What’s new for US partners on Friday, February 19, 2016

Find out what’s new for Microsoft partners. We’ll connect you to resources that help you become market-ready, connect with customers and prospects, and differentiate your business. Read previous issues of our online newsletter.

We 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.

To 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

Changing the sales conversation to appeal to the new technology buyer

As the technology buyer profile, and the ways that technology buyers interact with the sales process, change, your sales approach and sales conversations have to evolve as well. In this blog post, Gavriella Schuster provides insights based on her recent conversations with partners and customers.

Get an early look at the WPC 2016 United States agenda

The WPC 2016 United States agenda is available to view and download from our WPC Yammer group. As you plan your conference attendance, save the date of Tuesday, July 12 for the Microsoft North America keynote in the afternoon and US Celebration in the evening. Details about times and locations for these and other US partner activities will be published over the next few weeks as we approach the conference.

2016 Partner of the Year Awards program open for submissions

The Partner of the Year Awards program is your opportunity to showcase the solutions you’ve built on Microsoft technologies that benefit our mutual customers. Receiving an award positions your company for new business opportunities, differentiates you from the competition, generates positive press coverage, and can increase your market recognition. The submission tool is open now through April 7. For award categories and definitions, eligibility, executive summary questions to address in your submission, and optional components of your entry, download the guidelines document. We hope to see you recognized on stage at #WPC16. Good luck!

February 24: FastTrack for Office 365 partner overview

Recent changes to Microsoft FastTrack and the Adoption Offer for Microsoft Office 365 make it easier for smaller customers to adopt and use their cloud services. More customers on Office 365 means more opportunities for partners to deliver high-value services such as business process consulting, managed services, Line of Business integration, and app development.

February 24–25: Skype for Business Online Academy

Learn how to plan for and deploy the new Skype for Business Online Services such as Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing, Skype Meeting Broadcast, and Hybrid Voice during this free, in-depth, level 300 technical training for IT Pros and Presales Technical Specialists.

February 26: Windows Partner Community call

On the February community call for Windows partners, Steve Adams will talk about the Windows lifecycle and support, and will be joined by Annie Jonas for a discussion about Windows Accelerate. Use code MPN to register.

MPN 101 resources that help you get more from your membership

Learn about your options for membership in the Microsoft Partner Network, and the associated benefits you receive, like internal use rights, technical support, marketing materials, and more. Our MPN 101 resources explain program basics and provide you with links to get further details about your areas of interest. Whether your company is new to MPN, or you are new to your company that’s already participating in MPN, we’ll help you get started so you can make the most of your membership.

ISV and App Builder Partner Community focuses on marketing in March

On the March calls for developer partners, Microsoft and partner subject-matter experts will share guidance, tips, and best practices for building a strong marketing engine that will help you attract prospective customers. From crafting your company’s value proposition to effective networking to social platforms, these will be conversations that benefit your business.

March 10: Data Driven event featuring Satya Nadella and other Microsoft leaders

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will be joined by Scott Guthrie, Joseph Sirosh, and Judson Althoff for this live virtual event. Companies that transform data into intelligent action are outperforming their competitors and will be the businesses of the future.

Build your cloud practice at SMB Live events across the United States

Whether you’re ready to start, or ready to scale, your Office 365 business, there is an SMB Live event for you. Choose from one of two events in each city. Build your Office 365 practice is for partners new to selling cloud solutions, and Expand your Office 365 practice with Microsoft multi-cloud solutions is for partners with established Office 365 practices that want to add other Microsoft cloud solutions like Microsoft Azure, Enterprise Mobility Suite, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and SQL Server.

SMB Live partial schedule (more events here)

Build your Office 365 practice Expand your Office 365 practice with Microsoft multi-cloud solutions
February 23 in Fort Lauderdale, FL February 24 in Fort Lauderdale, FL
February 23 in Nashville, TN February 24 in Nashville, TN
February 23 in Boston, MA February 24 in Boston, MA
February 24 in Minneapolis, MN February 25 in Minneapolis, MN
March 8 in San Francisco, CA March 9 in San Francisco, CA
March 9 in Detroit, MI March 10 in Detroit, MI
March 9 in Philadelphia, PA March 10 in Philadelphia, PA
March 9 in Raleigh, NC March 10 in Raleigh, NC
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