As 2010 winds down, I’d like to thank you for reading this online extension of our newsletter and helping us continue to improve our communications approach. Many of you have told me that our e-mail newsletter and using our blog to also make this content available to you are important vehicles that help you stay connected to the tools, resources, and information you need to manage your relationship to Microsoft as a partner. This year, we made a couple of significant shifts in how we use the newsletter to accomplish this connection, by targeting content to you by your role and other Microsoft Partner Network profile information, and expanding our use of this U.S. Partner Team blog to make all the content available to you online at the same time it reaches your inbox.

In 2011, we’ll continue to refine our newsletter approach as well as how we use the U.S. partner portal, the new Virtual Partner Concierge, and social media to make information and resources accessible and discoverable for you. Please continue to share your feedback with me.

For those of you who are Action Pack Solution Provider subscribers, I’m delighted to introduce you to Julie Golding, who is the new manager for Action Pack Solution Provider (SP) on the U.S. Partner Team. Once a month, you’ll see a note from her in your newsletter. An excerpt from here note in this week’s newsletter is in the “Content for Microsoft Action Pack Subscribers” section below. If you have feedback about the Action Pack SP, let Julie know what’s going well, and what could be better. Your feedback may be featured in a future newsletter. Contact her through @MyActPack on Twitter, or by e-mail at partnerQ@microsoft.com.

Below are all the items we published in this week’s U.S. partner newsletter. If you feel that the version you received in e-mail, targeted to you according to your company’s partner profile and your role at your company, is missing something critical from this superset, please let me know by commenting here or sending me an e-mail (partnerQ@microsoft.com).

Happy Holidays!

Cheers,

Diane Golshan
Sr. Marketing Manager, U.S. Partner Team
Learn more about what I do at Microsoft.

Join our new U.S. Partner Community on Facebook and LinkedIn, and follow @msuspartner on Twitter.


Partner News

Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for December
As part of our usual cycle of monthly security updates, on December 14 Microsoft released 17 bulletins addressing 40 vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, SharePoint Server, and Exchange.

Secure Software Made Easier with the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle
Read the free white paper, watch the video, and find resources customized for you to learn how the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle can help you write secure software that helps protect your customers' data security and privacy.

The VAR Opportunity with System Center Essentials
Jon Roskill, Corporate Vice President of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, explains how System Center Essentials 2010 and the Partner Network can help you build a profitable business serving mid-market customers.

Resources to Build and Support Your Microsoft Virtualization Practice
Download our guides that discuss virtualization by workload and utilize materials that help you position your Microsoft-based virtualization solutions against those offered by competitors.

Microsoft Dynamics Introduces "Cloud CRM for Less" Offer
Read the open letter from Michael Park, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Business Solutions Sales, Marketing, and Operations, inviting customers to learn about and evaluate Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Microsoft will rebate eligible Salesforce.com and Oracle customers up to $200 for each user making the switch to Dynamics CRM Online between now and June 30, 2011.

New for Government: Optimized Desktop Ready-to-Go Campaign
Get help marketing the Windows Optimized Desktop to your state and local government partners with this Ready-to-Go campaign. You'll have access to marketing and sales resources that help you cross-promote several products simultaneously.

Ready-to-Go Campaigns for Office 365 and Cloud Power
Get a jump on Microsoft Office 365, coming in 2011, and be the first to show your customers the power of the cloud to address their business challenges. In the "Sneak Peek at Microsoft Office 365" and "Cloud Power" Ready-to-Go marketing campaigns, we offer you ready-made, customizable, time-saving resources to help you spread the word about these solutions to your customers.

Give Your Solutions Cloud Power
Provide the cloud solutions meet your customers' business needs. Microsoft products and technologies can be used to implement both private and public cloud solutions. The Cloud Power Ready-to-Go Marketing campaign offers your readiness and marketing resources to help you understand your market opportunity with the cloud.

Content for Microsoft Action Pack Subscribers

Excerpt from Julie Golding’s Welcome Letter to Action Pack Solution Provider Subscribers
Each month, I’ll bring you news and information related to your Action Pack SP benefits, address common partner questions, and connect you with resources to help you build your Microsoft practice. For example, did you know that one of the new Action Pack SP benefits we rolled out this year was an online TechNet subscription that offers evaluation licenses for full-version Microsoft software, and access to the Microsoft TechNet Library? Find out how to activate your TechNet for Action Pack benefits.

