Partner Technical Services Blog

A worldwide group of consultants who focus on helping Microsoft Partners succeed throughout the business cycle.

Partner Technical Services Blog

  • You are invited to participate in the Labs on Azure: First Steps offering!

    The Partner Technical Services team is excited to share a new initiative focused on helping you prepare for and complete the most important tasks in running lab, development, test or demo systems.


    Labs on Azure: First Steps offering has been designed to help partners and your customers move to the cloud for development and test scenarios and to realistically model production environments by activating your Azure subscription and learn about Virtual machines and IUR. This offering will help you spin up a test lab or sandbox quickly, and become agile in learning, development, and prototyping. This offering will help you connect a lab to an existing infrastructure when required. When you finish, learn how to tear it down and bring it back in-house to run in your on-premises datacenter, or keep it in the cloud.


    In these online workshops, you will learn how to use Azure for most common cloud scenario- Dev/ Test. This consultant-led instruction will educate you on how to utilize your Azure tenant utilizing the Microsoft Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution.


    Program Benefits:

    After completing this training, you will be able to:

    • Sign up for Microsoft Azure
    • Explain how to create a virtual machine in Azure
    • Create a custom virtual machine
    • Share virtual machines between users
    • Upload virtual machines from Hyper-V to Azure
    • Create Virtual Machines through automated scripts via PowerShell

    Each engagement will be delivered in eight modules:

    • Module 1: Getting Started on Windows Azure
    • Module 2: VMs on Azure - The Basics
    • Module 3: Creating Custom Images
    • Module 4: Introduction to Azure Storage
    • Module 5: Managing VHDs and Image File
    • Module 6: Using PowerShell with Azure VMs
    • Module 7: Best Practices
    • Module 8: Closing

    To see the course description, dates, and times, and to register for one or more webcasts in your region, please click on the link below:

    Labs on Azure: First Steps

  • You are invited to participate in the Design the Hybrid Cloud offering!

    The Partner Technical Services team is excited to share a new initiative focused on helping you develop cloud strategies by building and enhancing your hybrid cloud readiness to deploy Cloud OS solutions for your customers.


    The Design the Hybrid Cloud offering has been designed to enable breadth partners in developing cloud strategies, specifically Hybrid cloud. Learning objectives include storage at on premise and cloud location, networking, identify and federation (with AD, and Azure AD), compute, and virtualization scenarios for partners to sell, deploy, and help active cloud at their customer sites.


    In these online workshops, you will learn how to develop cloud strategies by building and enhancing your hybrid cloud readiness to deploy Cloud OS solutions for your customers.

    Program Benefits:

    After completing this training, you will be able to:

    • Learn about Hybrid Cloud Architecture by creating and monitoring Private Cloud
    • Cloud OS concepts, Virtualization and Private Cloud components
    • Architecting Azure Storage and Networking and migrate workloads to Public Cloud
    • Hybrid Cloud deployment with Azure Active Directory Premium and ADFS
    • High Availability with Disaster Recover Planning and Considerations

    Each engagement will be delivered in five modules:

    • Module 1: Overview, Assessment and Virtualization
    • Module 2: Architecture Considerations
    • Module 3: Microsoft Azure IaaS overview
    • Module 4:  Hybrid Cloud deployment
    • Module 5: High Availability & Disaster Recovery Planning and Considerations

    To see the course description, dates, and times, and to register for one or more webcasts in your region, please click on the link below:

    Design the Hybrid Cloud

  • You are invited to participate in the Partner Practice Enablement: Azure Technical Training offering!

    The Partner Technical Services team is excited to share a new initiative focused on helping you understand the Azure Technical foundation to run new (cloud) or existing (on premise) workloads in Microsoft Azure with Azure Virtual Machines, and Virtual Networks. 

    This offering has been designed to help you understand the core Azure features including the common workload scenarios for cloud computing, such as Dev/Test, SQL Server, SharePoint Server, Azure Active Directory identity and federation, and monitoring of workloads running in Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Services. 

