Planning for this year's Worldwide Partner Conference (July 10-14 in Los Angeles, CA) is in full swing, and registration will open at 10am Pacific Time on March 23. Prior to that, though, there are a couple of actions you can take. Even if you are not sure you will attend the Conference, you are welcome to participate in our WPC 2011 U.S. Partner Survey, which is open until February 28. Also, we'll launch the WPC Partner Awards at the end of this month at http://digitalwpc.com/Awards, so start thinking about submitting your company's solutions.

One of the top reasons partners tell us they value Worldwide Partner Conference is the opportunity to network in person with partners from around the world and with Microsoft executives and team members. If you're looking to start networking sooner than later, check out our Channel Development Meet & Greet events and our Windows Small Business Server 2011 partner launch events.

To stay up-to-date on the U.S. WPC 2011 plans, here is where you can find us: digitalWPC.com, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Virtual Partner Concierge (under My Views, scroll down to WPC 2011).

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).

Cheers,

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.



 

Membership-Related News (Re-enrollment, Competency Attainment, Action Pack, SBSC)

At Your Service: Let Our Experts Help You Re-Enroll
With the new Microsoft Partner Network requirements, if you are due to renew your membership, you may need some guidance. Our Microsoft Partner Network Experts can discuss your membership options, review your competencies, and help you qualify for re-enrollment. Contact an Expert 877-254-6825 or email msexpert@microsoft.com.

Maintain Your SBSC Membership at Your Next Re-Enrollment Date
If you are scheduled to re-enroll in the Microsoft Partner Network within the next 90 days, let us help you ensure you retain your Small Business Specialist Community membership. Contact the Regional Service Center at 1-800-676-7658 or send email to mpnsolve@microsoft.com.

Your Microsoft Action Pack Benefits Center
Make the most of your Action Pack subscription. In the Microsoft Action Pack Solution Provider Benefits Center, you'll get the latest Action Pack news and resources, plus quick access to your benefits.

Windows Small Business Server 2011 Coming to Your Microsoft Action Pack
Starting later this month, you'll be able to download Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard as part of your internal-use rights as an Action Pack Subscriber. (For Solution Provider For Development & Design)

Partner News

WPC 2011 Partner Awards – Start Preparing Your Submission
Visit our Awards site starting February 28 to see this year's Awards categories and descriptions, review the Award rules and timeline, and get tips to help you develop your nomination. The open period for submitting nominations lasts only a few short weeks.

Complete our WPC 2011 Survey, Enter to Win an Xbox
Even if you are not yet sure you will attend this year's Worldwide Partner Conference, July 10-14 in Los Angeles, CA, your opinion matters. Take a few minutes before February 28 to complete our survey. Your input will provide us with information that helps us shape our Conference plans and understand your needs.

Windows Small Business Server 2011 Launch Roadshow
Join us at a location near you for an insider's view of the new Windows Small Business Server 2011. Hosted by our TS2 Partner Technology Advisor team, events will include sales-focused discussions on how to overcome common sales objections, plus valuable technical information about server installation, migration, and management overviews.

Build and Promote Your Apps for Intuit's Customers
Interested in developing applications for Intuit's 4 million small business customers? Sign up for the Front Runner for Intuit Partner Platform, a program that makes it simple to build Windows Azure-hosted applications that work with Intuit QuickBooks.

Channel Development Events Coming to a City Near You
Network with other partners in your area at these events, which include an informal Meet & Greet (drinks and appetizers included). This is a great opportunity to meet with other local Microsoft partners with similar goals and who are interested in forming long-term strategic relationships. RSVP to one of our events on LinkedIn.

Register for the Latest VAR Rebate Program
With the FY11 H2 U.S. VAR Rebate Program, which runs through June 30, you can earn up to 20% in rebates when you sell annuity agreements—specifically Open Value, both new (L&SA) and renewal (SA Only). VARs that were registered for the FY11 H1 program must still register for this new rebate that launched on January 1, 2011.

The Microsoft Genuine Software Initiative
As part of ongoing efforts to protect customers and partners from the risks of pirated and counterfeit software, Microsoft recently filed 14 new lawsuits in federal court against resellers allegedly engaging in the sale of pirated software.

Drive More Sales of Microsoft Online Services with Velocity250
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.

