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Welcome 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.

To stay in touch with me and connect with other partners and Microsoft sales, marketing, and product experts, join our US Partner Community on Yammer and choose how you want to stay informed.

Top Stories

The Internet of Things Offers Microsoft Partners New Business Opportunities
The Windows Embedded Partner Program is now part of MPN, and you can demonstrate your expertise with intelligent systems by earning the new Intelligent Systems competency. Gartner and IDC both included the Internet of Things as a business opportunity that has significant growth projections for this year.

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Smaller Partners Make Action Pack Better
Channel Chief Phil Sorgen talks about the redesigned Microsoft Action Pack subscription. It now provides simple and flexible resources that can grow and evolve with you, whether you’re focused on providing cloud, on-premise or hybrid solutions. You asked for training customized to your needs, and for added technical advisory support to provide much-needed help with those complex customer scenarios. Those benefits are now embedded in Action Pack.

Resources to Help You Transition Your Cloud Internal Use Rights
As of February 24, all Microsoft Action Pack and competency partners now have access to Microsoft Internal Use Rights for Microsoft cloud solutions such as Office 365, Windows Azure, Dynamics CRM Online, and Windows Intune. You can now deploy your internal use rights benefit allotment the way you choose, to suit your business needs—online, on-premises, or both.

Cloud Essentials Subscribers: Evaluate Your Options for Cloud Internal Use Rights After June 30
If you are a Cloud Essentials subscriber that does not have an Action Pack subscription or a competency, you should start thinking about your transition path for continuing to have access to cloud internal use benefits. Your Cloud Essentials benefits will end on June 30, and you will want to give yourself time to take the necessary actions.

 WPC 2014 Updates: US Celebration, Awards, Content, Sponsorship, and More

imageScaling Windows Phone, Evolving Windows 8
At the Mobile World Congress, Corporate Vice Presidents Joe Belfiore and Nick Parker discussed operating system momentum, growth opportunities and new hardware partnerships. Read the blog post that contains an update about Windows Phone growth, new Windows Phone hardware partners, and the new Windows Hardware Partner Portal that gives partners access to the tools and content needed to build and market their Windows Phone devices efficiently and cost-effectively.

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SMB Partners: Build a Profitable Cloud Business with Cloud 1-2-3 Academy
Whether you are new to the cloud or have closed a few cloud deals already, Cloud 1-2-3 Academy will help you make decisions about your business model to help you maximize revenues in the long term. Attend an in-person workshop in one of eight cities, or register for the 6-week online workshop series (or, attend both).

US SMB Regional Partner Calls for March
Join your Microsoft US SMB regional team for the March partner call in their monthly series. These calls cover technology, sales, and marketing information and resources for resellers that serve SMB customers. You’ll hear from Microsoft experts about your opportunities, resources and tips for building your business, and best practices.

Spread the Word About Your Business with Microsoft Community Connections
Give your business a boost by hosting local events and webinars with Microsoft Community Connections (MCC). Be the small business expert in your  and help spread the word via local business organizations in your area, like Chambers of Commerce and other networking groups. Fully scripted presentations are available for download at the MCC site. When you register your event with us, kits with marketing resources are provided at no cost to you.

March 13 Webcast: Cloud 1-2-3 – Differentiate Your Practice with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
This webcast was originally scheduled for February 27. Join us for these topics: assess where your practice is in the context of a rapidly changing technology landscape; learn how to take advantage of rapid upgrade cycles and how that creates shortcuts on becoming an expert; and understand partner teaming concepts and start making money today while learning.

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Meet Search Marketing Experts at Bing Ads Connect
Come to one of these four in-person events to engage with search marketing experts and learn about your opportunities with Bing Ads. If you have an Action Pack subscription, your benefits include Bing Ads credits that you and your customers can use to market products, services and solutions. Come learn how to put them to work.

Build a Marketing Program to Nurture Customers with the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Outsource Model
Are you a Microsoft partner short on time, marketing headcount, or would simply prefer to focus your staff on other facets of your business? The Microsoft Dynamics Partner Outsource Model (OSM) can help. program not only offers a full 3-12 months of marketing on your behalf at a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself but generates, on average, a 40:1 ROI for participating partners.

