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 to help you utilize your membership benefits, understand your opportunities and close business, and build your skills. Role-based training recommendations for this issue are about the new Application Development competency. 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 January 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 you can also follow those topics here on our blog:

The next issue of the newsletter is Friday, February 1. To receive the most relevant content in your newsletter email, set your primary job role in your Individual Profile in the Partner Membership Center.

AnnouncementsAnnouncements

Pre-register for WPC 2013 by January 30 and Save $300
Through January 30, you'll pay just $1,695 for your all-access pass to the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, July 7–11 in Houston, Texas. At WPC, partners establish new contacts, build lasting business relationships, get insight to the Microsoft product roadmap and strategy, and hear first-hand about their opportunities for revenue and profitability.

Five Ways to Use Your Partner Advisory Hours Before They Expire
Your membership benefits in the Microsoft Partner Network includes partner advisory hours. These hours may be used to purchase services from the Microsoft Partner Services team to help deepen product knowledge, close deals, and get expert guidance on development and deployment. Don't leave money on the table by letting your hours expire—learn how to use them.

Top-Five Ways to Use Your Partner Advisory Hours to Benefit Your Business
Partner advisory hours are used as currency for services offered by the Microsoft Partner Services team. Apply these benefits today to help you build product knowledge and skills, close deals, and get expert guidance on development and deployment for your Microsoft-based solutions.

Add a Competency and Its Benefits to Your Membership for Just $999
If small-business customers are your focus, consider earning the Silver Small Business competency. By joining the 5 percent of Microsoft partners worldwide that have a competency, you'll demonstrate advanced skills and technology expertise to your customers and prospects. Offer ends June 30. Terms and conditions.

January 28 in Boston, Massachusetts: Microsoft Cloud Fast-Track Boot Camp
Join Microsoft cloud experts and your local Microsoft team for a one-day training that will help you accelerate your cloud sales using demo tools, customer campaigns, and shared best practices. You will learn about partner opportunities with the new Office and how to successfully demo Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Intune for productive customer conversations.

January 30 in Farmington, Connecticut: Microsoft Cloud Fast-Track Boot Camp
Join Microsoft cloud experts and your local Microsoft team for a one-day training that will help you accelerate your cloud sales using demo tools, customer campaigns, and shared best practices. You will learn about partner opportunities with the new Office and how to successfully demo Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Intune for productive customer conversations.

Get the Essentials You Need to Start Building Your Cloud Practice
Enroll today in Microsoft Cloud Essentials for access to internal-use licenses for Microsoft Office 365, Windows Intune, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, plus resources to market, sell, and service to prospects and customers who are ready to reap the benefits of cloud computing in their businesses.

Online Services Advisor Incentives Can Benefit Your Bottom Line
Online Services Advisor incentives reward eligible partners for selling, deploying, and managing online services like Microsoft Office 365, Windows Intune, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Download this guide for details about eligibility requirements, incentive structures and rates, and payment and reporting policies. Get expert guidance about these incentives.

Cloud Deployment Program Helps You Onboard Enterprise Customers to Microsoft Office 365
If your company is enrolled in Microsoft Cloud Accelerate, you are eligible to join the enablement phase of the Cloud Deployment program. Your benefits, including cloud onboarding planning support, deployment and break/fix support, training, and tools, will help you build a thriving cloud deployment practice. The initial enrollment period ends February 28.

Windows Intune Partner Digest for January
Download the January issue of the Windows Intune Partner Digest to read the latest news about the most recent Intune release. The Partner Digest includes sales, technical, and business-building information.

February 13 Marketing Webcast: Building Marketplace Credibility with Customer Evidence
In this webcast sponsored by Ready-to-Go Marketing and Extra Mile Marketing, you'll learn why customer evidence is so powerful and how you can build extremely effective case studies, reference stories, and testimonials to help you close more business.

New Windows Intune Campaign from Ready-to-Go Marketing
Windows Intune brings together Microsoft cloud services and an upgrade license to the latest version of Windows to help you deliver PC management, security technologies, updates, and remote assistance. Accelerate your Windows Intune sales and drive demand with customizable business letters as well as to-customer guides for purchase and support, pricing, and FAQs.

Refresh Your Coding Strategy—Play Rock Paper Azure and Win
Rock Paper Azure is back until January 25. Learn the cloud by building your own killer bot and then prepare to crush the competition. We're awarding weekly prizes just for playing. Upload your bot, tweet about it with #AzureRPS, and you'll be automatically entered to win. Contest rules.

Cloud OS Trivia Challenge
Test your knowledge about the latest Microsoft data center products—Windows Server 2012, Microsoft System Center 2012, Windows Azure, and Microsoft Hyper-V Server for a chance to win a trip to the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 8–12. Sweepstakes ends March 1. Official rules.

