What’s new for US partners the week of May 30, 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

Create your cloud offering and get started with the Cloud Solution Provider program today

Customers are looking for a more comprehensive and collaborative relationship with their service provider. Through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, you maintain account control for your Microsoft cloud customers. You create a cloud offering that provides a unique, end-to-end solution by packaging up your own tools, products, and services, and combining them into one monthly or annual customer bill. In addition, you provide technical support to your customers as part of your solution.

Earn MPN cloud competency credit with Partner Association

Even if you’re not a customer’s Digital Partner of Record, you can now earn credit toward an MPN cloud competency. Digital Partner of Record will remain the path to qualify for incentives. Cloud performance requirements can be met based on your customers’ usage and consumption data from other sources.

WPC 2016 is just 6 weeks away: Tips for US Partner attendees

We’re counting down to WPC 2016 in Toronto! Plans for US Partner attendees include six US-focused sessions, the Microsoft North America General Session, the US Partner Celebration, and US Regional Lounge experiences. For details on these, visit and subscribe to the US Partner Community blog, and follow the US Partner Team @wpcus on Twitter, where we’ll be keeping you updated leading up to and throughout the conference about how to connect with us.

June 1 MPN 101 Community call: Learn how to activate and use your Internal Use Rights benefit

Partners with a Microsoft Action Pack subscription or MPN competency have access to Microsoft software and cloud services that can be used for internal business purposes, customer demo, internal development and testing, and internal training. Activating and using your benefit can help you identify new business opportunities and sell more. Invest an hour to find out how to get started with internal use licenses for Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite.

June 2 Office 365 Partner Community call: Tools for selling Office 365 – Value Discovery Workshop and Value of Office 365 Calculator

Make the business case for Office 365 using these two tools. The Value Discovery Workshop helps you create a step-by-step assessment of process improvement opportunities tied to business objectives/needs, identify the relevant Office 365 capabilities, and generate the right set of customized workshop content for your customer. The Value of Office 365 Calculator helps your sales team explain the benefits of adopting Office 365 services.

June 7: Customer Driven – Transforming customer engagement with Microsoft Dynamics

In this live online event, hear about Microsoft customer engagement solutions, including enhances portal capabilities that better connect customers, partners and employees; embedded machine learning and Internet of Things scenarios that harness the power of Microsoft Azure; new field service capabilities.

Accessibility enhancements in Office 365 for people with vision impairments

Windows, iOS, and Android platforms come with unique accessibility settings and built-in assistive services that many people with disabilities rely on. As part of our plans to ensure Office 365 applications, on all platforms, are inclusive and truly empower people of all abilities to achieve more, a key focus area for the Office 365 team this year is to ensure that our apps on these platforms work seamlessly with these settings and services to empower everyone to be productive on every device.

SQL Server 2016 will be generally available on June 1

Get ready for the release of SQL Server 2016 on June 1. SQL Server 2016 is a comprehensive high performance high scale data platform for your most demanding applications and insights on your data on any device. SQL Server 2016 seamlessly manages both relational and beyond relational (JSON, XML, Hadoop) data, seamlessly integrates structured data with Hadoop data, and seamlessly integrates on-premises data with cloud data.

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.

Increase IT productivity and IT operations with certifications, and meet MPN competency requirements

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. If you’re working to earn an MPN cloud or data competency, purchase a Microsoft Partner Network Competency Value Pack to save on eligible exams.

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