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Welcome 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.
Introducing the Cloud Performance Competencies In September, we're integrating the cloud into the Microsoft Partner Network, with three new competencies for Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure that you can qualify for through your proven cloud performance. Partners that attain the new Cloud Performance competencies will earn the silver level at no cost and receive gold level at a reduced price.
Windows Apportals: Building Opportunities for Partners Microsoft recently announced Windows Apportals, Windows 8.1 apps that can integrate a customer’s entire line of business (LOB) stack into a single, modern, touch-based experience. Join a partner call on August 26, 27, or 28 to learn about your opportunity to add Apportals as a service offering to your business.
Conquer the Cloud with SMB Live Events – Register Today The new SMB Live events series is coming in September and October to several cities across the United States. These free events for partners are your opportunity to learn how Microsoft cloud solutions can help you address your customers’ evolving business needs. This two-day series is designed to teach you how to not only succeed in the cloud, but to conquer it.
Earn Up to 12 Percent in Partner Incentives – Sign Up for the US VAR Incentive Program Earn partner incentives on sales of a wide variety of Microsoft products and technologies from July 1 through December 31, 2014. The VAR Incentive is designed to provide maximum payout when you help your customers recognize the benefits of emerging Microsoft products and technologies that address customer needs in virtualization, security, and unified communications. Even if you have participated in previous versions of this incentive, you must register specifically for this one. Terms and conditions (sign in for access).
Register for a MEC Facilitator Training Boot Camp in September or October The Microsoft Experience Center (MEC) helps partners build customer trust and pipeline—95% of MEC sessions lead to new revenue opportunities. As a MEC Facilitator, you can help customers learn about productivity tools and technologies without any sales pressure, long demos, or redundant presentations. Register for a boot camp today—space is limited.
All You Need from A to Z – SMB Partner Resources for Microsoft Azure The new Cloud SureStep: Azure page on the partner portal provides a comprehensive directory of business and technical resources for US SMB partners. Whether you are just beginning or already have a thriving Azure practice, we can help set you up for success.
Propel Your Microsoft Office 365 SMB Practice Visit Cloud SureStep: Office 365 for the latest resources to support your SMB-focused cloud practice. Access prescriptive content and training for both business and technical roles and get ready to propel your practice to the next level.
Windows Server 2003 End of Support Server upgrades can be a time-consuming and complex process. With less than a year left until Microsoft support for Windows Server 2003 ends on July 14, 2015, the time to get started is now. Identify your customers that need your help migrating, and use these resources to assess, plan, and implement a migration to Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft Azure.
Ready-To-Go is Evolving to Help You Become a Stronger Marketer Get on the fast track to better marketing and more sales with the new Ready-to-Go Marketing best practices resources page. You'll find short videos (perfect for viewing during your coffee break), plus getting started guides, campaign execution guides, and marketing-related articles.
Training and Certification
Stay informed about training opportunities that align to your business and role. For real-time updates and reminders about upcoming training, follow @mslearningcurve on Twitter.
The Benefits of Advancing Your Skills and Credentials US Director of Partner Enablement, Scott Akin, talks about the value for partners in continually building sales and technical expertise within their organizations, and demonstrating that expertise through individual attainment of credentials like Microsoft certifications and Sales Accreditations.
September 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.
Exam Savings for WPC 2014 Attendees – Offer Ends August 31 WPC 2014 attendees are eligible to purchase select Microsoft exams at a discount. Get up to 10 exams free, plus get a Second Shot for all exams purchased through this offer. At WPC, stop by the MPN booth and look for the Microsoft Learning kiosk to get your savings. The offer will be available during the conference through August only.
Enter to Win: Cloud OS Technical Sweepstakes Prepare for certification exams and technical assessments that validate your understanding of the Microsoft Cloud OS. You'll be entered into our drawing for one of three Windows devices when you pass a featured exam or assessment by September 30. Official rules.
Enter to Win: Cloud OS Sales Specialist Sweepstakes Improve your ability to sell hybrid cloud solutions by preparing for and taking assessments related to the Microsoft Cloud OS. When you pass a Sales Specialist assessment by September 30, you'll be entered into our drawing for one of three new Windows devices. Official rules.
Calendar through August 31
This list is a sampling of upcoming partner calls, training, and events. Refer to the September Hot Sheet for a comprehensive list for the next several weeks that's frequently updated.
No news last Friday, huh? Dying to hear more!