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May-I-Help-You
Shivani Mody
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Operating system complications are common. But often you will find yourself high and dry, even after doing the rounds of paid services and customer care. However if initial indications are anything to go by, the Bangalore Information Technology Pro group (BIT Pro), working for end-users might just be the light at the end of the tunnel.

As the fastest growing group among Microsoft communities, the BIT Pro online technical community with developers, IT professionals, product experts, business and IT decision makers and home users as members, constantly endeavors to make users and administrators of windows products self-reliant.

The BIT Pro group allows members to develop their abilities, talent and enhance skills, gaining from the interpersonal communications rather than learning alone. Its interactive sessions encourage the members to brainstorm and share new concepts and R&D. If the group is faced with insurmountable problems, the members form additional teams known as the special interest groups to resolve them.

The user-centric group also organizes career events, focusing on career counseling and guidance on jobs.

The community has realized that learning the dry technical nuances has to be made enjoyable to engage the members. Thus the group leaders introduce the idea of toying around with technology to get the users into the groove. The ‘Bangalore IT Pro Hall of Fame’ certificate is a special award for members who contribute in a unique way or show personal achievement, adding to the collective repertoire of the group. The group leaders motivate members by supporting them with constructive feedback. They arrange aptitude tests, quizzes and conduct opinion polls such as ‘knowledge about operating systems’, making users put on their thinking caps, get engrossed in the technology and eventually learn while playing. Periodical contests are also held, where winners get prizes worth more than Rs. 1 lakh.

But if you thought that it was all fun and frolic, then you are far from the truth. Technical conferences and training programs are organized on a regular basis to raise awareness on new and user specific technology.

Interactive and practical sessions are hosted to give users the experience of the actual operation of products. BIT Pro’s multifarious services include support facilities such as online help; published documents and regular chat sessions to provide knowledge and solutions to the members.

The group’s services are not going unacknowledged. Microsoft recently gave them the opportunity to give feedback about a new server yet to be launched via a session conducted live from U.S. It must have surely been an achievement for a techno-freak group.

Their success story gets a special fillip when the group’s collective effort produces individual brilliance. Shariq Basha, a technology trainer is one such case in point.

Initially Basha’s presentation skills were not commendable, but with the group’s backing, he has improved and won the ‘Bangalore IT Pro Hall of Fame’ certificate. And the success stories are not only limited to those with a technology background. Rahul Nathan with a management background made the transition from being a hotel manager to a system administrator, with valuable inputs from the group. It even enabled him to become a beta tester for Microsoft products. Nathan now tackles faults for people as far as Maldives and the MSDN Newsletter featured him as the ‘DevStar’ of the fortnight.

At present BIT Pro has around 900 members and is looking to cross the 1000 mark in the next few weeks. With the group continuously enhancing user experience by providing better solutions and extended learning, the future for the BIT Pro user community sure looks bright.
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