U.S. Partner News for Friday, January 20, 2012

Jan20_HPImageIn your newsletter this week, customized according to your company’s business model and Microsoft Partner Network membership, as well as by your role at your company, you’ll find the latest partner-related information and news about Microsoft Private Cloud and cloud benefits and opportunities, plus training recommendations for Microsoft Lync 2010 and Windows 7. I also encourage you to visit and sign in to the U.S. partner portal, which features links to Private Cloud partner resources, Microsoft SQL Server 2012, membership renewal, and the Data Platform competency, along with our January Recommendations for partners.

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

  • 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 Microsoft Lync and Windows 7.

The start of the New Year is a great time to make sure your Microsoft Partner Network Organizational and Individual Profiles are current and accurately reflect your company’s business as well as your role within your company. These data help us better understand imageour partners and make decisions about what programs, resources, and offers to implement in the Partner Network. Your Organizational Profile and Individual Profile also help us make the communications you receive from us more relevant to you.

  • Manage your Individual Profile in the Partner Membership Center, including Job Role and contact information.
  • If you are your company’s Program Administrator, manage your company’s Organizational Profile in the Partner Membership Center, including Business Focus and Customer Segments.
  • If you are not your company’s Program Administrator, work with the person who is to update your company’s Organizational Profile in the Partner Membership Center, including Business Focus and Customer Segments. Our recent blog post gives instructions for identifying your company’s Program Administrator.

For assistance with reviewing and updating your information in the Partner Membership Center, the Regional Service Center can help: email mpnsolve@microsoft.com, call 1-800-MPNSOLVE (676-7658), or connect to chat.

If you are looking for more ways to engage with Microsoft and grow your business, our 30-minute MPN 101 video has some great information, presented by Microsoft U.S. Partner experts, to help you better understand your benefits and opportunities as a Partner Network member.

In keeping with our delivery schedule of the first and third Friday of each month for this newsletter, we'll see you next on February 3, with recommendations from your local Microsoft team.

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.


Partner News

MPN 101: Benefits Activation and Site Navigation for Program Administrators
Make the most of your membership benefits by participating in MPN 101. Learn how to take advantage of all the MPN resources available, get tips on navigating the partner portal, and activate important benefits.

At Your Service: Virtual Partner Concierge
Take advantage of an online tool for U.S. partners that helps you navigate the many partner-related resources and tools Microsoft offers, and lets you not only find great content, but get back to it easily, time and again.

Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for January 2012
As part of our usual cycle of security updates, we released our latest Security Bulletin Summary on January 10. Review the bulletin and watch the on-demand webcast for details. The next release is scheduled for Tuesday, February 14.

Competency Benefit for Microsoft Lync 2010 Enterprise Voice Solutions
Let Microsoft Partner Services help you develop and deploy Microsoft Lync 2010 solutions for your customers. Use your Advisory Hours benefit to get personalized migration, deployment, design, architecture, and development guidance for enterprise voice solutions with our Advisory Services.

Use Your Competency Benefit to Close Windows 7 Deals
If you have a Windows 7 solution deal worth $3,000 or more, we can help you close the deal, with the Technical Presales Assistance you get as a benefit of your Microsoft Partner Network membership.

Build a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Practice, Using Microsoft System Center Technology
Empower enterprise customers to unify the management of centralized desktops and corporate data. Practice Accelerator for VDI is a live, virtual course that prepares you to extend your customers' management tools to the virtual desktop environment through best practices and technical guidance.

Microsoft Private Cloud Solutions are Built for the Future, but Ready Now
Microsoft Private Cloud solutions offer your customers the flexibility and control to distribute cloud power where it makes sense for their organizations. They are built with the future of IT infrastructure in mind, so that businesses can be ready for what's next, now. Evaluate Microsoft Private Cloud Software by downloading Microsoft System Center 2012 Release Candidate and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

Stay Informed About Ways to Use Your Advisory Hours Benefit
Subscribe to the Partner Services monthly newsletter to get news and information about the Presales Assistance, Advisory Services, Technical Enablement Workshops, and other offerings you have access to as a benefit of your Microsoft Partner Network membership.

