imageHere is the latest news and information for US partners. As a US-based member of the Microsoft Partner Network, you received an email version of this newsletter, with content specific to your company’s business and your role (more about this in our MPN tips post). This post contains all of the content published in today’s emailed newsletter:

  • Local recommendations
  • Announcements
  • Training resources
  • Role-based training recommendations, this week for Devices and Deployment

For more partner news, resources, and recommendations, visit us on the US partner portal, join the US Partner Community, and read our How to stay informed blog post.

The email version of the US Partner News will be on hiatus for the rest of June and in July, but you’ll still be able to read it here on the US partner team blog on June 21, July 5, and July 19. Subscribe to our blog by email to have the latest posts delivered to your email inbox.

Featured this week

Local recommendations

  • Join your local Microsoft team on their June partner call: East Region on June 14; Central Region on June 21; West Region on June 21.
  • Come partner with us at WPC in Houston this July. For partners serving SMB customers, there is a track of content that will help you build a profitable practice, and on Thursday, July 11, Cindy Bates and team will deliver a US-specific SMB keynote and session.
  • On June 12, attend a webcast to learn from Microsoft experts and our cloud distributor partners about the new licensing options for Microsoft Office 365.
  • The next SMB Customer Talk Blitz Campaign webcast is on June 19. Attend and learn to use your Customer Talk workbook to identify your customers who are using older technology and upgrade them to the latest Microsoft products.
  • The Office Talk Office Hours series covers Microsoft Office in depth—these interactive sessions provide you with product demos, selling tips and tricks, and business best practices from Microsoft and other partners. June 11: Microsoft SharePoint 2013; June 25: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013.

AnnouncementsAnnouncements

WPC 2013 is Almost Here—Come Partner with Us in Houston
The 2013 Worldwide Partner Conference is just a few weeks away, and the Microsoft US partner team wants you to be there. You’ll hear from Microsoft executives like Steve Ballmer and Kevin Turner; learn about our strategies, initiatives, and roadmaps for the coming year, and find out what's new with the Microsoft Partner Network.

Add US Sessions to Your WPC 2013 Conference Schedule
WPC Connect now lets you build your conference schedule, by setting up meetings with other partners and adding sessions to your calendar. See the final US sessions list, with links to abstracts and instructions for managing your schedule in WPC Connect.

WPC 2013: Expert Advice for Planning Ahead and Having a Successful Conference
Find out what you should know and do now to make the most of your experience at the Worldwide Partner Conference. A veteran attendee shares what he’s learned over the past few years.

July 7 at WPC 2013: Application Lifecycle Management Partner Briefing
Join members of the Microsoft Visual Studio Developer Tools team and Application Lifecycle Management partners from around the world in Houston, Texas, for a business event about industry trends, business opportunities, sales efforts, marketing campaigns, and technology growth for the coming year.

Join the US Partner Community on Yammer
Engage with the Microsoft U.S. team and with other partners on our new Yammer network. It’s easy to join and use, allowing for private and public discussions and conversations. Our step-by-step instructions will get you going quickly.

Meet the Updated Server Platform Competency Requirements
If your company has the Microsoft Server Platform competency, note that there are new requirements that align to the release of the Microsoft Certification exams for Windows Server 2012. Find out what to do today to maintain your status and retain your benefits.

How a Microsoft Gold Competency can Make a Difference for Your Business
If you are new to the Microsoft Partner Network, or are exploring your opportunities to deepen your engagement with Microsoft, you will want to understand what the Microsoft competencies are, and why they matter to both you and your customers.

Cloud Deployment Partners: FastTrack Pilot Funds Expire Soon
Partners enrolled in the Microsoft Cloud Deployment program have an opportunity to earn up to $3,000 per customer engagement using the new Microsoft Office 365 FastTrack deployment model, if their deployment engagement starts before June 15 and is billed before June 30.

Port Your iOS and Android Apps to Windows
Microsoft App Builder now has a custom track to help you port your existing iOS and Android app. Sign up for App Builder and select "Port an Existing App to Windows" for resources, tools, and support.

Take Two Minutes and Make a Difference for STEM Education
Now’s the time to write your U.S. Senators to pass S. 744, a bill that expands funding for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education through high-skilled immigration reform. Learn more at Voices for Innovation’s Action Center, and click to send a letter in support of this bill.

