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On 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:
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.
Join your local Microsoft team for their monthly partner call: East Region on December 14; Central Region on December 14, and West Region on December 14.
Download your software benefits (if eligible): Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, and other new products are now part of internal-use licenses for Action Pack subscribers and competency partners.
The New Office Is Now Available to Business Customers On-premises versions of the new Office products—including Office 2013, Exchange Server 2013, Lync Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2013, Project 2013, and Visio 2013—are available through Microsoft Volume Licensing. Broad availability of the new Office through retail and online channels is planned for the first quarter of 2013. Download licensing price lists.
Prepare for Customer Conversations About the New Office The first wave of the new Office is now available. Get ready for the new Office with our customer pitch decks for both enterprise and small to midsize businesses, and access the partner-ready and customer-ready materials that best suit your business model.
Download Your Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 Software Benefits If your company has a Microsoft competency or a Microsoft Action Pack subscription, your company's benefits include internal-use licenses for the new Office. Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 is the future of productivity. Office Professional Plus 2013 includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Lync. Membership and subscription support.
Receive Funding and Rewards for Building Eligible Windows 8 Applications The Microsoft Application Acceleration Program (MAAP) helps accelerate the development of custom line-of-business and business-to-consumer Windows 8 applications. Find out how to join the MAAP community and nominate your customer applications for this offer, and learn about other requirements.
Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 is Now Generally Available Read The Exchange Team Blog for details about this latest release of Microsoft Exchange, including information about deployment into new environments and upgrading from Exchange 2010 or 2007 environments, and links to documentation and training.
Microsoft Lync Resources for Systems Integrators Get the latest Microsoft Lync resources, including the Microsoft Lync 2013 playbook, to build your go-to-market strategy for your practice.
New Microsoft Application Development Competency Whether your solutions are commercial or custom-developed, and whether you build business applications, or create advanced web portals or rich client user interfaces that run on premises or in the cloud, earn the Application Development competency to take advantage of new opportunities with Windows Server and Windows 8 operating systems, the Windows Azure platform, Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 development system, and emerging cloud-based and web business models. This competency merges the former ISV competency, Web Development competency, and Software Development competency.
Microsoft Search Competency Now Part of the New Collaboration and Content Competency Take advantage of competency benefits that can help you capitalize on the growing services opportunity around Microsoft SharePoint by demonstrating your ability to offer solutions that connect teams, improve access to information, and increase productivity.
Microsoft Portals and Collaboration Competency Name Change The Portals and Collaboration competency is now part of the new Collaboration and Content competency. Take advantage of competency benefits that can help you take advantage of the growing services opportunity around SharePoint by demonstrating your ability to offer solutions that connect teams, improve access to information, and increase productivity.
Second Shot: Updated List of Eligible Exams Microsoft competency exam packs are back. Each exam comes with a free retake, and you can save up to 40%. Eligible exams included in the Second Shot offer now include Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Office 365, and Microsoft Dynamics.
Extended to January 1: Savings on E-Books and Print Books from Microsoft Press Our Holiday Offer for Microsoft Press to help you prepare for Microsoft certification has been extended until January 1, 2013. You can save 50% on e-books and 40% on print books.
Sell and Deploy Your Solutions More Efficiently, Using Your Benefits Your company's competency-related benefits include partner advisory hours that can be applied to presales support, competitive assistance, deployment guidance, and more.
December 10: Accelerate Your Business Intelligence Deployments Build an end-to-end business intelligence (BI) solution that includes on-premises and in-the-cloud capability based on Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
GovTalk Webcast for Partners Serving Government Customers Get valuable insights and information from Microsoft and Microsoft partners serving government customers in this pre-recorded web event. The 15-minute segment features industry experts and partners discussing topics relevant to your business and Microsoft practice.
HealthTalk Webcast for Partners Serving Customers in Health-Related Industries Get valuable insights and information from Microsoft and Microsoft partners serving healthcare customers in this prerecorded web event. The 15-minute segment features industry experts and partners discussing topics relevant to your business and Microsoft practice.
Education Newscast for Partners Serving Education Customers Get valuable insights and information from Microsoft and Microsoft partners serving education customers in this prerecorded web event. The 15-minute segment features Microsoft General Manager Andrew Ko, president of AssistX Bob Chung, industry experts, and partners discussing topics relevant to your business and Microsoft practice.
Voices for Innovation: The Fiscal Cliff—What's at Stake for Your Business Voices for Innovation (VFI) informs partners on policy issues affecting the tech sector and your business. In light of the current "fiscal cliff" negotiations in Congress, VFI has assembled background info so you can learn more about potential impacts and how to voice your views to elected officials.
Download the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Evaluation for Developers Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 is now available. Start building a new class of apps that extend and personalize the way you create and consume information within Microsoft Office and SharePoint. Try it now and receive development resources from the experts.
Download the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Evaluation for IT Pros Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 is designed to help you achieve new levels of reliability and performance, delivering features and capabilities that simplify administration, protect communications and information, and empower users while meeting their demands for greater business mobility.