    These online workshops are intended to be a technical introduction to the Azure Infrastructure.  This series will be helpful to those who have little or no experience with Microsoft Azure but have sold on premise server products

    Program Benefits: 

    After completing this offer, partners will be able to:

    • Learn capabilities of the Microsoft Azure platform, including cloud services and Websites.
    • Create and manage virtual machines with networking and storage.
    • Enable, secure, and load balance network endpoints with Azure Traffic Manager.
    • Create and manage the Azure Active Directories to integrate with SaaS applications, multi-factor authentication.
    • Learn deploy, manage and scale SQL Server, SQL Database and SharePoint Server in Azure

    Each engagement will be delivered in seven modules:

    • Module 1: Microsoft Azure Overview
    • Module 2: Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines
    • Module 3: Microsoft Azure Networking
    • Module 4: Microsoft Azure Active Directory
    • Module 5: Cloud Services, Websites and Infrastructure Services
    • Module 6: SQL Server and SharePoint on Microsoft Azure

     To see the course description, dates, and times, and to register for one or more webcasts in your region, please click on the link below:

    Partner Practice Enablement: Azure Technical Training

  • Microsoft Partner Signature Cloud Support


    Microsoft Partner Signature Cloud Support (SCS) is an exclusive partner technical benefit that provides qualified cloud competency partners with an elevated level of technical support for scenarios for Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure.


    To verify that you are eligible for this benefit and to learn more, see the Signature Cloud Support Benefit Overview.


  • Office 365 and SharePoint training series from Partner Technical Services

    Partner Technical Services webcasts for Office 365 and SharePoint - October to December 2014 TileThe Microsoft Partner Technical Services team is offering several series of technically focused webcasts, scheduled from October through December. These webcasts cover key Office 365 and SharePoint workloads and scenarios, to help you identify and address customer needs.

    Check out the rest of the blog and the training series list here.

  • Creating an Office 365 Support Organization

    Creating an Office 365 Support Organization

    Available now on the Partner Learning Center is a new training on best practices for creating an Office 365 Support Organization.  From the session description:

    Partners want to have a consistent approach to support their customers and reduce the incidents they need to escalate to MS for resolution. This training will help Partners to build and grow their own Online Services Support Organizations, which will enhance their customer relationships and result in increased revenue opportunities.

    The target audience is either Partners who have an existing Support infrastructure and want to improve their customer experience by employing guidance and best practices from Microsoft, or Partners who do not have a support organization and are looking for guidance on how to plan, structure, implement, and continue to improve the customer-to-partner support experience.

    Click here to access: Creating an Office 365 Support Organization

  • Where can I find information on how to Sell, Deploy and Support Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft Hybrid Cloud?

    Microsoft Partner Technical Services can assist you as you sell, deploy and support Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft Hybrid Cloud solutions. When partners use the technical service offerings, they have three times more wins, 40 percent larger deals, and 75 percent more revenue growth on average.

    • Sell: We can help you close more deals through partner focused business and technical consultation before your sale is closed.
    • Deploy: We can help your staff deploy solutions by providing technical content and advice while you work through the design, development, and deployment phases of a customer solutions.
    • Support: We can help you build a support practice and resolve technical roadblocks by providing technical and product support if needed.

    See the links below for details about the offerings and assets available to partners for Office 365, Microsoft Azure and Hybrid Cloud solutions.

    Sell, Deploy, and Support Microsoft Office 365

    Sell, Deploy, and Support the Microsoft Hybrid Cloud

    Sell, Deploy, and Support Microsoft Azure 

  • Activating Your Azure Benefits (Free Stuff!)

    If you haven’t yet activated your Microsoft Azure Internal Use Rights benefits, what are you waiting for?  You can get started using Azure today.  This short video will show you how to activate your benefits for free monthly credits as well as some resources that can help you get started.

  • New: Azure Cost Estimator Tool

    Have you ever wondered what it would cost to run a traditional on premise or virtualized machine in Azure? If you are like me, you’ve tried many different ways to accurately baseline the server utilization and translate that to the proper instance size and utilization in Azure.

    I have some good news for you. There is a new tool, Microsoft Azure (Iaas) Cost Estimator Tool, that will help you do this work faster and more accurately.  It takes just a minute to download and can be run quickly.

    The tool supports

    1. Microsoft technologies (Hyper-V, SCVMM)
    2. VMware technologies (vCenter, ESXi)
    3. Physical environments (Windows, Linux)

    Here is the download page with full specs and details on the tool:

    Note: No data is sent to Microsoft at any time. All report and profile information resides on the machine where the tool is installed.

  • Webinars for Windows Phone Developers

    Now that Microsoft and Nokia have come together we’re excited to offer Windows Phone developers the opportunity to learn from our experts in developing Windows Phone apps.  More details and registration links are included below.

