Our new training-focused newsletter for partners, The Learning Curve, is chock-full of information on the courses available to you on a variety of topics. In the September 8 issue, we covered Windows Vista, Windows Small Business Server, Microsoft System Center, and the business readiness topic, Project Management. If you are a member of the Microsoft Partner Program, you may download this edition from your signed-in home page on the Microsoft US partner portal at https://partner.microsoft.com/us. Want a sneak peek at our September 22 “Vital Few” newsletter topics? We’re planning to offer recommendations on the medley of Office System, Microsoft Silverlight, Unified Communications Solutions Competency, and Thriving in Uncertain Economic Times.


Looking at the range of topics above, it’s clear Microsoft has many, many offerings to choose from to help Microsoft Partner Program member organizations get their teams educated and skilled on Microsoft solutions and technologies as well as on general business topics. But if you are concerned about the cost of effectively utilizing this wealth of training, you may be pleasantly surprised to know that we offer many of our courses at low cost or no cost. Instructor-led trainings are usually heavily subsidized, to the tune of offering a course valued at approximately $5K/week to you for approximately $500/week. The majority of our eLearning offerings are free, including the new “LabCasts”, a modality which takes the detail of a live, instructor-led event and turns it into an online, on-demand experience. Current LabCasts include:


·         Windows Vista,

·         Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server,

·         MOSS Enterprise Search Advanced Training,

·         Unified Communications LabFest (Exchange and OCS),

·         Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Scripting LabCasts.


In our Microsoft Partner Program newsletters (both the general newsletter delivered 1st/3rd Mondays and The Learning Curve delivered 2nd/4th Mondays of each month) and on this blog, our goal is to expose you to a few different options for training for each topic, both instructor-led and eLearning. I hope you’ll take the time to click through to the details of courses that appeal to you and see just how cost-effective it can be to improve your skills and increase your knowledge with Microsoft!


Until next time,




Deborah Ziegenhorn

Director, Partner Skills and Development Team, US Partner Group