Culminis discontinued it's services in 2009. Services can now be accessed via GITCA

This page now serves as an archive and will not be updated.

 


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If you were a member of the previous Culminis organisation, have no idea what it does or are clueless as to the purpose of Microsoft UGSS, this page is for you.

 

What is Culminis?

 

Culminis is now a completely volunteer organisation. It works closely with Microsoft UGSS and the IT Pro Community. Since 2004, Culminis has strived to help IT Pro's get recognition and the resources they need to do their jobs and to extend their knowledge.

 

Culminis is an international not-for-profit organization devoted to the development and growth of the IT Pro community.  After supporting and connecting professional user groups and associations, student organizations, and solution providers for more than two years Culminis have come to understand the goals and needs of each group, as well as the resources they have to share.  With this knowledge Culminis are developing programs that ensure a meaningful and equitable exchange of those resources, ultimately elevating the status of the IT Pro both in their industry and in the community.
 
Culminis is not a super user group and have no membership for individual IT Professionals, Culminis will accomplish their mission by working in cooperation with the IT Professional community. 
 

The NEW Culminis VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION

 
Over the course of the last five years, Culminis has sought to pull together the IT community and create a voice for that community. Their mission was to pull the community together and connect it to its peers, solution providers and the IT world.
 
Inherent in that process has been the continuing desire to provide opportunities for the leaders of the IT Pro community to participate with and engage their peers as well as the solution providers who create and provide the tools they need and use in their daily lives.
 
To that end, Culminis have worked very hard to create links, communication mediums and raise awareness of the great work and dedication of the IT Pro to the entire community. As a result, they were able to bring together more than 1100 user groups, online communities and associations under one umbrella representing nearly 3 million IT Professionals. 
 
The mission of Culminis Inc. has been accomplished and has completed the first phase. The second phase of Culminis has begun (End 2008).
 
It became time for  the community to govern and manage itself. A new Board of Directors has been established, plans are being developed and the future of the Culminis community is well placed in the hands of strong, professional leaders.
 
 The goal is still that of raising the status of the IT Pro and making a difference in the lives of others.
 
As an “all-volunteer” organization, the role of Culminis is to serve for the greater good of the IT community and IT Pros.

Culminis aims to support all IT. It is software and hardware agnostic. Currently Culminis is sponsored by Microsoft however it is not limited to Microsoft centric solutions.

With the new phase of Culminis, there is a new "Board of Directors" and "Culminis APAC Regional Board of Directors"

APAC Regional Board Executive Committee:
 
Secretary:          Choirul Amri
Treasurer:          Raymond Chou
Vice-Chairman:   Michael Jenkin
Chairman:          Ashwin Kini

 

Microsoft User Group Support Services (UGSS) have stepped into help the new Volunteer Culminis organisation meet it's goals.

 

WHAT ARE USER GROUP SUPPORT SERVICES  (Extracts from the Culminis website)

 

User Group Support Services (UGSS) offers a free set of tools specific to user group management and content built specifically for User Group events . These services are available through Codezone (Developer & INETA supported), and now for ITPRO are available through Culminis!

WHAT IS READY NOW?
 

Content Access

 

UGSS has partnered with Microsoft product teams to provide content built specifically for User Group events (demos, discussion presentations and other content). This content will be free to User Group Leaders and available through the UGSS Connect portal. In the future, User Group Leaders can access community led launch event content as well as explore other Beta Connect program opportunities.

How do I know what’s available to me?

 

A user group specific content editorial calendar is available to User Group leaders within the UGSS portal on Culminis.

 

Where can I go to download the content?

 

UGSS Connect portal (user group content download center) is accessible from:

·         Culminis

·         TechNet

 

Online Services


UGSS framework offers a free set of tools specific to user group management. These services include:

·         Speaker's repository

·         Sponsorship Repository

·         Event management & attendance tracking

·         Member management and communication

·         Consolidated User Group Management Interface

·         User Group Kits: Available in supported regions

·         Study Groups

 

You may recognise that Culminis previously supplied these tools. UGSS has taken on many of the challenges of the original Culminis.

 

In more detail: Speaker Repository

We have built infrastructure to help support local and regional speakers.  This allows UG Leaders to connect with speakers in their own areas so they can always find great presenters to come and present at their monthly meetings. 

 

In more detail: Sponsor Repository

The intent of this repository is to help groups connect with potential sponsors in their area.  We will be working with the Microsoft partner group to educate our partners about the opportunities they have to engage with the User Group community.  While we sponsor many groups, it is important to help groups find other sponsors as well so that they can get all of the resources they need to help their groups grow and be successful.

 

In more detail: Event Calendar

Add your own events and search for meetings and events locally and globally. 

 

In more detail: Event Management and Reporting

The event management and reporting system functionality includes:

·         RSVP functionality for pre-event engagement

·         Improved connections to speakers and sponsors for events

·         Event attendance reporting format choices for their events (online/offline)

·         A tie-in to User Group kits (if applicable)

 

HOW DO LEADERS PARTCIPATE?

 

If you are a member of the Culminis ALLIANCE, your leader credentials are already activated to give you access. Simply sign-in to the Culminis Leaders Portal (www.culminis.com) and navigate to UGSS.