January 2013 Out-of-Band Security Bulletin Release
On January 14, Microsoft released out-of-band security update MS13-088 to address Security Advisory 2794220. Materials from the Microsoft Security Response Center webcast, including a replay of the webcast, slides, and Q&A, are available.

Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for January 2013
As part of our usual cycle of security updates, we released our latest Security Bulletin Summary on Tuesday, January 8, with two Critical-class and five Important-class bulletins, addressing 12 vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Office, Developer Tools, and Windows Server. The next bulletin is scheduled for Tuesday, February 12. Register for the February 2013 security bulletin webcast.

Earn Ready-to-Go Marketing Rewards
Redeem your points for rewards that help you expand your business through valuable marketing resources like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and customer lists. Current rewards promotions feature campaign materials for Microsoft SQL Server and Windows Server.

New! Office 365 BEST Marketing Campaign for SMB Customers
This new campaign will help you have richer conversations with your small- and midsize-business customers about their choice of solutions, from Microsoft Office 365 user-based subscriptions to traditional Office suite offerings. In addition to guides and presentations, you can download industry-specific webinars in a box for Health Services, Construction, Real Estate, and more.

Activate Your Microsoft Office 365 Internal Use Software License Benefits
This is a great opportunity for you to gain hands-on experience using Microsoft Office 365 internally to effectively help bring your customers online. Download your software today.

Get Support with the New Office 365 Partner Support Team
Cloud Accelerate and Cloud Deployment program partners now have 24/7 access to support resources for deep technical (break-fix) support and can connect with Microsoft consultants for product, sales, and delivery expertise.

Start Using Your Internal Use Software Licenses for Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013
The new Office gives customers a comprehensive set of productivity tools to help them do their best work in a world of devices and services. If you are an Action Pack subscriber or competency partner, you have access to full-version software for the new Office to use internally. For more Office resources, use our online guide.

Register to Have Your Solution Certified for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013
Solutions that are Certified for Microsoft Dynamics (CfMD) have demonstrated development quality and compatibility with the Microsoft Dynamics product on which they run. This certification represents a significant step in elevating the standard for partner-developed software solutions for industry-specific business applications.

Better SEO Results, More Traffic, Increased Engagement
Butterfly Publisher makes it easy to manage blogs, social media, and an email newsletter. Dynamics specific content is curated and ready to go in the Microsoft Library. You also receive two articles written for you and geared to improve your Search Engine Optimization results each month.

Your Questions, Answered: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Transition to the Microsoft Online Services Environment
In the ongoing effort to enhance our customer offerings, Microsoft is transitioning all subscriptions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to the Microsoft Online Services environment, which is the platform used for Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Intune. Read our partner guidance and FAQ to understand this transition.

Training resourcesTraining resources

New Office Training and Incentive
The upcoming release of the new Office will bring new partner opportunity. Be prepared to hit the ground running with the latest on-demand training. For each featured course you take in January and February, you'll be entered to win a $120 Amazon gift card or a Nikon digital camera kit. Official rules.

Up to 40% off Your Next Microsoft Certification Exam
Take advantage of up to 40% savings on your Microsoft certification exams to meet competency requirements and sharpen your skills when you purchase a Microsoft Competency Exam Pack. You'll also get a free exam retake if needed. Eligible exams cover Microsoft products like Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Microsoft Office 365, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Terms and conditions.

Free Exam Offer: Exam 74-324: Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses
Meet one of the exam requirements for the Small Business competency and take the exam at no cost. The first 2,000 partners who take Exam 74-324: Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses will be able to take it for free at an authorized Prometric Testing Center when they use promo code MPNO365 to register for the exam. Offer ends when the available codes have been used or on June 30, whichever comes first. Details and terms and conditions.

January 22–24 in Redmond, Washington: Prepare for the New Office at Ignite Plus
Sales and technical professionals from Microsoft partner organizations are invited to the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, Washington, to get in-depth information about and prepare for the release of the new Office. Come learn about the new technical capabilities of this release and the business opportunities for partners. The event will feature presentations, demonstrations, and discussions with experts from the Microsoft Office Division and the Microsoft partner team.

January 29 in Irving, TX: Microsoft Lync SDK Training
This four-day in-person course for software developers provides training on using the Lync SDK for integration into custom or line-of business applications.

Accelerate Your Sales: Attend a Local Microsoft Cloud Fast-Track Boot Camp
Join Microsoft cloud experts and your local Microsoft team for a one-day training that will help you accelerate your cloud sales using demo tools, customer campaigns, and shared best practices. You will learn about partner opportunities with the new Office and how to successfully demo Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Intune for productive customer conversations. Events being held across the U.S. in February and March.

New Savings on Microsoft Press E-Books
Save 50 percent on e-books to help you learn a new skill and prepare to pass Microsoft certification exams. This offer comes through O'Reilly Media, the official distributor for Microsoft Press.

