What’s new for US partners the week of March 21, 2016


Find out what’s new for Microsoft partners. We’ll connect you to resources that help you build and sustain a profitable cloud business, 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 channel.

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

Your path to profitability with the cloud starts with Microsoft

Microsoft US Channel Chief, Stephen Boyle, provides you with an update about your opportunities and resources for building and sustaining a profitable cloud business. From the new Modern Microsoft Partner eBook series to the updated Cloud Adoption Profitability Playbook to investments for app developers and in the Internet of Things, Microsoft can help propel your business forward.

Introducing the WPC 2016 Vision Keynote speakers

At WPC 2016 this July, Vision Keynotes will be shorter and held on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings. Satya Nadella will kick off the conference on Monday, July 11, and executives Kevin Turner and Phil Sorgen will be joined by product and segment leaders from across the Microsoft business. 

Data platform updates: SQL Server 2016 Release Candidate 1, SQL Server on Linux, and more

There are a lot of exciting announcements about SQL Server—from SQL Server on Linux to a release candidate for SQL Server 2016 to an offer for Oracle customers to move to SQL Server. Stay on top of the latest information with our links below.

SQL Server 2005 end of support is April 12. It’s time for your customers to move to a modern data platform

Customers running SQL Server 2005 after April 12 will no longer receive security updates and hotfixes from Microsoft. Now is the time to work with your customers to plan their upgrade to SQL Server 2014 and Azure SQL Database and benefit from dramatic performance gains, higher availability and scalability, and rich business intelligence capabilities.

March is about marketing on the US ISV and App Builder community calls

Throughout the month of March, guest speakers on the US ISV and App Builder Community calls have talked about marketing topics like using personal branding and social selling, creating a marketing roadmap, and using Microsoft marketing tools and resources. Rounding out this month’s focus on marketing are calls on March 24 about crafting your value proposition, and on March 31 about curating content and managing your social presence.

March 23: New partner orientation call

On these calls, which last about 45 minutes, you’ll get an overview of the Microsoft partner program, an explanation of your membership options and key benefits, and information about how to obtain support and stay informed as a Microsoft partner.

Take your practice to Office 365 and beyond at SMB Live roadshow events

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.

Build your Office 365 practice

Expand your Office 365 practice with Microsoft multi-cloud solutions

March 22 in Charlotte, NC

March 23 in Charlotte, NC

March 22 in Dallas, TX

March 23 in Dallas, TX

March 22 in Irvine, CA

March 23 in Irvine, CA

March 22 in Pittsburgh, PA

March 23 in Pittsburgh, PA

March 23 in Milwaukee, WI

March 24 in Milwaukee, WI

March 29 in Chicago, IL

March 30 in Chicago, IL

March 30 in Omaha, NE

March 31 in Omaha, NE

March 30 in Houston, TX

March 31 in Houston, TX

March 30 in Phoenix, AZ

March 31 in Phoenix, AZ

March 31 in Downers Grove, IL

April 1 in Downers Grove, IL

April 5 in Columbus, OH

April 6 in Columbus, OH

April 5 in Los Angeles, CA

April 6 in Los Angeles, CA

April 5 in New York, NY

April 6 in New York, NY


March 29: Microsoft Virtual Security Summit

Live from Redmond, WA on March 29, hear from top security experts and key Microsoft security professionals in a three-hour event dedicated to better understanding today’s enterprise security industry. You’ll learn about modern cybercriminals and their evolving tactics, how leading security experts keep their organizations safe, and about tools to keep people, platforms, and devices secure.

Your resources for the updates to Microsoft FastTrack and the Adoption Offer

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. The FastTrack customer success service now supports SMB customers starting at 50 seats, and the Adoption Offer has been expanded to include payouts for customer purchases starting at 50 seats and extended to June 30. The resources below will help you understand the details of these changes and get guidance for how you can use the newly updated FastTrack web experience with your customers to plan and prepare them for their move to the cloud.

Meet your training goals with help from the Hot Sheet

Stay on track with your training goals. Refer to the US Partner Community Hot Sheet for a schedule of in-person training and virtual courses, calls, and office hours are available. The current Hot Sheet includes listings through April 2016, and we’ll add new courses as we learn about them.


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