Download the Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 Evaluation for IT Pros Office Professional Plus 2013 is the future of productivity. Download the 60-day evaluation to Office Professional Plus 2013 includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Lync. Installation and deployment videos, white papers, and library articles are available now with your free IT pro evaluation.
Download the Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 Evaluation for Developers Office Professional Plus 2013 is the future of productivity. Download the 60-day evaluation to build and test applications. You'll also find code samples, development tools, and developer-related training links.
Prepare for the Microsoft Security Bulletin for December 2012 As part of our usual cycle of updates, the next security bulletin release is scheduled for December 11. On the Security TechCenter, you can catch up on the November release, register for the December security bulletin webcast on December 12, sign up for notifications, and more.
Jump-Start Your Cloud Practice with Microsoft Cloud Essentials As a Microsoft Cloud Essentials member, you will have access to internal-use software to test-drive cloud services, technical training, customer management tools to service your customers, and marketing tools to help you generate customer demand. In fact, Cloud Essential partners that deploy and use these products internally are three times more effective in selling cloud solutions.
December 17: Practice Accelerator for Office 365 Available At No Cost to Cloud Partners Use the Practice Accelerator training program to create a successful deployment business through reusable tools and best practices designed to help you identify customer requirements and project scope, analyze customer needs, and deploy solutions built on Microsoft Office 365.
The Big Easy Offer 9 Ends on December 31 The Big Easy Offer 9 focuses on Open License purchases of on-premises software and gives customers the chance to earn partner subsidy funds when they make qualifying purchases. Those subsidy funds can subsequently be spent with you for additional Microsoft software licenses and associated services. Terms and conditions.
The Cloud Easy Offer Ends on December 31 The Cloud Easy Offer provides customers the opportunity to earn partner subsidy funds when they make eligible Microsoft Online Services subscription purchases through December 31. Terms and conditions.
Ramp Up Your Windows Server Events with Ready-to-Go Marketing Use the new Windows Server 2012 Launch in a Box materials to plan your customer events. You'll find demos, presentations, web banners, and more.
December 12 Webcast – Sell More Through Better Marketing Planning Ready-to-Go Marketing kicks off the first in a series of marketing webinars to help you improve your marketing skills. Register to learn how to put together a brief and flexible marketing plan that supports key sales growth strategies.
Microsoft Dynamics Partner Strategy Update We announced updates to the Microsoft Dynamics partner strategy in July and changes to those updates at the end of August to allow additional time for your organization to transition. Review the content at this link to make sure you are aware of, and ready for, these changes.
Butterfly Publisher: The Essential Social Media Tool for Microsoft Dynamics Partners With this powerful tool you can easily write, track, and share content across social platforms. Even if you don't have many followers yet, you can use the social newsletter feature to share great content with your email contacts in a digest format. Best of all, it's a one-stop, budget-friendly shop for the latest Microsoft content.
Convergence 2013 Early Registration Is Open Register for the premier Microsoft Dynamics event by January 25 to receive U.S.$300 off the registration fee! Convergence provides an opportunity to increase revenue, strengthen relationships, and network with peers and experts from around the world. Register now and check PartnerSource for marketing materials.
Share Your Convergence Story for a Chance to Win $250 If you have attended Convergence in previous years, Microsoft wants to hear your story. For example, tell us how the conference helped you foster new business relationships or provided you with a fresh perspective. Submit your video or written story about any Convergence experience.
2013 President's Club and Inner Circle for Microsoft Dynamics Programs The 2013 Partner Recognition Program for Microsoft Dynamics acknowledges our top Microsoft Dynamics partners for exceptional performance. To gain entry into the 2013 President's Club for Microsoft Dynamics, partners must demonstrate a strong combination of revenue or new customers, plus license growth. A small number of partners from across the globe will be invited the 2013 Inner Circle for Microsoft Dynamics based on stellar sales performance.
Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Now Available This release builds on our Dynamic Business vision for how organizations can use technology to be more agile and innovative and to supply people with the information, connections, and tools they need to make a difference every day.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV "Sicily" Release Technology Adoption Program The Microsoft Dynamics NAV team has begun work on its next release, codenamed Sicily, and is now accepting nominations for the Technology Adoption Program (TAP). TAP is our early-adopter program for NAV partners and their customers who want to go live on a prerelease version of Sicily.
December Training Sweepstakes: Windows Intune, Windows Azure, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Improve your ability to sell, deploy, or manage these Microsoft cloud-based offerings. For each featured course you take in December, you'll be entered to win an Xbox 360 Pro Console. Official Rules.
Microsoft Office 365 for Small and Midsize Businesses Prepare for Exam 74-324: Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses—a requirement for the Small Business competency—by watching the Office 365 for SMB Jump Start.
December 17 in Irvine, CA: Microsoft Lync 2013 Technical Ignite Stay ahead of the market with this four-day workshop. Presentations will cover a wide variety of topics for Lync, both on-premises and online, and there will be hands-on labs that create an interactive Lync experience.