New Windows 8 Hands-On Lab Training Events for IT Pros and Developers
Learn how to use your existing skills to create and customize interesting Windows 8 applications for your customers. Attend an upcoming Windows 8 Hands-On Lab Online (HOLO) training event to hear a live presentation and get one-on-one assistance while you work on lab exercises.

New Windows Azure Hands-On Lab Online Trainings for IT Pros and Developers
Attend an upcoming Windows Azure Hands-On Lab Online (HOLO) training event to hear a live presentation and get one-on-one assistance while you work on lab exercises. Upcoming topics include Introduction to Windows Azure SQL Database; Building and Publishing ASP.NET Apps; Debugging Apps; and Connecting a PaaS Application to an IaaS Application.

January 24: Introduction to Hyper-V Jump Start
Join Microsoft experts Symon Perriman and Jeff Woolsey for the first of three live Jump Start sessions focused on virtualization. The course will cover uses of Hyper-V in the Windows Server 2012 platform.

January 30: Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals Jump Start
In part two of the virtualization Jump Start series, Microsoft experts Symon Perriman and Matt McSpirit will familiarize VMware Pros with how Microsoft virtualization and Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V work, and how Microsoft virtualizations and compares with VMware vSphere 5.1.

January 31: Windows Intune for IT Pros Jump Start
This one-day event to be held on January 31 is designed for IT organizations interested in learning how Windows Intune is the perfect choice for managing and securing PCs, tablets, and mobile devices (Windows Phone, Android, iPhone) in the cloud. The engaging, demo-rich session will feature technical evangelist David Tesar and IT security and infrastructure architect Richard Harrison.

January 17: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Tech Chat—Infrastructure and Deploy
The announcement of the next Microsoft Dynamics CRM service update has generated excitement—and questions—from partners. This Tech Chat Series is an opportunity for ongoing discussions, leading up to the formal readiness courses and materials that are coming soon. January 24 – Activity Feeds and Yammer; January 31 – iPad; On-Demand – Lync, Skype, Xbrowser; On-Demand – Flow UI.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Technology-On-The-Go Sweepstakes
View one of the six qualifying webcasts for Microsoft Dynamics AX about payroll, human resources, reporting, global address book, and other features, and be entered to win an Optoma PK320 Pico Pocket Projector or Garmin Nuvi 2495 GPS. Contest ends March 15. Official rules.

January 22 in New York City: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 RapidStart Services Workshop
Attend the one-day Microsoft Dynamics RapidStart Services Workshop to learn directly from Microsoft R&D and build your own rapid-implementation templates.

January 22 in Reston, Virginia: Microsoft Dynamics Back to Growth Repeatability Clinic
This hands-on workshop explores how rapidly changing buyer behavior is increasingly driving partners to develop volume solutions and repeatable business processes. The session will focus on the roadmap and practical tactics that other partners have implemented to build or improve their volume practices.

January 24 in Atlanta, Georgia: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 RapidStart Services Workshop
Attend the one-day Microsoft Dynamics RapidStart Services Workshop to learn directly from Microsoft R&D and build your own rapid-implementation templates.

January 28–February 2 in Dallas, TX: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client Workshops for Consultants
These courses help consultants understand the foundation of Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client, how it functions, the necessary security requirements, and how to properly and effectively troubleshoot Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 on Web Client.

February 11–14 in Phoenix, Arizona: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Industry Summit 2.0
The Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Industry Summit 2.0 will bring you up to speed on Microsoft Dynamics AX industry solutions; enable you to professionally market, sell, and deploy industry solutions; and connect you with Microsoft, Microsoft ISVs, and industry peers. Building on the momentum and feedback from last year's industry summit, we are adding role-based training by industry.

February 18 in Seattle, Washington: Microsoft Dynamics Back to Growth Repeatability Clinic
This hands-on workshop explores how rapidly changing buyer behavior is increasingly driving partners to develop volume solutions and repeatable business processes. The session will focus on the roadmap and practical tactics that other partners have implemented to build or improve their volume practices.

Microsoft Dynamics Growth Through Repeatability Clinics
This hands-on workshop explores how rapidly changing buyer behavior is increasingly driving partners to develop volume solutions and repeatable business processes. The session will focus on the roadmap and practical tactics that other partners have implemented to build or improve their volume practices.

Featured training

Featured Training
Training for Business Decision Makers

In November, Microsoft merged three development competencies (ISV, Software Development, and Web Development) into one competency, Application Development. Completing the training and passing the certification exams and assessments listed in the learning plan can help your company demonstrate expertise in products like Visual Studio, Windows Client and Server, Windows Azure, and Microsoft BizTalk Server.

Training for IT Professionals

Training for Developers

Training for Sales and Marketing Roles

Training for Training Roles
In November, Microsoft merged three development competencies (ISV, Software Development, and Web Development) into one competency, Application Development. Completing the training and passing the certification exams and assessments listed in the learning plan can help your company demonstrate expertise in products like Visual Studio, Windows Client and Server, Windows Azure, and Microsoft BizTalk Server.