Below are all the items we published in this week’s U.S. partner newsletter, delivered to U.S.-based members of the Microsoft Partner Network earlier today. If you feel that the version you received in email, 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).

In this post, you will find four sections of content:

  • Local Recommendations – Our U.S. East, Central, and West Regions can help you close business, and share their favorite resources.
  • Partner News – Information about Partner Network membership and partner-related campaigns, promotions, and opportunities.
  • Training Recommendations – Links to the latest training opportunities (many of them low-cost and no-cost).
  • Role-Based Training – Our recommendations about a specific product or topic; this week: Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

For more partner news, resources, and recommendations, visit us on the U.S. partner portal and Virtual Partner Concierge, and join the U.S. Partner Community on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Cheers,

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



Local Recommendations

The month of November brings us to the time of year when we reflect on what we can be thankful for. We’d like to thank you for being a Microsoft partner, as this month we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the new Microsoft Partner Network. We hope you’ll continue to take advantage of opportunities we offer to help you grow your business.

  • Join your U.S. Region for their monthly partner call: East Region on November 11; Central Region on November 18; West Region on November 18.
  • We are nearing the end of the VAR Summit series offered by TS2, with events in Phoenix, AZ on November 8, Bellevue, WA on November 10, and Tampa, FL on November 15. You’ll find the schedule, links to register for each event, and the Registration Code to use when registering, on the TS2 Team’s blog.
  • If you’re interested in networking with Microsoft and other local partners, RSVP for a Channel Development + Meet & Greet event in one of the final four cities of this series: Phoenix, AZ on November 8; Bellevue, WA on November 10; Tampa, FL on November 15; Malvern, PA on November 17.
  • Want to learn how to successfully sell Microsoft Office 365? Our five-part webcast series concludes Wednesday, November 9 with “Driving Incremental Revenue with Office 365”. You can watch the first four webcasts on demand.
  • Microsoft Pinpoint is a benefit of your Microsoft Partner Network membership, and a well-written profile can help customers more easily find your solution and company. Listen to our October webcast to learn how to maximize your profile and increase your customer prospects.
  • Take advantage of no-cost and low-cost training offered to Microsoft Partner Network members. Your Regional Training Finder gives you a six-week outlook to plan for attending local, in-person training as well as live online training.

Partner News

Thank You, Partners: Celebrating Year One of the Microsoft Partner Network
On November 1, the Microsoft Partner Network reached its one-year milestone. In her latest Partnering with Precision blog post, U.S. Vice President for Partner Strategy and Programs, Jenni Flinders, talks about partner success through the Partner Network.

New ISV Track for the Mobility Competency
Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) can now qualify for the Microsoft Mobility competency by submitting a published Windows Phone app that meets certain business and functional criteria. Get details on requirements and how to submit your app.

Distinguish Your Microsoft SharePoint Practice with a Competency
The Partner Network offers several competencies that could round out your portfolio, including Portals and Collaboration, Content Management, Search, and Digital Marketing, with benefits tailored to your business.

Get Internal-Use Rights for Windows Intune
Experience the latest release of Windows Intune with internal-use software licenses. Partners who sign up for the Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack get access to Windows Intune, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Windows Azure, and more.

Join the Community of Partners That Empowers Small Businesses
The Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC) is a vibrant network of partners who serve small business customers and help those small businesses take advantage of Microsoft products and technologies to realize their big ambitions. Benefits include access to tools, internal-use software, and more.

Open Your Marketing Toolbox and Open Up Your Opportunities
The Ready-to-Go Marketing website is your complete marketing toolbox. Here, you'll find everything from marketing how-to tips and information to full-fledged direct marketing campaigns that you can download and customize.

TechEd North America 2012 Exhibition Sales Now Open
Showcase your solution or product to over 8,000 technologists. With a fully integrated Expo, you will have the opportunity to collaborate alongside Microsoft products, services, and solutions. Act quickly because booth selection is based on your registration date.

