Week of 3/21/2011: Highlights for U.S. Partners

March is quite busy for us this year, with the release of Internet Explorer 9 last week and the general availability of Windows Intune later this week (March 23). Both of these products complement and highlight the power of the Windows 7 platform, and offer partners new revenue and solution opportunities.

Another recent and much-anticipated release last week was the Ready-to-Go Marketing Beta, the new online face of our marketing resources for partners. Everything Ready-to-Go Marketing offers—campaigns, event planning, services, and website syndication—is now available to you in one place, with improved search capabilities to help you find just what you need to help you reach your customers and prospects, and grow your business.

Finally, we hope to see you in Los Angeles this July for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. Registration opens this Wednesday at 10:00am Pacific Time at http://digitalwpc.com/Registration. And if you have not started your nomination for one of this year’s WPC Partner Awards, you still have a little time—submissions are open until April 15.

Below are all the items we published in this week’s U.S. partner newsletter. If you feel that the version you received in e-mail, targeted to you according to your company’s partner profile and your role at your company, is missing something critical from this superset, please let me know by commenting here or sending me an e-mail (partnerQ@microsoft.com).


Diane Golshan
Sr. Marketing Manager, U.S. Partner Team
Learn more about what I do at Microsoft.

Join our U.S. Partner Community on Facebook and LinkedIn, and follow @msuspartner on Twitter.


Partner News

Experience the Full Power of the Web with Windows Internet Explorer 9
The new Internet Explorer 9 browser delivers a faster, cleaner, more trusted web, with support for modern web standards like HTML5 and the ability to launch and interact with sites directly from the Windows 7 taskbar.

A Quicker, Easier Way to Get Your Marketing Tools
We’ve made it easier than ever to browse, search, and find marketing tools to support your business growth. Try the new Ready-to-Go Marketing website beta.

WPC 2011 Partner Awards: Submit Your Nomination Today
More than 70 WPC Awards will be given out this year, with categories that include the Microsoft Partner Network competencies; Vertical, Industry, and Segment Awards; the new Sales Excellence category; and the prestigious Microsoft Country Partner of the Year, United States. Take time to prepare and submit your nomination.

Register for WPC 2011 Starting March 23
Registration for WPC 2011, to be held July 10–14 in Los Angeles, opens at 10:00 AM Pacific Time on Wednesday, March 23. Attendance options include the All Access Pass (recommended), Event Day Pass, and Solution Innovation Center (Expo) Only Day Pass.

Develop QuickBooks Apps with Front Runner for Intuit Partner Platform
Develop apps for Intuit’s 4 million small business customers. Sign up for the Front Runner for Intuit Partner Platform, which makes it simple for you to build Windows Azure hosted applications that work with Intuit QuickBooks data.

Try the Windows Azure Platform Free for 30 Days
Use promo code MPNUS1 to get your 30-day Windows Azure platform pass, and put Windows Azure and Microsoft SQL Azure through their paces.

Keep Your Valuable Membership Benefits: Technical Support, MSDN, and TechNet
The benefits extension allows former Gold Certified and Certified Partners to easily transition to new competencies, but it does not extend technical support, MSDN, or TechNet subscription benefits. Attain at least one competency to retain all your valuable membership benefits.

Windows Small Business Server 2011 Launch Tour
Join the TS2 team to learn how Windows Small Business Server 2011 can help you grow your business by addressing the IT needs of small business customers.

Channel Development Meet & Greet Events in a City Near You
Our Spring Channel Development Meet & Greet events will give you an opportunity to meet complementary partners and identify possible collaboration opportunities.

Earn Funding to Assist Post-Sales Deployment, Migration Service Charges
Through May 31, Velocity250 is available to U.S. partners on qualifying Microsoft Online Services products. For details on award redemption, contact your Microsoft Partner Territory Manager by email at USPTM@microsoft.com. Include your city, state, and Partner ID.