New Windows 8 App for the Gear Up eToolkit
The GearUp eToolkit provides basic product facts, quick answers, selling tips, and competition information on Microsoft technologies, so you can confidently talk with customers. We have just launched a Windows 8 app for this essential sales resource. You can now personalize your eToolkit experience with features such as: live tiles that let you know when to sync for new content, the ability to add your own notes, and a reminder of the last topic you viewed.

Use Your Advisory Hours Benefit for Windows 8 Deployments
Contact the Technical Services team and use your advisory hours to help you compete more effectively and implement more reliable deployments. You will receive one-on-one guidance and support from Microsoft consultants that help you save time, mitigate risks effectively, and leverage best practices.

Close More Microsoft Office 365 Sales with SMB Customers
Customers have changed how they buy, preferring self-service and relying on their social networks to help make business decisions over engaging with a sales professional. Use the materials in the Microsoft SMB Accelerated Sales Process to increase prospect responses and realign the buying and selling processes.

Advanced Notification Service for the June 2013 Security Bulletin Release
The next Security Bulletin Release is on Tuesday, June 11, and will contain one Critical-class and four Important-class bulletins. Register for the June 2013 security bulletin webcast.

Increase Your Margins with the Hyper-V Deployment Offer
Many small and midsized businesses today are turning to virtualization to help them do more with less. With Hyper-V built-in, Windows Server 2012 delivers a complete virtualization platform out-of-the-box, so your customers can quickly start taking advantage of the benefits of virtualization. You can get up to $500 cash back when you sell Windows Server and register the deal by June 30, and deploy Hyper-V. Terms and conditions.

Tell Us Your Windows Intune Story for a Chance to Win a Surface Pro
The Windows Intune Gallery is a celebration of the knowledge and creativity of our partners. We want to showcase your story about how Windows Intune helps your business or a customer’s business. Contest ends June 30. Official rules.

The Get2Modern Campaign Helps Your SMB Customers Move to the Modern Desktop
On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will end support for the decade-old Windows XP and Office 2003. This means customers will no longer receive updates, including security updates, for Windows XP from Microsoft. You can help your customers stay up to date and save them up to 15 percent with a limited-time upgrade offer for the new Office and Windows 8. Offer ends June 20. Terms and conditions.

Get a New Office Event Kit from Microsoft Community Connections
Generate more sales opportunities by hosting a "new Office" event, webinar, or lunch and learn with a community organization or business association in your area. The first 100 partners that register for a Microsoft Community Connections event featuring the new Office will receive a special edition event kit that includes a copy of Windows 8 and a copy of Microsoft Office 2013 to use for demand generation.

Windows Azure Developer Challenge by Code Project
The challenge is actually five challenges, each two weeks long. When combined, they will result in a web application hosted on Windows Azure that uses Azure data services and virtual machines, and provides a great mobile experience. You can enter one challenge, or all of them.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Partner Launch Portal
The partner launch portal for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 (code name Orion) is now on PartnerSource. This will be your go-to site for your product release readiness and resources. Check back regularly for updates on the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Changing the Conversation About CRM. Less Talk. More Awesome.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is taking on the competition, by addressing some of the biggest issues in the CRM world today, articulating our differentiation and competitive advantages. Using Microsoft point of view blogs, supporting customer evidence, analyst quotes and reports, primary and secondary research, and our own executives, we lay out a vision for the future on our new site.

Retail Benchmark Results for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2
The benchmark showcases the ability of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 to handle various specialized loads concurrently, without compromising performance and scalability on critical business processes. It includes many functional scenarios across different client and integration technologies, providing a view of retail back-end scenarios.

Marketing Services Bureau Special Offers
Accelerate your marketing with offers from the Marketing Services Bureau. Whether you need a customer list, consulting services, social media solutions, or want to implement an end-to-end marketing campaign, MSB can help. One new offer this month is The Truth About Leads, a free consulting call.

Extend Your Marketing Resources with the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Outsource Model
The Microsoft Dynamics Partner Outsource Model is a comprehensive suite of bundled services that can help you build and execute 3 to 12 months of marketing at a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself. This innovative marketing system is uniquely designed for the new economics of selling your Microsoft Dynamics product and service offerings to customers.

