Week of June 20: U.S. Partner News

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).

For more partner news, resources, and recommendations, visit us on the U.S. partner portal and Virtual Partner Concierge, and join us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you are a Microsoft Action Pack subscriber, read Julie Golding’s monthly Q&A.


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

Partner News

Updates to the Gold Competency Revenue Requirement
Measuring revenue of partners with gold competencies will begin in October 2012 rather than in October 2011. In addition, we’ve made slight changes to revenue amounts and have published eligible products for each competency in the updated Gold Competency Revenue Guidelines.

Sir Richard Branson to Guest Keynote at WPC 2011
At this year’s Conference, you’ll hear from top Microsoft executives like Steve Ballmer, Kevin Turner, and Jon Roskill, and also from this year’s guest speaker, Sir Richard Branson. The speaker lineup is amazing and the networking opportunities abound. We hope to see you in Los Angeles next month.

How to Maximize Your WPC 2011 Attendance
Watch our one-hour webcast for tips and tricks about what to expect at the Worldwide Partner Conference and what tools and resources are available to help you manage your time while in Los Angeles.

The Public Sector Business Opportunity at WPC 2011
The Public Sector business opportunity: high growth, high impact, and making a difference. If you serve customers in Education, Federal Government, State and Local Government, or Healthcare, attend WPC 2011 in Los Angeles next month to learn more about Microsoft in Public Sector.

Let’s Talk Education at WPC 2011
Join the Education team at WPC and learn why Education is one of the fastest growing industry segments at Microsoft. See the latest in innovative solutions and hear from partners who are winning and profiting in Education.

Microsoft Partner Information, Right on Your Phone
Stay up to date on the latest information for Microsoft U.S. partners with the Microsoft Partner Information mobile app. In the U.S. Partner feed, you’ll be able to see U.S.-specific blogs and our Twitter feed, too. You’ll also have access to product-related feeds, security updates, and more.

U.S. Partner Perspective by Jenni Flinders
In her latest post, Microsoft Vice President of U.S. Partner Strategy and Programs, Jenni Flinders, talks about our new “MPN Advantage” campaign and explains how Microsoft supports both partners and customers through the Microsoft Partner Network.

Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for June 2011
As part of our usual cycle of monthly security updates, on June 14 Microsoft released 16 bulletins (9 are designated Critical in severity, 7 are Important) addressing 34 vulnerabilities in Windows, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, .NET, SQL Server, Visual Studio, Silverlight, and Internet Security and Acceleration Server.

Watch What Customers at Energizer Say About Windows Phone
“The first time I saw the Windows Phone, I said, ‘Finally.'” William Spencer, a Product Manager at Energizer, uses Windows Phone to stay productive at work and play at home. Find out what your customers can do with OneNote, Zune, and more.

Windows Phone Resources for U.S. Partners
Visit the Windows Phone product page on the Microsoft U.S. partner portal for resources like case studies, training recommendations, and discussion guides. Discover the business benefits and research mobility solutions to better serve your customers.

SQL Azure Core Offer: Up to $150 Cash Back When You Buy One SQL Azure Core Subscription
The Microsoft SQL Azure Core subscription makes it easy to move your app to the cloud by giving you one SQL Azure database with up to 10-gigabyte capacity at 25% off our normal consumption rates. Through June 30, if you buy one SQL Azure Extended subscription, you may be eligible to receive a $150 rebate.

Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Now in the Microsoft Action Pack
Windows Small Business Server 2011 is designed especially for small businesses, so you can improve productivity and help protect your vital business information. Subscribe to the Microsoft Action Pack to get your software benefits.

Use Our Checklist to Prepare for the Launch of Office 365
Get your business ready to sell Office 365, which will launch soon. Our checklist for U.S. partners provides links to resources that include recommendations to build your training plan, take advantage of cloud partner benefits, and prepare for launch.

June 28 in Bellevue, WA: Microsoft Office 365 Customer and Partner Appreciation Event
Join us in the Microsoft Store in Bellevue Square to hear Microsoft partners and customers talk about their experiences with Microsoft Office 365, followed by a networking session.

