U.S. Partner News for Friday, October 21, 2011

In your newsletter this week, delivered to your email inbox and customized according to your company’s business model and Microsoft Partner Network membership, as well as your role at your company, you’ll find news about the latest release of, and training recommendations for, Windows Intune; a new Cloud Power campaign for small business; a webcast about how to use Microsoft Pinpoint and Product Marketplaces to help customers find you and your Microsoft-based solutions; and more. I also encourage you to visit the U.S. partner portal home page, where you’ll find links about our recent (and exciting) acquisition of Skype and our recommendations for partners for October.

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, 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 three sections of content:

  • Featured Content for Action Pack subscribers and partners with a silver or gold competency.
  • 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) and training-related offers.
  • Role-Based Training – Our recommendations for two Microsoft products: this week, it’s Windows Intune and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010.

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.

Featured Content

  • If you are a Microsoft Action Pack subscriber, read our Q&A blog post, featuring an update from Julie Golding, the U.S. lead for partner subscriptions.
  • If your company has a gold or silver competency, this week’s focus was on resources for maintaining your current competency attainment or expanding your Microsoft practice to new competencies:

Partner News

New Windows Intune Release
Experience the latest release of Windows Intune, the all-in-one solution that brings together Windows cloud services and a Windows 7 upgrade subscription to help you simplify your customers’ PC management and security.

Partnering with Precision: Microsoft Partner Network – Year 1 Reflections
In her latest blog post, Jenni Flinders, Microsoft U.S. Vice President of Partner Strategy and Programs, shares her thoughts about the first year of the Microsoft Partner Network.

TS2 is Bringing the VAR Summit to a City Near You
Take a technical dive into Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft System Center, Windows Server, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Lync, and more. Find out how these products can be part of your solutions that serve your customers’ needs.

The Channel Development Session + Meet & Greet Events Series
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.

October 26: Microsoft Pinpoint Partner Webcast
Join Tina Hanson, the Microsoft U.S. Partner Team lead for Microsoft Pinpoint, for an informative session about how to take best advantage of this Microsoft Partner Network benefit. Find out how customers are using Pinpoint and how to update your profile to get it noticed.

Deliver Flexible Solutions That Match Diverse Work Styles
Always-connected customers want faster services and freedom to work anywhere. Earn the Desktop competency to showcase your skills on deploying and supporting solutions with Windows 7, Office 2010, and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack.

Adopt a Proven, High-Quality Methodology and Process
See how partners are using sustainable, repeatable processes they learned from Practice Accelerator sessions offered by the Partner Support and Services team to speed development and time-to-market.

Top Ways to Use Your Partner Advisory Hours
The Partner Support and Services team offers you lots of opportunities to spend your Partner Advisory Hours received as a benefit of your Microsoft Partner Network membership. From essential technical presales advice to technical enablement workshops to Get Current services, use this benefit to build or expand your Microsoft practice.

New Marketing Campaign: Cloud Power—First Server for Small Business
You can realize significant selling opportunities by helping small businesses make their first server purchase decision—and take that first step to the cloud. Use our new campaign to show prospective customers how Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials can help them address their business challenges.

Wanted: Your Microsoft Pinpoint Success Story
We’re looking for Microsoft partners like you to share stories on how Microsoft Pinpoint has supported your business. Each month, we’ll award a $100 Amazon gift card to one lucky partner who has shared its Pinpoint success story.

Voices for Innovation Executive Briefing on Cloud Computing—Get the Podcast
Dan Reed, Microsoft Corp. Vice President for Technology and Strategy, briefed Voices for Innovation (VFI) members on the future of cloud computing and public policy’s impact on the cloud. Visit the VFI website to download the podcast, learn of future briefings, and sign our antipiracy petition.

November 1: Virtualization and Management—Device to Data Center Virtual Event
Learn how to increase IT agility while decreasing costs. Hear Microsoft experts and get information on solution scenarios for Windows devices, private cloud, and Microsoft System Center 2012.

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.

Sharpen Your Skills and Earn a Chance to Win When You Take On-Demand Training
Win a Flip video camera or Samsung 32-inch TV when you take our October training recommendations. This month features Windows Intune, Microsoft Lync, Microsoft SharePoint 2010, and Microsoft Forefront Security, and there are courses for every job role.

Webcasts and Live Chats for Windows Azure and Windows Phone
Every Tuesday and Wednesday through the end of November, you can watch prerecorded videos about the Azure platform and Windows Phone as well as join in an MSDN Live Technical Chat with Microsoft subject matter experts to get answers to your questions.

Prepare Your Team to Pass Your Competency Exams
Be among the top five percent of Microsoft partners showcasing their organizations’ skills and distinguishing their value among discerning customers. Take advantage of exclusive training offers of 30%–40% off when you purchase packs of 3–20 Microsoft competency exams.

Prepare for Microsoft SharePoint Exams
Use the Partner Exam Academy to find resources that will help you prepare for Exams 70-667 and 70-668, to attain the Microsoft Portals and Collaboration competency.

Get Ready for the New Messaging and Communications Competencies
Prepare for Exchange Server and Microsoft Lync exams to help you attain these new Microsoft Partner Network competencies.

Power Start Workshops Help You Build Your Sales and Marketing Knowledge
These web workshops are brought to you to enhance your ability to position and sell Windows Azure, Microsoft Office 365, and Microsoft Lync.

Microsoft Virtualization Technical Enablement Workshops
These web workshops about Microsoft Virtualization are brought to you by the Partner Services and Support team to enhance learning and develop additional technical Microsoft product knowledge.

October 26: Microsoft Office 365 General Overview for Partners
Attend this live webcast to get an overview of the Microsoft Office 365 service, including its key features, value proposition, and how using Office 365 benefits small businesses and professionals.

Cloud-Based Services Technical Enablement Workshops
These web workshops are brought to you to by the Partner Services and Support team to help you build your cloud-based services business with the latest Microsoft technologies.

Role-Based Training for Windows Intune and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

Training for Business Decision Makers
Windows Intune

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

Training for IT Professionals
Windows Intune

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

Training for Developers
Windows Intune

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

Training for Sales and Marketing Roles
Windows Intune

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

Training for Training Roles
Windows Intune

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

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