Welcome to this 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 https://aka.ms/uspnewsletter. If you’d like to see the next post in your email inbox, go to https://aka.ms/uspblog and enter your email address under “Subscribe and follow” on the right hand side.
Microsoft Azure is Coming to Open Licensing on August 1
Microsoft Azure is coming to Open Licensing on August 1, providing you with the flexibility you need to create custom, hybrid solutions that leverage the power of the Microsoft cloud. Microsoft Channel Chief, Phil Sorgen, talks about this new partner opportunity on his blog.
Expand Your Lync Business, and Your Market Reach, with the Communications Competency
The demand for unified communications solutions continues to grow, and the market is estimated to be over $27B. Microsoft Lync meets customer needs by enabling real-time communication from virtually anywhere and enabling workers to connect easily using common devices and applications. Capitalize on the opportunity by achieving the Communications competency, with tracks for Systems Integrators, ISVs, and Independent Hardware Vendors (IHV). Review the Communications competency presentation on our US Partner Community Yammer network. Instructions to join.
Action Pack Software and Online Services Benefits
Action Pack subscribers get licenses for on-premises software and online services for internal use as part of their core benefits. Choose the combination of licenses that suits your needs (run your business, train your people, develop and test, and demonstrate to your customers) and change between them at any time, just like Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers.
Winning with Azure Contest— Share Your Story and Get Recognized
Win a chance to share your story on stage at this year’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) and be invited to participate in a professional case study and video that will be featured on azure.microsoft.com. Submit your Azure story describing your innovative cloud offering by June 4.
SMB Advantage Extended Through June 30 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and CRM Online
Earn partner subsidy funds on eligible sales of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and CRM Online. Redeem the purchase within 15 days, and your customer will receive a check to be used within 90 days for additional purchases or services provided by you. Offer extended until June 30. Terms and conditions.
SMB Advantage for Microsoft Office 365 Ends May 31
Earn partner subsidy funds on eligible sales of Microsoft Office 365 through Open or Advisor. Redeem the purchase within 15 days, and your customer will receive a check to be used within 90 days for additional purchases or services provided by you. Offer ends May 31. Terms and conditions.
May 29: Microsoft Azure Partner-to-Partner YamJam, Featuring xTV
Our next Microsoft #Azure YamJam features xTV, an Azure ISV that enables organizations to create their own realtime TV network in the cloud.
June 4: Ramp Up Summit – Microsoft Azure in Open Licensing
Microsoft Azure is coming to Open Licensing on August 1, providing you with the flexibility you need to create custom, hybrid solutions that leverage the power of the Microsoft cloud. Register for the Azure Ramp Up Summit on June 4 to learn how this new flexible licensing model can provide your customers with the cloud benefits they desire, and prepare for the August 1 availability of Azure in Open Licensing.
Take a Closer Look at Windows 8.1 Pro Campaign
Windows 8.1 Pro delivers more of what your customers need, which means more opportunities for you. Now is the time to break through with customers and help them understand why Windows 8 Pro is the best OS choice for business. Get started with the new Take a Closer Look at Windows 8.1 campaign.
Microsoft Dynamics Partners: Marketing Assessment and Consultation
Get help developing a marketing plan that will deliver impact and generate ROI. N3 is offering a 30 minute consultation at no charge, during which you can speak with a team of sales and marketing experts to assess the marketing tactic that best fits your needs. This and other offers are on the Marketing Services Bureau (MSB) site in PartnerSource.
Register for WPC 2014 and Hear Satya Nadella’s First Keynote for Partners
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will keynote WPC 2014 this July to share his vision for our joint success in a mobile first, cloud first world. Satya has long talked about the importance of partners to Microsoft, and we think you’ll enjoy hearing his fresh perspective on our business and direction. Other Vision Keynote speakers include Microsoft Channel Chief, Phil Sorgen, and Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Turner.
Sales, Marketing, and Technical Content to Build Your SMB Cloud Practice
Whether you are just starting with the cloud, looking to increase your cloud presence, or have a mature cloud business, we can help you move to the next stage in the evolution of your SMB cloud practice. In our new blog post, you’ll find links to our new Quick Start videos and to our Cloud Solutions webcast series.
