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Below are all the items we published in this week’s US partner newsletter, delivered by email to US-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 System Center 2012 and Microsoft SharePoint 2010.

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

Green is the color of the month of March. We see peeks of green as new spring growth begins to sprout and, of course, for St. Patrick’s Day and those lucky four-leaf clovers. You’ll feel lucky with these great opportunities that can help you build a little ‘green’ for your business.

Partner News

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Now Available
Download the Consumer Preview and experience Windows reimagined. Explore new and updated features like Windows to Go, and start building apps using Metro style templates.

Join the U.S. Partner Team at the 2012 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference
Each year, thousands of Microsoft partners come to the Worldwide Partner Conference to understand Microsoft strategy and initiatives, get a 12-to-18-month outlook for Microsoft sales and marketing plans, and network with partners and Microsoft team members from around the world. On Twitter, use #wpc12 to join the conversation.

Recognition, Prestige, and Opportunity: WPC 2012 Awards Program
We are excited to offer our Microsoft partners a variety of awards to showcase solutions built on our technologies that benefit our mutual customers. New for 2012 are several awards suggested by partners and citizenship awards to highlight the wonderful community work partners do.

March 14 Webcast: Deepen Your Technical Expertise with Partner Services
Use your Partner Advisory Hours benefit to take advantage of Microsoft expertise and insights to win business, deepen your Microsoft product knowledge skills with technically focused workshops, and keep your IT environment current with guidance for deploying the latest Microsoft products and technologies.

Prepare for the Microsoft Security Bulletin for March 2012
As part of our usual cycle of updates, the next security bulletin release is scheduled for March 13. On the Security TechCenter, you can catch up on the February release, register for the March security bulletin webcast, sign up for notifications, and more.

March 7: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Virtual Launch Event
Immerse yourself in the new world of data with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 at our virtual launch event. You will have access to more than 30 sessions to learn about the new capabilities of SQL Server 2012 at your own pace, on your own schedule.

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Pricing Estimator Tool
Download the new SQL Server 2012 Pricing Estimator Tool from the Microsoft GearUp website (Sign In with Windows Live ID is required.) The tool provides you with guidance to help customers realize the cost benefit of deploying SQL Server 2012. It also lets you quickly compare the price difference between SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2012.

New ISV Qualification Path for the Mobility Competency
ISVs can now earn the Mobility Competency by submitting a Windows Phone app that meets defined business and functional criteria. Download our FAQ for details about the app submission process and qualifying criteria.

Develop and Implement Private Clouds with Microsoft System Center 2012
Microsoft IT Pro evangelist Chris Avis provides guidance and offers resource recommendations for IT professionals who are interested in passing Exam 70-659: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization.

MSDN Subscription Administration Tool Now on the Volume Licensing Service Center
The MSDN subscription administration tool is now part of the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center. With this migration, administrators will experience a consistent user interface for managing Volume Licensing purchases, improving usability, and managing subscriptions.

Close More Business: Incorporate Microsoft Dynamics Offers into Your Sales Efforts
There are a variety of Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner and customer offers in market now through June. The offer summary sheet available on the PartnerSource site provides details on each.

New Microsoft Dynamics Campaign from Ready-to-Go Marketing
The list of Microsoft Dynamics marketing campaigns from Ready-to-Go continues to grow. Use these campaigns to help generate demand for your Microsoft Dynamics–based solutions.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Q2 Update
Building on the momentum of the November 2011 service update, Microsoft Dynamics CRM will make its next service update available in the second quarter of 2012, keeping our commitment to deliver innovation twice yearly.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace Partner Case Studies
On the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community blog, we recently kicked off a new series that features Microsoft Dynamics partner case studies focused on how partners are using the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online RFP Response Guide for Partners
Are you struggling with how to respond to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online requests for proposal (RFP)? Use the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online RFP Response Guide for Partners to help you articulate compelling and accurate responses to commonly asked questions about the service.

Build a Communications Practice Around Microsoft Exchange 2010
Customers are demanding greater mobility, with anywhere access to communications. Meet that demand more easily with tools and resources provided through the Practice Accelerator for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. Your Partner Advisory Hours may be applied to your participation. Next dates: March 12–15 and March 26–29.

Syndication Marketing Materials Help You Sell Microsoft Products Including Windows Intune
The Microsoft Digital Commerce and Campaign Network helps keep your website current with Microsoft product information and offers. A special co-op offer is available for eligible distributor and OEM reseller partners who add Windows Intune and other DCCN campaigns to their websites.

March 19–22: Build a Desktop Practice with the Microsoft Optimized Desktop
The Microsoft Optimized Desktop uses Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 to help your customers improve productivity and agility. Spend your Advisory Hours benefit to attend our upcoming Practice Accelerator for migration, deployment, design, and architecture guidance.

On-Demand Webcast: Capitalize on the Business PC Opportunity
Listen as Microsoft experts discuss the benefits of upgrading customer desktops to Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 to help improve productivity. Learn how to have a business-planning discussion with your small and midsize business customers to show them the value of upgrading.

