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U.S. partner news for Friday, October 5, 2012

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imageOn the first and third Friday of each month, the U.S. Partner Team delivers a newsletter for U.S.-based members of the Microsoft Partner Network. The content you receive in your email inbox as a benefit of your membership is specific to your company’s business and your role. This blog post contains all of the content published in today’s emailed newsletter:

  • Local recommendations
  • ISV and developer recommendations
  • Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM recommendations (some links require PartnerSource access; details)
  • Partner news (Announcements)
  • Training resources
  • Role-based training for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Visual Studio 2012

For more partner news, resources, and recommendations, visit us on the U.S. partner portal, join the U.S. Partner Community, and read our “How to Stay Informed” blog post.



Local recommendations
Visit your local team online: East Region, Central Region, West Region

Announcements

New Collaboration and Content Competency
In November, the Portals and Collaboration, Content Management, and Search competencies will merge to become a new competency, Collaboration and Content. Partners active in any of these Microsoft SharePoint competencies or the Digital Marketing competency will automatically be moved to this new competency. Review the details in the Competency Roadmap.

Evolution of the Digital Marketing Competency
In November, the Digital Marketing competency will evolve from focusing solely on Microsoft SharePoint solutions to include all Microsoft digital marketing and advertising solutions. Partners in the existing Digital Marketing competency will be moved to the new Collaboration and Content competency. To be part of the repositioned Digital Marketing competency, contact the Regional Service Center. Review the details in the Competency Roadmap.

Windows 8 Arrives October 26—Your Resources to Prepare
We're excited about Windows 8 and the many new sales, services, and application development opportunities it will bring for Microsoft partners. On the U.S. partner portal, the Windows 8 page is chock-full of links for all organizations and all the roles in your company to get educated and informed. Visit frequently, as content is being regularly updated. Also, check out our Windows 8 Special Edition Hot Sheet for direct links to on-demand training.

Host a Windows 8 Launch Event for a Chance to Win
You could win $2,000 to spend on Windows 8 merchandise in the Microsoft OEM Sales Center. Enter by ordering your Windows 8 Launch Kit, hosting a Windows 8 event on October 26, and submitting an event recap by November 15. Windows 8 Launch Kit supply is limited. Download the Official Rules.

Extended to October 14: $400 Savings on WPC 2013 Preregistration
Save $400 on the price of an all-access pass to the 2013 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, Texas, July 7-11. This is the lowest price we will offer, and the price will increase on October 15.

Accelerate Sales of Qualifying Microsoft Online Services with Cloud Easy
With Cloud Easy, eligible customers can earn subsidy payouts on qualifying sales that they can apply toward future purchases of Microsoft software licenses, Microsoft Online Services subscriptions, or associated services from their eligible Microsoft partner of choice. Offer is valid October 1–December 31. Terms and conditions.

October 11: Expert Guidance to Earn Incentives for Selling, Deploying, and Managing Microsoft Online Services
Microsoft Online Services Advisors, who sell and deploy Microsoft Online Services and manage the end-customer relationship for Microsoft Office 365, Windows Intune, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, may be eligible for Online Services Advisor incentives. Now, you can talk to a Channel Incentives expert from the U.S. Partner Team during a bi-weekly, one-hour call. Get answers to your questions and updates about available incentives. The next call is October 11, and calls are held every other Thursday at 9:00AM Pacific Time.

Fast-Track Your Cloud Sales and Profits at a Boot Camp
Accelerate your cloud business with the latest information and guidance from Microsoft. In these half-day sessions coming to Austin, TX; Atlanta, GA; Portland, OR; Fort Lauderdale, FL; and Chevy Chase, MD, you'll see the resources available—product roadmaps, offers, customer campaigns, best practices—and learn how they can help you expand your cloud business.

October 18: How to Use Windows Intune to Expand Your Cloud Practice
The next webinar in our Microsoft Cloud How-To Series provides a technical overview that will help you discuss with customers how Windows Intune can help them simplify their IT infrastructure. You'll get an understanding of Intune capabilities and tips that will help you close more deals.

