What’s new for US partners the week of March 7, 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

You’re invited: Join the US leadership team at WPC 2016

The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference is our largest business and sales event for partners from around the world. From inspiring keynotes by Microsoft leadership to interactive sessions with industry experts, you’ll learn from thought leaders and IT visionaries. From formal meetings to casual evening events, at WPC you can expand your network’s reach and make the connections your business needs to succeed. WPC 2016 is in Toronto, Canada from July 10–14.

SkyKick partner offers for your Office 365 and Azure Internal Use Rights benefit

If you have a Microsoft Action Pack or Microsoft competency, you have Internal Use Rights for cloud services that include Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. They give your organization firsthand knowledge of product features and capabilities—knowledge that can help you close cloud deals. You can use your benefits for internal business use, customer demo, internal dev/test, and internal training. Through the end of June, take advantage of two offers from the Microsoft Partner Network and SkyKick that help you utilize your benefits.

Fall in love with profitability: An A–Z guide to profitability concepts and resources

Profitability is the cornerstone for partner growth, valuation, and longevity. Building and sustaining profitability continues to be top of mind for partners as cloud momentum and cloud spending increase and more cloud opportunities open up. US partner profitability expert, Sharon Lee, created a short, fun, useful list of concepts and resources about profitability that you can start using today.

Skype for Business sales and technical training schedule

Sign up for Skype for Business sales and technical training in March and April. Whether you need the basics, or an in-depth look at the new enterprise capabilities, there is a variety of offerings to meet your needs. If you have an Office 365 practice, you’ll want to be knowledgeable and skilled about meeting broadcast, PSTN conferencing, and modern voice with Cloud PBX—now available in Office 365 Enterprise E5.

March 10: Data Driven SQL Server 2016 live virtual event

Companies that transform data into intelligent action are outperforming their competitors and will be the businesses of the future. Hear Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft business leaders, and customers share how data insights are driving business transformation.

Practical, progressive, or sophisticated: whatever your marketing style, we can help

In today’s rapidly changing marketplace, IT buyers are more connected, more informed, and have higher expectations than ever. Understanding how cloud customers buy, and ensuring that your marketing efforts align to those behaviors and set up your sales team for success, is critical. On the Smart Partner Marketing website, start by assessing your company’s marketing practices to get tailored recommendations for what to do next. You’ll also find marketing training, easy-to-implement tips, ModernBiz resources, and more.

Identify and foster strategic partnerships for success

One of the most valuable benefits of the Microsoft Partner Network is that it’s a vast network of partners with diverse capabilities, knowledge, and solutions. Working together, partners can help care for a customer’s lifecycle end-to-end, and deliver a full customer solution.

Get your team trained to build, sell, and deploy your Microsoft-based solutions

Stay on track with your training goals. Microsoft offers in-person and virtual training, as well as informational webcasts, topical office hours, and community calls. Most training is offered at no cost to partners. Try these resources to find the training and other resources to build your business, sales, and technical knowledge.

Offer customers a hands-on introduction to Office and Windows 10 through the Customer Immersion Experience

The Microsoft Customer Immersion Experience (CIE) is a true-to-life user experience that takes customers through common, work-related scenarios. It gives them a first-hand look at the Windows 10 experience and the features of the new Office across a devices, including tablets, PCs, and smartphones. You can become a CIE partner and gain access to the resources to facilitate conversations with customers that help you uncover new opportunities, close deals, and encourage cloud adoption.

Increase IT productivity and IT operations with certifications

Recent research by IDC indicates that there is immense value in hiring certified individuals, and in helping your employees get certified. From boosting productivity to increasing your time to market for new applications and product features, certifications benefit your business.

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