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Meet the Inaugural 2021 Class of NVPs: Celebrating the NVP Captains!  

 Last month I had the honor of announcing the launch of our Nerdio Valuable Professional (NVP) program: a new initiative to support and give back to individuals who have consistently and voluntarily worked to support Nerdio, our products, initiatives, and vision. You can read more about what an NVP is and the benefits of becoming one in my  previous Academy article, but today I’m excited to share with you the answer to the question on everyone’s mind – ‘WHO are the first NVPs??”  

First things first – when we talk about the 2021 inaugural NVP class as listed below, we truly mean these folks are in a class of their own as we’ve selected them to be NVP Captains. The first three professionals in the program, Todd, Shabaz and Toby will be instrumental in helping us shape the NVP program this first year by dedicating time and effort to NVP program development, identification of potential NVPs, and being the invaluable outside perspectives we need to make sure our initiative delivers on its mission.      

We of course welcome this feedback from our entire community and additional NVPs as they are selected, named, and announced on a quarterly basis. Since the beginning, Nerdio has always believed in being a “learn-it-all” organization rather than a “know-it-all” one and in the power of community, co-innovation and driving forward progress together with our partners, enterprise customers, fans, and peers.   

Because this is such an important community initiative to us, we are placing these esteemed community leaders at the very center of it in helping us shape the future of the program as we name more NVPs within the first year of its launch. So, it is my pleasure to introduce you to our new NVP Captains and the first group of NVPs: Todd Porter, Shabaz Darr and Toby Skerritt!  

Meet the NVP Captains, Nerdio’s First NVPs  

Todd Porter  
Senior Cloud Solution Architect, Microsoft   
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to find Nerdio.   
I’m Todd Porter, a Senior Cloud Solution Architect (CSA) at Microsoft, focused primarily on cloud infrastructure. Spanning a 20-year career at Microsoft, I currently work with State and Local Government (SLG) accounts in the state of California where I am the Azure Virtual Desktop lead and the CSA Squad lead for the state of California.   Since the onset of the pandemic, many of my customers have been seeking secure, reliable, cost-effective virtual desktop solutions to support their remote workforce. Azure Virtual Desktop with Nerdio Manager for Enterprise offers a very compelling, comprehensive solution that checks all the boxes.     

What does being an NVP mean to you?   
I am honored and very excited to be part of the NVP program and to be empowered to lead this initiative with them. Not all vendors are created equal and in typical Nerdio fashion, I think their approach to this MVP-type program is unique and thoughtful.  In addition to having an amazing solution, the Nerdio team has been just awesome to work with. They consistently go above and beyond expectations to support me and my customers – not just once or twice, but every time. Because of these consistent experiences, there’s a lot of frontline insight I can provide to other NVPs and Nerdio so I think we have a very fun year ahead of us.      

Where can we find / follow you online?   You may find me on LinkedIn.      

Shabaz Darr  
Senior Infrastructure Specialist, Netcompany   
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to find Nerdio.   
My name is Shabaz Darr and I’m currently working as a Senior Infrastructure Specialist at Netcompany based in the north of England. I have been working in the IT industry for over 15 years, eight of which I’ve spent focusing on cloud technologies. I am a Microsoft MVP in Enterprise Mobility and a published author. Tech is my passion and content creation is very much a hobby of mine.  I have been working with Azure Virtual Desktop since its inception almost two years ago and have been a huge admirer of the Nerdio product since I saw a demo from the Nerdio team around the same time their enterprise product was launched.     

What does being an NVP mean to you?   I believe the NVP program will be a great way to help advance the Nerdio brand and gain real life feedback from the community much like Microsoft’s MVP program. I feel honored to be one of the first NVPs and I look forward to working with the Nerdio team to help improve an already amazing service and community for AVD.    

Where can we find / follow you online?   
You can find me blogging at and follow me on Twitter, catch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn. I also run the UK AVD User Group so anyone in the area interested in joining, please reach out and I’d love to share details!    

Toby Skerritt  
Technology Director, Foundation IT     
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to find Nerdio.   
I’m Toby Skerritt, Technology Director at Foundation IT (FIT), a managed service provider. At FIT, our aim is to run IT on behalf of our clients, and we focus on delivering and managing hybrid infrastructures. I’ve been with the business for 10 years, mainly in the professional service and presales functions, and predominantly with Windows OS deployment and virtual desktop technologies. I’ve written several blogs and opinion pieces around cloud, windows desktop and cloud desktop solutions.     I have been closely following Azure Virtual Desktop through all its iterations – from RDMI through classic WVD and into the current form we know today.

From AVD’s initial release, it was clear to me the platform needed a management overlay to simplify the complex management tasks associated with virtual desktops. We tried to build one ourselves (this didn’t end well), and led us to investigating what options were available on the market.  The native management capabilities were restricted to PowerShell commands, so Nerdio was a game changer here, a critical enabler for managing AVD solutions at scale and reducing costs. Today, the fact that Nerdio is still the first item on the list when architecting AVD is testament to how important the product is.     

What does being an NVP mean to you?   
Nerdio’s development has been incredible, and it now incorporates a whole host of essential functions including a new disaster recovery feature which allows for the creation of desktops across multiple regions.     I will continue to evangelize the Nerdio product suite, as I feel their team really understands the management needs of AVD and continues to deliver new and exciting updates. I look forward to working closely with Nerdio on many future projects in addition to being a strong participant in this program!    

Where can we find / follow you online?   
Follow or connect with me on  LinkedIn and catch me writing frequently for the Foundation IT blog, posting to our Youtube channel and hosting our newly launched podcast.