Microsoft Security Bulletin Update for May 2014
The May 2014 security updates cover Internet Explorer, Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Server Software, Microsoft Windows, Productivity Software. You can watch the May 14 webcast on demand, and register for the next webcast, June 11. The next security bulletin release is on Tuesday, June 10.
Cloud Partner Profitability – New Revenue Opportunities in the Cloud
Public IT cloud services spending reached $47.4 billion in 2013 and is expected reach nearly $108 billion in 2017, according to a recent IDC study*. This same IDC research shows that cloud-oriented partners have 1.5 times higher gross profit percentages and 1.6 times the recurring revenue as a portion of total revenue than other partners.
- Download the new IDC Successful Cloud Partners 2.0 eBook
- Take a fresh look at your business model [VIDEO]
Dynamics Partners: Microsoft Pinpoint Optimization and Review Collection Offer
Interactive Limited is offering a special discounted offer through June 30 for Microsoft Dynamics partners on a proven source of quality leads and will show you how you can effectively rank highly with keywords. This program includes training and forms (offline and online) for collecting reviews and encouraging review posting on Microsoft Pinpoint.
Training and Certification
Stay informed about training opportunities that align to your business, role, and Microsoft Partner Network membership. For real-time updates and reminders about upcoming training, follow @mslearningcurve on Twitter.
June Hot Sheet: Plan Ahead for Webcasts, 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.
Saturday, May 31: National Certification Day for US Partners
If you’re preparing for a Microsoft Certification exam, join us on Saturday, May 31 to take it at a participating New Horizons location. Each participating location has door prizes and may also have other activities for participating IT pros and developers. See our blog post for information on how to participate and locations.
- Purchase your exam voucher from New Horizons at a 40% discount.
- Learn more about Microsoft IT certifications.
Microsoft Dynamics Partners Training Schedule
Take advantage of virtual and in-person opportunities to increase your knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Microsoft Dynamics ERP.
Your Exchange Sales Knowledge Could Enter You to Win a Trip to New York City
Pass the sales assessment or presales technical assessment for Exchange Server 2013 by June 30, and you will be entered to win a trip for two to New York City. 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 June 30. Official rules.
Watch On Demand: Office 365 Expert Series – Supporting Top Issues
Overcome hurdles and troubleshoot known issues that you encounter in Office 365 migrations. After watching these on-demand webcasts on the Partner Learning Center,, you will be able to deploy and support Office 365 migration flawlessly and provide a great experience to your end customer.
- Troubleshoot Client Connectivity
- Troubleshoot Mail-Flow Issues
- Troubleshoot Cutover and Staged Migrations
- Troubleshoot Hybrid Deployments and Migrations
- Tools and Diagnostics Resources to Troubleshoot Office 365 Services
In this video, Microsoft US Partner Group Vice President, Jenni Flinders, takes you on a tour of the venues in Washington, DC where the United States team will host our WPC 2014 activities for US partners, including the US keynote, party, and People for Innovation event. Register for WPC 2014.
Calendar through June 6
This list is a sampling of upcoming partner calls, training, and events. Refer to the June Hot Sheet for a comprehensive list for the next several weeks that's frequently updated.
Week of May 26–30
- May 27 – Technology overview of the latest in Microsoft’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
- May 27 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida – Ahead of the Game Technical Series
- May 27–30 – Virtual Partner Tech Days: Dynamics AX 2012–Development Sessions (Exam MB6-869)
- May 28 – Azure for the Enterprise: What and Why
- May 28 – Technology Overview – PC & Mobile Device Management in a Single Solution
- May 28 in Irvine, California – Microsoft Azure Boot Camp
- May 29 in Edina, Minnesota – Microsoft Azure Boot Camp
- May 29 – Microsoft Azure ISV Partner YamJam
- May 31 – SMB Advantage Offer ends (excluding Dynamics CRM and CRM Online)
- May 31 – National Certification Day for US Partners
Week of June 2–6
- June 2–4 in Atlanta, Georgia – Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Enterprise Academy Level 300 Manufacturing Training
- June 2–6 – Virtual Partner Tech Days: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance (Exam 70-448)
- June 4 – Microsoft Azure in Open Licensing
- June 4 – Open Source Technologies on Microsoft Azure
- June 5 in Columbus, Ohio – Microsoft Azure Boot Camp
- June 5–6 – Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Enterprise Academy Level 300 WMS/TMS Training