Below are all the items we published in this week’s U.S. partner newsletter, delivered by email to U.S.-based members of the Microsoft Partner Network earlier today. The content in your email is specific to your company’s business and your role.

In this post, there are 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 Exchange and Microsoft Virtualization.

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

Love is in the air this month. Our February recommendations for partner activities in each of our Regions are below—we think you’ll find at least one that will make you say, Be Mine!

Partner News

Partnering with Precision: Focus Helps You Fulfill Your Business Resolutions
On her blog, Jenni Flinders talks about how you can increase your success as a Microsoft partner in 2012 and beyond. One way is to start planning how you will incorporate cloud consultation and services into your business.

Help Us Plan the 2012 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference and Enter the Sweepstakes
Complete our annual U.S. Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) Survey to share your attendance plans for WPC 2012 in Toronto, Canada this July, and give us your thoughts about session topics and activities that are important to you. The survey is anonymous, but after you complete it, you have an opportunity to enter our Sweepstakes. Survey closes and sweepstakes ends February 29. Official Rules.

The Value of the Microsoft Business Intelligence Competency
You can demonstrate your experience in designing, developing, and implementing business intelligence solutions that allow customers to monitor, analyze, and plan business performance based on actionable insights.

Desktop Competency Partners: Enter to Win a Samsung 7 Slate
When you pass Exam 70-681, Deploying Windows 7 and Office 2010, by February 29, you will be automatically entered to win a Samsung 7 Slate. Exam 70-681 is a new requirement for attaining the Desktop competency. Official Rules.

Portals and Collaboration Opportunity
The Microsoft Portals and Collaboration competency helps you capitalize on customer demand to build the right foundation for rich solutions that connect teams, improve access, and increase productivity.

MSDN Subscribers: Activate Your Windows Azure Benefits
Getting your developers skilled on the cloud is a key step toward tapping into its business value. Cloud computing benefits for MSDN subscribers have been enhanced: an increase in the compute hours, storage, and bandwidth for Windows Azure—at no cost.

Prepare for the Microsoft Security Bulletin for February 2012
As part of our usual cycle of updates, the next security bulletin release is scheduled for February 14. On the Security TechCenter, you can register for the February security bulletin webcast, sign up for notifications, and more.

Build Your Microsoft Exchange 2010 Business with Practice Accelerator
Practice Accelerator for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 can help you introduce your customers to new technologies and the benefits of an overall unified communications strategy with Exchange Server 2010 at its foundation. For more news like this, subscribe to the Partner Services newsletter.

Fast-Track Your Virtualization Business with Practice Accelerator
Take Practice Accelerator for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and learn how to extend your customers' management tools and processes, while reducing costs, with rapid deployment, improved operational efficiencies, and driven business agility. For more news like this, subscribe to the Partner Services newsletter.

Build a Better Microsoft Lync Enterprise Voice Practice
Take Practice Accelerator for Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Enterprise Voice to get best practices and reusable tools that can help your customers to communicate from anywhere cost-effectively and securely. For more news like this, subscribe to the Partner Services newsletter.

West Region Partners: In-Person Channel Development and Networking Events Start February 21
These events focus on partner-to-partner (P2P) networking for channel companies that serve small and midsize businesses (SMB) in particular, providing you an opportunity to meet and connect with partners from across the U.S. partner ecosystem.

Dynamics Partners: Join the Social Media Revolution with Nurture Butterfly
If you know that social media is an important part of your marketing strategy and ready to either start or enhance your efforts, Nurture Butterfly is a robust solution which includes content, reporting, lead generation, and more.

Upgrade Your Financial System to Microsoft Dynamics ERP with the "Give Me 5" Promotion
Through June 22, you can purchase Microsoft Dynamics ERP at up to 85 percent off of the Microsoft suggested retail price. With the Give Me 5 Promotion, you can get your first five users of Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, or Microsoft Dynamics SL for $3,000. Terms and Conditions.

Statement of Direction for Your Microsoft Dynamics Solution
Microsoft Dynamics has recently published updated Statement of Direction documents on PartnerSource. These resources allow you to better understand and communicate the strategy and roadmap for Dynamics solutions to prospects and existing customers.

February 9 Webcast: Microsoft Dynamics ERP Vision and Statement of Direction
Learn more about our Dynamics ERP value proposition and our competitive edge in the marketplace. Our goal is for you to leave this event understanding Dynamics ongoing commitment to our partners, to the Dynamics business, and to our relationship with you.

U.S. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Services Bureau
Whether it's a prospect list, an outsourced Marketing Director, or guidance on an inbound marketing strategy, the Marketing Services Bureau offers partners a wide variety of marketing service offerings from vendors who have proven success with Dynamics partners.

New Connector for Microsoft Dynamics for All Four Microsoft Dynamics ERP Solutions
We are pleased to announce the latest release of Connector for Microsoft Dynamics. This release helps ensure that your Dynamics ERP deployment will have the choice to integrate with Dynamics CRM 4 on-premises or Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 in any deployment.

TechEd 2012 Booth Selection Opens February 7
Promote your business to more than 8,000 technical strategists in one location by planning to exhibit at TechEd 2012. Download the prospectus and register today to secure a spot next to Microsoft product teams and key partners.

Microsoft Action Pack New-Subscriber Sweepstakes
Subscribe to Microsoft Action Pack Solution Provider or Development and Design for benefits that include internal-use software licenses and technical support, plus an entry to our sweepstakes. Each month we are giving away prizes that include an Xbox 360 with Kinect. Game ends June 30. Official Rules.