Windows Intune 3for5 Offer Ends March 31
Expand your cloud services offering by adding Windows Intune. Eligible partners can get $500 for each of their first-three qualifying customer orders of Windows Intune. Offer ends March 31. Terms and Conditions.

Personalized Development Guidance from Expert Microsoft Consultants
Apply your Partner Advisory Hours to Partner Services and get ongoing development and best-practices advice that supports common architectural, development, and application lifecycle management challenges. Subscribe to the Partner Services newsletter.

Presales Guidance for IT Architects from Partner Services
If you are a practicing IT architect, bring your customers' requirements to the Partner Services team of experts and get recommendations to help you build Microsoft solutions that solve your customers' business challenges. Subscribe to the Partner Services newsletter.

Build Your Business Intelligence Practice
Show customers how you can help them harness the power of SQL Server and SharePoint Server to reduce the complexity of organizing and distributing information, enable better business decisions, and increase your customers' revenue. Subscribe to the Partner Services newsletter.

IT Pros—Build Deep Business Intelligence Skills with Practice Accelerator
Show customers how you can help them harness the power of SQL Server and SharePoint Server to reduce the complexity of organizing and distributing information, enable better business decisions, and increase your customers' revenue. Subscribe to the Partner Services newsletter.

Serving Small Business Customers? Like You, We Believe in Local
The Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC) offers benefits—like online technical support and marketing assistance—to help you support local businesses through the use of your Microsoft-based solutions.

Nurture Butterfly for Dynamics Partners: Social Media Revolution
The Microsoft Dynamics team can help you get your social media strategy up and running. The solution provides ready-made tweets and Facebook status updates so that you can sustain an effective social-marketing program with a minimal time investment. Partners get their first 30 days free.

Consider Using Microsoft Dynamics ERP in Your Business
If you are not using Microsoft Dynamics ERP today in your business, consider upgrading your financial system with the "Give Me 5" offer. The first-five users of Dynamics ERP will be available at $3,000, an 85% discount off the license price.

Get Involved with Tech Policy Issues in Your State
State budgets, legislative action, and tech coalitions are actively shaping our technology business ecosystem. Check the Voices for Innovation website for news to stay informed and opportunities in your state to get involved.

Exhibit at Microsoft TechEd 2012 in Orlando to Reach IT Pros and Developers
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.

Training Recommendations

U.S. Partner Training Sweepstakes Updated with March Courses
Attend any of our featured on-demand courses covering Office 2010, Visual Studio 2010, Windows Azure, and Windows Server 2008 for a chance to win a 32-inch Samsung TV or a $100 Best Buy gift card. You'll earn a prize entry for each course you attend. Sweepstakes ends June 30. Official Rules.

IT Pros and Developers: Attend Microsoft TechEd 2012, Our Premier Technology Conference
There is a wide variety of learning opportunities at TechEd 2012. Technical tracks help you navigate the sessions and labs best suited to your learning needs and interests.

Understand Windows Desktop Licensing for a Chance to Win "Get Active" Prizes
Help your customers properly license Windows with the License Mania training series. Each course earns you an entry into a drawing for a home gym, mountain bike, or fitness watch. Sweepstakes ends April 10. Official Rules.

Microsoft Cloud Fast-Track Bootcamp in Cities Across the US 
Attend this in-person event to learn how to integrate Microsoft Online Services products like Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Intune into your current offerings, as well as how to build a sales pipeline and start closing deals.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Advanced Workshops
This 300-level series, available on PartnerSource, can help you apply Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 best practices to complex customer scenarios.

Get Trained on Microsoft Lync Server 2010
Microsoft Learning Partners are offering special training packages on two popular Lync courses: 10533A—Deploying, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Lync Server 2010, and 10534A—Planning and Designing a Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Solution.

Technical Training for Your Company is Close At Hand
Your company's benefits include training from Partner Services that can help build product knowledge and deepen technical skills. As your company's Program Administrator, you are able to access these benefits. Let your team know about these benefits and how you can help them take advantage of them.

Sales Specialist Accreditation for Private Cloud Coming Soon
Use our Learning Path for Private Cloud based on System Center 2012 to find training opportunities that will help you become proficient in having a conversation around the private cloud with your customers.

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Technical Update for Developers
Learn the essential elements of Microsoft SQL Server 2012 development, how to exploit the unique features of SQL Server 2012 in your solutions, and get hands-on experience with the improvements it offers.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Service Update Tech Chat Series: SQL Server and Cross Browser
The Microsoft Dynamics CRM service update has generated amazing excitement from our channel. This Tech Chat Series will provide an opportunity for ongoing discussion between partners and Microsoft. Join us for more on mobility, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and cross browser, and social media.

Role-Based Training for Microsoft System Center 2012 and Microsoft SharePoint 2010

Training for Business Decision Makers
Microsoft System Center 2012

Microsoft SharePoint 2010

Training for IT Professionals
Microsoft System Center 2012

Microsoft SharePoint 2010

Training for Developers
Microsoft System Center 2012

Microsoft SharePoint 2010

Training for Sales and Marketing Roles
Microsoft System Center 2012

Microsoft SharePoint 2010

Training for Training Roles
Microsoft System Center 2012

Microsoft SharePoint 2010