What’s new for US partners the week of May 16

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

US Channel Chief: Encourage customer confidence in the Microsoft Cloud

Microsoft US Channel Chief, Stephen Boyle, talks about the importance for partners to understand the Microsoft approach to security and lead the discussion about it with customers. As you work with your customers on their digital transformation and encourage them to embrace cloud and hybrid solutions, be prepared to answer their questions and concerns about the privacy and security of their data. Leading this discussion with your customers can be powerful and persuasive, and help you close cloud sales faster.

WPC 2016 news and updates for US partners

There are just 8 weeks left until WPC 2016 in Toronto. The US Partner Team is still finalizing plans, but here’s a sneak peek of what to expect. The US Regional Lounge will be open in The Commons throughout the conference. Choose from six US-specific sessions on Tuesday afternoon, covering a range of topics that include market outlook, partner incentives, and enablement opportunities (these sessions will be repeated on Wednesday). The Microsoft North America General Session, hosted by Judson Althoff, will be held at the end of the day on Tuesday. Then, plan to join us Tuesday evening for the US Partner Celebration. We’ll share the location and more details soon about this unforgettable experience.

May 18: MPN Evolution overview on the MPN 101 Community call

The market is changing, and so are we. Over the next several months, we will retire some Microsoft Partner Network competencies and add new ones. The remaining competencies will better align your Silver and Gold competency recognition with the current and future of our shared customers, and allow us to focus our investments in continuing to create stronger connections between partners and our mutual customers. If your organization is affected by the changes, we have resources to help you make the transition. Learn about the changes and the resources on the May 18 MPN 101 Community call.

Part 3 of the Modern Partner eBooks now available: Modernize your sales and marketing

IDC has forecasted that the greater cloud opportunity—the software, hardware, and services that surround customer digital transformation—will reach 500 billion dollars by the year 2020. Microsoft is committed to helping you capitalize on that opportunity to plan, prepare, and implement your company’s cloud business transformation. In the third eBook from our Modern Partner eBook series, find out why and how to modernize your approach to sales and marketing.

May 19 Azure Partner Community call: Open source software and partner support options

On the May 19 Azure Partner Community call, learn how open source software fits with Microsoft Azure and why it’s important to partners. You’ll also get an overview of the options available to Microsoft partners for support that applies to you and your customers, including the new Advanced Support for Partners offering.

May 19 ISV and App Builder Community call: What to expect at WPC 2016

The 2016 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2016) is just a few weeks away. This annual Microsoft partner business and sales conference is where business gets done. You’ll find the connections, content, and conversations you need to build and sustain a profitable Microsoft practice. Your host, Sharon Lee, will be joined by Julie Golding from the global Microsoft Developer team for a discussion about why developer partners should attend WPC 2016, and the sessions and activities for you in Toronto this July.

Sales conversations to have with your SMB customers

As the Microsoft fiscal year comes to a close on June 30 (our fiscal year is July–June), the US SMB Partner team has prepared a series of short videos to help you talk to your SMB customers about modernizing their infrastructure with current, supported versions of Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server.

Data and Analytics Partner Community: Hybrid scenarios using SQL Server 2016

Many businesses today run their data platform infrastructure using on-premises hardware, on either physical servers or in a virtualized environment. As the benefits of the cloud continue to emerge, IT organizations are tasked with evaluating whether and how data platform applications can utilize the cloud. The good news is that customers can take advantage of the cloud without moving their entire platform. This hybrid approach to the data platform is a compelling story for customers as well as for partners with on-premises data platform practices that want to extend those practices to cloud.

Get customers to the cloud faster with new Microsoft FastTrack updates

Microsoft FastTrack has been expanded to make the service even better and help you increase customer usage. The FastTrack Center provides guidance, content, and best practices advice to help speed up your customers’ time to value and increase their users’ adoption of Office 365. We’ve streamlined Success Plan creation and created new scenarios that help a wider variety of customer set a vision for success with Office 365. Start using FastTrack with your customers today.

Partnering for success: Dynamics CRM and Managed Service Provider partners

Every partner’s plan for business growth should include identifying and nurturing strategic partnerships. Read how Dynamics CRM partner, Bond Consulting Services, and Managed Service Provider, District Computers, work together to complement each other’s business, and the key ingredients that combine to make up their successful partnership.

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