imageWelcome to this issue of the US Partner News! It’s back after a brief hiatus for the month of July, and there’s a lot going on for Microsoft partners that you will want to know and that I’ll share with you here today and each week. Several announcements were made at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston last month, and as it is a new fiscal year for Microsoft (our fiscal year 2014 started July 1), our worldwide and US partners teams are starting to roll out new campaigns, offers, and opportunities.

Before getting into the news, here is a quick update about this newsletter. I am expanding the number of times it’s posted from twice a month to a weekly cadence. That means that each Friday, you’ll see the latest information for you from across the US and worldwide partner teams right here on our blog. You can come right to the newsletter posts by using http://aka.ms/uspnewsletter, and you can subscribe to this blog with your email address so that posts come directly to your inbox.

Announcements

imagePartners Selling Cloud Solutions Experience Higher Profits and Faster Growth
An IDC study sponsored by Microsoft and released at the Worldwide Partner Conference reveals customer preferences for buying cloud solutions and the success of partner companies that have moved their business to the cloud.

Earn Rebate Dollars for Selling Microsoft Annuity Agreements
Through the US VAR Rebate program, you can earn up to 22 percent in rebates for selling Microsoft Open Value agreements. You must register prior to September 6 to participate.

imageRegister Early for WPC 2014 in Washington, DC, and Save
Next year’s Worldwide Partner Conference is in Washington, DC, from July 13–17. For a limited time, you can register early for your all-access pass and get a special price of $1,695.

Save Up to 50% on Certification Exams with a Microsoft Competency Exam Pack
Purchase a pack of 20 exams and save 50%, or a pack of 5 exams and save 40%. Hand out exam vouchers to IT Pros and other technically focused individuals in your company who need to get certified. Offer ends December 31. Exams must be completed by May 31, 2014. 

Resources

Microsoft Partner Network Disclosure Guide
Released in July, this guide provides you with a comprehensive look at Microsoft Partner Network program requirements and benefits, and explains changes coming this year for competencies, Cloud Partner programs, the Microsoft Action Pack, and more.

Join the US Partner Community on Yammer
Follow the four easy steps in our guidance document to join and start participating in the US Partner Community on Yammer.

imageGet Expert Advice in the Partner Support Community
As an MPN member, you have access to unlimited, no-cost support for your product, developer, presales, and membership questions in the Partner Support Community forums. In any forum, you can also request private communication with a Microsoft expert.

Download the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview
Windows 8.1 Enterprise provides IT professionals with a reliable and easy-to-manage infrastructure for today’s changing and increasingly mobile work styles. It’s the fastest and most secure OS from Microsoft for desktop, laptop, or tablet.

Training

August Hot Sheet – Find and Register for Upcoming Training
The Hot Sheet is a frequently updated schedule of live virtual and in-person training and informational calls that are coming in the next few weeks.

Take Control of Your Training with New, Interactive Learning Paths
Create, assign, and measure training for your company through learning paths. You can create training for individuals and teams, and track progress. Sign in with your Microsoft account to get started with the new, interactive features.

imageCloud 1-2-3 Webcast Series
Build your cloud business by participating in this webcast series. The lineup of presentations includes sales, marketing, and technical content that will help you understand the cloud opportunity and Microsoft cloud solutions, drive demand and close sales, and increase your migration and deployment expertise.

On Demand: Cloud 1-2-3 – Mastering the Office 365 SKU Lineup
Learn the difference between Office 365 Enterprise, Midsize Business, and Small Business Premium SKUs, and how to determine which offering best fits your customer’s needs. You’ll also learn about the two different Microsoft Online Services licensing models, Open and Advisor.

imageCalendar through August 16

This list provides a sampling of upcoming partner calls, training, and events for the next two weeks. Refer to the Hot Sheet for a comprehensive list for the next six weeks that’s frequently updated.

August 5 – Practice Accelerator for Data Center Infrastructure and Management

August 9 – East Region call for SMB resellers

August 13 – Security Bulletin Release for August

August 13 – Cloud 1-2-3: Showcase the Power of Office and Office 365 to Your Customers

August 14 – Security Bulletin Webcast for August

August 15 – Cloud 1-2-3: Jumpstart Your Office 365 Practice (Part 1)

August 16 – Central Region call for SMB resellers

August 16 – West Region call for SMB resellers

Featured Video

The new, interactive learning paths provide you with collections of training modules and classes, organized around a common topic. In fewer than five minutes, this video by the MPN Training team will help you get started with these new learning paths.

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