11042013_USHPWelcome to this week’s issue of the US Partner News Online! Each week, we’ll bring you the latest news and information for Microsoft partners. You can read previous weeks’ issues at http://aka.ms/uspnewsletter. If you’d like to see the next post in your email inbox, go to http://aka.ms/uspblog and enter your email address under “Subscribe and follow” on the right hand side.

Top Stories

Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry and the New Intelligent Systems Competency
Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry extends Windows 8.1 to a range of edge devices across retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and other industries. Read more about this release, how Windows Embedded helps shape the daily experiences of customers and consumers, and the Intelligent Systems Competency that will be available in January 2014, on the Windows Embedded blog.

November 7 Virtual Event for Office 365: Transform Your Workplace, Enable Innovation
On November 7, you and your customers are invited to join Microsoft for a live session with industry thought leaders and special guests to hear firsthand how Microsoft Office 365 has helped companies harness employee ideas, embrace new workplace cultures and technologies, and spark innovation and spontaneous collaboration in the workplace to accelerate business: getting it done, anywhere.

Microsoft Go-To-Market Services for ISVs
ISVs with apps powered by Windows Azure are encouraged to visit the Microsoft Go-To-Market Services website for resources that can help boost app exposure and performance. From case studies and marketing templates to business guidance, community support, and the Concierge Desk, find out how Microsoft can support your business.

US Cloud OS Accelerate Program
The Microsoft US Cloud OS Accelerate program (COSA) helps eligible Microsoft US partners accelerate the sales cycle to deploy various components of the Microsoft Cloud OS vision.

imageStudent Advantage for Office 365 Education VL Customers
Student Advantage is a new student benefit for Office 365 Education volume licensing customers. Starting December 1, any education organization fully covering faculty and staff with Office can include students at no additional cost, allowing students to download Office 365 ProPlus with their school's Org ID. Partner materials about Student Advantage are available on the Microsoft Education Partner Network website (requires sign in).

Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for October 2013
The October 2013 security updates cover Internet Explorer, Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Server Software, Microsoft Silverlight, and Windows. You can watch the October webcast on demand, and register for the next webcast, on November 13. The next security bulletin release is on Tuesday, November 12.

How to Plug into the Microsoft Sales Machine
In this on-demand webcast, you'll learn how Microsoft segments customers and how partners map to that segmentation. We'll explain how Microsoft sellers operate, and we'll share tips about how to position your solutions to be more relevant to Microsoft field sellers. You'll gain a good understanding of the field's go-to-market approach, product alignment, and how to most effectively leverage and build Microsoft relationships to drive more business.

ISVs: How to Build a Successful Cloud Business
Every ISV understands that the cloud has the potential to greatly expand their revenues. However, there are many uncertainties that impact the timing and level of investment an ISV is willing to make. This fast-paced one-hour webinar will address some of the key issues, including understanding the impact on your cash flow, compensation for your salespeople and channel partners for subscriptions sales, pricing, cloud-specific legal issues, and more.

Help Every Student Experience an Hour of Code
Join Voices for Innovation in the national effort during Computer Science Week, December 9–15. The goal is to get 10 million students to participate in a one-hour computer science tutorial to demystify "code," and show that anyone can learn the basics and be a creator and innovator.

Microsoft Dynamics Partners: Accelerate Your Marketing Today with the Marketing Services Bureau
Accelerate your marketing with offers from the Marketing Services Bureau (MSB). Whether you need a customer list, consulting services, social media solutions, or want to implement an end-to-end marketing campaign, our MSB vendors can help.

Microsoft Dynamics Partners: Looking for a Nurture Marketing Program? The Marketing Outsource Model Can Help
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.

Resources

October Update: MPN Disclosure Guide to Upcoming Program Changes
The MPN disclosure guide is a comprehensive look at the changes planned for the program across all membership levels. Download the October version of the guide to understand what's changing, when the changes are effective, and how it may affect your company. The guide is divided into four categories: News and announcements; Program-wide changes that affect all partner levels; Microsoft Action Pack subscription changes; Competency-specific changes.

Eimagearn More with SMB Advantage and the Hyper-V Surge Offer – SMB Advantage Ends November 30
Partners that sell Windows Server 2012 Datacenter or Windows Server 2012 Standard to SMB customers, and install the server with Hyper-V deployed by November 30, can earn up to 25% per license. Refer to the Offer site for more details. The Hyper-V Surge offer is part of SMB Advantage, which ends November 30. SMB Advantage Terms and Conditions.

Project Plan for Building Your Microsoft Office 365 Practice
Download and use this project plan guide, which includes suggested timeframes, to establish and develop a sustainable Microsoft Office 365 practice in your business.

Monthly partner callUS SMB Regional Partner Calls for November
Join your local team for their monthly SMB partner call. These calls cover sales, technology, and marketing information and resources for resellers that serve SMB customers.

Cloud OS Vision Presentation, Training Recommendations, and More
The fall wave of cloud OS enterprise products and services is here to help customers transform the datacenter, unlock data insights, enable business apps, and empower people-centric IT. We've organized the resources you need for each of these opportunities around role readiness and sales stage. New resources include the Cloud OS pitch deck and Immersion Sales Conversations.