If you are not a member of Culminis and would like to be, register here or access similar services by joining Codezone and follow the steps necessary to become a member. Codezone was developed thru collaboration between INETA and Microsoft to deliver services to the Developer Community

 

Membership in Culminis and Codezone are both free.
http://www.codezone.com/MyCodezone.CodezoneCom?ActiveID=2821

 

WHEN DOES THIS START?

 

The services are available via the Culminis leader portal June 30, 2008.

 

HOW DO LEADERS PROVIDE FEEDBACK?

 

Leaders can provide feedback via this blog post by adding a comment below. You can also respond send a note to us directly via thevoice@culminis.com or contact Microsoft directly via ugsadmin@microsoft.com.

 

Don’t Forget!  Free Live Meeting Accounts!

 

Free Live Meeting Accounts for User Group Leaders are available to UG Leaders. Please contact Culminis, INETA, PASS or your local Microsoft evangelist for more details.

 

Q&A on the Culminis transition (Extracts from the Culminis website)

What exactly are you doing?

We (Microsoft and the Culminis organization) are turning the Culminis network of User Groups into a volunteer organization similar to INETA.

We are taking the "administration" parts of Culminis inside Microsoft so we can better support the broader user group community.

Why are you doing this?

There are many benefits to both the volunteer model, as run by INETA, and the staffed model, as run by Culminis. We want to move to a model which provides the benefits of both to both the developer and the IT-pro user group communities.

Has Culminis failed?

No, this should not be viewed as a failure. The purpose behind this change is to make the best parts of the Culminis Organization available to all user groups and also to make the benefits of a volunteer structure available to the Culminis User Groups.

Isn't this just a way for Microsoft to save money?

No. In fact the budget for User Group Support remains the same even with the decision to make this change. We believe this is a way to provide more support to the community with the same funding.

Isn't this just an effort by Microsoft to control the user group community?

No, it's an effort by Microsoft to provide better support of the community, and to engage better with it, but it's definitely not an attempt to control it. Culminis will become a volunteer organization but will remain completely independent.

What about my organization? We are not Microsoft centric? I don't WANT to be supported or controlled or influenced by Microsoft

Culminis is an independent IT Pro user group organization, and remains that way. There is nothing stopping you from being a part of Culminis and having absolutely nothing to do with Microsoft.

What happens to my personal information? I trusted Culminis and now Microsoft has done away with them. What happens to my data?

The user group database will become the property of the volunteer Culminis organization. When your information was collected you did not specifically give permission for this to be shared with Microsoft, and hence it will not be shared unless you are specifically asked if it is OK to do so.

I want to get out? How do I cancel my membership in Culminis?

Simply send an email to Culminis at mailto:membership@culminis.com and state that you would like to cancel your group's membership. As your membership information will only be held by Culminis, nothing more is needed. If you do decide to cancel, we would love to know the reasons, but that of course is entirely up to you.

Will I still be able to communicate with my Culminis contact or do I have to work directly with someone in Microsoft now?

You will be able to work directly and only with Culminis volunteers if you wish – there will be no requirement to ever work with or communicate with Microsoft. Until the new structure is fully in place, we can't say if this will be the same Culminis employee as you currently work with or not.

Does this happen right away?

The transition will take a few months. The reason for this is that we want to make sure that we give the user groups the opportunity to have input into the process and to make sure we get this right.

What happens to the "Core Services" that Culminis provides?

We are in the process of evaluating the core services to see which should be provided by the volunteer community and which by Microsoft. In most cases, Microsoft will take on the funding, processes and administration, leaving the volunteer community to contribute their direction, expertise and enthusiasm.

What about "The VOICE"?

Our provisional plan is to provide a set of newsletter services such as content management and mailing list management to both Culminis and INETA, but to leave the editorial and actual content entirely to the community.

What about CommunityWorks or <Insert UG association here>?

The intention is to make Microsoft User Groups Support Services available to any legitimate User Group association. We are still working on the full details of how to do this though, and our initial focus will be on ensuring the new Culminis model, together with INETA, is as successful as it can be.

What difference does this make to me as an IT Pro or Developer who isn't a User Group member?

None.

What difference does this make to me as a user group member?

Very little. You may find additional funds, tools and resources becoming available to your user group over time, but this change shouldn't have any direct effect on you as a member.

What difference does this make to me as a Culminis User Group Leader?

Depending on how the transfer progresses, you may need to re-register your user group, as the current Culminis organization isn't able to share the information you provided it. You should find that additional resources become available to you over time. You will also have the opportunity to vote for, or even become part of, the Culminis Board in a years' time.

What difference does this make to me as an IT Pro User Group Leader that isn't part of Culminis?

Initially very little, other than the opportunity to register your User Group directly with Microsoft - which you have always had. If you run an association of user groups, you will also have the opportunity to register that association. At some point in the future, you may become eligible for the same level of support we currently give to Culminis and INETA.

What difference does this make to me as an INETA User Group Leader?

You should find that additional funding, tools and resources become available to you without having to also join Culminis.

Can I apply to join the initial Culminis board?

No. The initial board will be carefully selected by the current Culminis staff with support from Microsoft. It will be drawn from the community, but we are not accepting nominations or applications. The reason for this is to ensure that we can have a smooth and effective transition to the new structure. This initial board will have one year tenure and board members will only continue if re-elected.

 

 

 

More details about the new board can be found here

More details about each member can be found here

More information regarding Culminis can be found here

 

For more information, please refer to the Voice.

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

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                                                             This page was written and designed by Michael Jenkin 2011 © (Best viewed at 1024 x 768)