US Partner News Online for Friday, November 8, 2013

imageWelcome 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 If you’d like to see the next post in your email inbox, go to and enter your email address under “Subscribe and follow” on the right hand side.

Top Stories

Getting It Done with Social: Yammer Introduces New Features, Expands to All Office 365 Enterprise Customers
On the Office 365 for business blog, Jared Spataro talks about the inclusion of Yammer Enterprise with all Office 365 Enterprise plans, and outlines the roadmap for Yammer and Office 365, including email interoperability, mobile apps, document conversation, and messaging.

Yammer Enterprise Now Part of Office 365 Internal Use Rights for Cloud Essentials, Cloud Accelerate Members
If you are a member of Cloud Essentials or Cloud Accelerate, Yammer Enterprise is now part of the Office 365 internal use rights. The benefit is being rolled out now through the end of November for existing cloud partners. You can visit the Office 365 Administration Portal (in the “service overview” tab under “included service”) to check if Yammer is available for your account and activate it.

Jenni%20Flinders%202010%2001_jpgUS Channel Chief: Navigate Plot Twists and Write Your Success Story
Microsoft US partner group vice president, Jenni Flinders, talks about the value of understanding how to use the twists and turns in the IT industry to your company’s advantage. Check out this first post in Jenni’s new blog series, the Art and Science of Partnerships.

Visit the New US SMB Partner Center
The US SMB Partner Center is now at your service, and will help you quickly find the Microsoft resources you need to be more profitable, get trained, build your business, and better serve your customers. The content is organized into five topics, all easily accessible from the main page.

imageMEC Webcast Series: Experience the Possible
The “Experience the Possible” webcast series is a live, weekly event that showcases the business value of the Microsoft productivity platform, including Microsoft Office 365, through the lens of common, everyday scenarios. This newest addition to the Microsoft Experience Center (MEC) portfolio complements its highly-immersive, facilitated in-person sessions and MEC Demo options. Improve your MEC presentation skills, and invite your customers to these to supplement your sales conversations.  

November 12: Prepare for the November Security Bulletin Release
As part of our usual cycle of updates, the next security bulletin release is scheduled for November 12. There are eight bulletins: three critical, five important. On the Security TechCenter, you can register for the November 13 security bulletin webcast and sign up for security bulletin notifications.

Convergence 2014 Registration Is Open, March 4–7 in Atlanta, Georgia
Customers and their Microsoft partners from around the world come together at Convergence 2014 to experience the premiere event for Microsoft Dynamics. Make your plans to attend Convergence 2014, and talk to your customers about attending, too, using materials available on PartnerSource. Register by January 9 and save $300 per attendee.


imageClose Deals with Help from Technical Presales Assistance
Partners who have attained a silver or gold competency receive unlimited presales advisory support for any deal worth $3,000 or more. For deals worth less than $3,000, you can access Technical Presales Assistance by phone using your allotted partner advisory hours or through the Partner Support Community.

ISVs: How to Build a Successful Cloud Business
Every ISV understands that the cloud has the potential to greatly expand their revenues. However, there are many uncertainties that impact the timing and level of investment an ISV is willing to make. This fast-paced one-hour webinar will address some of the key issues, including understanding the impact on your cash flow, compensation for your salespeople and channel partners for subscriptions sales, pricing, cloud-specific legal issues, and more.

Earn More with SMB Advantage and the Hyper-V Surge Offer – SMB Advantage Ends November 30
Partners that sell Windows Server 2012 Datacenter or Windows Server 2012 Standard to SMB customers, and install the server with Hyper-V deployed by November 30, can earn up to 25% per license. Refer to the Offer site for more details. The Hyper-V Surge offer is part of SMB Advantage, which ends November 30. SMB Advantage Terms and Conditions.

Cloud OS Vision Presentation, Training Recommendations, and More
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. New resources include the Cloud OS pitch deck and Immersion Sales Conversations.

US Cloud OS Accelerate Program
The Microsoft US Cloud OS Accelerate program (COSA) helps eligible Microsoft US partners accelerate the sales cycle to deploy various components of the Microsoft Cloud OS vision.

Benefits for Service Providers and Independent Software Vendors
With the Microsoft Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA), service providers and independent software vendors (ISVs) can license eligible Microsoft products on a monthly basis, during a three-year agreement term, to host software services and applications to end customers.  The SPLA program provides the license rights to host specific Microsoft Products as outlined in the Microsoft Service Provider Use Rights (SPUR). Download the SPLA guide for details.

Training and Certification

imageStay informed about training opportunities that align to your business, role, and Microsoft Partner Network membership.

November 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. Look for the December Hot Sheet during the week of November 18.

November 19: Azure at Your Doorstep, Partner Sales Training Online
Increase your revenue, profit, and customer satisfaction with Windows Azure. If you weren’t able to attend your local Azure at Your Doorstep event, you have an opportunity to hear the same content at this live, virtual presentation. We’ll explain the Azure story and provide real-world examples of customers who are using Azure and the Microsoft partners that sold it.  Then, we’ll dive deep into the top Azure sales scenarios that every customer facing resource in your organization should know.

Lync 2013 Ignite Training on Channel 9
The Lync 2013 Ignite series is a collection of on-demand courses that will give you the critical information you need to successfully deploy and support Lync 2013.

imageAccelerate. Improve. Expand. Build New Deployment Capabilities Quickly with Practice Accelerator
If you deploy Office 365, Microsoft SharePoint, Business Intelligence or Cloud OS/Private Cloud, your organization will benefit from Practice Accelerator. These sessions can be attended by several people from your organization, so that all roles involved in building and deploying a solution can take advantage of the framework of resources that span from pre-engagement to post-delivery.

November 14: What’s New in Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals Jump Start, Featuring Ed Bott
Well known author Ed Bott and members of the Microsoft Windows team will deliver an engaging, demo-filled Jump Start course on upgrading your organization from Windows XP or Windows 7 to Windows 8.1.

November 19–20: Microsoft Virtualization Jump Start Attendance Includes Exam Voucher
Get expert instruction on Microsoft Server Virtualization with Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager in this two-day Jump Start. Attendees receive a voucher for Exam 74-409: Microsoft Virtualization Specialist Certification.

imageDecember 3: Get Ahead of the Game with Microsoft
Join us for this one-hour online event about Microsoft virtualization and cloud services. You’ll discover how to reduce your costs while gaining significantly more value. Microsoft executives and subject matter experts will discuss the features and benefits of Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V 2012 R2, and Windows Azure. Plus, you’ll get real-world tips from other partners who are deploying these solutions first hand. 

Calendar Through November 22

This list is a sampling of upcoming partner calls, training, and events. Refer to the November Hot Sheet for a comprehensive list for the next several weeks that’s frequently updated, and look for the December Hot Sheet during the week of November 18.

Featured Video

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.


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