Three Education Trends Leading to Partner Opportunities
Educational opportunities are heating up with initiatives worldwide that can help increase nations’ competitiveness. Find three trends on Live@edu and learn why 200 partners recently flew to Redmond, Washington, to make their education plans with Microsoft.

Win More Windows Server 2008 R2 Upgrade, Virtualization, and Cloud Engagements
Join the Windows Server Platform Modernization Program to get free training, tools, readiness and sales resources, and technical support to help customers move to Windows Server 2008 R2, virtualization, and cloud-based solutions.

New Windows Azure Marketplace, Powered by Pinpoint
Product Marketplaces let customers search and browse for applications and services that enrich and extend on product specific solutions they are seeking. On these Marketplaces, partners can showcase their expertise by enhancing their profile with demos, screenshots and more.

Increase Your Reach with Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace
Built on the Pinpoint platform, new product marketplaces target customers interested in Microsoft-specific products and provide partners with the opportunity to increase their visibility.

Microsoft Online Services Partner Commerce Dashboard
Access and use this tool to help you track customer quotes, trials, and subscriptions; identify deals that may be at risk; and export sales data into Microsoft Excel so it can be imported into your customer relationship management system.

Help Shape the Policies That Help Your Business
Cloud computing, piracy, patent reform—as Congress reviews these issues, the expertise of Microsoft partners can affect policy decisions. Make sure your voice is heard: join Voices for Innovation and add your name to our 2011 Technology Policy Agenda.

New Sales Materials for Office 365
Take advantage of newly released materials to help explain the value of Microsoft Office 365 (coming later this year) to businesses of any size as well as to K-12 and higher education customers.

Windows MultiPoint Server 2011: New Functions for Education Customers
Discover how Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 can help you reach more education customers. New features provide deployment flexibility, teacher classroom management, and more connection options.

The Connector for Microsoft Dynamics
Integration between Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics ERP products has arrived with the release of Feature Pack 5 for the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics.

See How Partners Are Growing Their Businesses with Exchange Server 2010
Watch as Unified Communications partners discuss new topics such as: migrating customers from competitor platforms, upgrading Microsoft Exchange Server deployments, replacing voice-mail systems, and developing tools to move customers to the cloud.


New Training Incentives for Partners
We’ve taken already-free training and added some great prize incentives to help you expand your skills and win more business. New offers include training on Windows Server 2008 R2, Systems Management, Windows Azure, Exchange Server, and Microsoft Lync.

BPOS Training Sweepstakes Ends March 31
With the Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS), you can give customers the latest business productivity capabilities without deploying and maintaining software and hardware on premises. Learn about the technical aspects of Microsoft Online Services and enter to win an Xbox 360 with Kinect.

Updated Partner Cloud Services Training
Stay current on the Microsoft cloud story to effectively lead with the cloud and compete to win as you sell Microsoft cloud solutions. Topics include cloud strategy updates, partner value proposition, cloud campaigns, and setting customer expectations.

Microsoft Office 365 Sales Training
Office 365 delivers the power of cloud productivity to businesses of all sizes, helping your customers save time and money. This training will help you prepare for customer questions and learn the specifics of what’s included as well as pricing and licensing.

Microsoft Office 365 Ignite Trainings Are Available on Demand
The training package is a recorded version of the popular Office 365 Ignite event. This technical drilldown goes through all 22 modules and will give you an in-depth look at the technical aspects of the Microsoft Office 365 offering.

Online Services Business Model Transformation Webinar Series
These are must-attend sessions for partners involved in driving the transformation to online services in their organizations. Each module is dedicated to a specific area and will provide action-oriented direction on ways to assist you in the transformation.

Transform Your Marketing Business to the Cloud
Are you ready to transform your marketing and demand-generation tactics to capture the Online Services opportunity? Take advantage of the marketing webcast in our Online Services Business Model Transformation learning plan.

Stay on Top of Technology Trends at Tech•Ed
Attend Tech•Ed for access to hundreds of learning opportunities, industry experts, and products for evaluation, to keep your company on top of the latest technology trends. Plus, save up to 30% on certification training for Microsoft competencies.

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