imageIn your newsletter this week, customized according to your company’s business model, Microsoft Partner Network membership, and your role, you’ll find the latest partner-related information and news about preparing for Windows 8 (just a few days away!), understanding changes to competencies that take effect in November, and new training opportunities. Our training focus in today’s issue is finding your best training for the latest Microsoft products. I also encourage you to visit and sign in to the U.S. partner portal for the latest news about products and programs as well as our October recommendations.

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:

 

Announcements

Summary of Upcoming Competency Changes
Get an overview of changes that are coming to many of the Microsoft competencies and links to resources to start preparing for your next membership and competency renewal.

Gold Competency Fee Increase Takes Effect November 19
The U.S. gold competency membership fee will increase to $5,260 on November 19. This fee change, along with other planned competency changes, will apply to your next membership renewal after the effective date. For assistance in understanding how changes will affect you and how to prepare for your next renewal, contact the U.S. MPN Experts by email, chat, or phone.

Earn the Small Business Competency: Microsoft Office 365 Exam Change
Requirements for the Small Business competency have been updated to include a new certification exam that specifically addresses the needs of small business customers. Learn about Exam 74-324: Administering Office 365 for Small Business and how to prepare for the exam.

Online Partner Guide: How to Prepare for Windows 8
In our comprehensive partner guide for Windows 8, you'll find a rich set of resources that will help you prepare yourself, your team, and your business for the release of this flagship product on October 26. It will also help you take advantage of the new hardware, applications, and services opportunities that Windows 8 offers.

Close Deals with Help from Microsoft Partner Services
Your competency benefits include unlimited presales advisory support for any deal worth U.S.$3,000 or more. Use your partner advisory hours to get the same assistance for deals worth less than $3,000. Technical presales assistance includes competitive assistance, comparison guidance, proof-of-concept guidance, and more.

Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for October 2012
As part of our usual cycle of security updates, we released our latest Security Bulletin Summary on October 9, with seven bulletins that address 20 issues. The next bulletin is scheduled for November 13.

Voice Your Support for the 2012 Tech Policy Agenda
Make your voice heard by adding your name to the Voices for Innovation Technology Policy Agenda. Let your elected officials know how important it is to support policies that strengthen the technology sector, innovation, and your business.

Talk to Your Customers About Windows Server 2012
Use the Gear Up Sales Advisor for practical guidance on how to have conversations with customers about Windows Server 2012. It will help you identify why a customer should care about this solution, how to respond to common objections, and what licensing options are available.

Engage with HP Events
At these events, co-sponsored by Microsoft and Intel, you'll have an opportunity to network with industry execs, hear from IT experts about the latest technologies, and learn about hot new products—including the new HP business tablet featuring Windows 8. Register for an event in a city near you.

Microsoft Launch Events Start October 30 in Cities Across the U.S.
The latest Microsoft products and technologies are transforming the way people work. Events begin October 30 and will be held in cities across the United States through December.

  • In the IT Professionals track, learn how you can use the management and automation capabilities of Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft System Center 2012 to make the private cloud work for your customers.
  • In the Developer-focused tracks, learn about the new lifecycle management features in Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 as well as what's new in Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, and the new Office. Attend the launch event near you to take advantage of on-site app consultations and connect with Microsoft evangelists for Windows 8 app insight and guidance.
  • Tracks for Business Executives and IT Executives provide real-world scenarios for how these new products and technologies can help your customers enhance productivity, increase their customers' satisfaction and loyalty, and drive new revenue streams.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 Is Now Available
On October 1, Microsoft announced the availability of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013. This release combines comprehensive ERP capabilities for small and midsize businesses together with a simple and intuitive user experience, insightful business intelligence and reporting tools, and deep connections with the Microsoft product portfolio. The result is an ERP solution that is easy to use, works seamlessly with existing productivity tools, and is quick and cost-effective to implement.

October 27-30: Join the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Partner Community at Directions 2012
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. The registration price is U.S.$995 through October 26.

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

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Pricing and Licensing
Perpetual Licensing is a new licensing model for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 that helps small business and midsize business customers quickly take advantage of financial insights and distribution management and then extend them into all functional areas. Download the FAQ for additional information.

Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 Feature Pack 1 Is Available
The Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 Feature Pack 1 centers on continued Project enhancements, Time and Expense Web Services, and the inclusion of Business Analyzer for Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011.

Butterfly Publisher Offers New LinkedIn Capability
Butterfly Publisher recently added the option to follow and post to LinkedIn Groups. With this new feature, you not only can engage in conversations, you can uncover a valuable source of content for all your social media marketing. Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Butterfly Publisher.

Heritage Product Line Edition Transition Policy
Customers will receive a credit for their license investment depending on the heritage product they currently have. See the policy to determine amounts and which heritage products and editions are eligible. The credit is equivalent to 100% of their Protected List Price (based on the Protected List Price of their last Customer Service Plan) for the modules and users the Customers have licensed.

