Welcome to this week’s issue of the US Partner News! You’ll now find the latest news and information for Microsoft partners here every Friday. Read previous issues at http://aka.ms/uspnewsletter, and subscribe by email to receive future issues. Go to http://aka.ms/uspblog, and you’ll see this option under “Subscribe and follow,” on the right.
Phil Sorgen Named New Leader of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
Phil Sorgen will be the corporate vice president of the Worldwide Partner Group, succeeding Jon Roskill, starting September 1. Read the announcement and the Q & A with Phil about fostering the growth of the channel through new areas of opportunity in cloud computing, mobility, big data, and enterprise social technologies.
Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 Released to Microsoft Hardware Partners
Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 have been released to Microsoft hardware partners, and will be broadly available on October 18 to the broad partner ecosystem. Windows 8.1 represents the Microsoft commitment to a new rapid release cycle. We’re delivering a product to market faster than ever and more integrated across products and services. Previews for Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Enterprise are available on TechNet.
Connect with a Cloud Distributor to Build Your Cloud Business
Work with a Microsoft authorized cloud distributor to build your cloud practice. Find out what D&H, Ingram Micro, Synnex, and Tech Data offer resellers through their respective programs, and evaluate which distributor best meets your needs.
September 6 is the Last Day to Sign Up for the July–December US VAR Rebate
To earn rebates on eligible sales of Microsoft Open Value agreements you must enroll your business into the Microsoft VAR Rebate before September 6. You can earn up to 22% on eligible transactions, retroactive to July 1 and through December 31.
Microsoft US SMB Champions Club Offers Incremental Incentives to Enrolled Partners
Microsoft partners that are eligible for and enrolled in the SMB Champions Club can earn more than the standard VAR Rebate on eligible sales of Microsoft Open Licensing agreements. Whether it’s products like Microsoft Office 365 through Open, or Windows Server, SMB Champions earn more. If you were invited to join SMB Champions Club, registration closes September 6.
Windows Azure Benefit for MPN Members Offers Flexibility
Windows Azure credits are a benefit of your MPN membership. Members of the Microsoft Partner Network Cloud Essentials program receive monthly credits of $100 of Windows Azure at no charge. Activate yours today.
Business Anywhere is the New Normal Campaign
People aren’t tethered to the office anymore. Help your customers solve the challenges that come with a mobile workforce without tying up their IT staff or their dollars. In the Business Anywhere campaign from Ready-to-Go Marketing, you’ll find discussion guides, customer-ready templates, copy blocks, sales tools, and more materials to help you talk to your customers about mobility.
Get Modern Offers Save Your SMB Customers Up to 20%
Your customers can save up to 20% when they make the move to the modern desktop with new or existing devices. Support for Windows XP and Office 2003 ends April 8, 2014. Use the Get Modern with Windows 8.1 and Office 365 campaign materials to help your customers today.
Microsoft Partner Network Disclosure Guide – Partner Incentives
Microsoft Partner Incentives help partners develop robust businesses that align to our key company priorities. The portfolio of incentives is refreshed each year to adjust to changing business needs and priorities, and goes live on a rolling schedule. Descriptions of each incentive, and the release schedule, are in the downloadable disclosure guide.
Resources for Lync Server Multitenant Pack for Partner Hosting
Microsoft Lync Server Multitenant Pack for Partner Hosting is a unified communications (UC) solution for telecom and hosting providers. The Lync Server Multitenant Hosting Pack features include integration with Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Outlook, and other communication technologies.
Windows 8 Deployment Guides for Education
Download these guides for deployment planning, Windows Store apps, bring your own device, Windows to Go, and more, created specifically for partners serving education customers. Sign in to the Microsoft Education Partner Network for access.
Marketing Outsource Model for Microsoft Dynamics Partners
The Microsoft Dynamics Partner Outsource Model is a suite of services that can help you build and execute marketing at a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself. This innovative marketing system is uniquely designed for the new economics of selling your Microsoft Dynamics product and service offerings to customers.
Training and Certification
September Hot Sheet – Find and Register for Upcoming Training and Partner Calls
The Hot Sheet is a frequently updated schedule of live virtual and in-person training and informational calls that are coming in the next few weeks. Subscribe to the US Partner Learning blog to receive the Hot Sheet as soon as it’s published each month.
New Devices and Deployment Sales Specialist Competency Assessment
This assessment, for partner sales roles, tests knowledge of Devices and Deployment solutions. The Devices and Deployment learning path (MPN Competency > Core infrastructure > Devices and Deployment) provides you with a list of recommended courses to prepare for this assessment. A presales technical assessment will be released soon.
Administering Office 365 for Small Business Jump Start
Watch this one and a half day, demo-rich Jump Start aimed at helping IT Pros administer Microsoft Office 365 for small and medium businesses. Stephen Hall, CEO, District Computers, LLC, and Chris Oakman, Chief Infrastructure Officer, Eastridge Technology, delivered this new and updated version of their popular Microsoft Office 365 course, in anticipation of the upcoming release of exam 74-325, Administering Office 365 for Small Business (a refresh of exam 74-324).
September 18-20 in Fargo, North Dakota: Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Airlift 2013
Airlift sessions feature role-focused content for pre-sales consultants, developers, and implementation consultants. Attendees at Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Airlift will have access to what is coming in the world of Dynamics GP, months before others will get to see and use the features and functionality.
Ignite Summit in Washington, DC, November 5–7
Attend this three-day workshop for deep technical training on productivity workloads, delivered by Microsoft product experts. The Ignite Summit will feature over 70 breakout session titles in tracks that cover Office, Office 365, Developer, Exchange, Project, SharePoint, Visio/Visio Services, and Yammer.
Drumbeat Sales Day at the Ignite Summit in Washington, DC, on November 4
Successfully selling Microsoft Office 365 requires a new way of approaching the sale. At Drumbeat Sales Day, specifically for Microsoft partners, we’ll share Microsoft best practices, programs, and selling tools. We will also present insights into the cloud services market and your opportunity. This training is recommended for sales and presales technical roles.
This list is a sampling of upcoming partner calls, training, and events for the next two weeks. Refer to the September Hot Sheet for a comprehensive list for the next six weeks that’s frequently updated.
Watch this video from the Day 3 Vision Keynote at WPC 2013 in Houston to hear Kevin Turner, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer, recap the year of rapid product releases from Microsoft, and then set priorities for the year ahead: Win in Mobile, Move to Customers to Cloud, Compete to Win, Satisfy Customers. “No one wants to be sold to, but everyone wants to buy. Let’s help them buy, and win a customer for life.”