U.S. Partner News for Friday, May 18, 2012

imageIn your newsletter this week, customized according to your company’s business model, Microsoft Partner Network membership, and your role, you’ll find the latest partner-related information and news about optimizing your membership benefits, plus role-based training  recommendations for Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft System Center 2012. I also encourage you to visit and sign in to the new U.S. partner portal, which features links to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the Desktop Competency, and the Worldwide Partner Conference. You’ll also see our May recommendations for U.S. partners.

The newsletter you received in your email inbox includes a letter from a U.S. partner expert that’s aligned to your company’s membership, and these are also published to our blog.

If your company has a focus on serving the IT needs of small business customers, who often face unique challenges, you may be interested in the new Small Business Competency that will be available starting in June. The requirements and benefits of this competency will be focused on building a capable cloud partner ecosystem and be a key differentiator for partners who serve small business customers. Watch for details on the new U.S. partner portal, and if you are going to be at WPC in July, there is a session specifically about the competency in the Small and Medium Business Track.

Even if you do not think you will pursue attaining the Small Business Competency, the cloud is still an opportunity you should pursue. We offer a Cloud Learning Plan with free on-demand courses that will: help you understand the cloud opportunity; learn about Microsoft Cloud Solutions like Microsoft Office 365, Windows Intune, and the Microsoft Private Cloud; and identify the steps you can take to start building a cloud practice. We also recommend the Microsoft Cloud Essentials subscription to try Microsoft Cloud Solutions yourself, plus get additional cloud-related benefits.

WPC 2012 News

WPC 2012 is Just a Few Weeks Away
There's something for every partner at the Worldwide Partner Conference. Whether you come for the networking, the product and technology roadmaps, the tracks that include a U.S.-specific day of sessions, connection to Microsoft teams like Public Sector, or all of the above, we just want you to join us in July.

WPC 2012: Experience Toronto for Three Sweepstakes
When you and a co-worker each purchase an All-Access Pass to WPC 2012 from May 1 through May 31, your company is entered into a sweepstakes to win one of 20 free passes to the Conference (retail value: $1,995). Imagine the possibilities that open up when your company has three people in Toronto to network, learn, and build your business. Sweepstakes ends May 31. Official Rules.

Partner News

Welcome to Your New Microsoft U.S. Partner Portal
There is a new online destination for U.S. partners. The design, features, and functionality of your new Microsoft partner portal address the most common partner feedback about the partner website, and make it easier to find relevant information and resources as well as get answers to your questions with robust support functionality.

Quickly Find Government, Education, and Healthcare Resources
The new U.S. partner portal simplifies finding relevant information and resources, including those for partners who serve Public Sector customers. When you click on Community in the top bar of the new site, you'll find Public Sector listed in that drop-down menu, and can then get to what you need.

TechNet Subscriptions for Microsoft Partner Network Members
Download and evaluate the latest full-version software and beta releases, and access extensive technical information about Microsoft technologies. Use these resources to quickly resolve technical issues, demonstrate proofs of concept, evaluate solution architecture design, and plan deployments.

MSDN Subscriptions for Microsoft Partner Network Members
Your membership includes a partner subscription to MSDN. Find out what benefits you are eligible for, and how to activate your subscription.

Silver Desktop Competency Requirements Update
Exam 70-681 – TS: Deploying Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 is now a requirement for attaining or maintaining the Silver Desktop competency. The Partner Exam Academy can help you prepare for the exam, with both no-cost and fee-based options available.

The Software Development Competency: Pave the Path with Visual Studio
Demonstrate your expertise at developing solutions that leverage the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 development system to create an effective path from customer ideas to business impact.

Demonstrate Your Skills with the Virtualization Challenge
Through May 31, take Exam 70-659 at no cost to earn your Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification. If you don't pass, enroll in a class offered by a Learning Partner to acquire additional virtualization skills. Then retake the exam, free of charge. This exam is also an elective toward the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) Private Cloud Certification.

Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for May 2012
As part of our usual cycle of security updates, we released our latest Security Bulletin Summary on May 8, with seven bulletins addressing 23 vulnerabilities. Review the bulletin and watch the on-demand webcast for details. The next release is scheduled for Tuesday, June 12.

Earn Triple Points on Reseller [Re]ward Hub for Windows 7 Sales
Join Reseller [Re]ward Hub to earn points that are redeemable for great merchandise on sales you are already making. Earn triple point May 12–25 on Windows 7 Professional sales.

Presales Advisory Support Helps You Close Business
Technical Presales Assistance from Partner Services provides competitive insights, feature overviews, and guidance on value propositions that can give you an edge when closing more business. For sales opportunities worth $3,000 or more, you get unlimited, no-cost Technical Presales Support.

Personalized Development Guidance from Microsoft Consultants
Apply your Partner Advisory Hours to Partner Services and get ongoing development and best-practices advice that supports common architectural, development, and application lifecycle management challenges.

Presales Guidance for IT Architects
If you are a practicing IT architect, bring your customers' requirements to the Partner Services team and get expert recommendations to help you build Microsoft solutions that help solve your customers' business challenges.

Get In-Depth Technical Training on Current Microsoft Products
Led by Microsoft experts, Microsoft Momentum Workshops provide the latest technical training to help improve your skills and knowledge base for developing, deploying, and migrating customers to current Microsoft products and technologies.

