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Week of 2/7/2011: Highlights for U.S. Partners

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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).

Content this week has been grouped by these topics, given the number of things we promoted this week.

  • Local Recommendations
  • Cloud-Related
  • Action Pack and SBSC
  • Competency-Related
  • Partner News
  • Training Resources


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

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

Local Recommendations

Cloud-Related News

Free for 30 Days: Windows Azure Platform
We're offering a Windows Azure platform 30 day pass, so you can put Windows Azure and SQL Azure through their paces, with no credit card required. Use promo code MPNUS1.

Introducing the Velocity250 Offer: Earn Up to $250 in Services Award Funds
Use this new offer to help accelerate your sales cycle, close more business, and increase revenue potential. Earn up to $250 in services award funds to assist new customer migration and deployment services.

It's Time to Take Your Business to a Whole New Level
Through Microsoft cloud solutions, you can give existing customers and new prospects access to the applications they know and trust—without requiring capital expenses or new human resources. Start by subscribing to the Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack for free.

Drive Cloud Services Adoption Leading up to the Microsoft Office 365 Launch
Through April 1, your customers can receive subsidy funds up to the value of 50% of their first annual subscription fee. Engage your customers in cloud transition conversations and benefit from follow-on, Microsoft-subsidized purchases of software and hardware.

Assess Your Customers' Business Needs with the BPOS Discovery Tool
Use this tool in customer engagements for the Business Productivity Online Suite. It's designed to help determine your customers' current and future business needs for email, collaboration, and conferencing solutions.

Online Services Customer Targeting Guide
Download this PPT from Quickstart Online Services to learn about the right service for the right customer segments, target scenarios, questions to ask, and objection handling. Customer segments covered in this guide include small business, mid-market, and enterprise.

SMB Cloud Champions Club February Partner Call
Attend the February 11 SMB Cloud Champions Club Monthly Partner Call and learn about the Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack and Cloud Accelerate program.

Focus on Your Business with BPOS Sweepstakes
Learn how you can provide your customers with the latest business productivity capabilities without deploying and maintaining on-premises software and hardware. Take an qualifying training in the BPOS Technical Learning Plan and be eligible to win an Xbox 360 console with Kinect bundle.

Action Pack- and SBSC-Related News

New, Limited-Time Action Pack Benefit: Competitive Sales Assistance
Through May 1, take advantage of ten free advisory hours of Competitive Sales Assistance, from the Microsoft Partner Technical Services team, as a benefit of your Microsoft Action Pack Solution Provider subscription.

Microsoft Lync Available for Download by Action Pack Subscribers
Make the most of your Action Pack subscription. Visit your Microsoft Action Pack Solution Provider Benefits Center often to stay up to date about Action Pack news and resources, and to get quick access to your subscriber benefits.

U.S. SBSC February Call: Office 365 and Windows Intune
Join TS2 presenter, Charles Van Heusen, on February 10 at 9:00AM Pacific Time for an insider's view of the Office 365 and Windows Intune, both releasing later this year. Learn how these two products can help you grow your business by addressing the IT needs of small and midsize business customers.

Competency-Related News

New Benefit for Partners with an Eligible Gold Competency
The Solutions Incentive Program rewards U.S. partners for the identification and development of new opportunities for specific Microsoft products and technologies, including virtualization, security, and Windows 7.

Back by Popular Demand! Save up to 30% on Exams
Save up to 30% plus earn free retakes with one of three competency exam packages to meet the new Microsoft Partner Network competency requirements.

Partner News

Get Ready for Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2011
Save the dates of July 10-14 for this year's Conference in Los Angeles. We'd like your feedback about how to make this the most valuable event you attend this year. Complete our short survey and enter to win a great prize.

Announcing the New VAR Rebate Program for January 1—June 30
The U.S. VAR Rebate program provides the opportunity to earn rebates of up to 20% on sales of qualifying Open Value and Open Value-C agreements. Increase your profitability as you invest in building your Microsoft practice. Participants in the VAR Rebate that ended in December must create a new registration for this new rebate.

