US Partner News Online for Friday, December 19, 2014

imageHappy holidays, and welcome to this week’s issue of the US Partner News Online!

In this weekly post, we’ll connect you to resources to help you be market-ready, connect with customers and prospects, and differentiate your business. You can read previous weeks’ issues at

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Top stories

Office 365 Community - January 2015 banner

Office 365 Community: Focus on Security and Compliance
The current topic for the Office 365 Community is security and compliance. Read the blog series, register for the January 8 call, and join the conversation in the Office 365 group on Yammer.

PTS webcasts - January 2015

Azure and Office 365 Webcasts from Partner Technical Services
Register for these January webcasts for IT pros, developers, and presales technical roles, about Microsoft Azure, delivered by Microsoft experts on the Partner Technical Services team.


Windows Server 2003 End-of-Life Campaign
Show customers how to get the most from today’s technology by migrating to Microsoft Azure, Windows Server 2012 R2, and cloud services like Microsoft Office 365. 


Azure Starter Kit: Technical Presales Workshop
Request one-to-one technical consulting for during a presales engagement with a customer about Microsoft Azure, at no charge.


Share Your Story: Microsoft Small Business Contest
Share your small business story for a chance to win $20,000. Create a two-minute video that tells us what makes your business unique, and how you turned your dream into a reality. Or, perhaps you have a small business customer with an inspiring story, and want to encourage them to enter. Entries will be accepted through 11:59PM Pacific Time on January 11, 2015. Official rules.


Office 365 FastTrack resources - Dec 2014

FastTrack and the Adoption Offer for Microsoft Office 365
FastTrack helps customers get quickly started and active with Microsoft Office 365. Through March 31, 2015, net new Office 365 customers who purchase a minimum of 150 seats of eligible Office 365 SKUs qualify for an investment toward their Office 365 adoption. Find out what steps you need to take as a partner to best utilize the FastTrack resources.

Sales Excellence webcasts on demand Dec 2014

On Demand: Sales and Licensing Excellence Webcast Series
Over the past several weeks, we have delivered a series of sales- and licensing-focused webcasts for partners, covering a wide variety of Microsoft products and technologies. These are all available for watching on demand. The next Sales and Licensing Excellence webcast is on January 12.

Public Sector - Cloud for Government

Microsoft Cloud for Government – Campaign for Partners
Recently, Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Azure Government and upcoming availability of Dynamics CRM Online for Government. These offerings together with Office 365 Government provide the most complete cloud for U.S. government customers.

RTG - ModernBiz webcasts

Show Your Customers the Path to Modern
Show your customers the path to modern. Through Ready-to-Go Marketing, you can invite them to watch the #ModernBiz webcasts, planned and hosted by Microsoft, and accelerate your cloud business.

Azure Partner Community - Dec focus on VM management

Azure Partner Community: Focus on Managing Virtual Machines
Read our latest blog series for the US Azure Partner Community, with a focus on managing Virtual Machines.

Your future in the cloud - profitability portal page

Your Future in the Cloud: Profitability and Planning Resources
Public IT cloud services spending reached US$47.4 billion in 2013 and is expected reach over US$107 billion in 2017, according to a recent IDC study (IDC. Successful Cloud Partners 2.0. 2014). 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.

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 - January 2015 banner purple

January 2015 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, webcasts, and informational calls that are coming in the next few weeks. The current Hot Sheet goes through early February, so you can plan ahead. Subscribe to the US Partner Learning blog to receive the Hot Sheet in your email inbox.

PTS webcasts - Labs on Azure Jan 8

January 8: Labs on Azure – First Steps
In this online workshop, you’ll learn how to spin up a test lab or sandbox quickly, sign up for and activate your Azure subscription, and more.

SMB regional calls - January 2015

January 9: US SMB Partner Insider Calls
Join your Microsoft Regional team for the latest Microsoft information and resources for US partners serving SMB customers, giving you the opportunity to be among the first to know what’s happening.

ISV Upgrade Workshops - January 2015

ISV Workshops: Upgrade Your Apps to Windows Server 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2014
If you have a solution running on older versions of Windows Server and think an upgrade is right for you, join us at this event to use the expertise of local experts who can answer your questions.

Featured video

Watch this collection of videos from Microsoft Partner Technical Services, “Office 365 Deployment Fast Start.” Take a deep dive on Office 365 Hybrid Deployment, learn how to migrate a customer from gmail to Office 365 using IMAP, and more. 


At this time, there are no planned training activities from December 22 through January 2. You can register for business, technical, and sales training, webcasts, and calls that are occurring in January and February on the January Hot Sheet.

Here are some suggestions for on-demand training and content to tide you over until January:

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