Your Marketing Community. Your Campaigns. Your Social Media How-To Guide.
Ready-to-Go Marketing is about more than downloads. It's a place where you can learn how to use social media to give exponential value to the time you spend on marketing your solutions. Visit our Marketing Mashup page on Facebook to get inspired.

Announcing the Microsoft Dynamics Master VAR Program
The Master VAR program is designed to enable partners to leverage centralized marketing, support, and operations to reduce costs and accelerate sales. It is the only channel collaboration model in the United States that is officially endorsed by Microsoft.

Microsoft Dynamics ISV Playbook
The Microsoft Dynamics ISV Playbook is designed to help you understand the decision points you will encounter as you build your Microsoft Dynamics solution, certify it, and market it throughout the Microsoft ecosystem.

New Microsoft Dynamics CRM Blog: "CRM Connection"
We have launched this blog in response to your feedback asking to see more business-related content and more information about our Microsoft Dynamics CRM product roadmap. The blog will feature our latest news and product roadmap disclosures.

Use the Give Me 5 Program to Deploy Microsoft Dynamics in Your Business
Take advantage of the Give Me 5 offer and deploy Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, or Microsoft Dynamics GL in your own business. You can purchase your first five user licenses for a Suggested Retail Price of $3,000.

Microsoft Dynamics Sales Offers
New offers are available for new and existing Microsoft Dynamics customers. On PartnerSource, you'll find a summary sheet with a sampling of the offers and a link to the full list of offers and details.

Microsoft Learning Partners: Attend Microsoft Learning Live Meetings and Qualify to Win
Live Meeting sessions hosted by Microsoft Learning offer you an opportunity to stay informed about the Learning competency, take advantage of marketing campaigns, and get the latest Microsoft Learning products news. Register for and attend five Microsoft Learning Live Meetings through February 22, 2012 and you may qualify to be entered in a drawing to win a $699 Amazon.com gift card.

Meet Microsoft at the CETPA 2011 Conference
Partners who serve education customers and are attending the CETPA (California Educational Technology Professionals Association) 2011 Conference from November 8 through November 11 are invited to connect with Microsoft team members at the Microsoft booth and at Microsoft-hosted sessions.

Help Voices for Innovation Support Tax Simplification for Small Businesses
Voices for Innovation (VFI) members are following legislation on the taxation of out-of-state business activity, and how it could affect their businesses. To learn more about the issue and how to help support small businesses, visit the VFI website.

Mango Is Here: Get Yours with the Windows Phone Discount Program for Partners
With the arrival of Windows Phone 7.5 (code-named "Mango"), it's a great time to take advantage of the Windows Phone Discount Program for Partners. Save big on service from T-Mobile and Sprint and see why Windows Phone is the smart choice for partners.

Modernizing the Desktop of Federal Government Organizations
The consumerization of IT plays a major role influencing buying decisions of Federal Government technical decision makers. In this webcast, discover how Windows 7 modernizes the desktop, and gain insights on how to appeal to those prospects.

Microsoft Office 365 Virtual Customer Events
Invite your customers to this virtual event series, which explores Microsoft Office 365 and its integration with the cloud. We'll highlight the business value of Microsoft Office 365 and explain how Office 365 integrates with other Microsoft cloud-based products like Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Lync, Microsoft Exchange, and Windows Phone.

“See What Office 365 Can Do for You” Events
Invite your customers to join you at one of our Microsoft Office 365 Customer Events to experience Microsoft Office 365 firsthand along with related cloud technologies such as Windows Intune and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

TechNet Radio: IT Time – In-Depth Tour of Microsoft Office 365 Deployment Readiness Tool
Are you deploying Microsoft Office 365 and need some questions answered? Look no further, because the Office 365 Deployment Readiness Tool is here to help. Join us for this multipart series as Sr. Program Manager Mark Heneen walks you through some common scenarios.