January 8 in Chicago, IL: Microsoft Lync 2013 Technical Ignite Stay ahead of the market with this four-day workshop. Presentations will cover a wide variety of topics for Lync, both on-premises and online, and there will be hands-on labs that create an interactive Lync experience.
January 14 in Washington, D.C.: Microsoft Lync 2013 Technical Ignite Stay ahead of the market with this four-day workshop. Presentations will cover a wide variety of topics for Lync, both on-premises and online, and there will be hands-on labs that create an interactive Lync experience.
January 22 in Boston, MA: Windows Server 2012 Technical Ignite Boot Camp Attend this intensive training event January 22–25 to upgrade your skills to Windows Server 2012 and prepare for Microsoft Certification Exam 70-417.
Special Offer: Upgrade Your Windows Server 2008 Certification Purchase an MCSE: Server Infrastructure, MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure, or MCSE: Private Cloud upgrade certification exam set, and get Exam 70-417 at no cost, along with complimentary training and second chances to pass the exams.
Windows Azure Hands-On Lab Online Training—December Events Register for these online trainings to learn about Windows Azure Virtual Machines, Windows Azure SQL Database, how to debug applications in Windows Azure, and more. As you work on your lab exercises, Microsoft experts will be available to provide guidance via chatting or by virtually taking control of labs.
New Windows 8 Training Take the latest Windows 8 training about product messaging, solution selling, value/opportunity, winning with new devices, and presales technical content for deployment and migration. You'll find a learning path for your company's business model and for your role.
On-Demand: Windows Server 2012 Upgrade Jump Start This accelerated certification prep Jump Start will help IT Pros with Windows Server 2008 expertise to upgrade their skills to Windows Server 2012 in preparation for exam 70-417 and moving into an MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure, MCSE: Server Infrastructure, or MCSE: Private Cloud.
December 11: Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 Service Update and Beyond Partner Training Blitz Join us for a live, Internet broadcast training session on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 service update. Find out about key investments made in the sales and service process, social integration, updated user experience, and platform capabilities. You'll learn about our competitive position, changes to licensing, and the product roadmap.
December 12: Microsoft Dynamics Operations for Dynamics Hour Attend this operational training in preparation for the release of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 on December 19.
Microsoft Dynamics Holiday Certification Sweepstakes Let us help you tackle your holiday to-do list. You can get Microsoft certifications and be entered into a drawing for a prize package that includes some great gifts. Through December 15, for every eligible certification exam you pass, your name will be entered into a drawing to win a prize package. Visit PartnerSource for a list of exams. Official rules.
December 19 Webcast: Microsoft Dynamics Road to Repeatability—Marketplace Join Tera Long for a discussion about the criteria to get listed on Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace and how to write your profile so it gets read by prospective customers.
January 28: Prepare for Microsoft Dynamics AX 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.
Prepare for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Certifications with the 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.
Microsoft Dynamics AX Virtual Industry Classes Take your industry knowledge to the next level with the Microsoft Dynamics AX Industry training. These remotely delivered courses are designed to improve your ability to successfully deliver Microsoft Dynamics AX solutions.
Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Upgrade Workshop for Consultants & Developers The goal of this workshop is to help technical staff to understand how to upgrade an existing Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. You'll learn about upgrading code elements and the data dictionary for customizations, focusing on the major changes introduced with the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 data model.
Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Enterprise Academy Level 300 Workshops These workshops consist of up to five days of in-person training targeted at IT professionals, presales staff, 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.
On Demand Webcast: Microsoft Dynamics AX on Enterprise Agreements In this on-demand session, you'll get an overview of changes, operational information about agreements and how CSA fees are processed, as well as certification tracking in VOICE.
Featured training – resources for certifications and accreditations
Training for Business Decision Makers • Learn How Passing Certification Exams Can Help Your Company Earn a Microsoft Competency
• Learn How Passing Sales and Marketing Assessments Can Help Your Company Earn a Microsoft Competency
• View Competency Assessment and Exam Training Paths
• Build an Assessment or Exam Learning Plan for Your Team by Searching by Competency in the Learning Plan Tool
• Save up to 40% off Competency Exam Packs and Receive a Second Chance to Pass the Exams
Training for IT Professionals • Help Your Company Earn a Microsoft Competency by Passing Certification Exams
• View Competency Exam Training Paths
• Build an Assessment Learning Plan by Searching by Competency in the Learning Plan Tool
Training for Developers • Help Your Company Earn a Microsoft Competency by Passing Certification Exams
Training for Sales and Marketing Roles • Help Your Company Earn a Microsoft Competency by Passing Sales and Marketing Assessments
• View Competency Assessment Training Paths
• Learn How Passing Sales and Marketing Assessments Can Qualify You for a Sales Specialist Accreditation
• Earn Prize Drawing Entries for Earning Sales Specialist and Presales Technical Accreditations
Training for Training Roles • Learn How Passing Certification Exams Can Help Your Company Earn a Microsoft Competency