    Debugging your Direct3D apps for Windows Phone 8.1

    10 June, 16.00 London time

    Rob Caplan and James Dailey, Microsoft           

    With the release of Windows Phone 8.1 the Visual Studio team has added advanced graphics debugging tools from Windows and Windows Store apps to Windows Phone 8.1. You can now inspect how each pixel your Direct3D scene has been created. This new tool is perfect for debugging complex shader bugs and strange performance issues in your app. In this session we will walk you through using these new graphics debugging tools. We will take you step by step and show you how to use the tools to debug issues with your shader. We will also show you techniques that you can use with these tools to track down and eliminate performance problems in your app.

    Developing Universal Apps with Windows Azure Mobile Services

    17 June, 16:00 London time

    Matthew Small and Jeff Sanders, Microsoft

    Universal Apps and Windows Azure Mobile Services are a perfect combination to create apps that connect to the same cloud data quickly and easily while sharing common code.  In this session will cover the basics of creating a Mobile Service locally using a .NET backend and debugging techniques.  We then will connect our Phone and Tablet to the Mobile Service and use shared code in Windows 8.1 Universal Apps utilizing MVVM techniques.

    Optimizing Windows Phone Apps using Performance and Diagnostics Tools

    24 June, 16:00 London time        

    Bret Bentzinger and Prashant Phadke, Microsoft

    In this session we will show how to best utilize the Windows Phone API's to minimize battery drain while utilizing the maximum benefits of having multiple cores on your Phone. We will use a sample application, along with the new Performance and Diagnostic tools, to illustrate the difference in battery consumption for a synchronous operation versus utilizing multiple CPU’s in an asynchronous operation.

  • Building Apps for Windows Phone 8.1

    If you're an app developer who wants to design and build Windows Phone 8.1 apps using XAML and C#, check out this course, taught by experts who have years of experience developing (and writing about the process). The sessions focus on how to create apps for Windows Phone 8.1 in Visual Studio and how to create universal app projects that share a high percentage of code and that target both Windows and Windows Phone.

    Get tips and tricks on maximizing your app compatibility and optimizing your code. Find out about new features, and learn how to program the many new Windows Runtime APIs that are available to both Windows Store apps and to Windows Silverlight apps. You can even get code samples. Watch now to make your apps world-ready!

    Source for all the demos can be found here.

    Full course outline:

  • Windows Store App Development Training Videos (German Versions)

    Recently we’ve released several short training videos around building Windows Store apps. As a part of this process we’re now taking some of the most popular and offering them in additional languages. Today we’re excited to bring you the first videos in the German series.

    Erzeugen einer Live Kachel für eine Windows Store App in weniger als 10 Minuten

    Apps für verschieden Fenstergrößen entwerfen

    Tipps und Tricks um Benachrichtigungen in Windows Store Apps zu verwenden

    Verwenden von Visual Studio Templates um Windows Store Apps zu entwickeln

    Windows App Certification Kit

  • Windows Store App Development Training Videos (French Versions)

    Recently we’ve released several short training videos around building Windows Store apps. As a part of this process we’re now taking some of the most popular and offering them in additional languages. Today we’re excited to bring you the first two in the French series.

    Construire une Vignette pour votre Application Windows Store en moins de 10 minutes

    Windows App Certification Kit - French

  • DataTemplated Controls in Windows Apps

    In this video, one of our support experts will explain a method by which you can get a reference to controls which are created at runtime inside a DataTemplate which is bound to a datasource.  These controls are difficult to find because they cannot be referred to by direct name.

  • Microsoft Azure, Your Customers, Your Future - 4 Week Webcast Series with David Chappell

    If you are a Systems Integrator and are looking at Microsoft Azure to see 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 then please join us for this four week series being presented by David Chappell from Chappell & Associates.  We recommend that you attend all four sessions, but they are independent sessions and therefore if you can’t make one you will not lose any context.

    REGISTER TODAY  (click here to register)

    Cost: FREE



    May 21st, 2014 1:00-2:30pm Pacific

    The Microsoft Cloud: Components, Competitors, and Customers - With Microsoft Azure and System Center 2012, Microsoft has the broadest, most cohesive private/public cloud story in the industry. But do you understand this story? Can you explain it in a simple way to your customers? In this session, David Chappell provides a high-level, external perspective on the Microsoft private and public cloud

    May 28th, 2014 1:00-2:30pm Pacific

    Azure for the Enterprise: What and Why - Microsoft Azure provides the right services for enterprises. But what scenarios are most interesting to enterprise leaders, and why? Which of these do most enterprises want to start with, why do they want them, and what are the common objections? In this session, David Chappell walks through these basics, giving you a big-picture introduction to how enterprises are adopting Azure and how you can help them do this.

