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  • Blog Post: Cloud SureStep Announced: Partner Path to Establish, Grow and Thrive with Microsoft Online Services

    Josh Condie – About a week ago, Thomas Hansen (Microsoft VP, SMB Worldwide) announced the launch of a comprehensive online (MPN-based) guide for success with Microsoft Online Services: Cloud SureStep . The link to his announcement is here . SureStep is a highly accessible, very rich and organized series...
  • Blog Post: Small Business Competency and Office 365 Certification Path

    B   V   A Julie Bennani, GM of Microsoft Microsoft Partner Network, recently blogged more information about the upcoming Small Business Competency , which will be launched in June 2012.  I wanted to highlight that there will be a strong cloud focus for this competency. ...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Sales Specialist–Update–Partner Sales Skills Excellence

      B   V  A   Welcome to the all-new: Partner Sales Skills Excellence Program Your Microsoft Partner Network training is about to get even easier. With the growing success of the current Microsoft Sales Specialist program (over 55,000 accreditations and counting), we’ve decided...
  • Blog Post: FREE 32GB Certified “Windows to Go” USB Drive

    B  V  A Announcing the Sales Skills Excellence 32GB USB drive offer for U.S. partners who attend or attended a U.S. VAR Summit or U.S. Distribution Boot Camp, and earn a Partner Sales Skills Excellence accreditation, have the opportunity to receive a free 32GB USB drive certified for Windows...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Learning JumpStart course for 74-325 Office 365 Exam and the Small Business Competency

    B  V  A Saw this one come in to my inbox today and wanted to get this out to you ASAP as many partners have asked us about training for these exams and competency. Next week ( 6/11 1-5PDT – 6/12 9-5PDT ) we will be broadcasting live from the Microsoft Learning Studios to teach the SMB world...
  • Blog Post: Announcing the SMB Server Experience Tool

      By Ron Grattopp ….. You’ll want to check out the brand new SMB Server Experience and Server Selection Tools on the Midsize Business Solution page (screenshot below) of the microsoft.com Server and Cloud Platform site.  These tools  just launched today and are a unique solution which...
  • Blog Post: Sign-up for the Beta of SBS ”7” and SBS “Aurora”

    Windows Small Business Server (SBS) Code Name “7” is the next release of Windows Small Business Server Standard, which is a fully on-premise solution. Windows Small Business Server “7” minimizes initial acquisition and deployment times by offering an easily deployed single server solution that combines...
  • Blog Post: Small Business Server 2011 with Server 2008 R2 SP1?

      Are you wondering if you should install the SP1 Service Pack for Server 2008 R2 on your SBS 2011 ? YES – it can and should be installed on SBS 2011 Standard edition. What about SBS 2011 Essentials ? – Great question – It is already part of Essentials out of the box. Note - If you download the...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft FUSE Labs releases CompanyCrowd – a social content aggregator for businesses

      Josh Condie – This is a month late in posting, but a useful social media and news aggregator that can be company or industry specific, and evolves into a more tailored resource as you interact with it: Microsoft FUSE Labs just released a brand new project – called the “CompanyCrowd”. This new...
  • Blog Post: April 5 is your last day to save $200 on your WPC 2013 all-access pass!

      Josh Condie - Registration savings end April 5 (Today!) Early-bird registration for WPC 2013 ends April 5. Get our best price on registration and pay just $1,795 for your all-access pass, a savings of $200 (full price is $1,995). There is an additional $200 refund for registrations that qualify...
  • Blog Post: Save the Date: “Office 365 for Small Business” Jump Start August 29-30th

        Josh Condie - Microsoft is creating a new exam, 74-324: Administering Office 365 for Small Business . This exam will be based on a training course specifically designed to meet the needs of partners administering Office 365 for small business customers. In summary, if you’re seeking Small...
  • Blog Post: Here’s a shout out to Cindy Bates blog and some business focused resources you should explore

    By Ron Grattopp …..Back at the end of October I blogged about the Microsoft Business Hub site.  Hopefully, you were motivated to explore that site and the resources it provides.  If so, you also hopefully noticed that Cindy Bates’ blog is hosted on that site and a link to it is prominently...
  • Blog Post: Where to download SBS2011 Standard for Installation

