imageWelcome to this week’s issue of the US Partner News! You’ll now find the latest news and information for Microsoft partners here each Friday. Read previous issues at http://aka.ms/uspnewsletter, and subscribe by email to receive future issues. Go to http://aka.ms/uspblog, and you’ll see this option under “Subscribe and follow,” on the right.

Top Stories

Sign Up for the US VAR Rebate by September 6
September 6 is the last day that resellers can sign up for the current US VAR Rebate, which runs July 1–December 31. When you sell qualifying annuity agreements, you can earn up to 22 percent in rebates. Even if you have participated in previous versions of the rebate, you must sign up specifically for this one.

imageIgnite Summit in Washington, DC, November 5–7
Attend this three-day workshop for deep technical training on productivity workloads, delivered by Microsoft product experts. The Ignite Summit will feature over 70 breakout session titles in tracks that cover Office, Office 365, Developer, Exchange, Project, SharePoint, Visio/Visio Services, and Yammer.

Drumbeat Sales Day at the Ignite Summit in Washington, DC, on November 4
Successfully selling Microsoft Office 365 requires a new way of approaching the sale. At Drumbeat Sales Day, specifically for Microsoft partners, we’ll share Microsoft best practices, programs, and selling tools. We will also present insights into the cloud services market and your opportunity. This training is recommended for sales and presales technical roles.

Microsoft US SMB Champions Club Offers Marketing Benefits to Enrolled Partners
The new US SMB Champions Club provides eligible and enrolled Microsoft partners with marketing benefits that include marketing development Funds, Bing Ad credits, Microsoft Community Connections events device bar, and more.

imageWhy Partner with IAMCP? A Q&A with IAMCP's Communications Chair
In this online interview, Justin Pirie, Communications Chair for IAMCP International and Cloud Strategist for Microsoft partner, Mimecast, talks about the IAMCP’s presence at WPC in Houston and how IAMCP helps foster partner-to-partner relationships at WPC as well as throughout the year.

 

Resources

Microsoft Partner Disclosure Guide – Competency Changes
Starting in January 2014, changes to the Microsoft competencies will include updated requirements to align with the availability of new Certification exams and assessments; the integration of exams for Office 365, Windows Intune, Windows Azure, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online into relevant competencies; and the introduction of new cloud, hosting, and application qualification tracks for relevant competencies. Read more about these changes in the downloadable disclosure guide.

What’s New in 2012 R2: Cloud-integrated Disaster Recovery
With the R2 wave of Cloud OS products that will be generally available in October, implementing a disaster recovery solution for an organization of any size is simplified. Brad Anderson, Corporate VP for Windows Server and System Center, talks about this new opportunity on the In the Cloud blog.

Microsoft Security Bulletin – August Release
Read the August 2013 security bulletin for information about updates released for Internet Explorer, Microsoft Server software, and Windows. You can also watch the August security bulletin webcast on demand, and register for the September webcast. The next security bulletin release is on Tuesday, September 10.

Download Previews for Windows 8.1 and Cloud OS Products
The next releases for Windows client and Cloud OS products (Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, and Windows Intune) will be ready October 18.

imageGet Involved with Voices for Innovation
Voices for Innovation (VFI) is a community of IT professionals, including Microsoft partners, engaged at the intersecting points where government, citizens, and IT businesses share concerns. We stay informed—and voice our ideas and concerns—about governmental issues that affect our businesses and the technology sector as a whole. VFI is supported by Microsoft.

Offer Your Customers a Microsoft ERP Test Drive
A business solution from Microsoft is more affordable than most people think. It replace an overworked and undersized accounting system, offer a faster track to growth, and a better way to handle financial management, supply chain management, business intelligence, and reporting.

Marketing Services Bureau Special Offers for Microsoft Dynamics Partners (PartnerSource)
Accelerate your Microsoft Dynamics solution 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, the Marketing Services Bureau offers resourced that can help.  

Training

HotSheetCalendarSeptember Hot Sheet – Find and Register for Upcoming Training and Partner Calls
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. Subscribe to the US Partner Learning blog to receive the Hot Sheet as soon as it’s published each month.

Final Week to Enter to Win a Surface Pro by Watching Windows Server Webcasts On Demand
Through August 31, watch the Windows Server 2012 Samurai webcasts on demand, and be entered into a random drawing to win a Surface Pro in our sweepstakes. For each session you watch you’ll earn one more entry, with a potential of earning eight entries per partner. No purchase necessary. Contest ends August 31. Official rules.

Go Back to School for a Chance to Win a $120 Amazon Gift Card
​Let us help you prepare for your next Microsoft Lync, Windows 8, or Windows Azure exam or assessment. See our list of eligible sales and technical courses that will earn you up to 10 entries into a drawing for a $120 Amazon gift card. No purchase necessary. Open only to authorized representatives of companies actively enrolled in the Microsoft Partner Network with a valid MPN ID who are legal residents of the US age 18+. Official rules.

imageCloud 1-2-3 Webcast Series: Sales, Marketing, and Technical Content to Build Your Practice
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.

 

imageCalendar Through September 6

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

August 26 – Practice Accelerator for Business Intelligence (Windows Server, SQL Server, SharePoint)

August 27 – MVA Live Q & A for Windows Azure

August 27 – SharePoint 2013 Migration Best Practices/Issues

August 28 – Windows Server 2012 Direct Access Technical Overview 

August 29 – Cloud 1-2-3: Office 365 Open Licensing, You Bill, We Deliver

August 29 – Ignite Webcast: Exchange Online Protection Special Topics

August 29 – Dynamics CRM 2011: Basic Troubleshooting CRM Performance Issues

August 30 – Chalk Talk: Office 365 Service Upgrade for 2013

August 31 – Last day for early registration savings for the Microsoft Dynamics AX Tech Conference

September 1 – New Office 365 SKUs available through Microsoft Open License

September 4 – Windows Server 2012 R2 & System Center 2012 R2 in SPLA 

September 5 – Practice Accelerator for Datacenter Infrastructure & Management

September 6 – Final day to sign up for the US VAR rebate

Featured Video

The Beatles meet Big Data. Watch this video from the Day 1 Vision Keynote at WPC 2013, featuring Microsoft Fellow, Amir Netz, giving an amazing and enthusiastic Power BI demo.

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