    June 4th, 2014 1:00-2:30pm Pacific

    Open Source Technologies on Microsoft Azure - This session takes a broad look at the open source offerings that Microsoft Azure provides today and how you may be able to use those open source offerings in your project work for customers. The goal is to give you a big-picture perspective on what the options are and when to use them

    June 11th, 2014 1:00-2:30pm Pacific

    SI’s in the Cloud Era: Embracing the Future - David Chappell provides his perspective on the current changes that are happening in the industry and how a Systems Integration partner may want to look at new ways to transform their business to meet this changing climate.

  • Building and Monetizing a Successful Partner Practice on Microsoft Azure

    Learn how partners build successful cloud practices from IDC analyst Darren Bibby and Microsoft partner Alex Brown, CEO of 10th Magnitude.

    Register to attend this complimentary webinar on Thursday, May 15th, 2014 from 10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M. PDT to learn about:

    • Cloud Strategy
    • How to transact Azure
    • Examples of how to monetize Azure in your business

    Click Here to Register

  • Upcoming Microsoft Azure Training Opportunities

    This new blog post consolidates upcoming Microsoft Azure training opportunities and certification offers:


  • Virtual Drumbeat Office 365


    Come learn the proven best practices for selling Office 365, Virtually!

    The Virtual Drumbeat Sales day, April 18th, provides partners in sales and pre-sales technical roles with best practice sales training for Office 365.  Selling Office 365 requires a new way of selling, come hear about it.  In addition to sharing Microsoft best practices, programs, and selling tools, we will also present insights into the cloud services market and the opportunity for partners who invest in growing an Office 365 practice.  

    You will also have the opportunity to interact and learn from your industry peers and representatives from Microsoft.

    Date: April 18th, 2014
    Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm PST


    Sales Professionals
    Pre – Sales Technical

    There is no charge for this exclusive training, however we will be imposing a no-show fee of $39 (USD) if you register, but do not cancel your registration within fourteen (14) business days before the start of the first event.

    Space is limited. RSVP today!

    Session Descriptions

    Session 01 The Office 365 Enterprise Partner Opportunity

    The new Office represents a once-in-a-generation shift in technology and a new era of partner opportunity.  Microsoft Is front-running the industry transformation to the cloud and Office 365 is leading the charge.  Learn more about our investments in the new Office and how we have created new partner opportunities across the customer lifecycle.

    Session 02 Office 365 What to Sell

    Office 365 is Microsoft’s fastest growing business ever to the tune of $1 billion and counting.  And, three out of four enterprise customers work with a partner to deploy their Office 365 service.  Are you one of these partners?  Learn more about the benefits of becoming a recognized Office 365 Cloud Deployment partner and what it takes to be one. 

    Session 03 How to Sell Office 365

    Microsoft's Office 365 is advantageously built on a set of cloud principles that form how we position Office 365 to customers.  Become familiar with these principles and learn how to showcase the value of Office 365 cloud services across a breadth of real customer scenarios.  

    Session 04 Google Compete

    The proliferation of devices, broadening workplace demographics and a transformative shift to the cloud are all trends impacting the way we work.  Office 365 clearly addresses all of these trends and is backed by a sales process that has helped grow a $1B business.  Learn how to sell to customers using the Customer Decision Framework, a sales process that enables partners to make the shift from traditional software selling to successfully sell Office 365 in the cloud. 

    Session 05 Selling with the Customer Immersion Experience 

    The Microsoft Customer Immersion Experience (CIE) is a hands-on introduction to Windows 8 and the new Office.  For partners, it is an effective sales tool that provides customers with an opportunity to experience these powerful new productivity solutions for themselves.  Learn how the CIE simplifies customer conversations and provides business decision-makers with an opportunity to experience the full Office stack to accelerate sales and close revenue.

    Session 06 Pilot and Deploy Customers with Office 365 FastTrack

    Office 365 FastTrack is Microsoft’s new 3-step pilot and deployment process designed so customers experience service value early in the sales cycle with a smooth path from pilot to full deployment within hours and no 'throw away' effort.  Learn how to utilize the Office 365 FastTrack process to get customers up and running quickly to win against the competition.