May 22: Microsoft Private Cloud Summit in Los Angeles
The Microsoft Private Cloud Summit—a full-day event featuring the Microsoft System Center 2012 product team—is coming to Los Angeles on May 22. Register for this no-cost summit for a chance to get hands-on experience with the latest Microsoft cloud technologies and hear directly from the teams that created them.

Join the Social Media Revolution with Nurture Butterfly
Nurture Butterfly is a robust solution for Microsoft Dynamics partners. It includes content, reporting, lead generation, and more. You can even distribute your social snippets to email distribution lists. Sign up today and get a free 15-day trial.

Microsoft Dynamics ERP Discount Ends June 22
You still have until June 22 to purchase Microsoft Dynamics ERP at up to 85% off of the Microsoft suggested retail price. With the Give Me 5 Promotion, you can get your first five users of Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, or Microsoft Dynamics SL, for $3,000. Terms and Conditions.

Promote Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Intune with DCCN Syndication Service
Display the latest marketing campaigns from Microsoft on your website with automated syndication services from the Microsoft Digital Commerce and Campaign Network (DCCN). You can access rich demand-generation services to ensure you always have the latest marketing campaigns and materials.

Try the Windows Intune Pre-Release
A new release of Windows Intune software and cloud services, which includes exciting new mobile device management functionality, will be available shortly. Read the What's New Guide for more details and sign up to try it. Limited seats are still available.

Grow Your Cloud Practice: Microsoft Office 365 Fast-Track Sweepstakes
You have through June 15 to drive a minimum of two new qualifying customer subscriptions of Microsoft Office 365 and be entered for a chance to win the $50,000 grand prize, plus eight first prizes of $5,000. Eligibility and Terms and Conditions.

Spring into Cloud Accelerate and Save Promotion
You have through June 15 to be among the first 150 eligible U.S. partners to qualify for and join the Microsoft Cloud Accelerate Program and receive $900 toward your enrollment fee for joining. Eligible partners need to pay for the competency in full and will receive a check for $900 up to two weeks after joining the program. Eligibility and Terms and Conditions.

Up to 30% Savings on Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
Offer your small and medium business customers up to 30% savings on Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 so they can take advantage of secure, reliable business-class email. For tips on talking about Exchange and positioning this offer, listen to our May 16 on-demand Small Business Community Call.

Showcase the Power of Microsoft Lync to Your Customers
Nurture your customer relationships, while demonstrating Lync tips and tricks with this new Ready-to-Go nurture campaign. In addition to the 10 customizable emails, there is a Total Cost of Ownership workbook and Lync Cost Savings Data Sheet.

Unlimited Online Support for Microsoft Products
Get timely responses to your questions about Microsoft products in the Partner Online Technical Communities. Partners are guaranteed a response to break-fix, developer, and presales questions from Microsoft engineers.

Training Resources

May U.S. Partner Training Incentive
Take the latest sales and technical training for our featured products. For each course you complete, you'll be entered into our sweepstakes. Products for the month of May: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft System Center, Windows 7, and Windows Small Business Server 2011.

Build Enterprise Voice Skills with Practice Accelerator for Lync Server 2010
When you take Practice Accelerator for Microsoft Lync Server 2010, you will get best practices and reusable tools that you can use to help customers to communicate from anywhere, cost-effectively and securely. Upcoming dates: May 29-June 1 and June 18-21.

How to Sell Windows Intune to Small and Medium Businesses
This on-demand training course, which has been recently updated, shows how Intune can benefit both your SMB customers and you as a Microsoft partner. The 45-minute course covers the latest product information, sales scenarios, and partner opportunities.

Incentive to Become a Microsoft Sales Specialist Ends May 31
Give your resume a boost by earning your next Microsoft Sales Specialist accreditation. You'll earn a drawing entry for a Whistler, B.C., trip for each assessment you pass this month.

New Cloud Certifications Bring Opportunities for Partners
See what's new in Microsoft Certification and how it could impact your business in this Q&A blog post with U.S. Partner Enablement and Learning Channel Director, Scott Akin.

Windows Server 2012 Community Roadshow
Learn what's hot and new in Windows Server 2012 at this half-day event. You'll see presentations and demos from Microsoft MVPs about server manageability; virtualization; storage and availability; and networking, including how to manage private clouds and link them to public cloud services.

  • 5/29 in Austin, TX
  • 6/1 in Houston, TX
  • 6/4 in Chicago, IL
  • 6/5 in Seattle, WA
  • 6/6 in Portland, OR
  • 6/8 in Irvine, CA
  • 6/11 in Minneapolis, MN
  • 6/11 in Charlotte, NC
  • 6/15 in Washington, DC
  • 6/18 in New York, NY
  • 6/18 in San Jose, CA
  • 6/19 in San Diego, CA
  • 6/22 in Dallas, TX
  • 6/27 in Boston, MA

Role-Based Training for Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft System Center 2012

Training for Business Decision Makers
Microsoft Office 2010

Microsoft System Center 2012

Training for IT Professionals
Microsoft Office 2010

Microsoft System Center 2012

Training for Developers
Microsoft Office 2010

Microsoft System Center 2012

Training for Sales and Marketing Roles
Microsoft Office 2010

Microsoft System Center 2012

Training for Training Roles
Microsoft Office 2010

Microsoft System Center 2012

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