BPOS Customer Rewards Offer
Through April 1, use our Rewards Offer to help your customers transition their business to the cloud. They can receive subsidy funds up to $1500, and you may benefit from subsequent purchases of follow-on license, hardware, or services purchases.

BPOS Marketing Resources, from Ready-to-Go
Use our customizable Ready-to-Go Marketing resources to create your BPOS marketing program. Materials include email templates, customer presentations, syndicated website content, and more, to help you get started.

Microsoft Online Services Partner Sales Portal
Simplify your sales process. This sales portal will help you set up a no-charge trial and customize a quote for your customers. The portal can also help you track quotes and services to confirm you are indicated as the partner of record.

Build Your BPOS Deployment Capabilities
Let Partner Technical Services help you complete deployments quickly and smoothly with proactive deployment support. You may pay with your Partner Advisory Hours. Cloud Accelerate members who sell qualified deals are eligible for up to 160 hours of deployment support at no cost.

Get Valuable Dynamics CRM Development and Deployment Guidance
Consult with our experienced Partner Technical Services engineers on development strategies and architectural considerations to help improve customer satisfaction and prepare you for future Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployment opportunities.

The Easy Way to Keep Your Website Updated
Offered to Microsoft Partner Network members at no cost, our Partner Web Syndication service provides savings calculators, product videos, in-depth information, and messaging you can use to make your website more engaging.

Create and Manage Customer Webinars More Easily
Ready-to-Go Marketing has made it easier than ever to hold an online customer event, with help from Worktank Digital Marketing and Online Events. Use our tools to create and manage your event.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online—Internal Use Rights for Partners
Subscribe to the Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack for internal-use rights benefits to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. There is no fee required, and there are additional internal-use, marketing, and business benefits. Visit the Microsoft Cloud Partner site for full details.

Learn How to Quickly and Easily Implement the SDL
Learn core concepts of the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) and find out how it can help you build more secure software. You will also find useful resources and information to help you apply these tools.

Training Resources

Practice Accelerator for Business Productivity Online Suite Standard
Attend this in-depth training from Partner Technical Services (March 7-10 or March 21-24) to receive detailed guidance to manage BPOS, Exchange, and SharePoint Administration. You will also get insight on what to expect when the transitioning process begins for customers from BPOS to Office 365.

Microsoft Silverlight Training: Build Mobile Apps
Windows Phone 7 runs applications built with Microsoft Silverlight technology. Take the new Silverlight 4 exam and learn how to develop apps that can run across multiple screens to help you maximize your earning potential.

Close More Deals with the BPOS End User Training Toolkit
This two-part toolkit is a package of trainings designed to help increase value on each BPOS sale. The toolkit provides everything you need to deliver the class to your customers, including product demos, presentations, and study guides.

Efficiently Plan and Manage Your Training
The Learning Plan Tool helps your organization easily manage all your training from one location, discover new opportunities to enhance your skills, create comprehensive learning plans, and distribute plans to team members.

Training Sweepstakes: A to Z Windows Azure
Learn how Windows Azure gives you the flexibility and interoperability you need to deliver robust, yet cost-effective, solutions. Each course you take from the eligible curriculum also enters you to win a Dell Inspiron duo with Audio Station—the new convertible tablet.

February 22: Selling Windows Intune for VARs
Attend this session if you sell to SMB customers or plan to offer services based on Windows Intune. You'll learn about what's included in the product, how to identify the right customers, get information about licensing options, and see a product demo.

March 1: Windows Intune Licensing Webcast
Learn how Windows Intune is licensed and get details about the most common licensing routes.

March 1: Windows Intune Opportunity for Channel Developers
For Microsoft partners with their own channels, who are interested in recruiting and activating partners to sell Windows Intune. You'll get a product overview, understand the profile of an ideal reseller, learn about licensing options, and see an Intune demo.

March 4: Unleash Your Productivity! Webcast
Invite your customers to hear Microsoft technology experts deliver information on the latest Microsoft technologies, product demos, and tips and tricks. This webcast series is held the first Friday of each month.

March 23, New York City: Move Your Business to the Cloud
Do you have questions about how to effectively move your business to the cloud? Don't miss out on this valuable training, offered at no cost to Microsoft Partner Network members, and get answers to your questions about how to make the transition.