. Also during Friday’s afternoon we had a Split city tour with a tourist guide so all MSPs could know a little history of the place where we had our workshop. You can see some pictures from the tour and from night out.

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It was an amazing experience!