U.S. Public Sector Social Media Playbook for Partners
Download this playbook for guidance and best practices that will help you plan and manage your social media presence, as well as connect you with the current Microsoft U.S. Public Sector and Microsoft partner-related social media channels.

January 24 Webcast: Marketing Excellence Series—Making Social Media Work
Join us as Kat Tillman, Social Media Strategist from the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, identifies key social media tools partners can use to build and manage their social media presence. Kat simplifies this marketing channel, creating actionable steps to help you prioritize your marketing activities.

Microsoft Lync for Mobile Devices
The new Microsoft Lync 2010 mobile app is available for Lync 2010, Lync Online, and Microsoft Office 365, including support for Windows Phone and other device platforms including iPhone, iPad, Android, and Nokia Symbian. Watch our YouTube video for an overview.

January 25 Webcast for MSPs: Packaging and Pricing Your Support Offerings
Join us for the second webcast in our four-part series for Managed Service Providers: How to Thrive with Microsoft Online Services. These one-hour webcasts will help you understand how to manage the cloud evolution and protect and increase your bottom line. This series features Gary Pica, president of TruMethods and pioneer in the managed services field.

Your Opportunities in the Cloud Can Start Today
Sign up for the Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack and receive presales and technical support, business and sales resources, and internal-use rights to Microsoft Online Services software to run your business.

Renew Your Cloud Essentials Subscription to Retain Your Benefits
Renew your Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack to continue receiving benefits like presales and technical support, business and sales resources, and internal-use rights to Microsoft Online Services software to run your business.

Win Your Spot in the Microsoft Office 365 Race to Innovate
Get into the Microsoft Office 365 Race to Innovate and you could receive a professional customer success story written and published on the Wall Street Journal Cloud Innovators site, plus a chance to compete for the ultimate motorsports prize package.

Partner of the Month—a New Microsoft Victory Lap Feature
Congratulations to our partner, Vorsite, the January 2012 Partner of the Month, a new feature of Microsoft Victory Lap. Victory Lap celebrates the success of Microsoft Partner Network members. Read our recent blog post for instructions to use Victory Lap and be considered for a future Partner of the Month case study.

Show Customers How Upgrading Their PCs Can Benefit Their Business
If your customers are still using Microsoft Office 2003 and Windows XP, they are missing out on productivity, security, and other benefits of Windows 7 and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010. Help them upgrade with the Business PC Campaign, from Ready-to-Go Marketing. Send the Business PC Customer Sales Proposal to your prospects.

Help Customers Implement an Email Solution They'll Love
Customer satisfaction with Microsoft Exchange 2010 is at an all-time high. The Microsoft Exchange campaign, from Ready-to-Go Marketing, can help you show customers why, with materials that include a sales proposal, datasheet, case studies, video, trial software, and more.

Serving Small Business Customers? Like You, We Believe in Local
Looking to make a difference in your community? The Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC) offers benefits—like online technical help and marketing assistance—to help you support local businesses through the use of Microsoft products in your solutions. Listen to Jeannie Cappo, U.S. SBSC lead, explain the benefits of joining in our MPN 101 presentation (Topic 8 in the left-hand navigation).

Windows Intune 3for5 Offer
Through March 31, the Windows Intune 3for5 Offer provides qualifying partners $500 for each of their first three qualifying customer orders of Windows Intune. Watch our recent on-demand webcast about closing deals using Windows Intune for guidance.

Convergence 2012 Early-Registration Pricing Ends January 25
With Early Registration, you save $300 on a Full Conference Pass. Encourage your customers to take advantage of this discounted price to make this a more cost-effective event for them. Convergence 2012 will be held in Houston, TX, March 18–21.

Learn How to Demo Office 365 More Effectively
Show your customers what Microsoft Office 365 can do for their business. Attend this technical overview to learn how to demo Microsoft Office 365, utilizing the Demo Provisioning Toolkit, to engage customers and close Microsoft Office 365 deals.