    Session 07 Office 365 Support and Communications

    Microsoft is strengthening its partner support and communications strategy to better enable our partners to sell, service and support customers.  Learn about new ways to enhance your service offerings and stay connected with the latest developments on Office 365.

    Register Here

  • Windows Store App Development Training Videos (Italian Versions)

    Recently we’ve released several short training videos around building Windows Store apps. As a part of this process we’re now taking some of the most popular and offering them in additional languages. Today we’re excited to bring you the the Italian Series.

    Windows App Certification Kit

    Costrure un Live Tile per la tua Windows Store App in meno di 10 minuti

    Usare i template Visual Studio per crare App Windows Store

    Suggerimenti e trucchi per usare le notifiche nelle App Windows Store

    Creare app che si adattano alle diverse dimensioni delle finestre

  • Migrate from Gmail to Office 365 (video)

    In a recent post (Migrate from Gmail to Office 365 in 7 steps), I shared the steps to migrate from Gmail to Office 365.

    If you are doing a large migration from Gmail to Office 365, you will generally want to use a 3rd party tool that automates the process.  However, if you are migrating a small customer with a few mailboxes, it is quick, easy, (and free!) to do so manually).

    As a picture is worth a thousand words (and a movie shows 30 pictures a second), I thought I would share the process in two short videos.

    As always… if you are a Partner and need assistance migrating mailboxes, ask our experts!

    Part 1


    Part 2

  • Partners - Maximize Your Investment and Use Free Your Azure Credits! We can help you get started.

    Partners, did you know that if you have an MSDN subscription you qualify for free Windows Azure credits each monthMAPS Partners also qualify for $100 in Monthly Credits.  Most Gold and Silver partners quality as well.

    To see if you qualify for Internal Use Rights on Azure follow the steps in this video.

    You might say, “but we don’t work on Azure, so those don’t help us” or, “we’d like to learn Azure, but where do we start?”  There is a common business need you can start addressing that applies to almost everyone.

    Just about every Partner I talk with uses virtual machines in some way.  It might be for demos, lab testing, development work, training, customer support, or many other scenarios.  Most of the folks I talk with also run into challenges with VMs.  See if any of these apply to you:

    • “Our IT staff doesn’t have time to maintain VMs for us.”
    • “We frequently run out of VM capacity on our servers when we are busy and need it the most.”
    • “We want to build a catalog of VMs that we can spin up quickly.”
    • “The developers only use VMs for a short amount of time, but need them daily.”
    • “We want to access our VMs from anywhere.”
    • And the list goes on….

    Why not put those free Azure credits to work and start running some of those VM scenarios on Azure?

    To help you get started, the Partner Services team has put together a new offering called (ready for my burst of creativity?) Labs on Azure.  This offering is an opportunity for you or your team to spend some time 1-1 with one of our consultants.  You’ll learn how to get started in Azure, build a VM in minutes, customize and re-use VMs, upload VMs you might be running on premise today, and how to start automating VM creation through PowerShell. 

    This is a great way to get started on Azure, solve a common challenge, and use a benefit you already have!

    To get started, visit to view your available advisory hours and submit a request.

    Also, if you want some broader training on Azure be sure to check out this learning path.

  • Desarrollo de Windows 8.1 Store Apps en C#

    Windows 8.1 ofrece una oportunidad para los ISV de desarrollo de aplicaciones novedosas y su monetización a través de la Tienda de Windows. Las Store Apps permiten implementar rápidamente soluciones de movilidad que requieren un interfaz táctil y una conectividad permanente a datos. Esta serie de webcasts está pensada en desarrolladores de C# que quieren conocer la nueva funcionalidad disponible para las Store Apps en Windows 8.1

    Hemos compartido el material de este curso en el OneDrive.







    Windows 8.1 para Desarrolladores


    Level 100

    Introducimos la funcionalidad del SS.OO Windows 8.1 de interés para desarrolladores. Comentaremos como las Store Apps integran con el SS.OO., introducimos la Tienda de Windows, las APIs y las herramientas de desarrollo.




    Controles XAML UI


    Level 200

    Presentamos el resumen de los controles XAML básicos para construir el interfaz de usuario: TextBox, RichTextBlock, ProgressRing, RichEditBox, Date y TimePicker, Buttons , Flyouts, Shapes, Paths y Images. También explicaremos la aplicación de estilos a los controles.