30 to Launch: Build a Windows Phone App in 30 Days
The challenge is on. Create a cutting-edge Windows Phone application in just 30 days. Sign up for the challenge and get links to tools, training, design guidance, and more on the 30 to Launch website. Official Rules.

Microsoft System Center 2012 is a True Private Cloud Builder
Microsoft System Center 2012, available as a Release Candidate, lets you build and operate private clouds for the delivery of business applications across both private and public cloud platforms. On the partner portal, learn more about your opportunity with System Center 2012 and get resources to help you get trained, prepare to sell, and transition your customers.

February 8: MSPs—Achieving 30 Percent Growth with Microsoft Online Services
Whether you are new to Managed Services or a seasoned veteran, learn how to leverage Microsoft Intune to take your business to the cloud, using proven, simple-to-implement tactics.

February 15: Small Business Specialist Webcast—Upgrading Your Customers' Desktops
Microsoft experts will discuss the benefits for your customers in upgrading their desktop PCs to current versions of Windows and Office to improve their productivity. You’ll learn how to articulate this to your customers to have an effective business-planning discussion with them.

Windows Intune 3for5 Offer
Through March 31, the Windows Intune 3for5 Offer provides qualifying partners $500 for each of their first three qualifying customer orders of Windows Intune. Offer ends March 31. Terms and Conditions. For guidance, watch our recent on-demand webcast about closing deals using Windows Intune.

Engage Locally to Grow Your Business
Want to reach new SMB customers? Are you actively involved with your local Chamber of Commerce? If so, schedule a technology event with them leveraging the Microsoft Community Connections program.

Seattle Partners: Participate in a User Research Study
We have opportunities for Microsoft partners located in the greater Seattle area to participate in upcoming user research studies. If you would like to participate, send an email to uccoord@microsoft.com with "Partner" in the subject line, and include your contact information.

Training Recommendations

Build Your Product Knowledge Using Your Advisory Hours Benefit
Let us help you build your product knowledge. Our Technical Enablement Services are designed to give you the technical know-how you need to succeed in the marketplace. Attend Power Start and Momentum Workshops to deepen your technical product knowledge, and use Practice Accelerators to build your services practice around Microsoft products and technologies.

In-Person Business Transformation Workshop for Business Decision Makers
Attend this workshop to understand how to add a Microsoft cloud practice to your business. You'll hear real-world examples and best practices and leave this one-day session with an action plan to start guiding your company through the transition.

  • For Resellers: February 8 in Chicago, IL and Bellevue, WA; February 15 in Houston, TX; February 21 in Waltham, MA.
  • For System Integrators: February 9 in Chicago, IL and Bellevue, WA; February 16 in Houston, TX; February 22 in Waltham, MA.

Gain a Competitive Edge with the Gear Up Compete Special Edition
Get the latest analysis of Microsoft competitors such as Google Apps, IBM Lotus Notes, and Salesforce.com (CRM) with the Gear Up Compete Special Edition. Learn the key differentiators that will help you sell Microsoft products and technologies.

Prizes Await with On-Demand Technical Training Courses
Enhance your technical knowledge of Lync, SQL Server 2012, Forefront Security, or Windows 7 and be automatically entered into our monthly prize drawing. You'll receive an entry for each course you attend. Sweepstakes ends June 30. Official Rules.

In-Person Training: Learn the New Features of Microsoft SQL Server 2012
This two-day, in-person, technical course combines presentations and hands-on labs to help you understand how SQL Server 2012 addresses the mission-critical, business intelligence, and database development needs of your customers. Course dates and locations:

  • February 15–16 in Seattle, WA
  • February 22–23 in Dallas, TX
  • February 28–29 in Atlanta, GA
  • March 5–6 in San Francisco, CA

Prizes Await with On-Demand Sales Trainings
Improve your ability to sell Lync, SQL Server 2012, Forefront Security, or Windows 7 with these featured courses and be automatically entered into our monthly prize drawing. You'll receive an entry for each course you attend. Sweepstakes ends June 30. Official Rules.

February 8: Webcast: How to Sell the Cloud
Obtain guidance from the Microsoft Cloud panel in this 30-minute webcast for Microsoft Sales Specialists. Choose between Cloud for Small Business and Cloud for Enterprise seminar options.

Office 365 Partner Deployment Training in San Diego March 7 – 9
Gain training focused on the Plan, Prepare, and Migrate phases of deployment for Microsoft Office 365. This training has been developed by the Microsoft Premier Deployment team using Office 365 Deployment Guide for Enterprises methodology for multitenant scenarios.

Guided Training to Help You Make the Most of Your Membership
These live sessions, scheduled for several dates in February, are presented by Regional Service Center agents who support Microsoft partners daily. They will walk you through using the Microsoft partner portal and Partner Membership Center to understand the benefits available to you and activate them.

Role-Based Training for Microsoft Exchange and Virtualization

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.

Training for Business Decision Makers
Microsoft Exchange 2010

Virtualization

Training for IT Professionals
Microsoft Exchange 2010

Virtualization

Training for Developers
Microsoft Exchange 2010

Virtualization

Training for Sales and Marketing Roles
Microsoft Exchange 2010

Virtualization

Training for Training Roles
Microsoft Exchange 2010

Virtualization