If you are due to renew your Action Pack subscription within the next 90 days, consider doing so before January 31 and you’ll be entered into our sweepstakes for a chance to win one of seven Xbox Console with Kinect packages (see details and download the official rules). Need help with your renewal? Our Action Pack Subscription Support page contains self-help resources and contact information for phone-based support if you get stuck.

"MAP" Your Success for 2011—Renew Your Action Pack Subscription
If your Action Pack Solution Provider subscription expires within the next 90 days, renew before January 31 to be entered to win a 4GB Xbox 360 Console with Kinect.

Download Your SQL Server 2008 R2 Internal-Use Software (See Action Pack contents for Solution Provider or Development and Design)
With the new features of SQL Server 2008 R2, you can deliver world-class, affordable, enterprise wide business intelligence solutions and be more competitive in the market. As an Action Pack subscriber, regardless of whether you have the Solution Provider edition or the Development and Design edition, you can download today.

Visit Your Action Pack Solution Provider Benefits Center
Make the most of your status as an active Action Pack Solution Provider subscriber. Sign in to your Action Pack Benefits Center with your Windows Live ID to get the latest news and resources related to your subscription and membership.

Visit Your Action Pack Development and Design Benefits Center
Make the most of your status as an active Action Pack Development and Design subscriber. Sign in to your Action Pack Benefits Center with your Windows Live ID to get the latest news and resources related to your subscription and membership.

Training Resources
Find training opportunities and recommendations anytime on the U.S. Partner Learning blog, Learning Plan Tool website, and the Local Activities Section of the Training and Events page on the U.S. partner portal.

Server Virtualization Sales Training Package
This is the ultimate sales guide to Microsoft Server Virtualization, and includes the basics of virtualization, a server virtualization deep dive, and competitive information to help during the sales process. Most of the courses in this package are offered at no cost to partners.

Server Virtualization Technical Training Package
This training package will build your technical skill around Microsoft Server Virtualization offerings. Sessions cover topics such as Hyper-V overview, planning and deploying Hyper-V, disaster recovery, storage, and management of virtualization solutions. Most of the courses in this package are offered at no cost to partners.

Virtualization Training for Developers
This training package provides a technical overview of the R2 version of Hyper-V that comes with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V Server R2. We cover migration, performance and scalability improvements, and consolidating your datacenter, and more.

Practice Accelerator for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
Use Practice Accelerator to offer solutions that help your customers plan for and deploy SharePoint Server 2010. January sessions are available-register prior to December 31, 2010 to take Practice Accelerator for free. Register after December 31, 2010 and you will have Advisory Hours deducted.

Register by 12/31 to Take Any Upcoming Practice Accelerator Course Free
Practice Accelerator is a comprehensive set of reusable tools and best practices that can help you identify customer requirements and project scope, analyze customer needs, and deploy solutions. Offered by Partner Technical Services, Practice Accelerator sessions are available for SharePoint, Exchange, Virtualization, Business Productivity Online Suite, and Desktop Optimization.

Federal, State, and Local Government, and Education Partner Learning Plans
Eight new Partner Learning Plan packages covering Federal Government, State and Local Government and Education partner learning plans are now available on the U.S. Learning Plan Tool.

Small Business, Big Rewards—SBS 2011 Training Sweepstakes
Learn how the new Microsoft Small Business Server 2011 can help you address the IT challenges faced by your small business customers. Complete one of our sales or technical training courses, and you'll be entered for a chance to win a Windows Phone 7 or an Xbox 360 with Kinect.

Free Cloud Class Available to IAMCP-U.S. Members
(In-Person Training in these Cities/Dates: Bloomington, MN 1/12; Chicago, IL 1/12; Chevy Chase, MD 1/19; New York City 1/20; Fort Lauderdale, FL 2/7)
Join Microsoft and IPED for an in-person interactive workshop that will provide you with step-by-step guidelines to creating your cloud business plan. If you're not already a member of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP), consider joining to take part in this exclusive training.