I’d like to address and clarify the uncertainty regarding recent questions about Microsoft employees—and all other sponsor/vendor employees—submitting sessions in the PASS Summit community Call for Speakers.

Historically, Microsoft employees interested in submitting sessions were first required to submit through an internal Microsoft review. Microsoft has a limited number of paid sponsor sessions with a detailed agenda on the topics they plan to cover at PASS Summit. This internal review allowed Microsoft to ensure that submitted abstracts were in line with these topics.

Over time, the PASS programs team noticed that this policy was restricting Microsoft employees from submitting sessions that potentially filled content gaps in the PASS Summit program and added value to attendees.

It was decided that it was in the best interest of the PASS Summit program to welcome Microsoft employees to submit sessions through the community Call for Speakers, provided they follow internal Microsoft policies.

This decision was communicated to Microsoft last year to share via their internal communication channels. However, as a large company with many different departments, it can be difficult to distribute information to all relevant parties within the organization. It looks like that was the case with this update.

When we became aware of this issue, we made the decision to extend the Call for Speakers deadline from March 31 to April 2, 2019, giving Microsoft employees more time to submit their sessions. We thank everyone who took the time to submit abstracts and we apologize for any confusion this caused.

There have been so many of our great community members joining Microsoft over the years and we are looking forward to sharing their knowledge at PASS Summit events.

In the interest of transparency, we want to clarify that going forward all abstracts will be accepted and considered for the program, PASS does not restrict submissions based on employer.

If you have any questions about session submissions or abstract review, please contact programs@pass.org for more information.