U.S. Partner News for Friday, August 17, 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 Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft Dynamics ERP. I also encourage you to visit and sign in to the new U.S. partner portal. The just-updated home page features links to the Microsoft Action Pack subscription, Windows 8 partner resources, WPC 2013 preregistration offer, and a refreshed list of August U.S. recommendations.

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:

With new releases of Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 coming in the next couple of months, and more releases on the horizon after that, including for the new Office, there are many opportunities for partners to help customers take advantage of new ways to improve their business efficiency, productivity, collaboration, and more.

Here are three ideas to help you utilize the Microsoft Partner Network to understand those opportunities and take advantage of benefits and resources to meet your business goals:

  • Be a subscriber. The Microsoft Action Pack subscription and the Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack both deliver excellent benefits, like internal-use software rights, that can help you become familiar with Microsoft products and technologies and get sales, technical, and marketing resources. The Action Pack subscription is a great way for partners without a Microsoft competency to get incremental membership benefits, and Cloud Essentials provides any partner with internal-use rights to Microsoft Office 365, Windows Intune, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and Windows Azure.
  • Prepare for new products. Use our new directory of online resources that can help you increase product knowledge; get sales and technical training; showcase your expertise; create demand; build apps, devices, and services; and utilize benefits that include membership and product support.
  • Get ready for Windows 8. Our flagship product offers new possibilities to nearly every Microsoft partner, whether you build apps, devices, or services. And, the opportunity to move customers from Windows XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8 is a $12 billion-plus opportunity.


How to Prepare for Upcoming Microsoft Product Releases
In his Day 3 Vision Keynote at the 2012 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner stated, "Every product in our portfolio is being refreshed in a twelve-month period." Use our resource directory to take advantage of the latest information, training, and materials, and stay informed as new content is available.

Preregistration Discount for WPC 2013 Through September 30
The 2013 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference will be in Houston, Texas, on July 7–11. Through September 30, you can preregister for the conference and save $400 off the regular price of an all-access pass.

Start a Cloud Conversation with Customers: Limited-Time Cloud Easy Offer
The Cloud Easy Offer lets your customers earn subsidy dollars that can be spent on your services when they purchase eligible Microsoft Online Services SKUs. The offer is only available through September 30, though, so download our customer-ready materials and start your cloud conversations today. Terms and conditions.

Earn the New Small Business Silver Competency for Just $999
The new Small Business competency uniquely positions your business to take advantage of the growing market opportunity with cloud services, demonstrate advanced skills and technology expertise, and provide cost-effective services to small business customers. Offer ends December 31. Terms and conditions.

New Exam Coming for Administering Microsoft Office 365 for Small Business
We are creating a new exam, 74-324: Administering Office 365 for Small Business, to meet the needs of partners who are seeking to attain the new Microsoft Small Business competency. While waiting for the exam to be ready, register to attend the virtual Jump Start course on August 29–30, which will help prepare you for the exam.

Build Your Cloud Business with Practice Accelerator
Get a framework for sustainable, repeatable processes for deploying Microsoft Office 365 by attending the Practice Accelerator. Offered at no cost to partners who are Cloud Essentials subscribers, Practice Accelerator for Office 365 guides you through a deployment project from start to finish in three phases: deployment overview; planning and preparation guidance; and migration and post-deployment guidance.

Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for August 2012
As part of our usual cycle of security updates, we released our latest Security Bulletin Summary on August 14, with five Critical and four Important security bulletins. Review the bulletin and watch the on-demand webcast for details. The next release is scheduled for Tuesday, September 11.

Create Your Windows 8 App in 30 Days—Sign Up for Generation App
You can develop a Windows 8 app in just 30 days with resources from Generation App. Millions of people are expected to use Windows 8 when it's generally available in October. Create a new app, or re-imagine existing applications.

Sales Excellence: New Pre-Sales Technical Accreditations
The Microsoft Partner Network Pre-Sales Technical Specialist Accreditation is a new program designed to help individual pre-sales technical professionals strengthen solution knowledge and gain recognition for expertise in solutions like Business Intelligence, Communications, Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, and Private Cloud.

September 30–October 3: eXtremeCRM 2012 Las Vegas
eXtremeCRM is the hub where Microsoft Dynamics CRM partners come together to forge business relationships, gain knowledge from real-world experiences, and dive deep into current and future technologies.

New Trust Center for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
The Trust Center website provides in-depth information about the privacy, security, and compliance practices for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online service. It details our service operations, including the steps that Microsoft takes to help keep data private and secure, as well as the key industry standards that we comply with.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Trials in the Microsoft Office 365 Experience
All new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online trials will be enabled by the Microsoft Online Services Portal through the Microsoft Office 365 experience. On PartnerSource, we explain the benefits to both customers and partners of this recent change.

The Connected Enterprise: Embracing Social Technologies to Drive the Dynamic Business
This white paper outlines how customers can get started with a social strategy to enhance their sales, marketing, and service capabilities. We discuss the business opportunity, practical first steps, and Microsoft solutions.

Cloud OS Signature Event Series Starts September 5
Invite your customers to this free, one-day event in a city near you, where they can engage with Microsoft product team experts for Windows Server 2012, Windows Azure, Microsoft Visual Studio, and Microsoft System Center 2012.

Training resources

Plan Ahead for In-Person and Live Virtual Training
Refreshed monthly, the U.S. Partner Hot Sheet provides you with a six-week outlook of upcoming training courses that are offered in-person and online. Subscribe to the U.S. Partner Learning Team blog with your email address and get these posts in your inbox.

Windows Server 2012 Sales and Technical Training Sweepstakes
Receive automatic entries for prize drawings when you take eligible Windows Server 2012 on-demand courses.

Windows Server 2012 Ignite Technical Boot Camps Start August 27
Update your skill set for the Windows Server 2012 release that arrives September 4, and tackle Microsoft Certification exam 70-417 by attending this four-day boot camp that's coming to McLean, VA; Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Dallas, TX; Atlanta, GA; Seattle, WA; and Anaheim, CA.

August 29–30: Microsoft Office 365 for Small Business Virtual Jump Start
Designed for Microsoft partners who are ready to achieve the new Small Business competency through a Microsoft Office 365 certification, this virtual Jump Start will prepare students for the new exam 74-324: Administering Office 365 for Small Business, which will be available later this year.

Public Sector TechBytes Series for Government, Health, and Education App Developers
Join the Technical Evangelist Team for the new TechByte Online Webcast series. The team will present on an array of subjects pertaining to Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Windows Azure. Register for upcoming webcasts scheduled through November.

Microsoft Dynamics Partner Training and Events
To help Microsoft Dynamics partners quickly find relevant training and events, we've consolidated everything into an easy-to-use calendar on PartnerSource.

Featured training for Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft Dynamics ERP

Training for Business Decision Makers
Windows Server 2012

Microsoft Dynamics

Training for IT Professionals
Windows Server 2012

Microsoft Dynamics

Training for Developers
Windows Server 2012

Microsoft Dynamics

Training for Sales and Marketing Roles
Windows Server 2012

Microsoft Dynamics

Training for Training Roles
Windows Server 2012

Microsoft Dynamics

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