Do You Serve Education, Government, or Healthcare Industry Customers?
If you serve customers in the Public Sector, you may have some unique needs as a partner in order to best serve them. Find sales, marketing, and technical resources to help in our Microsoft in Public Sector section of the U.S. partner portal.

Fill Your Entry-Level Technical Jobs with Microsoft Students to Business
Students to Business is a free resource that helps you plan, find, and train top talent to expand your business. It's simple to join and use, available at no cost, and provides you with resources for recruitment and training.

Support IT Jobs and Economic Growth: Sign the 2011 Tech Policy Agenda
Join Voices for Innovation and support the 2011 Technology Policy Agenda. It underscores key policy areas where government action can help drive innovation, create jobs, and support economic recovery. Raise your voice, and sign the agenda today.

Pinpoint Pointer: The Power of a Punchy Profile
Each month, about 15,000 customers visit Microsoft Pinpoint, our online marketplace, to find a Microsoft partner who can help them solve an IT-related business problem. Does your company's Pinpoint profile tell the best story about your Microsoft-based solutions, applications, and services?

New Appliances from HP and Microsoft Announced
New solutions for business intelligence, data warehouse, messaging, and database consolidation help increase employee productivity and reduce IT complexity, and offer new opportunities for channel partners to provide turnkey solutions, faster.

Start Developing for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Today
Being among the first to develop for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 gives you an opportunity to take the lead in your market. Visit Microsoft Platform ready and receive exclusive early adopter benefits to help market your solution.

Registration for Convergence 2011 is Open
Start planning now to host your customers at Convergence 2011, the premier Microsoft Dynamics event to be held in Atlanta, April 10–13. Steve Ballmer is this year's featured keynote speaker.

Help Customers Improve the Security of Popular Microsoft Technologies
The Security Compliance Manager provides no-charge, Microsoft-recommended solutions to meet today's security challenges. Help customers efficiently manage security for Windows 7, Office 2010, Internet Explorer, and other popular Microsoft products.

Save Time and Costs with the Windows SBS 2011 Standard OPK
The OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) is now available for Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard. The OPK is a free set of tools and documentation that help you automate the process of preinstalling Windows SBS 2011 Standard.

Training Resources

February Security Bulletin Live Webcast
On February 10, join the Partner Technical Services team for the first in our new live webcast series covering the monthly rhythm of Microsoft Security Bulletins. We'll cover technical details, deployment recommendations, and provide security intelligence around the addressed vulnerabilities.

4-1-1 SMB Partner Marketing Webcast: Sales Tips for Office 2010
Did you know that 63% of small- and mid-sized businesses are still running Office 2003 or an even older Office version? Join us Friday, February 25 at 10:00AM Pacific Time for sales tips to help you show customers how deploying Office 2010 can help meet the business challenges they are facing today.

Practice Accelerator for Server Virtualization
Virtualization is a key technology to help reduce the cost and complexity of IT management. Practice Accelerator enables you to assist your customers with their virtualization planning and deployments.

Find Classroom Training Offers Near You
Get your staff trained and certified with help from Microsoft Learning Competency partners. Visit the new Training Offer Locator tool to see exclusive classroom training offers near you and get up to speed on the latest technologies.

Fuel Your Growth with Business-Readiness Training
Get a refresher on business basics so your organization is positioned to grow. This learning plan contains the best of our business-readiness offerings, including how to handle tough objections and lower IT costs.

This Week's PTS Extended Web Seminars
As part of their Advisory Services offerings, Partner Technical Services (PTS) delivers an ongoing series of web seminars to enhance your learning and increase your technical Microsoft product knowledge.
February 8—Windows Small Business Server 2011 Preview
February 9—SharePoint 2010 Best Practices
February 10—CRM 2011 - Overview of the Developer Enhancements
February 10—System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2010

  • Another informative blog… Thank you for sharing it… Best of luck for further endeavor too.

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