June 28 in Bloomington, MN: Microsoft Office 365 Customer and Partner Appreciation Event
Join us in the Microsoft Store at the Mall of America to hear Microsoft partners and customers talk about their experiences with Microsoft Office 365, followed by a networking session.

June 28 in Costa Mesa, CA: Microsoft Office 365 Customer and Partner Appreciation Event
Join us in the Microsoft Store in South Coast Plaza to hear Microsoft partners and customers talk about their experiences with Microsoft Office 365, followed by a networking session.

June 28 in New York, NY: Microsoft Office 365 Customer and Partner Appreciation Event
Join us at the Chelsea Brewing Company at Chelsea Piers to hear Microsoft partners and customers talk about their experiences with Microsoft Office 365, followed by a networking session.

New! Software Assurance Renewals Campaign, from Ready-to-Go Marketing
Nurture existing customers by reminding them when their Open Annuity agreements are about to expire, and by communicating the steps they need to take to renew.

New! Improve Business Insight Campaign, from Ready-to-Go Marketing
Provide your small to midsize business customers with simple, quickly deployed, and affordable business insight solutions that can help them improve performance and drive profitable decisions. This campaign covers three primary workloads: Analytics and Data Mining, Report Generation, and Report Distribution.

Solution Finder and Solution Profiler to Retire June 30
As of now, Microsoft Pinpoint is your single destination to profile and list your applications and professional services. Microsoft partners who want to update or create a new profile can access their profile directly through the Pinpoint Dashboard.

Training Recommendations

Find training opportunities and recommendations anytime on the U.S. Partner Learning blog, Learning Plan Tool website, and the Local Activities Section of the Training and Events page on the U.S. partner portal.

Microsoft Office 365 Power Start Workshops
Understand the value of Microsoft Office 365 and get best practices for positioning the online suite to your customers. This series provides an overview of the components of Office 365 and can help you prepare to perform migrations and deployments.

On Demand Sales Training: LAR Opportunity and How to Sell Office 365
This course is for executives and sales representatives at large account resellers (LARs) who want an introduction to Microsoft Office 365. The training also details the LAR sales opportunity and sales execution strategies.

On Demand Sales Training: Competition and Objection Handling for SMBs
This is one of the courses available to help you prepare for the upcoming launch of Office 365. If your customers are small or midsize businesses, this is helpful training for you to have a meaningful conversation with them.

Use the Microsoft U.S. Learning Plan Tool for a Chance to Win
Have you used the Learning Plan Tool this month? Until June 30, receive an entry into our sweepstakes for completion of actions. Eligible actions include: creating a custom learning plan, emailing your plan, exporting your plan, or providing your feedback on the experience.

June 23 Webcast: Business Value of Moving to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
Achieving productivity gains requires changing the way people work so that they work smarter, achieve more, deliver greater quality, and realize the value of their efforts. Join this webcast to understand how helping your customers upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 can drive productivity gains for them.

June 27 Live Workshop in Redmond, WA: Accelerate Your Windows 7 Desktop Deployments
In this one-day session, you will learn about how to migrate Internet Explorer 6 internal line-of-business (LOB) web applications to Internet Explorer 9, unblock and accelerate Windows 7 deployment projects at the same time, and combat web application compatibility that are blocking Windows 7 deployments.

June 27–June 30: Practice Accelerator for Server Virtualization
Virtualization is a key technology for reducing the cost and complexity of IT management. Microsoft business customers have reported saving on average almost $500,000 per year through IT projects using Microsoft virtualization products.

June 29 Webcast: The Importance of Community for IT Managers
Tune in live on June 29 to hear host Kevin Remde and guest Tim Vander Kooi. Tim is a well-known speaker, community user group leader, and long-time IT pro manager. Register now to join live and learn how community involvement can benefit you.

BUILD: Use What You Know. Do What You’ve Always Imagined.
BUILD is the event that shows you how to create touch-centric experiences and dynamic applications to take advantage of the power and flexibility of the next generation of Windows, internally code-named “Windows 8.” Register now to get $500 off your Full Conference Pass. BUILD takes place September 13–16 in Anaheim, CA.

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