Microsoft Cloud Deployment Program
The Microsoft Cloud Deployment program offers incremental benefits to qualifying MPN members that are actively deploying Microsoft Office 365. As a CDP partner, you have access to deployment planning tools, dedicated technical support, marketing assets, and offers and incentives. Watch this short video to learn about the cloud opportunity and how to participate in this program.

Join the Devices Conversation on Yammer with the US Device Guy
The US Partner Team's device guy, Steve Adams, is sharing information and resources about Microsoft Surface, Windows tablets and PCs, and Windows Phone in our newest Yammer group, aptly called Device Guy. Come meet Steve and join the conversation. Instructions to join.

It's Time for Customers to Move from Windows XP and Office 2003 to the Modern Business
If your customers don't make the move from Windows XP and Office 2003, it could have a major impact on their business. Use the materials in this campaign—including a pitch deck, email templates and offer information—to explain exactly what could happen if they choose not to upgrade.

Set Your Job Role in Your MPN Profile to Get More Relevant Communications
Along with your company's MPN profile, your individual MPN profile settings help us direct the right email communications about partner information, resources, and opportunities to you. You can quickly check your primary job role setting, and update it if necessary, in the Partner Membership Center. Your job role is in the Your Name and Job Responsibilities section.

Training and Certification

Stay informed about training opportunities that align to your business, role, and Microsoft Partner Network membership.

November 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.

imageAccelerate. Improve. Expand. Build New Deployment Capabilities Quickly with Practice Accelerator
If you deploy Office 365, Microsoft SharePoint, Business Intelligence or Cloud OS/Private Cloud, your organization will benefit from Practice Accelerator. These sessions can be attended by several people from your organization, so that all roles involved in building and deploying a solution can take advantage of the framework of resources that span from pre-engagement to post-delivery.

Learn to Sell the Cloud to Enter Our Cloud Specialist Sweepstakes
Earn a Microsoft Sales Specialist or Presales Technical Specialist accreditation in select cloud-related workload, and you'll be entered to win up to $1,000 in Microsoft Store gift cards. Use the training in the learning paths to help you prepare. Official rules. No purchase necessary. Open only to authorized representatives of companies actively enrolled in the Microsoft Partner Network who are US residents (including Washington, DC), age 18 years and older. Game ends December 31, 2013.

November 13: Developing Windows Azure and Web Services Jump Start
In this live online Jump Start, you'll learn to build Web API or WCF services that can access data and are hosted in Windows Azure. Get the end-to-end scenarios for building the entire application. This Jump Start also helps prepare you for Exam 70-487.

Project 2014 Conference Registration is Open
The Project 2014 Conference (PC14) is in Anaheim, California, February 2–5. PC14 offers a wide variety of presentations, labs, Q&A sessions, and networking events for attendees to build their project, program, and portfolio management skills. You'll hear directly from Microsoft speakers and industry experts about Microsoft Project and Project Online.

Get Your Technical Team Certified on SQL Server 2012
SQL Server 2012 certification spans multiple Microsoft competencies including Data Platform, Application Lifecycle Management, and Midmarket Solution Provider. Exam pack discounts up to 50% off are available for packs of 5 or 20 exams. Make sure your team is certified on the latest Microsoft products to demonstrate your organizations' competencies. Packs at this price and quantity are available until December 31.

Three Ways to Save on Microsoft Certification Exams
Take advantage of offers for Microsoft Certifications that will help you demonstrate your Microsoft product and technology expertise. Your company can increase its capabilities for serving customers, and may be able to meet competency requirements, too.

Webcast Series: Sales Acceleration Strategies for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partners Webcast Series
Register for these webcasts and learn how you can accelerate your Dynamics CRM sales cycle while building long-lasting and profitable customer relationships.

January 14–March 13: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Virtual Foundation Training Program
Microsoft Dynamics CRM consultants and staff members are invited to this virtual training program, delivered over 18 evening sessions. The training will cover Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, using CRM 2013 online trial licenses to complete the specific lab exercises and CRM 2013 Microsoft Official Curriculum.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Sales Training on Demand
If you were not able to attend the July sales training day for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, or if you want a refresher, you can watch the training on demand on the Partner Learning Center. The recordings include Q&A, transcripts, and the presentations.

February 3–5 in Bellevue, Washington: Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical Conference
The Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical Conference 2013 is the premier technical event for Microsoft Dynamics AX. Whether you are new to Microsoft Dynamics AX, or are looking to go deeper and stay up-to-date on the next release, this conference is for you.

FastTrAX: Microsoft Dynamics AX Enterprise Academy Classes
These courses, with options for consultants and developers, are held in Fargo, North Dakota, and provide an end-to-end training program that will help new technical staff at your company prepare for certification. They will learn from Certified Trainers with real world experience, the Microsoft support organization, and research and development. Dates and registration links are on PartnerSource.

imageCalendar Through November 15

This list is a sampling of upcoming partner calls, training, and events. Refer to the November Hot Sheet for a comprehensive list for the next several weeks that's frequently updated, and look for the December Hot Sheet during the week of November 18.