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U.S. Partner News for Friday, April 20, 2012

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In your newsletter this week, customized according to your company’s business model and Microsoft Partner Network membership, as well as by your role at your company, you’ll find the latest partner-related information and news about optimizing your membership benefits, plus role-based training recommendations for Microsoft Office 365 and Windows 7. I also encourage you to visit and sign in to the U.S. partner portal, which features links to Microsoft  SQL Server 2012 resources; the latest Competency Roadmap outlining upcoming requirements changes; Windows 8 Consumer Preview partner resources; and WPC 2012. You’ll also see our April recommendations for U.S. partners. 

The newsletter you received in your email inbox includes a letter from a U.S. partner expert that’s aligned to your company’s membership, and these are also published to our blog.

If you are looking for ways to start a conversation with your customers about updating or expanding their IT infrastructure, or moving their business to the cloud, we have two resources that may be helpful:

  • Reseller Promotions. There is a wide variety of product-specific promotions in market that you can share with your customers to encourage sales of Microsoft products and cloud services, including the Big Easy Offer 8, the Turn on Lync Voice Promotion, and the Windows 7 Up-to-Date Promotion for Education Solutions. Each month, the Promotions page is updated with announcements about upcoming campaigns, too.
  • Ready-to-Go Marketing. Consider this your marketing toolbox, with campaigns you can customize for your customers and business about Microsoft products, such as the Showcase the Power of Lync Campaign, the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Sneak Peek, and the Windows Phone and Office 365 Campaign. Ready-to-Go also offers website syndication, event planning resources, and a listing of marketing services providers who can help you get marketing done.

The 2012 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference is fast approaching. Aside from hearing from top Microsoft executives like Steve Ballmer, Kevin Turner, and Jon Roskill, our guest speaker this year is Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, the renowned physician and author known for being a thought leader of the mind-body-spirit movement. On Thursday, the sessions in the US track offer you the opportunity to meet members of the US partner team; get insight into new trends like Big Data, Desktop as a Service (DaaS), and Consumerization of IT; and learn about US programs and resources to help you create demand, build your pipeline, and expand revenue and profits. Read our recent blog post for the list of session titles and descriptions.



Partner News

Top Ten Reasons to Attend WPC 2012
Product roadmaps, executive insights, and the evolution of the IT platform are just a few of the reasons you should consider attending this year's Worldwide Partner Conference in July.

April 23 Webcast: Fifty Quick Tips for Creating More Opportunities at WPC
Join a panel of experienced channel partners who are Worldwide Partner Conference veterans as they share their ideas and recommendations for getting the most out of your investment in attending the Conference. Also offered May 10.

Microsoft Small Business Competency to Launch in June
This new competency will lead with the cloud and be a key differentiator for partners who serve small business customers. Julie Bennani, General Manager for the Microsoft Partner Network, explains the opportunity and the value of earning the Gold Small Business competency or the Silver Small Business competency.

Help Customers Find You: Update Your Microsoft Pinpoint Profile
The stronger your Microsoft Pinpoint profile, the easier it is for potential customers to find you. Earning a competency prioritizes your ranking, and writing a compelling profile will get you noticed. Review our tips for help making your profile great.

Maximize Your Microsoft Partner Network Technical Service Benefits
View this informative on-demand webcast to learn how to maximize your Technical Service Benefits and to get more from our technology by deepening your Microsoft product knowledge to maximize the sales potential of individual products.

May 2012 Competency Updates: Desktop, Server Platform, and Identity and Security
The requirements for the Desktop, Server Platform, and Identity and Security competencies will be updated in May to help ensure continued relevance to you and your customers. Download the Microsoft Competency 2012 Roadmap for details about these changes and to understand what actions you may need to take.

Microsoft Management and Virtualization Competency Launching in May
The Management and Virtualization competency merges the Systems Management and Virtualization competencies—an evolution that reflects the continued convergence of management and virtualization workloads and helps prepare partners to deliver private cloud solutions. Learn about this competency in the Management and Virtualization Competency Guide.

Competency Requirements Update
To ensure relevance, competency requirements and benefits are regularly updated. In May, several competencies will be affected by retiring exams and streamlined requirements. Visit the Microsoft Competency 2012 Roadmap to review items that may need attention.

The Windows Team Announces the Windows 8 Editions
On the Windows blog, learn about the different editions of Windows 8, the features of each, and which customers are right for each edition. The post provides you with details about the newest member of the Windows family, Windows RT, also known as Windows on ARM, or WOA.

Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for April 2012
As part of our usual cycle of security updates, we released our latest Security Bulletin Summary on April 10, with six bulletins addressing eleven vulnerabilities. Review the bulletin and watch the on-demand webcast for details. The next release is scheduled for Tuesday, May 8.

Build a Better Cloud-Based Practice with the Microsoft Office 365 Practice Accelerator
Get a framework for sustainable, repeatable processes for deploying Microsoft Office 365. Dates for this Practice Accelerator, which is available at no cost to Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate partners, are available in May and June.

Microsoft Dynamics Forbes Blog Series—Love Your Work
The theme for our new blog series, "Love Your Work," is people who enjoy their work and feel like they're making a difference in their jobs. This theme is based on the belief that at the heart of every business are the people who make things happen.

Get Triple Points on Reseller [Re]ward Hub for Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials Sales
Join Reseller [Re]ward Hub today to earn triple points on eligible Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essential sales you make from April 14 to April 27. Redeem your points for great merchandise.

The Microsoft Private Cloud Summit Coming to New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles
The Microsoft Private Cloud Summit—a full-day event featuring the Microsoft System Center 2012 product team—is coming to New York on May 16, Chicago on May 17, and Los Angeles on May 22. Register for this no-cost summit for a chance to get hands-on with the latest Microsoft cloud technologies and hear directly from the teams that made them.

Give Customers a Look at SQL Server 2012
There's big news in the big data industry right now, and it's called Microsoft SQL Server 2012. Use the SQL Server 2012 campaign from Ready-to-Go Marketing to explain to your customers how they can unlock breakthrough business insights that help them make good decisions. Start with the Business Insights story in the sales presentation, and then customize the sales proposal for your target audience.

Your App. Our Cloud. One Journey. Join 30 to Launch for Windows Azure Starting April 23
If your business builds apps, the cloud can supercharge it and help squeeze out costs. Join 30 to Launch for Windows Azure, which offers 30 days of specific business and technical guidance. Upon completion, submit your idea or app for the opportunity to win cash.

The Big Easy Offer 8 Helps Your SMB Customers Use the Latest Microsoft Products and Technologies
With the Big Easy Offer 8, eligible U.S. customers can earn partner subsidy dollars when they make a qualifying Open Volume Licensing or Online Services subscription purchase. Get familiar with the offer details and eligible products, and then work with your customers to take advantage of it and submit their claims. Offer Terms and Conditions.

The Microsoft Action Pack Offers You Tools to Build Your Microsoft Practice
The Microsoft Action Pack subscription provides you with access to Microsoft software for internal use, technical support, training, and sales and marketing tools to help you build your practice around the latest Microsoft products and technologies.

Training Resources

April Training Incentive: Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft SQL Server 2012, Private Cloud, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
Receive an entry to win a Canon Rebel T3i EOS camera or $100 American Express gift card for each featured course you attend this month. Sweepstakes ends June 30. Official rules.

Whistler Trip Awaits Sales Professionals Seeking Accreditation
Through May 31, you'll be entered to win a Whistler trip package or REI gift card for each Microsoft Sales Specialist assessment you pass. There are 12 assessment options, including Private Cloud, Server Platform, and Unified Communications. Official Rules.

Learn to Sell Microsoft SQL Server 2012 to Government Organizations
Watch this on-demand course for a tutorial on best practices for positioning and selling Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and the private cloud to state and local government organizations.

Learn to Sell Microsoft SQL Server 2012 to Educational Organizations
Watch this on-demand course for a tutorial on best practices for positioning and selling Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and both the public and private cloud with Windows Azure to education customers.

New Early Readiness Training for Windows Server 2012
Learn what's new about Windows Server 2012 through overview training and how to address customer questions about VMware.

Windows 8 Metro Excellence Clinic
In this clinic, we'll walk through the certification process for Windows 8 applications. You'll take away a process for checking your applications for quality prior to submitting them to the marketplace, which will decrease the chances for any surprises during certification and increase the overall quality of your app.

Windows 8 Developer and UX Workshop for Partners
During this three-day workshop, the designers of Windows 8 will provide in-depth, practical training for designing and developing differentiated Windows 8 experiences. Attendees will get a technical deep dive, hands-on experience, and advice for designing Metro-style apps.

Role-Based Training for Microsoft Office 365 and Windows 7

Training for Business Decision Makers
Microsoft Office 365

Windows 7

Training for IT Professionals
Microsoft Office 365

Windows 7

Training for Developers
Microsoft Office 365

Windows 7

Training for Sales and Marketing Roles
Microsoft Office 365

Windows 7

Training for Training Roles
Microsoft Office 365

Windows 7
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