Welcome to this week’s issue of the US Partner News Online! Each week, we’ll bring you the latest news and information for Microsoft partners. You can read previous weeks’ issues at http://aka.ms/uspnewsletter. If you’d like to see the next post in your email inbox, go to http://aka.ms/uspblog and enter your email address under “Subscribe and follow” on the right hand side.
New Cloud OS Content: Resources by Role and Sales Stage
The fall wave of cloud OS enterprise products and services is here to help customers transform the datacenter, unlock data insights, enable business apps, and empower people-centric IT. We’ve organized the resources you need for each of these opportunities around role readiness and sales stage.
Preparing Organizations to Migrate to Windows 8.1 Enterprise
On the Windows for Your Business blog, Erwin Visser talks about the October release of Windows 8.1 and guidance for businesses about migrating.
Price Increase for WPC 2014 Early Registration on November 1
Through October 31, you can register for your all-access pass to WPC 2014 in Washington, D.C. for $1,695. The price will increase on November 1. Details and terms and conditions.
Changes to the MPN Mobility Competency in January 2014
In January 2014, the MPN Mobility competency will merge with the Application Development and the Devices and Deployment competencies. Our two-page FAQ explains why we are making this change and how it will affect your company if you have the Mobility competency, and outlines the Application Test Changes. The FAQ is posted in our Yammer network. How to join information at http://docs.com/SLTC.
Cloud Specialist Sweepstakes
Earn a Microsoft Sales Specialist or Presales Technical Specialist accreditation in select cloud-related workload, and you’ll be entered to win up to $1,000 in Microsoft Store gift cards. Use the training in the learning paths to help you prepare. Official rules. No purchase necessary. Open only to authorized representatives of companies actively enrolled in the Microsoft Partner Network who are US residents (including Washington, DC), age 18 years and older. Game ends December 31, 2013.
Introducing Windows Phone Preview for Developers
Windows Phone Preview for Developers gives developers access to prerelease builds of Windows Phone updates on your dev phone before operating system updates are available to consumers. You can use that time to exercise your code on the update and verify that your app works as you expect. If you find issues, you can fix your app and get an update into the Store before your customers get the OS update.
Hyper-V Surge Promotion: How Virtualization Helps Your Business
Microsoft partners can boost their business by working with small and midsize customers to virtualize their environments with Windows Server 2012. With Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V, virtualization is built in, offering a simple, cost-effective way to virtualize customer’s infrastructure.
Gear Up Licensing Tools and Materials
The Gear Up website offers several tools to help you find the right licensing options for your customers. Use LicenseWise for Volume Licensing to generate quotes, and read the License Advisors to understand each Microsoft License Program and what’s in it for you and your customers. Sign in with a Microsoft account is required for access.
Practice Accelerator Schedule: SharePoint 2013, Office 365, Windows 8, Business Intelligence, Cloud OS/Private Cloud
A Practice Accelerator can help you expand your customer base and provide consistent customer experiences as you build your services practice around Microsoft technologies. Register for an upcoming Practice Accelerator session.
Microsoft Cloud Deployment Program
The Microsoft Cloud Deployment program offers incremental benefits to qualifying MPN members that are actively deploying Microsoft Office 365. As a CDP partner, you have access to deployment planning tools, dedicated technical support, marketing assets, and offers and incentives. Watch this short video to learn about the cloud opportunity and how to participate in this program.
Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for October 2013
The October 2013 security updates cover Internet Explorer, Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Server Software, Microsoft Silverlight, and Windows. You can watch the October webcast on demand, and register for the next webcast, on November 13. The next security bulletin release is on Tuesday, November 12.
Get Connected at a Microsoft Store for Partners Event Near You
Join the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) and Microsoft for a partner networking event at a Microsoft Store near you. You’ll learn about the new Microsoft Stores for Partners program, meet the local Microsoft Store team, and have the opportunity to connect with your local chapter of the IAMCP, an organization that brings Microsoft partners together to deliver solutions that delight customers.
Training and Certification
Stay informed about training opportunities that align to your business, role, and Microsoft Partner Network membership.
Use the Hot Sheet to 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. The November Hot Sheet will be available the week of October 14.
Windows Azure Training for Business, Sales, and Technical Readiness
There are plenty of opportunities to get your sales and technical teams trained on Windows Azure, plus understand how to build your Microsoft practice for Azure. See our recommendations for in-person, live virtual, and on demand training.
October 29: Microsoft Insights for Technology Professionals
Microsoft Insights is a virtual event that features an interactive panel discussion on emerging employment trends. Industry panelists will share their perspectives on opportunities in technology and tools to help professionals catapult their earning potential. Attend Microsoft Insights on October 29 for a chance to win a certification exam pack.
This list is a sampling of upcoming partner calls, training, and events. Refer to the just-published November Hot Sheet for a comprehensive list for the next several weeks that’s frequently updated.
October 16 – Operation Azure: Infrastructure as a Service (#3)
October 16 – Administering SQL Server 2012 Jump Start
October 16 – Licensing Readiness: Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry and Windows Embedded 8.0 Standard
October 16 – Windows Azure at Your Doorstep in Cincinnati, Ohio (more dates/cities available)
October 17 – SMB Live: Get in the Cloud in Seattle, Washington
October 17 – Practice Accelerator for Office 365
October 17 – IT Camp: Virtualization in Cincinnati, Ohio
October 18 – SMB Partner Call for Central Region
October 18 – SMB Partner Call for West Region
Watch this video and meet Phil Sorgen, the new Microsoft Channel Chief. You’ll hear about Phil’s priorities for the Microsoft channel in the coming months.