US Partner News Online for Friday, September 12, 2014


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

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Yammer_coolgrey11To stay in touch with me and connect with other partners and Microsoft sales, marketing, and product experts, join our US Partner Community on Yammer and choose how you want to stay informed.

Top stories


Partnership in the Cloud: Microsoft is Investing in You
Find out how the Microsoft Partner Network is making it easier for you to grow your business while bringing industry-leading cloud solutions to market. Gavriella Schuster explains how the new Office 365 and Azure competencies will help you invest in building a cloud practice.

US Azure Partner Community - September 2014

Microsoft Azure Partner Community – September Focus on EMS
The US Partner Team has established a partner community for Microsoft Azure, with activities that include blog posts, discussions on Yammer, community calls, and an email newsletter. This month’s Azure focus is on Enterprise Mobility Suite, or EMS, and the latest post covers mobile device management. The next Azure Partner Technical Community call is on September 18.

Office Delve rollout to business customers - September 2014

Office Delve Now Being Rolled Out to Office 365 Business Customers
Office Delve lets employees discover new information that’s tailored to them and lets them quickly find what they need to get work done. Learn how your customers can benefit from using Office Delve in their organizations.

Office 365 - New SKUs on October 1

New Office 365 SMB SKU Lineup Starts October 1
On October 1, Microsoft will release three new Office 365 plans tailored to meet the needs of small and midsized businesses (SMB), ranging from 1 to approximately 250 employees. To prepare your business and start the customer conversation, use the resources in the Office BEST for SMB campaign from Ready-to-Go Marketing. Recently updated, this campaign is your starting point for selling Microsoft Office solutions to SMB.

Windows Server end of support resources

Windows Server 2003 End of Support is July 2015
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.

RTG - Constant Contact offer

Try Constant Contact’s Email Marketing Platform at No Cost for a Limited Time
Constant Contact is offering Microsoft partners a no-cost, three-month trial period of its email marketing platform. Manage multiple emails from a unified platform, and take advantage of new email content from Ready-to-Go Marketing campaigns. Download and work with the templates through RTG campaigns, or work with them within Constant Contact. Terms and conditions apply.


Office 365 Drumbeat Portal update - September 2014

Take Your Office 365 Sales to the Next Level
The reimagined Drumbeat portal opens the door to targeted resources to help you start, grow, and accelerate your Office 365 practice. Find out what’s new with Office 365, and discover offers that can help you drive revenue and close Office 365 sales faster.

Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program

New Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Program
Partners in this program will be able to directly provision customer subscriptions and provide one monthly bill for both Partner and Microsoft services. They will also directly manage their customer subscriptions with in-product tools in the Partner Admin Center and own the technical support relationship.


Now On Demand: Windows Apportals Partner Presentation
Windows Apportals help you align to the Microsoft mobile-first, cloud-first strategy. An Apportal aggregates the systems and applications used in a business into one Windows 8.1 Start screen. In this on-demand presentation, you’ll learn what the partner service opportunity is with Apportals and how to get started so you can add Apportals to your offerings. You can download the resources discussed on this on-demand presentation from the links below.

FastTrack and the Office 365 Adoption Offer - On demand

Now On Demand: FastTrack for Office 365 and FY15 Adoption Offer Overview
You can watch the recording of the September 3 call online in our FastTrack group on the US Partner Community Yammer network. You’ll learn about the new FastTrack for Office 365 service benefit and the new Officer 365 Adoption Offer that started September 1. Instructions to join our Yammer network are here.

Training and Certification

Twitter_coolgrey11Stay informed about training opportunities that align to your business and role. For real-time updates and reminders about upcoming training, follow @mslearningcurve on Twitter.

Hot Sheet training schedule - social banner September 2014

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. Look for the October Hot Sheet the week of September 15.


Ends September 30: US Partner Cloud OS Sweepstakes for Sales and Technical Roles
Enter the Cloud OS sweepstakes by passing eligible certification exams, technical assessments, and sales assessments that cover Windows Server, System Center, and SQL Server. On our US Partner Training and Certification blog, we provide both technical and sales training and resource recommendations. Contests end September 30.

Licensing Solution Provider weekly webcast series

September 16: Licensing Solution Provider Weekly Webcast
Employees at Licensing Solution Provider (LSP) partner companies in the United States are invited to attend a weekly Microsoft webcast hosted by the US Partner Team. This week’s focus is on end of support for Windows Server 2003, which will occur in July 2015.

Azure Partner Technical Call on September 18

September 18: US Azure Partner Technical Community Call
Join Nick Johnson, US Partner Technology Strategist for Microsoft Azure, for a look at Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS). You’ll learn about the three main features: Hybrid Identify, Mobile Device Management, and Information Protection. The call includes a demo of setting up EMS so you can test it and become an expert for your customers.

Featured video

Watch this video about Office Delve, which is now rolling out to Office 365 business customers. Learn how Office Graph transforms Office 365 with machine learning and personalized insights. These new insights are derived from each users’ behavior, their relationships to content, topics and one another.

Calendar through September 26

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. Look for the October Hot Sheet the week of September 15.

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