Add Bing Maps to Your Line-of-Business Applications
Watch our webcast to understand the partner opportunity for Bing Maps and how to qualify for partner benefits. You'll learn how easy it is to add Bing Maps as a data presentation layer for spatial insight in your Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Dynamics, and Windows Azure solutions. Deploying Bing Maps as part of your innovative solutions can help you attract new customers and expand revenue.

Download System Center 2012 Client Management and Security Solutions
Download System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and Endpoint Protection RC and discover how IT can deliver resources to corporate-owned and personal devices while maintaining compliance and security.

Training Recommendations

New On-Demand Courses and Prizes in the Partner Training Sweepstakes
Take any of our featured trainings in January, and you will be entered to win a Flip Ultra camcorder or a gift card. January's products and technologies include Server Virtualization, MDOP, Exchange Server 2010, and Windows Azure. Eligible courses are offered at no cost, and you'll earn a prize entry for each sales or technical course you attend. Sweepstakes ends June 30, 2012. Official rules.

Use Your Advisory Hours Benefit to Build Deep Technical Skills for Microsoft Lync 2010
Use your partner advisory hours to participate in Microsoft Lync 2010 Momentum Workshops and the Practice Accelerator for Microsoft Lync Server 2012 Enterprise Voice. Deepening your company's technical knowledge can help you stay ahead of the competition and deliver excellent unified communications solutions to your customers.

Build Your Product Knowledge
Our Technical Enablement Services give you the technical know-how you need to succeed in the marketplace. Browse our complete Offerings Catalog, or view our calendar of upcoming Power Start Workshops, Momentum Workshops, and Practice Accelerators.

January 25 in Boston, MA: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Sales Training
This half-day Microsoft Application Platform University training provides a strategic selling framework that helps you prepare to sell your solutions developed using Microsoft products. We will discuss our current private- and public-cloud positioning and new opportunities that our upcoming releases will afford you.

February 1 in Dallas, TX: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Sales Training
This half-day Microsoft Application Platform University training provides a strategic selling framework that helps you prepare to sell your solutions developed using Microsoft products. We will discuss our current private- and public-cloud positioning and new opportunities that our upcoming releases will afford you.

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Technical Ignite
This two-day, technical course focuses on the new features of SQL Server 2012. It combines presentations and hands-on labs to help you understand how SQL Server 2012 addresses the mission-critical, business intelligence, and database development needs of your customers. Course dates and locations:

  • February 1–2 in Chicago, IL
  • February 15–16 in Seattle, WA
  • February 22–23 in Dallas, TX
  • February 28–29 in Atlanta, GA
  • March 5–6 in San Francisco, CA

February 15: Get Certified In Microsoft Server Virtualization with Jump Start
Prepare for certification in server virtualization by taking Exam 70-659, which is also a requirement for the Virtualization competency. This accelerated Jump Start is tailored for experienced IT professionals who are familiar with Microsoft server technologies, Hyper-V, Virtual Machine Manager, and Remote Desktop Role Services.

Premier Architect Training Offer for Microsoft Partners
Take advantage of this special offer for Microsoft partners from the International Association of Solution Architects and get 20 architect-level courses for $10,000, an 80% discount. With these strategic technical resources, you will be able to attract new customers and deepen your relationships with existing customers.

Desktop Competency Partners: Enter to Win a Samsung 7 Slate
When you pass Exam 70-681, Deploying Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010, by February 29, you will be automatically entered to win a Samsung 7 Slate. Exam 70-681 is a new requirement for Desktop competency partners. Official rules.

Get a Head Start on Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Exams
When you pass the required SQL Server 2008 exams for the Business Intelligence and Data Platform competencies, you are one step closer to being ready for Microsoft SQL Server 2012 exams when they become available later this year.

Role-Based Training for Microsoft Lync and Windows 7

Training for Business Decision Makers
Microsoft Lync 2010

Windows 7

Training for IT Professionals
Microsoft Lync 2010

Windows 7

Training for Developers
Microsoft Lync 2010

Windows 7

Training for Sales and Marketing Roles
Microsoft Lync 2010

Windows 7

Training for Training Roles
Microsoft Lync 2010

Windows 7

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