Ends June 21: Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, and Microsoft Dynamics NAV User Offer
Your Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, and Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers can receive up to a 20% discount off the Microsoft standard list price for additional user licenses purchases. Offer ends June 21. Terms and conditions.

Ends June 21: Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV Customers a la Carte Module Offer
Your Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers are eligible to receive up to 30% off the Microsoft standard list price when purchasing select a la carte modules or granules. Offer ends June 21. Terms and conditions.

Ends June 28: Reenrollment Award for Microsoft Dynamics ERP Customers
Customers can renew their service plan and receive up to 20% off their next qualifying license purchase, as well as add users, purchase new modules, or transition to Business Ready Licensing. Discount is based on tenure of customer and consecutive years of being current on Microsoft Dynamics Service Plan. Offer ends June 28. Terms and conditions.

 

Training resourcesTraining resources

The Hot Sheet: Your Online Guide to Upcoming Training
Use the Hot Sheet to quickly find upcoming training opportunities, including courses delivered in local classrooms, live webcasts and partner calls. Choose the sales or technical training schedule, and click the event title to read a course abstract and register. Look for the July Hot Sheet to be published the week of June 17.

Training and Exam Prep for SQL Server Certification Starts June 24
This training and exam prep course provides IT pros with an alternative to full-day courses. Instead, attendance is two hours daily, Monday through Thursday, for four weeks. You’ll learn how to use SQL Server 2012 product features and tools related to maintain a database.

Get Real-Time Training and Certification Information
Join the US Partner Community on Yammer to get real-time updates about partner training. In the Training Recommendations group, we’re sharing information about in-person and virtual training courses, certification offers, on-demand courses, and more. Let us help you find the best training for your business needs.

Enter to Win with Windows 8 Training
Webcasts on topics like Windows 8 solution selling and user migration from Windows 7 to Windows 8 can help you build your product knowledge to better serve customers as well as earn technical certifications or pass sales assessments. For each eligible course your complete through June 30, we'll enter your into a gift card drawing. Official rules.

On Demand: App Builder Virtual Summit Sessions
The on-demand video files from the App Builder Virtual Summit are now available for you to watch. Learn more about the Windows and Windows Phone opportunity and get tips from top app developers. Whether you’re an iOS, Android, or Windows developer, these on-demand sessions offer the perfect opportunity to make headway on your own apps and expand your portfolio.

Windows Store Application Development Training
Build your skills and learn best practices for designing Windows Store apps. Take training delivered by Microsoft Services to expand your skill set and develop with confidence. These workshops can help you maximize the development tools and work more effectively with the Windows Store.

Dev Radio: Practical Azure with Jim O’Neil – Virtual Networks
The latest episode of Practical Azure covers the topic of networking in Windows Azure: a means to connect disparate cloud services you've deployed as well as to join on-premises assets with the cloud services you’re hosting in Windows Azure in one big happy, virtual network.

TechNet Radio: Deploying and Managing Private Cloud Applications
In this installment of Building a Private Cloud with System Center 2012, Keith Mayer and Yung Chou explore the topic of how to deploy and manage your applications to the private cloud. Tune in for their discussion about how to set up and create profiles for your virtual machine templates.

TechNet Radio; Protecting Your Private Cloud with Data Protection Manager
Continuing the Building a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 SP1 series, in episode 10 Keith Mayer and Yung Chou discuss how you can protect your newly created private cloud with Data Protection Manager. Tune in as they discuss disaster recovery solutions and performance enhancements as well as demo how to setup and configure DPM for your environment.

TechNet Radio: Dynamic Optimization of the Private Cloud Fabric
In this installment of the Building a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 series, Keith Mayer and Yung Chou walk through the steps needed to dynamically optimize virtual machines. Tune in as they show you how to set the reserve capacity for our hosts, balance VM loads, set-up auto live migrations, and optimize our power consumption.

TechNet Radio: Delivering Results Using Windows Server 2012 – Dynamic Access Control
Tommy Patterson welcomes Principal Program Manager, Mark Lawrence, to the TechNet Radio show as they discuss how Microsoft IT used Windows Server 2012 Dynamic Access Control to help secure and improve access management to key infrastructure and line-of business applications to users and business groups within the company. Tune in as they lay out an extensive case study describing the situation, the solution and benefits to adopting Windows Server 2012 in their own IT environment.