Accelerate Sales of Qualifying Microsoft On-Premises Software with the Big Easy Offer 9
With the Big Easy Offer 9, eligible customers can earn subsidy payouts on qualifying products that they can apply toward future purchases of Microsoft software licenses or associated services from their eligible Microsoft partner of choice. Offer is valid October 1–December 31. Terms and conditions.

Vote for Innovation: Sign the Technology Policy Agenda
The 2012 election will affect the future of innovation; government decisions will affect your business. Read and add your name to the Voices for Innovation Tech Policy Agenda to urge government leaders to protect IT innovation and growth.

Try Windows Azure Virtual Machines for Free for 90 Days
With Azure Virtual Machines, you can easily deploy and run Windows Server and Linux virtual machines in minutes. Migrate workloads without having to change existing code, and securely connect your on-premises corporate network to virtual machines running in the public cloud. Get a free 90-day trial, with no obligation.

Find New Talent Experienced with Microsoft Dynamics
The Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance works with more than 1,100 academic institutions that use Microsoft Dynamics in their curriculum. Hiring interns or new graduates with Microsoft Dynamics experience can give you valuable connections in your community.

Unlimited Online Technical Support for Microsoft Dynamics Products
Get timely responses to your questions about Microsoft products in the partner support communities. Partners are guaranteed a response to break-fix, developer, and presales questions from Microsoft engineers.

The following Microsoft Dynamics-related content requires access to PartnerSource (details).

Updates to July 2012 Microsoft Dynamics Partner Strategy Announcement (content on PartnerSource)
There are recent changes to the Microsoft Dynamics AX on EA in VL, and CRM CSA announcements made in July. These changes are the result of feedback from our partners and are designed to help ease your transition to the new models.

Think Big. Stay Small. Increase Your Profitability with the Microsoft Dynamics Master VAR Program (content on PartnerSource)
The Microsoft Dynamics Master VAR program is the only Microsoft Dynamics–authorized channel collaboration model. The unique model is designed to strategically drive growth for resellers and Microsoft by enabling partners to join forces with a Master VAR and still maintain ownership of their business.

Download the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Beta Release (content on PartnerSource)
Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 builds on a strong foundation to deliver new levels of customer and partner value through faster, more efficient implementations, compelling application functionality, and unparalleled levels of customer choice on how to deploy and access their solution.

Butterfly Publisher Now Includes Social Email—Try It Free for 30 Days (content on PartnerSource)
Butterfly Publisher is a social marketing tool for Microsoft Dynamics partners. Butterfly now includes Social Newsletters— a powerful feature that turns email into a social network and helps you connect with all your prospects, not just your followers.

Put a Spotlight on Your Microsoft Dynamics Customer Wins (content on PartnerSource)
The U.S. Microsoft Dynamics Customer Reference Team is actively seeking new reference nominations for customers who have chosen or deployed Microsoft Dynamics. By taking part, your customers can benefit from increased exposure to diverse audiences and help influence organizations around the world.

August Update: Statement of Direction for Microsoft Dynamics AX (content on PartnerSource)
This document provides a roadmap of our product development plans for Microsoft Dynamics AX through 2015.

Microsoft Dynamics GP: Competing Against NetSuite (content on PartnerSource)
This document helps you educate customers, feature set by feature set, about why Microsoft Dynamics GP is the clear choice that the customer should make.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 Product Readiness Library Released (content on PartnerSource)
The Readiness Library is a collection of reference materials that will help you prepare for the release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013. The materials provide you with brief and easy-to-digest resources for each product feature area.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Customer Onboarding Checklist (content on PartnerSource)
Follow the steps in this checklist to help facilitate successful onboarding of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online via the Microsoft Office 365 experience on the Microsoft Online Services Portal.

Siebel Take-Out Program (content on PartnerSource)
The Siebel Take-Out program is designed to help you capitalize on a three-year window during which Oracle Siebel customers face exorbitant maintenance fees while receiving little new innovation and significant increases in software costs for a full platform to Oracle Fusion CRM.

New Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Service Health Blog (content on PartnerSource)
The Microsoft Dynamics Service Engineering team realizes that it is not always obvious where to find the latest information about what is going on with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Service. To address that issue, a new blog has been created to provide you with the latest updates.

ISV and developer recommendations

The launch of Windows 8 is just a couple of weeks away, and we're ready to help you maximize the apps opportunity. Whether you are just learning about Windows 8, just getting started with Windows 8, or your application is ready for the Windows Store, we have the resources you need to make your idea a reality.

Explore Get Started Windows Store
MSDN Virtual Labs is a series of guided, hands-on labs that can be completed in 90 minutes or less. And there is no complex setup or installation required. Even better—they are free.

Windows 8 Hands-on Labs Online offer a live presentation during which you'll work on lab exercises and chat with Microsoft experts, one-on-one. Sign up soon, as registration and seating are limited.
Generation App will help you get going quickly to deliver your app in 30 days. You'll receive exclusive one-to-one design guidance, expert technical consultation, and insider tips.

If you are a Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscriber, sign up for a free, 12-month Windows Store account.

If you are a BizSpark Partner, sign up for a free, 12-month Windows Store account.

Training resources

Fall Training Sweepstakes Features Windows 8, Microsoft Visual Studio, Private Cloud, Microsoft Lync
In October and November, earn a prize drawing entry for each course you take from our featured sales and technical training. You could win a Nikon digital camera or Jawbone Jambox wireless speakers. Official rules.

Save Up to 40% on Competency Exam Packs and a Free Second Shot
Meet your Microsoft competency goals and showcase your organization's skills with the help of a Competency Exam Pack. You will save up to 40% on select Microsoft certification exams taken by May 31, plus receive one free retake for each exam you don't pass the first time. Terms and conditions.

Special Edition Hot Sheet: Windows Server 2012 Training and Assessments
Windows Server 2012 is here—get up to speed with the latest partner training and assessments. Our Special Edition Hot Sheet includes new pricing and licensing courses, presales technical and licensing assessments and role-based on-demand training.

Special Edition Hot Sheet: Windows 8 Certifications and Training
Prepare for Windows 8—available to everyone on October 26—with our Special Edition Hot Sheet that lists the current training for sales, licensing, and technical roles. Get the Hot Sheet as soon as it's published by subscribing to the U.S. Partner Training blog with your email address in the Options section.

Windows 8 Arrives October 26—Get Ready with OEM Training
Take Windows 8 training and then test your knowledge to be entered into the Windows 8 Training Sweepstakes. In the Grand Prize drawing, one individual will win a Samsung HDTV, and there are weekly drawings for other prizes too. Contest ends October 28. Official rules.

October 10–11: Exams 70-480 and 70-481: Developing Windows 8 Applications Jump Start Clinic
This no-cost course is designed for application developers with experience developing applications for a touch-enabled interface/platform, including apps that access local and remote data and services. Exam 70-480 will be relevant to partners in the refreshed Digital Marketing competency and the new Application Development competency. Download and review the Competency Roadmap for details.

October 23–24: Exam 70-417: Upgrading Skills to Windows Server 2012 Jump Start
This no-cost, virtual classroom course is designed for IT pros who want to upgrade their technical skills from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012. It is relevant to Microsoft partners interested in the Management and Virtualization competency and the Server Platform competency.

Practice Accelerators Schedule for October through December
Expand your customer base and provide consistent customer experiences as you build your services practice around Microsoft technologies. Use Practice Accelerator, a comprehensive set of reusable tools and best practices, to help you identify customer requirements and project scope, analyze customer needs, and deploy solutions.

New Windows Azure Online Training Events—On Demand and Live
New on-demand Windows Azure virtual labs and hands-on labs online with live presenters help you test drive Windows Azure solutions in a virtual lab environment. You can apply your existing Microsoft Visual Studio and Microsoft .NET Framework skills to develop cloud-based applications. Virtual labs are available on-demand, but seats are limited for hands-on labs.