Resources

PracticeAccelerator_valuegraphicIncrease Your Customer Wins and Retention with Practice Accelerators
If you have a Microsoft competency, chances are good that you have not used many, if any, of your Advisory Hours benefit. Spend five of those hours on a Practice Accelerator that will help you build your services practice in one of these key areas: mobility, cloud, big data, or enterprise social.

Meet the New MPN Requirement for Anti-corruption Training
This free course on the Partner Learning Center will help you comply with the Microsoft Anti-corruption Policy for Microsoft Representatives and the anti-corruption laws that govern businesses around the world.

Earn Up to 22 Percent in Partner Incentives—Register for the VAR Incentive Program
The VAR Incentive provides maximum payout when you help your customers recognize the benefits of emerging Microsoft products and technologies, including virtualization, security, and unified communications. Register before March 31 to earn this incentive retroactive to your eligible sales starting in January. You must register for the current incentive even if you have participated in previous versions of the VAR rebate. Terms and conditions.

8 Weeks of Windows 8 – Enter to Win a Cool Device
Pass a Windows assessment and be entered to win a Dell Venue 8 Pro, a Toshiba Encore, or a Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon Multimode Table PC. Weekly and grand prize drawings. Contest ends April 13. Open to US resident employees of OEM Reseller partners who are 18 or older. Weekly entry periods are Monday thru Sunday. Download the official rules..

Prepare for the Microsoft Security Bulletin for March 2014
The next security bulletin release is on Tuesday, March 11. Get information about the security updates for February 2014 that cover Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft Security Software, and Microsoft Windows. You can watch the February  webcast on demand, and register for the next webcast, on March 12.

  • imageDownload the new Microsoft Security Update Guide: Helping IT Professionals Better Understand and Maximize Microsoft Security Update Release Information, Processes, Communications, and Tools.

Test Product Migration and Application Compatibility with Previous Versions
Over 30 products from the collection of previously released trial software remaining under mainstream support have been re-released on the TechNet Evaluation Center to support your migration and application compatibility testing needs. Get the downloads and get started with migrating your customers to the most current Microsoft products. On Twitter, follow @MicrosoftTrials for regular updates about evaluation software.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 on Azure White Papers
Two new white papers are now available for download from PartnerSource: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 Sizing Guidelines for Multitenant Deployments and Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 on Windows Azure.

Microsoft Dynamics Partners: Improve Your Search Rankings
Through the Marketing Services Bureau available to Microsoft Dynamics partners, White Hat Media is offering a free one hour consultancy, overview audit, and a 20% discount on a full audit and implementation, through March 31.

Training and Certification

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

HotSheet_112013March 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.

Microsoft Dynamics Training Schedule
Register for Microsoft Dynamics training for both CRM and ERP using our schedule that goes through July. We also list Dynamics training on the monthly Hot Sheet.

Microsoft Virtual Academy Presents ALM Wednesdays, Starting March 5
Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) starts the free, live “ALM Wednesdays” series with the Using Kanban Jump Start on March 5. In this series, our experts explore the technology, solutions, and mindset behind application lifecycle management (ALM). Register for this and other Jump Starts on the Microsoft Virtual Academy website.

AzureWeekWindows Azure Week Sessions Available On Demand
If you missed Windows Azure Week, the sessions are now available on-demand.  These deep dive courses from the experts who built Azure are full of demos and real world examples designed to show you how to start using Windows Azure in your solutions today.

March 24–April 11: Microsoft Dynamics AX Enterprise Academy: Fast TrAX Consultant Training
This course provides an end to end training program to focus not only on helping new individuals prepare for certification and providing them an opportunity to learn from Certified Trainers with real world experience, Microsoft Support Organization and insights from R&D

March 25–May 21: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Virtual Foundation Training Program
This virtual training program is delivered over 18 evening sessions and is designed for new or existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultants to help build comprehensive insights to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

April 9 in Chicago, Illinois: Demo2Win! Workshop for Microsoft Dynamics Partners
This course offers a systematic approach to build a partner’s sales competency as a part of the solution selling process and is recommended curriculum for the Presales Accreditation exam that is now available as part of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN).

imageCalendar Through March 14

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

Featured Video

Watch this video to get the information you need about the changes to cloud internal use rights (IUR) that took effect on February 24. In this video, you'll learn about setting up new IUR and about how to transition your IUR benefits from Cloud Essentials or Cloud Accelerate.

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