Earlier this month, my colleague Nick Johnson shared that the US Partner Team has established Partner Technical Communities for Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office 365, led by National Partner Technology Strategists. The communities complement each other and are designed to support you in building your cloud practice, providing you with opportunities to ask questions and share useful information. Each community will also focus on a monthly theme or scenario. For the US Office 365 Partner Community, this month’s theme is FastTrack Getting Started content.
We will be going deeper on the FastTrack Getting Started content theme through the end of September, and it will be our focus for the October 2 community call. Here is how you can stay informed and participate in the community:
- Read the US Partner Technical Community blog posts
- Join the Office 365 Partner group on Yammer
- Register for the October 2 US Office 365 Partner Technical Community call
- Signup for the Office 365 Partner Community Newsletter
FastTrack and the FastTrack portal
FastTrack for Office 365 is a service benefit with enhanced onboarding assistance delivered by Microsoft. Put more broadly, FastTrack is the easiest transition into the cloud for people who are trying to move forward. If you were at WPC 2014, or followed the conference announcements, you probably heard about lots of changes to FastTrack, like the new service benefit and the Adoption Offer, for example. However, I'm willing to bet you have not had a chance to check out what’s new on the FastTrack portal and Getting Started content.
Getting Started with FastTrack resources
On the FastTrack portal, you can provision new Office 365 trial tenants for customers, then plan and manage their deployments. It's the same place where you get access to resources that take your customer's deployment and adoption experience to the next level.
What's new in the FastTrack portal? Plenty! In addition to a 250-person, 90-day trial, you will find:
- “Getting Started for IT," an environment where IT staff can learn about Office 365 and follow step-by-step implementation guidance
- Access to the FastTrack Management App – provision pre-built scenarios with custom content to your FastTrack site collection, to use for envisioning solution scenarios with your customers in specific industries, like Finance and Accounting, HR & Internal Communications, and Legal.
- Opportunity to practice building out custom features and solutions before implementing them in the production environment.
- The FastTrack App gives you access to labs to train and test IT staff readiness to manage and maintain Office 365—not just click though videos, but hands-on labs hosted on Microsoft Azure to experience various scenarios for onboarding and migration.
- Execute on your Deployment Planning with the inclusion of a deployment wizard so you can redeem your Deployment Planning Services vouchers.
By taking advantage of all the resources and information the FastTrack portal has to offer, you can help your customers get on the right path to deploying the service in their organization. By utilizing the planning tools, you will be able to set the right expectations with the customer and land scenarios early in the process to drive adoption and greater customer satisfaction.
The US Partner Team is excited about the business opportunities FastTrack offers partners, and hope you’ll explore the FastTrack Getting Started content today. We look forward to your participation in our US Office 365 Partner Technical Community! Register for the October 2 community call.