U.S. Partner News for Friday, September 2, 2011

Below are all the items we published in this week’s U.S. partner newsletter. If you feel that the version you received in email, 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).

In this post, you will find four sections of content:

  • Local Recommendations – Our U.S. East, Central, and West Regions can help you close business, and share their favorite resources.
  • Partner News – Information about Partner Network membership and partner-related campaigns, promotions, and opportunities.
  • Training Recommendations – Links to the latest training opportunities (many of them low-cost and no-cost).
  • Role-Based Training – Our recommendations about a specific product or topic; this week: Virtualization.

For more partner news, resources, and recommendations, visit us on the U.S. partner portal and Virtual Partner Concierge, and join the U.S. Partner Community on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


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

Local Recommendations

Partner News

Build Your Competency Portfolio and Earn Channel Incentives
Have you already attained one of the server and tools competencies? Then the Desktop competency is a perfect complement to your portfolio. Plus, attaining one of the gold server and tools competencies makes you eligible for channel incentives.

Windows Phone Discount Program for Partners
Get exclusive Windows Phone savings with the Windows Phone Discount Program for Partners. All partners that have earned a Microsoft competency are eligible for discounts on unlocked devices and service plans with participating companies.

Get Mobility News and Tools with New App
The Microsoft Mobility competency app delivers the latest Windows Phone news and tools for building your mobility business. All partners with a competency can access content. Download the app from Marketplace, and then sign in with your Windows Live ID.

Partner Support Announcement for Microsoft Online Services
Starting October 3, the Regional Service Center will expand its support for Microsoft Partner Network members to include Online Services programs, commerce, and technical support issues.

Join Microsoft at SMB Nation 2011, September 28-October 2
At SMB Nation in Las Vegas, you’ll hear from Microsoft channel and product teams on a range of topics such as Windows SBS 2011 and Microsoft Online Services. Pre-Day content on September 28 and 29 includes SBS 2011, Office 365, and a keynote from Microsoft about our cloud strategy.

Celebrating Great Marketers
The 2011 ASPIRE Award celebrates your creativity, your success, and your partnership. Tell us your marketing story, and you could win a technology makeover for your company. No purchase necessary. Open only to companies actively enrolled in the Microsoft Partner Network who are legally domiciled in the 50 United States (including District of Columbia). Contest ends September 30, 2011.

How Practice Accelerator Can Help You Succeed
See how one partner won a large deal by showing that it could complete a project 50 percent faster than the competition. TechData used Practice Accelerator’s tools and methodology to develop a standardized practice and a powerful proof of concept.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Virtual Launch Event
Join Steve Ballmer at the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 virtual launch event on Thursday, September 8. You’ll hear directly from Microsoft executives, customers, and Gartner analyst Nigel Montgomery about the innovations we’re introducing.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partners: Register for extreme 2011 Las Vegas
Join us October 2–5 in Las Vegas for a deep dive on Microsoft Dynamics CRM strategy and to learn from experts in the channel and the industry. This premier partner event provides best practice content dedicated to helping your organization increase your expertise and grow your business.

Join VFI Conference Call on Tech Patents
Learn how changes regarding technology patents could affect your business. A Microsoft expert on patent policy and strategy will discuss the patent process, how patents benefit IT business, and answers questions. Two opportunities to participate, on September 7 and September 9.

New York SBS IT Pro Group Hosts the SMB MVP Community Roadshow
This free event will include Jeff Middleton and other MVPs presenting the Windows Small Business Server 2011 family of products on HP Hardware.

New Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Promotion for Microsoft Cloud Champions
Our new Cloud Champions Club promotion extends program benefits to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Take advantage of marketing development funds and business investment funds to drive sales of CRM Online in the SMB market. Connect with your Online Services BDM for more info.

Offer Small Businesses an Affordable Small Business Server Solution
Subscribe to the Microsoft Action Pack for access to internal-use rights for Microsoft software like Windows Small Business Server Essentials 2011, so you can sell what you know to your customers.

Social Media Solution for Microsoft Dynamics Partners
Microsoft is providing a steady stream of social media content for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and ERP partners, saving them time in finding valuable content and enabling them to create a business value dialogue with prospects and customers.

Sell and Deploy Your Solutions More Efficiently
Organizations receive partner advisory hours based on enrollment in a qualifying membership opportunity. Use them toward presales support, competitive assistance, deployment guidance, and more.

WPC 2011 Session Recordings for Microsoft Learning Partners
The session recordings from WPC 2011 are now available in Campaign Factory. Listen to the recordings and experience WPC like you were there. And if you were there, enjoy a repeat performance! Hear incredible sessions led by the brightest people.

Fall Microsoft Dynamics CRM User Group Meeting Schedule
Provide your customers a means to interact with peers face to face and swap CRM expertise by driving awareness of the local user group chapters.

The Channel Development Session + Meet & Greet Events Series
Back by popular demand, Microsoft SMB Channel Development events give you an opportunity to develop relationships with other local partners. Join us for an evening that includes a presentation by the York Group, “Building Successful Partnerships in the Cloud,” followed by a casual meet and greet. Here are first 8 dates/cities, with links to RSVP on LinkedIn and get full details for each.

Training Recommendations

Find training opportunities and recommendations any time 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.

September 7 Webcast: The Secret of Winning Sales in the New Economy
This is the first in a six-part series from the Microsoft Sales Specialist Program, and features Dr. Tom Sant, considered to be an authority on writing winning sales proposals. Editor’s Note: this came too late to be included in the email delivery, but was added here due to its timeliness.

Prepare for Desktop and Virtualization Competency Exams
Partner Exam Academy, an online preparatory school for Microsoft exams, contains the best free and for-fee training to help partners prepare for certification exams. Use Partner Exam Academy now for Desktop Exam 70-681 and three select exams for Virtualization competency attainment: 70-401, 70-659, and 70-669.

Save up to 40% on Selected Exams
MPN Competency Exam Packs allow you to save up to 40% on selected exams. By purchasing these exam packs, you can hand out exam vouchers to any individuals within your organization who need to take an exam. These packs are available until December 31, 2011, and you can take your exams until May 31, 2012.

Build Your Technical Knowledge with Our Technical Enablement Offerings
Build your knowledge in a solution area with workshops led by experienced Microsoft partner consultants in an interactive training environment.

Microsoft Office 365 Momentum and Power Start Workshops
These web workshops about Microsoft Office 365 are brought to you by the Partner Services and Support team to enhance learning and develop additional technical Microsoft product knowledge.

Role-Based Training for Virtualization

Virtualization Training for Business Decision Makers

Virtualization Training for IT Professionals

Virtualization Training for Developers

Virtualization Training for Sales Roles

Virtualization Training for Marketing Roles

Virtualization Training for Training Roles

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