US Partner News Online for Friday, January 2, 2015

imageHappy New Year! 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

If you’d like to see the next post in your email inbox, go to the main US Partner Community blog page and enter your email address under “Subscribe and follow” on the right hand side.

Twitter_coolgrey11We provide real-time updates about the topics covered in this newsletter and other partner-related news and information on our US Partner Community Twitter feed.

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

Cloud Profitability Program - Wednesday webcasts

New Cloud Profitability Program Webcast Series Starts January 7
Register for the new series of Cloud Profitability Program webcasts that will be held Wednesdays at 8:30AM Pacific Time. These webcasts provide you the information you need to understand the cloud market, partner opportunities, and considerations for defining your business strategy in the cloud.

Competency renewal - December 2014 MPN tile

Renew Your Competency and Retain Your Benefits
Your Microsoft Partner Network silver or gold competency comes with the distinction of your company being among the top 5 percent of Microsoft partners. You can renew your competency up to 90 days prior to your company’s anniversary date in the Microsoft Partner Network. On our blog, we provide step-by-step guidance, tips, and links to what you need to know for a smoother renewal.

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.



Choose How You Want to Stay Informed in 2015
Stay informed about the partner-related news, recommendations, opportunities, and programs relevant to your business. We’ll help you understand and prepare for the market opportunity, connect with customers and prospects, and differentiate your business.

IUR - Learn how to earn Office 365

Earning the Office 365 Internal Use Rights Benefit
The Office 365 internal-use rights (IUR) benefit allows partners to use and learn Microsoft’s latest cloud technology internally, so that they are able to sell Microsoft cloud solutions to their customers more effectively.


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.

Training and certification

Twitter_coolgrey11Stay informed about 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 Hot Sheet: Find and Register for Upcoming Training, Webcasts, 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 February, so you can plan ahead. Subscribe to the US Partner Learning blog to receive the Hot Sheet in your email inbox.

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.


January 7: Cloud Profitability webcast – IDC and PC Media Interview
Join Josh Waldo and Brent Combest in an interview with Darren Bibby from IDC and Lee Harper, CEO of PC Media, about profitability for cloud partners vs. non-cloud partners. These webcasts are now on Wednesdays.

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.

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.

Featured Video

Watch this playlist of videos that covers the 2014 calls for the US Azure Partner Community. Get caught up on topics like Enterprise Mobility Suite, migrations to Azure, and disaster recovery. Read the companion blog posts here, and register for the January 15 call.

Calendar through January 16

The list below is a sampling of upcoming partner calls, training, and events. Refer to the January Hot Sheet for a comprehensive, frequently updated list covering the next several weeks.

Week of January 5–9

Week of January 12–16

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