Unlimited Online Support for Microsoft Office 365 and Other Microsoft Products
Use the Partner Online Technical Communities to get timely responses from Microsoft engineers to your break-fix, developer, and presales questions about Microsoft Office 365 and other Microsoft products and technologies.

November 9: SBSC Webinar—Learn About Microsoft Offers for Your Small Business Customers
Learn how to take advantage of partner offers like the VAR Rebate, customer offers like the Big Easy Offer 7, and product-specific offers for Windows Intune and Microsoft Office 365 to help ensure a strong quarter end. We'll also answer common partner questions during a live Q&A. Send your question to sbscus@microsoft.com.

New Opportunities and More Revenue Fast with Windows Intune
Like other businesses today, you want to reach more customers and increase revenue. Listen to the October edition of the Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC) webinar series to learn how Windows Intune—the latest addition to the Microsoft Online Services family—can help you do just that.

Why Wait Until WPC to Network with Other Partners?
You don't have to wait until next year's Worldwide Partner Conference for a chance to meet other partners and make partner-to-partner connections. We have a series of Channel Development Events that we are hosting in cities across the United States through mid-November. RSVP for a spot at this complimentary event in a city near you.

Microsoft Community Connections Increases Your Reach to Local SMB Customers
This program brings together Microsoft partners and local business organizations like Chambers of Commerce and local trade and industry associations to deliver events focused on helping their members make informed technology decisions. Participating partners receive customizable event materials, presentation resources, and Microsoft door prizes.

Training Recommendations

Enter Our November Training Giveaway
Looking to brush up your Windows 7, Microsoft Office 2010, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Microsoft System Center skills? Take these featured trainings on your own time and from the comfort of your desk. You'll earn a drawing entry for each sales or technical course you attend.

SQL Server 2012 On-Demand Training
Prepare for the next release of Microsoft SQL Server with our on-demand training. In the November 18 issue of this newsletter, our role-based training recommendations will offer additional training resources.

Microsoft Education Partners: Selling the Collaborative Campus On-Demand Webcast
Whether interacting in classrooms, small groups, or online, students and teachers are increasingly relying on collaboration and communication software. Watch this webcast and learn how Microsoft products like Microsoft Lync and Microsoft Lync Online increase productivity and understand how Office 365 for Education and Live@edu fit into the "Collaborative Campus" solution.

Virtualization Is the Future. Get Ready.
Join the ranks of the most skilled IT virtualization professionals by preparing for and passing Exam 70-659 (MCTS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization). Microsoft Learning Partners have some great deals to help you get there—whether you need a refresher or are already a virtualization expert.

New Training Resources for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
New introductory course for Dynamics CRM 2011 and the Dynamics CRM Q4 2011 Service update training are now available. Access to these training resources is through the PartnerSource site that's available to Dynamics partners.

Business Intelligence Partners: Certification Exam Guidance for Microsoft SQL Server 2012
Get certified on Exams 70-448 and 70-452 now so you can take the upgrade exams when they become available for Microsoft SQL Server 2012.

Data Platform Partners: Certification Exam Guidance for Microsoft SQL Server 2012
Get certified on Exams 70-432 and 70-450 now so you can take the upgrade exams when they become available for Microsoft SQL Server 2012.

November 9: Compete to Win with Account Planning, Featuring Sean Frontz
Learn how to compete to win in this live, no-cost webcast hosted by Sean Frontz of Ninety Five 5. You will learn how to make the time you spend with customers and prospects more productive, how to anticipate and address objections earlier in the sales cycle, and more.

Role-Based Training for Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Server 2008 R2

Training for Business Decision Makers
Microsoft Office 365

Windows Server 2008 R2

Training for IT Professionals
Microsoft Office 365

Windows Server 2008 R2

Training for Developers
Microsoft Office 365

Windows Server 2008 R2

Training for Sales and Marketing Roles
Microsoft Office 365

Windows Server 2008 R2

Training for Training Roles
Microsoft Office 365

Windows Server 2008 R2