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.
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Introducing the Cloud Performance Competencies
In September, we're integrating the cloud into the Microsoft Partner Network, with three new competencies for Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure that you can qualify for through your proven cloud performance. Partners that attain the new Cloud Performance competencies will earn the silver level at no cost and receive gold level at a reduced price.
Windows Apportals: Building Opportunities for Partners
Microsoft recently announced Windows Apportals, Windows 8.1 apps that can integrate a customer’s entire line of business (LOB) stack into a single, modern, touch-based experience. Join a partner call on August 26, 27, or 28 to learn about your opportunity to add Apportals as a service offering to your business.
Conquer the Cloud with SMB Live Events – Register Today
The new SMB Live events series is coming in September and October to several cities across the United States. These free events for partners are your opportunity to learn how Microsoft cloud solutions can help you address your customers’ evolving business needs. This two-day series is designed to teach you how to not only succeed in the cloud, but to conquer it.
Earn Up to 12 Percent in Partner Incentives – Sign Up for the US VAR Incentive Program
Earn partner incentives on sales of a wide variety of Microsoft products and technologies from July 1 through December 31, 2014. The VAR Incentive is designed to provide maximum payout when you help your customers recognize the benefits of emerging Microsoft products and technologies that address customer needs in virtualization, security, and unified communications. Even if you have participated in previous versions of this incentive, you must register specifically for this one. Terms and conditions (sign in for access).
Register for a MEC Facilitator Training Boot Camp in September or October
The Microsoft Experience Center (MEC) helps partners build customer trust and pipeline—95% of MEC sessions lead to new revenue opportunities. As a MEC Facilitator, you can help customers learn about productivity tools and technologies without any sales pressure, long demos, or redundant presentations. Register for a boot camp today—space is limited.
All You Need from A to Z – SMB Partner Resources for Microsoft Azure
The new Cloud SureStep: Azure page on the partner portal provides a comprehensive directory of business and technical resources for US SMB partners. Whether you are just beginning or already have a thriving Azure practice, we can help set you up for success.
Propel Your Microsoft Office 365 SMB Practice
Visit Cloud SureStep: Office 365 for the latest resources to support your SMB-focused cloud practice. Access prescriptive content and training for both business and technical roles and get ready to propel your practice to the next level.
Windows Server 2003 End of Support
Server upgrades can be a time-consuming and complex process. With less than a year left until Microsoft support for Windows Server 2003 ends on July 14, 2015, the time to get started is now. Identify your customers that need your help migrating, and use these resources to assess, plan, and implement a migration to Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft Azure.
- Windows Server 2003 assessment and planning resources
- Windows Server 2003 End of Life campaign
- Modernize Your Datacenter technical services offering for partners
- Cloud SureStep: Azure
Ready-To-Go is Evolving to Help You Become a Stronger Marketer
Get on the fast track to better marketing and more sales with the new Ready-to-Go Marketing best practices resources page. You'll find short videos (perfect for viewing during your coffee break), plus getting started guides, campaign execution guides, and marketing-related articles.
Microsoft Dynamics Partners: Offer Prospects a Free 30-Day Trial of Microsoft ERP from Your Website
Add a single line of code to your company website for goERPcloud’s On Demand ERP trial app, and you can begin offering prospects free 30-day trials of Microsoft Dynamics ERP that are ISV and industry supported. To learn more about this and other demand generation offers, visit the Marketing Services Bureau site on PartnerSource.
Training and Certification
The Benefits of Advancing Your Skills and Credentials
US Director of Partner Enablement, Scott Akin, talks about the value for partners in continually building sales and technical expertise within their organizations, and demonstrating that expertise through individual attainment of credentials like Microsoft certifications and Sales Accreditations.
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.
Exam Savings for WPC 2014 Attendees – Offer Ends August 31
WPC 2014 attendees are eligible to purchase select Microsoft exams at a discount. Get up to 10 exams free, plus get a Second Shot for all exams purchased through this offer. At WPC, stop by the MPN booth and look for the Microsoft Learning kiosk to get your savings. The offer will be available during the conference through August only.
Enter to Win: Cloud OS Technical Sweepstakes
Prepare for certification exams and technical assessments that validate your understanding of the Microsoft Cloud OS. You'll be entered into our drawing for one of three Windows devices when you pass a featured exam or assessment by September 30. Official rules.
Enter to Win: Cloud OS Sales Specialist Sweepstakes
Improve your ability to sell hybrid cloud solutions by preparing for and taking assessments related to the Microsoft Cloud OS. When you pass a Sales Specialist assessment by September 30, you'll be entered into our drawing for one of three new Windows devices. Official rules.
Add Microsoft Azure to Your SMB Cloud Practice – Azure Essentials Webcasts
The Azure Essentials web series features business and technical content for partners that want to offer their SMB customers Azure-based solutions. Get started with on-demand sessions, and then register for live webcasts that start in September.
Calendar through August 31
This list is a sampling of upcoming partner calls, training, and events. Refer to the September Hot Sheet for a comprehensive list for the next several weeks that's frequently updated.
- August 19 in Seattle, Washington – Unite 2014: Unity & Windows Porting Lab
- August 19 – Dynamics Bite-Sized - Introduction to Microsoft Social Listening
- August 20 – Dynamics Bite-Sized - Requisition Management in Dynamics GP 2013 R2
- August 20 – Practice Accelerator for Office 365
- August 26 – Windows Apportals partner call
- August 26 – CRM 2013 Spring Release at a Glance
- August 26 – The Modern Web Platform Jump Start
- August 27 – Windows Apportals partner call
- August 27 – Dynamics Bite-Sized - AX 2012 Application Integration Framework
- August 27–28 – US Microsoft Dynamics FY15 Kick Off
- August 28 – Windows Apportals partner call
- August 28 – Labs on Azure
- August 28 – Dynamics Bite-Sized – AX 2012 Travel and Expense Management
- August 29 – CRM 2013-Business Process Flows and Business Rules