US Partner News Online for Friday, January 22, 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

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 see other options to stay informed.

Top stories

Windows 10 briefing - January 2015

Catch Up on This Week’s Windows 10 Announcements
The next generation of Windows is Windows 10. Catch up on the announcements from Wednesday's media briefing about delivering Windows as a Service, the free upgrade to Windows 10 for many customers, and the myriad new experiences for Windows users.

Office - Next Chapter on Windows 10

The Next Chapter of Office on Windows
In partnership with Windows 10, the Office team is bringing a fantastic new set of Office experiences to this platform, bringing the unparalleled productivity of Office to everyone, on every device.


WPC 2015: Registration Price Increase on January 29
Save $200 on your WPC 2015 attendance when you register for our annual partner conference before January 29. This year, we’ve redesigned our sessions to better fit your learning style and the way you do business. Look for announcements soon about Partner of the Year Awards and US partner activities.

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.

Scott Akin - digital courseware and labs

A New Way to Build Technical Skills and Prepare for Exams
Microsoft partners can now purchase digital courseware and labs, allowing IT pros and developers a chance to set their own study pace to gain skills and implement new technologies.


Sales and licensing weekly webcasts - January 2015

Sales and Licensing Excellence Webcasts in 2015 – featuring Real-Life Scenarios and Updates
Our Sales and Licensing Excellence webcasts connect you to Microsoft experts for product and licensing updates and real-life sales scenarios. Register for upcoming sessions about Azure Government licensing, Dynamics CRM and ERP, Enterprise Mobility, and more. You’ll also find links to on-demand sales and licensing training from 2014.


Free Technical Content for Your Customer-Facing Blogs and Newsletters Newsletters and blogs are great ways to keep in touch and capture the mindshare of your customers, but it’s sometimes hard to keep up with creating useful, relevant content. Join the Simple Tech Tips Program, and get free tech tips and other technology content you can use as-is in your own communications.


February 13: 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.

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.

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 - February 2015 green banner

February 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 has listings for the rest of January, all of February, and into early March, so you can plan ahead. Subscribe to the US Partner Learning blog to receive the Hot Sheet in your email inbox.

Cloud Profitability Wednesdays

January 28: Cloud Profitability Webcast - Maximize Your Valuation and Profitability
The weekly Cloud Profitability web series features streaming videos to help Microsoft partners learn how to become profitable in the cloud. On January 28 at 8:30AM Pacific Time, join our experts for “Valuations: Ideas for Driving Profitability and Developing a Strategy that Maximizes Your Valuation.”

GovLoop Webcast_Jan 27

January 27: Govloop Training – The Real Journey to the Cloud
Government agencies at all levels are using cloud technology to modernize their business applications and fuel digital transformation. Topics in this webcast include security and privacy issues, private vs. public cloud, best practices, and more.

Windows Apportals office hours - January 2015

January 27: Windows Apportal Office Hours
Attend this one-hour call to learn more about adding Windows Apportals to your offerings. With an Apportal, customers can stack all of their line of business applications into a single, modern, touch-based experience.

Azure Government Licensing - Jan 28

January 28 : Sales and Licensing Excellence – Microsoft Azure Government Licensing
Get an in-depth review of how to license the Microsoft Azure Government service. You’ll receive guidance on the processes for customer validation, interaction with Microsoft licensing teams, and order submission.

Voices for Innovation_January 29

January 29: Voices for Innovation: Opportunities to Build Your Business with State and Local Government
Join Kim Nelson, the Microsoft point person on state and local government solutions, who will share practical guidance about identifying your opportunities and navigating the landscape so you can establish or expand your public sector business.

Office 365 community - February 5 banner

February 5: Office 365 Partner Community Call
Join the US National Partner Technology Strategy team for February’s Office 365 Partner community call about OneDrive for Business. You’ll get an in-depth look at this topic and learn how you can build a practice around it, sell more of it, and implement with success.


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 video for a first look at Office for Windows 10 on tablets—Excel, Word, and PowerPoint will be touch-optimized for even more productivity and ways to interact with content.

Calendar through February 6

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

Week of January 26–30






Week of February 2–6

Skip to main content