New Licensing Model and Transition Policy for Existing Customers
This policy document describes the two transition upgrade paths for customers who want to upgrade from Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 (or prior version) to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 (and later versions) or from Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 (or prior version) to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 (and later versions). It also describes additional policies that may affect customer upgrades, including but not limited to the Downgrade Policy and the Business Ready Enhancement Plan (BREP) Policy.

Submit Your Solution to Be Certified for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013
Partners who wish to have their solution Certified for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 are invited to submit them for this designation. Solutions that are Certified for Microsoft Dynamics have demonstrated development quality and compatibility with the Microsoft Dynamics product on which they run.

ERP Customer Lifecycle Communications
These communications help promote to customers the value of their Microsoft Dynamics solutions and service plans. They include communications throughout the customer lifecycle, from initial thank-you emails to customers for their Microsoft Dynamics purchase through the extent of their solution ownership to renewal and lapse.

Training resources

New Windows 8 Training for Your Role
Updated learning paths for Windows 8 cover sales, marketing, IT pro, and developer roles for Microsoft partners that have these business models: distributor, ISV, Large Account Reseller, VAR, and system integrator.

Build Your Microsoft Business with Practice Accelerators
Build your services practice around Microsoft products and technologies. Practice Accelerators offer a detailed framework of resources for deployment that start at pre-engagement and go through post-delivery. Plan ahead now for Practice Accelerator sessions being held in November and December.

More Exams Are Now Eligible for the Competency Exam Pack Discount
New competency exams and Microsoft Dynamics exams have been added to the list of exams qualified for the Microsoft Competency Exam Pack discount and Second Shot. Save up to 40% on exams to help you meet new competency requirements or highlight your company's skills.

Training Kit: Implementing and Supporting Windows Intune
The modules in this kit are designed for Microsoft partners whose businesses offer their customers computer management and administration and for IT pros who perform computer management and administration tasks. Materials include slides, speaker notes, a student guide, and a class syllabus.

October 23-24: Upgrading Skills to Windows Server 2012 Jump Start Helps You Prepare for Exam 70-417
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, and will help partners prepare for Exam 70-417.

Get Best Practices for Migrating to Hyper-V
Help your customers efficiently and safely migrate their virtualized workloads from VMware to Hyper-V. Practice Accelerator for Data Center Consolidation and Migration helps you implement a strategic approach to consolidating data centers and servers.

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

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Partner Presales Roadshow
Attend a one-day event in a city near you that will introduce and explain new technologies, features, and benefits of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013. The content is geared toward presales and sales personnel, with the intention of helping drive the sales cycle.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Demo Workshop
The Microsoft Dynamics GP Volume Velocity Workshop is a one-day course that teaches sales and presales personnel techniques for building repeatable presentations into your sales process using Microsoft sales demo tools. These techniques are also applicable for Microsoft Dynamics NAV partners.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Fast Tracks Enterprise Academy
This two-week intensive training based on the core fundamental of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 offers two tracks: Functional and Developer. These classes are targeted at net new professionals within Microsoft Dynamics partner organizations.

November 7: Close More Deals with Discovery2Win Techniques
Come to Discovery2Win and get the tools you need to improve your sales process. Start getting buying signals in Discovery. Walk into the presentation knowing you will present the value the prospect is looking for you to deliver.

November 12-16: Solution Selling Virtual Workshop for Microsoft Dynamics Partners
Broken into three 2-hour sessions, this online solution selling workshop will help presales and sales professionals prepare for the Microsoft Partner Network sales and presales accreditation tests, learn how to close more opportunities faster, and compete effectively.

December 3-7: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Upgrade Workshop for Consultants and Developers
In this workshop, technical resources will learn how to upgrade an existing Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. The workshop will focus on upgrading code elements and the data dictionary for customizations, based on the major changes introduced with the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 data model.

On Demand: Build a Repeatable Demo Strategy That Drives Leads
Dive into the strategy, tools, and resources available to build and take advantage of repeatable demo assets across your organization in unique ways to bring down the cost of sale. Marketers, sales, and presales roles will learn more about the role of the repeatable demo vignette and how it can save time and money while moving a prospect through the sales cycle.

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

Microsoft Dynamics AX Virtual Industry Classes
Increase your industry knowledge 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.

November 15-16: Microsoft Dynamics Accelerated Sales Workshop
This two-day, accelerated sales workshop is designed for sales professionals focused on cloud and on-premises ERP/CRM opportunities who want to significantly decrease the duration of their sales cycles and increase their win ratios.

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

Role-based recommendations to prepare for the latest Microsoft products

Business Decision Maker Role

IT Professional Role

Developer Role

Sales and Marketing Role

Training Role