    10:00-11:00 GMT+1


    Controles de Listado Modernos


    Level 200

    Presentamos los controles modernos de listados: FlipView, GridView, ListView y SemanticView. También comentamos mejoras de rendimiento en listados que podemos conseguir utilizando virtualización de UI y carga de datos incremental.


    10:00-11:00 GMT+1


    Lenguaje de Diseño de Store Apps


    Level 100

    Presentamos los principios del diseño de las Store Apps. El propósito es ayudar al desarrollador a aplicar el diseño para conseguir que el aplicativo tenga una marca (brand) distinta y se perciba como una parte integral de Windows 8.1. Explicamos los 4 pilares de diseño: Principles, Personality, Patterns and Platform.


    10:00-11:00 GMT+1


    Navegación, Comandos, Ventanas y Layout


    Level 200

    Comentamos el mecanismo de navegación entre las páginas y como implementar comandos con CommandBar. Finalmente, explicamos cómo adaptar el layout del interfaz de usuario a los cambios en el tamaño de ventanas que contienen el aplicativo.


    10:00-10:40 GMT+1


    Controles WebView y RenderTargetBitMap


    Level 200

    Explicamos cómo integrar el contenido HTML en la App utilizando control WebView. También comentamos como generar una imagen en variedad de formatos desde una rama del árbol visual de XAML y compartirlo con otros aplicativos utilizando RenderTargetBitMap


    10:00-11:00 GMT+1


    APIs de Windows Store

    Level 200


    Esta presentación está enfocada en las APIs de Tienda de Windows y el diseño de la aplicación para monetizarla. Explicamos los modelos disponibles (add-funded, trial, in-app purchase, consumables), como gestionar el cambio de licencia del aplicativo y habilitar la funcionalidad correspondiente. Además comentaremos el proceso de publicación del aplicativo en la Tienda de Windows.


    10:00-10:40 GMT+1


    Integrando con los Contactos y Calendario

    Level 200


    En esta presentación explicamos cómo integrar con las app estándar de Windows 8.1: Contactos y Calendario utilizando el API de contrato. Conseguiremos que el aplicativo que necesita gestionar datos de sobre personas o citas puede acceder a la información que gestionan estos apps.

    Podéis encontrar videos adicionales sobre el desarrollo de Store Apps en XAML y C# en inglés en:

    “Designing Your XAML UI with Blend Jump Start”

    “XAML Deep Dive for Windows & Windows Phone Apps Jump Start”

    "Windows Store App Development Essentials with C# Refresh"

    "Advanced Windows Store App Development Using C# Refresh"

    También hemos liberado el Update 2 de Visual Studio 2013 que puedes descargar de

    “Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Update 2”

  • Ask the Experts… any time

    I just sat through an “Ask the Experts” session on Exchange Online migrations at the Microsoft Exchange Conference, and there were some great questions asked. It got me to thinking… what do YOU do when you have a question?

    Search Bing/Google? Read TechNet or MSDN?  Read the Office 365 Service Descriptions? The Office 365 Deployment Guide? Stack Exchange?  Save up the question for SharePoint Conference or MEC or TechEd?  Those are all excellent resources.  Many teams within Microsoft write blogs to share tips/tricks/issues so they can be found later.  Definitely use them to find an answer if you can.

    For that matter, take advantage of the excellent training on Microsoft Virtual Academy or Ignite or  from a Microsoft Learning Partner. We even have some great videos over on the MSPartnerTech YouTube channel. However, training tends to cover our products working as designed, in a vanilla environment.  Out in the real world, things are much trickier, which is why we depend on our Partners for technical/industry/integration expertise. 

    That means our Partners hit some super interesting scenarios… “For a mailbox that was originally created on Exchange 2003, I cannot enable an archive once the user is moved to the cloud… am I doing something wrong or did I hit a bug?” “I am trying to move 30,000 mailboxes to the cloud, and when we did a few test migrations, I am only able to move mailboxes at  0.5 GB/hr. At that rate, it will take a year to move to the cloud. How can I speed up the migration?” “How can I move SharePoint list items from on-premises to SharePoint Online without changing the “modified” date?