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Partner Presales Roadshow Starts October 16
The Partner Presales Roadshow starts October 16 in Seattle and covers nine additional U.S. cities, ending in Chicago on November 13. Geared toward presales and sales resources, the roadshow will introduce and explain the new technologies, features, and benefits of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and help your team drive the sales cycle.

October 17: Drive Your Success with the Road to Repeatability
Take advantage of the best practices, proven tactics, and wealth of knowledge and training available to assist you in transforming your business to support customers in the way they want to buy. Join the monthly Road to Repeatability call series.

October 19: Increase the Efficiency of Your Microsoft Dynamics GP Demo
The Microsoft Dynamics GP Volume Velocity Workshop is a one-day course that will teach sales and presales consultants in your organization to market and sell more effectively in today's web-enhanced selling environment

October 22–25: Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical Conference
Register now and attend the Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical Conference in Seattle. Learn the new R2 and exciting new capabilities for Retail, Manufacturing, Public Sector, and Project Management for Professional Services organizations.

October 27–30: Join the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Partner Community in Phoenix, Arizona
Directions 2012 is driven by NAV partners for NAV partners. During these four days in Phoenix, you'll have the opportunity to build new business relationships, hear best practices from other partners, and discover new tools and resources. Registration price is $995 through October 26.

November 6: Learn Demo Basics in the Demo2win Workshop
Come to Demo2Win to learn the tactics and receive the tools you need to give you the edge and improve your close rate. Learn how the 80/20 rule applies to your presentations and move from good to great in the eyes of your prospects. The content in this workshop is intended for sales, presales, technical, and sales management roles.

Microsoft Dynamics AX Fast TrAX Consultant and Developer Course
Come to the Microsoft office in Fargo, North Dakota, for 18 days of intensive training based on the fundamentals of Microsoft Dynamics AX. You will get training for certification based on real-world examples that reinforce learning. Register for sessions in September, November, January, and April.

The following Microsoft Dynamics-related content requires access to PartnerSource (details).

Microsoft Dynamics Fall Webcast Series (on PartnerSource)
Invite your prospects and customers to this series of webcasts designed to help customers understand how they can extend their current ERP investment.

Microsoft Dynamics Partner Training and Events Calendar (on PartnerSource)
Get a clear, easy-to-use view of upcoming partner training activities and events in our calendar. You'll find a detailed list that lets you plan your training schedule up to eight weeks out.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Fast Tracks for Consultants and Developers (on PartnerSource)
Join us for a two-week intensive training course based on the fundamentals of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. The course focuses on certification preparation, real-world insights, and hands-on experience.

Microsoft Dynamics AX Virtual Industry Classes (on PartnerSource)
Take your industry knowledge to the next level with the Microsoft Dynamics AX Industry training. These remotely delivered courses are designed to accelerate your capacity and capability to successfully deliver Microsoft Dynamics AX solutions.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Enterprise Academy Level 300 Workshops (on PartnerSource)
These workshops consist of up to five days of in-person training for IT professionals, presales consultants, and developers. They are designed as in-depth interactive sessions that focus on how to implement Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and address specific customer business needs.

Take Microsoft Dynamics ERP Sales to the Next Level (on PartnerSource)
The Accelerated Sales two-day workshop is designed for sales professionals who are focused on cloud and on-premises ERP and CRM opportunities and who want to significantly decrease the duration of their sales cycles and increase their win ratios.

Get Ready to Sell Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 with On Demand Partner Training (on PartnerSource)
Review the online "virtual training blitz" designed to ramp your sales and presales teams on the exciting new customer benefits of this release, and to provide an early technical preview of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 for your consultant and developer resources.

Role-based training for Microsoft Exchange and Visual Studio 2012

Training for Business Decision Makers
Microsoft Visual Studio 2012

Microsoft Exchange Server

Training for IT Professionals
Microsoft Visual Studio 2012

Microsoft Exchange Server

Training for Developers
Microsoft Visual Studio 2012

Microsoft Exchange Server

Training for Sales and Marketing Roles
Microsoft Visual Studio 2012

Microsoft Exchange Server

Training for Training Roles
Microsoft Visual Studio 2012

Microsoft Exchange Server

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