US Partner News Online for Monday, January 12, 2015


Welcome to this week’s issue of the US Partner News Online. 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

WPC - Refer a Friend Jan 12-16

Refer Your Friends to Register for WPC 2015, and Earn Up to $1000
Our Refer a Colleague discount is designed to reward you for starting your networking early. From January 12–16, new WPC registrants will receive $100 off their all-access pass when they enter the name of a referrer during registration for WPC 2015. If you are the referrer, you can receive $100 refunds for up to ten (10) unique, individual referrals, up to a maximum of US$1,000. Offer ends January 16. Details and terms.

Cloud competency slide - January 2015

MPN Cloud Performance Competencies – How to Get Started
If you have an active practice around Microsoft Office 365 or Microsoft Azure, consider attaining a Cloud Performance competency. Through June 30, the Silver competency fee for these is waived, and you can enter Gold level at a reduced price.

Your future in the cloud - profitability portal page

Your Future in the Cloud: New Year, New Cloud Resolution
If your New Year's resolution for your business is to move to the cloud, we can help. On our blog, Partner Technology Strategist, Frank Campise, provides guidance, resources, and encouragement. 


Jan 5-May31 MPN exam vouchers

New MPN Competency Exam Pack Offer – Save Up to 25% and Get a Second Shot
Meet your partner organization’s certification goals and MPN competency requirements. Buy 10 exams and save 25%, or buy 5 exams and save 15%. For exams you take by May 31, you get a free retake (Second Shot) if you need it. This is a whole new Second Shot. You no longer need to pre-register, but can easily find and register for your retake on your Learning dashboard, and you will have 30 days from taking your exam to schedule your retake.

Azure Partner Community - Jan 2015 focs on networking

Azure Partner Community: Focus on Networking
The January focus for the Azure Partner Community is on networking. Read the first post in the blog series on this topic by Nick Johnson to learn about the three building blocks for Azure networking and find training and additional resources.

PTS - Office 365 PA for SMB promotion

New Office 365 Practice Accelerator for SMB – Promotional Offer
January 22-23: Take the new Office 365 Practice Accelerator for SMB at no cost. You will learn fundamental deployment principles and processes that lead to repeatable successful deployments of Office 365 for small and medium business customers. More dates in February and March available.


Cloud Profitability Program - Wednesday webcasts

New Cloud Profitability Webcast Series on Wednesdays 
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. Register here for future sessions. Watch previous weeks’ sessions on demand

  • January 14 – Anatomy of a Deal
  • January 21 – P&L Modeling for Office 365
  • January 28 – Best Practices from Successful Partners


Learn to Sell Microsoft Azure – Pitch Perfect Videos
Watch these short (15 minutes or fewer) Pitch Perfect videos that will help you have specific customer conversations about Microsoft Azure. From “Why Azure?” to hybrid identity, SAP on Azure, and more, you’ll be better prepared to sell Azure-based solutions.

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.


January Hot Sheet: Register for Training, Office Hours, and Community Calls
The Hot Sheet is a frequently updated schedule of live virtual and in-person training, Office Hours, and community calls that are coming in the next few weeks. The current Hot Sheet goes through the end of February, so you can plan ahead. Subscribe to the US Partner Learning blog to receive the Hot Sheet in your email inbox.

Jan 12 - Azure Gov exec keynote and webcast

January 12: Azure Government Cloud Solutions Executive Keynote and Webcast
Register to hear an executive keynote from Michael Donlan, Vice President of Microsoft US State and Local Government, about the new Microsoft Azure Government offering and why it's the right fit for your government customers.

Windows Apportals office hours - January 2015

January 13: Windows Apportal Office Hours
Join a one-hour call about Windows Apportals, hosted by Microsoft experts. Learn how Microsoft partners are benefitting from building and implementing Windows Apportals for their customers.

Jan 13 - Sales Productivity Solution CRM Office 365

January 13: Driving Sales Productivity With Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Office 365
The sales productivity solution from Microsoft enables your customers to transform their sales teams into top performers that are highly connected and collaborative. Learn about the partner opportunity for selling Microsoft Dynamics CRM alongside Office 365.

Office 365 Rainmaker webcasts SMB - January 2015

January 15: Office 365 Rainmaker Webcast – Implementing SharePoint Online
New technical webcasts have been added to the Rainmaker series. Register for the January 15 and January 22 webcasts, and watch previous webcasts on demand.

Online Services incentives office hours January 2015

January 15: Online Services Advisor Office Hours
Learn about Online Services Web-Direct and Deploy incentives from experts on the US Partner Team.

Azure Partner Community - Jan 2015 focs on networking

January 15: US Azure Partner Community Call
This month’s Azure Partner Community focus is networking on Microsoft Azure. You can read the blog series in preparation for the call.


February 10: Creative Marketing Webcast
Join Duane Forrester from Bing and Elizabeth Parker from Bing Ads for a highly valuable session about Digital Marketing. They will share industry experience, insights, and advice on how digital marketing can help you transform your business in the cloud. This includes considering the evolved consumer decision journey, creating inbound lead generation, audience segmentation for lead capture, the basics of search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and the options to getting started.

Featured video

Watch this episode preview of the new Next at Microsoft Podcast, featuring George Takei. The beloved actor and activist talks about his visit to Microsoft campus and the Star Trek-inspired technologies that made him say “Oh My!”

Calendar through January 23

Week of January 12–16

Week of January 19–23

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