imageWelcome to this 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

imageCloud Partner Profitability – New Revenue Opportunities in the Cloud
Public IT cloud services spending reached $47.4 billion in 2013 and is expected reach nearly $108 billion in 2017, according to a recent IDC study*. This same IDC research shows that cloud-oriented partners have 1.5 times higher gross profit percentages and 1.6 times the recurring revenue as a portion of total revenue than other partners.

imageSave Up to 40% on Your Certification Exam on May 31 
IT professionals and developers are invited to participate in our National Certification Day online activities and events during the month of May to prepare for one of six competency-specific exams. Then, on May 31, visit your local, participating New Horizons office to take the exam you need to meet competency requirements.

Webcast series by David Chappell Starts May 21: Microsoft Azure, Your Customers, Your Future
Microsoft technology experts have partnered with David Chappell from Chappell & Associates to create this four-week series on Microsoft Azure. It’s intended for Systems Integrators who want to understand how this technology may impact your solution offerings; how to go to market with your customers; or how the current cloud trends may provide opportunities to transform your business.

imageUS Partner Agenda for WPC 2014
It’s just two months until WPC 2014 in Washington, DC starts. When building your plan for sessions, networking, and yes, even fun, refer to the United States agenda so that you don’t miss important US-specific activities, like the US Keynote and US Celebration, both on Tuesday, July 15. The United States team also has sessions, a lounge, and a few other events planned. Stay informed through our blog and Twitter feed.

Register for WPC 2014 and Hear Satya Nadella’s First Keynote for Partners
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will keynote WPC 2014 to share his vision for our joint success in a mobile first, cloud first world. Satya has long talked about the importance of partners to Microsoft, and we think you’ll enjoy hearing his fresh perspective on our business and direction. Other Vision Keynote speakers include Microsoft Channel Chief, Phil Sorgen, and Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Turner.

imageNew Deskless Power Worker Campaign from Ready-to-Go Marketing
The Deskless Power Worker Campaign is designed to help you reach kiosk workers such as warehouse workers in manufacturing plants, retail associates, and field technicians. The campaign enables you to provide customers with productivity and social tools like cloud e-mail, documents, and Yammer, and drive incremental revenue to your Enterprise Agreements.

Office 365 Trust Center’s “From Inside the Cloud” Series Explains Data Privacy, Security
The Office 365 Trust Center has always been the place where we provide open and transparent information about how we run Office 365 and our commitment to our customers’ data privacy, security and compliance requirements. A key aspect of the Trust Center update is our new video and blog series titled “From Inside the Cloud” that shows how we design and manage Office 365–hearing directly from the engineers who build and run the service.

imageIncreased Partner Incentives for Microsoft Office 365 Sales, April–June
For qualifying sales of Microsoft Office 365 through Open or Advisor from April through June, you may be eligible for an incremental 8% payout through either the Online Services Advisor incentive program or through a one-time Open incentive payment.

Redefining the PC – How the Latest Devices Are Changing How Business Is Done
From its infancy as a programmable calculator through the development of the workstations, laptops, tablets and smartphones, personal computing has completely transformed virtually every aspect of the way people across the globe live, work, play, communicate and care for themselves. Most recently, the Windows 8 operating system has revolutionized how the PC can be defined. People are rethinking their concepts of what a PC is and what it can do.

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Enter to Win an Urban Adventure for Two When You Pass the Windows Server Sales Assessment
Demonstrate your ability to sell Microsoft Server Platform solutions. When you pass the Windows Server 2012 sales assessment by June 30, you will be entered to win a trip for two to New York City. 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 June 30. Official rules.

Developers: Attend a //publish Event in a City Near You on May 16 or May 17
Bring the phone, tablet, and PC apps you’ve been working on to a //publish/ event near you to finish that final mile with support from peers and experts. If you need guidance or help troubleshooting along the way, join a Call and Learn with a Microsoft Engineer. Just getting started? View the //learn/ session and the MSDN website.

Resources

imageProgram Updates May Have Affected Your Competency Requirements—Ensure You Are Up to Date
Changes to the requirements for several MPN competencies took effect in February. If your company is due to renew membership in the next few months, confirm that you are on track to meet the latest requirements in the Partner Membership Center. On our blog, you’ll find guidance and tips for renewing your MPN competency.

May 16: Central Region and West Region SMB Partner Calls
Join your Microsoft US SMB regional team for the May 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.

Prepare for the May 2014 Microsoft Security Bulletin
The next security bulletin release is on Tuesday, May 13. Get information about the security updates for April 2014 that cover Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office Services, Microsoft Office Web Apps, and Microsoft Windows. You can watch the March webcast on demand, and register for the next webcast, on May 14.

Office365_planselectortoolRecommend and Sell the Right Office 365 Plan to Your Customers
The Office 365 Plan selector is an Excel-based tool that recommends the appropriate core Office 365 Plan based on the answers to a few questions around your customer's technology and productivity needs. In addition to the recommended plan, it also provides upsell and scale-back plan options, if the customer needs more or fewer features than in the recommended plan.

SMB Advantage Ends May 31: Earn Partner Subsidy Funds for Cloud Sales
Earn partner subsidy funds on eligible sales of Microsoft Office 365 or Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online through Open or Advisor. Redeem the purchase within 15 days, and your customer will receive a check to be used within 90 days for additional purchases or services provided by you. Offer ends May 31. Terms and conditions.

Earn $500 for Your First Sale of Microsoft Office 365 to an SMB Customer
Register for the VAR Incentive, then make your first Microsoft Office 365 sale through Open or Advisor between March 1 and May 31, and you may be eligible for an extra $500 payment. Terms and conditions.

Register for the VAR Incentive Program to Earn Up to 22 Percent in Incentives
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. You must register for the current incentive even if you have participated in previous versions of the VAR rebate. Terms and conditions.

Online Workshops Help You Build a Profitable Cloud Business
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. Watch the webcasts on demand and download the workbooks and materials.

Training and certification

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

HotSheet_03202014May 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. Look for the June Hot Sheet around May 15.

May 14: Search, Social, Portals, and Collaboration Best Practices for Your SharePoint 2013 Business
Attend Practice Accelerator for SharePoint 2013 to receive a detailed framework of resources, spanning from pre-engagement to post-delivery, to help you improve efficiency and deliver SharePoint solutions faster. Download the datasheet.

May 22: Interactive Technical Training to Improve Office 365 Deployments
Microsoft Practice Accelerator for Office 365 provides best practices and resources to help you accelerate time to market, increase customer wins and retention, and improve delivery quality
through proven guidance. Download the datasheet.

Featured video

Successful cloud partners have had to evolve their business models to keep up with the new opportunities presented with the cloud. Watch this video, featuring Josh Waldo, Sr. Director of Cloud Partner Strategy for the Worldwide Partner Group, for a look at three primary cloud business models and how each impacts revenue.

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imageCalendar through May 23

This list is a sampling of upcoming partner calls, training, and events. Refer to the May Hot Sheet for a comprehensive list for the next several weeks that's frequently updated, and look for the June Hot Sheet later this week (around May 15).

Week of May 12–16

Week of May 19–23