    As many of you are aware, Small Business Server has never been available for download from the Volume License Service Center.  However, it is available for download for those of you with a TechNet subscription and rumor has it that it will be making it way into the Action Pack Subscription soon...
  • Blog Post: MMS 2012 and Windows Intune Wave C Announcements

    B  V  A Did you see the announcement made at Microsoft Management Summit 2012 in Las Vegas about the next version of Windows Intune.  If not, check out the official blog entry on our “Windows for Business” blog - http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/business/   Hopefully you already...
  • Blog Post: Upcoming Practice Accelerator Sessions (week starting November 5th)

    Josh Condie - Practice Accelerator is a Microsoft offering designed to help partners build a technical services practice around Microsoft solutions. Practice Accelerator is a comprehensive set of reusable tools, resources, and best practices introduced in training delivered via Microsoft Live Meeting...
  • Blog Post: Windows Small Business Server 2011 RTM’s

        SBS 2011 (which is based on Windows Server 2008 R2 technologies) has been released to manufacturing. Official Announcement: http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2010/12/13/windows-small-business-server-2011-standard-releases-to-manufacturing.aspx
  • Blog Post: The Unified Communications Customer Conversation for SMB, Part 1: Setting the Stage

    By Ron Grattopp    ….. My teammate JJ just did a great post on Lync (specifically Lync Online which you get with Office 365) where he pointed out, rightly so, that Lync is a game changer .   I’ve just come off several weeks of training for one of our major distribution partners...
  • Blog Post: MPN, it’s a major evolution, not just a name change…here’s a review of some of the key changes to Microsoft’s new partner program

    by Ron Grattopp…..Well, I’m hoping that all of you already know that Microsoft made/is making some pretty sweeping changes to what you used to know as the “Microsoft Partner Program (MSPP)”; in fact, one of the changes was the name, it’s now the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) .  I’ve recently had...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Wave redux

    by Ron Grattopp…..Back in March I blogged about something called “Microsoft Wave” and how it’s something of a showcase for our technology.  In that post I called out technologies such as: Live Mesh , Photosynth , pptPlex , Songsmith , WorldWide Telescope , AutoCollage , DeepZoom , Tag , Surface...
  • Blog Post: Pitching Cloud to SMB Customers

    By Ron Grattopp….. We’re well into baseball season now, so I thought a baseball metaphor title might be reasonable .  I presented a Microsoft all-up cloud story breakout session and helped man our vendor fair booth at a major Distributor’s semi-annual partner conference this past week and, as you...
  • Blog Post: Save Time and Costs with the Windows SBS 2011 Standard OPK

    posted by Charles Van Heusen The OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) is now available for Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard. The OPK is a free set of tools and documentation that help you automate the process of preinstalling Windows SBS 2011 Standard. Download the OPK Today Technorati Tags: SBS...
  • Blog Post: Small Business Competency: Vouchers for Exam 74-324

    Josh Condie – In continuing the theme of the blog entry that my friend and colleague Steve Deming posted about 3 weeks back (8/8/12), Microsoft is now making free exam vouchers available for individuals who were unable to pass exam 74-323.  The voucher is for the new exam: 74-324. Steve’s post ...
  • Blog Post: 2,000 FREE Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses (Exam 74-324) Vouchers

    Josh Condie – This is great opportunity to advance 2 competencies quickly, and at a significantly reduced cost. Here is a very exciting offer for partners everywhere (not just the U.S.). Right now, the first 2,000 partners who take “Exam 74-324: Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses”...
  • Blog Post: The Unified Communications Customer Conversation for SMB, Part 2: understanding Unified Communications as a solution and the extraordinary value of Microsoft’s UC stack

    By Ron Grattopp    ….. OK, so last post I laid the foundation of “productivity” as the underlying theme on which we can then layer the messages around Unified Communication AND Collaboration.   The Collaboration component of UC&C is built around our rapidly growing SharePoint...
  • Blog Post: Announcing myfirstserver.com

      By Ron Grattopp ….. A few weeks back I blogged about the launch of the SMB Server Experience and Server Selection Tools on the Midsize Business Solution page .  Well, now there is a new site, MyFirstServer.com that’s designed to be a customer-ready resource focused on the small business segment...