    Wouldn’t it be great if you could get ahold of someone at Microsoft that had seen that scenario before and had an answer or a workaround or a pointer to documentation? Someone that could track down an answer from the thousands of smart people within Microsoft that may have hit that edge case before?  Some way to “Ask the Expert” when you have a problem, rather than waiting for a conference that takes place once a year?

    Let me point you to resources for our partners that let you “Ask an Expert” when you need it most… when you are planning for or carrying out a project:

    All Partners:

    Partner Support Communities – Unlimited no-charge support for both technical and program (questions about your membership, benefits, etc).  SLA’s vary by your membership level.

    Office 365 Partner Yammer Community – This is a Yammer group maintained by the Office 365 Partner team. There are no guaranteed answers or SLA, but it is a great place to collaborate with the Product team and other partners.

    Silver/Gold Competency Partners

    Partners with a Silver competency have access to 20 advisory hours a year, and Partners with a Gold competency have access to 50 advisory hours a year.  This is the Bat Phone to speak directly with a Partner Technical Consultant about your technical issue. There are many things a Partner Technical Consultant can help you out with (deployment planning, design review, and more). Submit your request via and a consultant will call you directly.

    Cloud Accelerate/Cloud Deployment Program Partners

    The Cloud Partner Support team is available to Cloud Accelerate and Cloud Deployment Program Partners via the Microsoft Online Portal (MOP) and via phone submission for severity A (critical) issues. Note: Cloud Accelerate partners must submit MOP issues on their partner Individual Use Rights (IUR) tenant to ensure routing to the correct Support team.   A quick reference guide with SLA’s, best practices, escalation resources, etc is available here: Cloud Partner Support Quick Reference Guide

  • Take advantage of your Office 365 Internal Use Rights

    In the past, MPN Partners with the Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate had access to Internal Use Rights for Office 365.  Now, however, all partners with a Microsoft Action Pack Subscription (MAPS) as well as Partners with a Silver or Gold competency all have access to free Internal Use Rights licenses for Office 365.  This gives you an opportunity to try out the service, so you can speak from experience when you discuss the benefits with your customers.  It also means that someone else takes care of running your servers so that you can spend more time working and less time patching and troubleshooting.

    I wanted to share a few resources to help get you started.  First, the page with all the information you need on your Internal Use Rights licenses, how to access them, how to earn more licenses, and how to activate your partner features is available at:

    In the following video, York Hutton walks through the Internal Use Rights (IUR) core benefits, discussing how they now give partners the power of choice to mix and match online services and on-premises software licenses. Microsoft partners can choose between work-alike solutions for productivity, demonstration, development, testing, and internal training purposes.

    In this video, York walks through the process of activating your IUR benefits, whether you are using them for the first time, or transitioning from a previous license grant:

    A few additional resources:
    KB2887467: Support Article: What are my internal use rights benefits?

    Office 365 partner features how-to guide (Learn about partner features available to help you sell to and manage your customers, including how to offer and use delegated administration, and how to send quotes and trials.)

    If you have program questions (how do I get my license, where is my key, how do I sign up for MAPS or renew my membership?) visit the Partner Membership Community

    If you have technical questions (why am I getting an error message when migrating my mailboxes? how do I resolve a DirSync error about an invalid attribute?), visit the Partner Online Services community.

    If you have a Silver or Gold competency, you have access to 20 and 50 (respectively) hours of advisory services consultation with a Partner Technical Consultant.  These consultants are a great resource to help plan for a deployment (even if it is an internal deployment). Submit an advisory request via:

    All partners holding current internal-use software licenses available through a cloud program must make the transition so that they are in alignment with the new internal-use software license process and entitlements, which are available to Action Pack subscribers or competency partners, prior to June 30, 2014, or your internal-use software licenses will expire.
    Download the instructions to transition to the new system

  • Windows Store App Development Training Videos (Turkish Versions)

    Recently we’ve released several short training videos around building Windows Store apps.  As a part of this process we’re now taking some of the most popular and offering them in additional languages.  Last week we launched the Spanish series.  Today we’re launching the Turkish series.

    Windows Store uygulamanız için 10 dakikadan az bir süre içinde Live Tile oluşturun

    Farklı ekran boyutları için Windows Store uygulamaları tasarlama

    Windows App Certification Kit (Turkish)

    Windows Store uygulamaları tasarlamak için Visual Studio şablonlarını kullanma

    Windows Store uygulamalarında bildirimleri kullanmak için ipuçları