TechNet Radio: Managing Your Hybrid Cloud Network
In the final episode of the Building a Private Cloud series Keith Mayer and Yung Chou discuss how to manage a hybrid cloud environment with System Center 2012 SP1 App Controller. Tune in as they demo how to get started with this service, and offer their final thoughts.

TechNet Radio: How Microsoft.com Scales Using Windows Server 2012
Tommy Patterson welcomes Sr. Service Engineering Manager, George Holman, to share how his team used Windows Server 2012 to help scale and improve the performance of Microsoft.co. Tune in as he describes the noticeable difference between Server 2012 vs. previous versions of Windows Server and how his team planned for and deployed it in their environment.

TechNet Radio: Deploying and Managing a Service in the Cloud
Yung Chou and Keith Mayer and welcome Greg Shields from Concentrated Technology to the show. They discuss the differences between virtualization and cloud computing and how the two complement each other. You’ll also learn how you can take the principles you learned from virtualization and apply them to the cloud.

TechNet Radio: Upgrading from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2012
In this episode of IT Time, Blain Barton walks you through the steps and considerations for upgrading from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2012. Tune in as he lays out the necessary hardware and disk requirements, which Windows Clients and Servers are supported, and the Active Directory changes you should know about.

Dev Radio: Windows Azure Updates – IaaS, Web Sites, and Licensing
Brian Hitney and Peter Laudati review and demo some of the latest Windows Azure updates and features, such as the general availability of Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service, Azure Web Sites, the Azure SDK 2.0 for .NET, and the new licensing and pricing model.

Q4 Sales Closing Web Seminar Series: Overcome Obstacles
Review these three 60-minute web seminars to make the most of your sales efforts. Sessions include Prioritizing Opportunities, Reversing a ‘No Decision,’ and Getting to Yes.

September 17 in Fargo, North Dakota: Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Workshops
Participate in three technical training workshops the day before the GP Technical Airlift. These workshops will provide additional learning for presales, implementation consultant and developers.

September 18–20 in Fargo, North Dakota: Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Airlift
Join the Microsoft Dynamics GP product development and support teams, and fellow Microsoft Dynamics VARs and ISVs for GP Technical Airlift 2013. The event has a deep focus on the GP product and how to sell, deploy, and customize the solution. Last year, more than 450 partners attended this sell-out event. Register before July 15 for Early Bird pricing.

July 1 – August 2 in Fargo, North Dakota: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Summer Institute
The Microsoft Dynamics Summer Institute is focused on young professionals and new-hires brought into our partner organizations. The program takes successful attributes from the standard Fast TrAX program and augments with an introduction to ERP, accounting and distribution definitions and principles, scenario based case study and Consulting 101.

Fundamentals of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 on Windows Azure
Learn more about the new cloud deployment options and capabilities offered in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013. The training kits and courses can help give you an understanding of the underlying platform in a cloud environment and providing the best deployment options, architecting, extending and servicing Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 solutions in Windows Azure for your customers.

Featured training

Featured training – Devices and Deployment

Delivering services and solutions for the Windows 8 operating system and Microsoft Office productivity software represents a tremendous business opportunity for partners.

Despite the success of Windows 7, significant numbers of PCs remain on the Windows XP operating system. These customers are expected to begin their migrations in 2013 and complete them before the end of support for Windows XP in April 2014. In addition, Windows 8 brings new capabilities and enables a wide range of scenarios (bring your own device, mobile workforce support, portable workspace) that require additional solution partner support to implement.

Business Decision Makers

Use these training resources to build your company’s capabilities for devices and deployment. Encourage your technical team to earn Microsoft certifications, and sales team to pass sales and licensing assessments.

Sales and Marketing Roles

Use these training resources to build your Windows 8 and Microsoft Office knowledge, and pass sales and licensing assessments.

IT Professionals

Use these training resources to build your technical skills and knowledge for both Windows 8 and Office, and consider earning related Microsoft Certifications.

Developers

Use these training resources to build your application development skills for both Windows 8 and Office, and consider earning related Microsoft Certifications.

Training Roles

Use these training resources to build your company's capabilities for devices and deployment. Encourage your technical team to earn Microsoft certifications, and sales team to pass sales and licensing assessments.