Below is all the content we published in today’s US partner newsletter that was delivered by email to US-based members of the Microsoft Partner Network. The content in your email is specific to your company’s business and your role.

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In this post, there are five sections of content:

  • Local Recommendations – Our U.S. East, Central, and West Regions can help you close business, and share their favorite resources.
  • WPC 2012 News – Get updates about the Worldwide Partner Conference in July.
  • Partner News – Information about Partner Network membership and partner-related campaigns, promotions, and opportunities.
  • Training Recommendations – Links to the latest training opportunities (many of them low-cost and no-cost).
  • Role-Based Training – Our recommendations about a specific product or topic; this week: Windows Azure and Microsoft Desktop Optimization (MDOP).

For more partner news, resources, and recommendations, visit us on the U.S. partner portal and Virtual Partner Concierge, and join the U.S. Partner Community on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.



Local Recommendations

WPC 2012 News

WPC 2012 Session Catalog Is Now Available
The Session Catalog for this year's Worldwide Partner Conference is now available. Use it to start planning your time in Toronto—you can filter sessions by your business model or track. For U.S. Track sessions that will take place on Thursday, July 12, select "US Sub" in the track filter.

WPC 2012: Experience Toronto for Three Sweepstakes
When you and a co-worker each purchase an All-Access Pass to WPC 2012 from May 1 through May 31, your company is entered into a sweepstakes to win one of 20 free passes to the Conference (retail value: $1,995). Imagine the possibilities that open up when your company has three people in Toronto to network, learn, and build your business. Sweepstakes ends May 31. Official Rules.

May 10 Webcast: 50 Quick Tips on Creating More Opportunities at WPC
Whether you are already registered to attend this year's WPC or are still undecided about attending, you can find great information in this webcast about how to get the most from your investment. One lucky participant will win an All-Access Pass to WPC 2012. Read the Official Rules for eligibility and details.

Connect with Voices for Innovation at WPC
Stop by the VFI booth to meet and learn about partners working to win public policies that help promote innovation and business. Sign up for VFI's newsletter to stay in the loop about our WPC plans—including sessions and a VIP suite to see Deepak Chopra's keynote.

Partner News

Use New Chat Option to Get Membership Support
Chat with a Virtual Agent by typing in a question or keywords, or reach one of our support agents in the Regional Service Center during business hours (6:30 AM–5:30 PM Pacific Time, Monday through Friday) through live chat.

Competency Requirements Changes Take Effect in May
To ensure relevance, competency requirements and benefits are regularly updated. In May, several competencies will be affected by retiring exams and changing or new requirements. Use the competency roadmap to review items that may need your attention. Contact the MPN Experts for assistance with competency attainment.

New Management and Virtualization Competency
The Systems Management competency and the Virtualization competency will merge to become the new Management and Virtualization competency in late May. Review the Management and Virtualization Competency Guide to understand what's changing, the new requirements, and how this competency will help prepare you to deliver private cloud solutions.

Why You Should Care About the Small Business Competency
Read why Jon Roskill, Corporate Vice President for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, is excited about the new Small Business Competency, and what it means for your business.

The Next Version of Windows Intune Is Coming Soon. Find Out What's New
A new release of Windows Intune software and cloud services will be available shortly and includes exciting new mobile device management functionality. Read the What's New Guide for more details, and sign up to try it: limited seats are still available to try the April 2012 prerelease.

Prepare for the Microsoft Security Bulletin for May 2012
As part of our usual cycle of updates, the next security bulletin release is scheduled for May 15. On the Security TechCenter, you can catch up on the April release, register for the May security bulletin webcast, sign up for notifications, and more.

Differentiate Your Company by Marketing Your Competencies
Use our new campaign materials to promote your competency achievements to customers and prospects. Our robust set of materials includes press release kit, presentations, and a video you can embed on your site.

Get Triple Points on Reseller [Re]ward Hub for Office Sales
Join Reseller [Re]ward Hub and earn triple points on eligible Office Home & Business 2010 and Office 2010 Pro sales from April 28 to May 11. Official Rules.

Subscribe to the Reseller and System Builder Newsletter for a Chance to Win an Xbox 360
Subscribe or renew your subscription so you can stay informed about Microsoft OEM preinstallation tools, product and software releases, training, and marketing resources. Your new subscription or renewal earns you an entry to win a Kinect for Xbox 360 Prize Pack. Official Rules.

Operational Systems and Tools Resources for Value-Added Resellers
Find resources to help you understand operational aspects of the order-to-cash cycle within Microsoft, including Operational Handbooks, Training Materials, and Roadmaps of changes.

Special Cloud Practice Accelerator Offer for Microsoft Cloud Accelerate Members
Prepare to help your customers make the transition to the cloud by attending the Practice Accelerator for Microsoft Office 365. Cloud Accelerate members can register for Practice Accelerator for Microsoft Office 365 at no cost. Sessions are available in May and June.

Special Cloud Practice Accelerator Offer for Microsoft Cloud Essentials Subscribers
Prepare to help your customers make the transition to the cloud by attending the Practice Accelerator for Microsoft Office 365. Cloud Essentials subscribers can register for Practice Accelerator for Microsoft Office 365 at no cost. Sessions are available in May and June.

Get Expert Advice for Selling Microsoft Office 365
Use your partner advisory hours to get presales assistance that can help you close more Office 365 deals. These services provide feature overviews and comparisons, help in overcoming customer objections, and selling tips from expert Microsoft consultants.

Spring into Cloud Accelerate and Save Promotion
Through June 15, if you are among the first 150 eligible U.S. partners to qualify for and join the Microsoft Cloud Accelerate program, you will receive a rebate for 50% off the competency fee for joining. Offer Terms and Conditions.

Microsoft Private Cloud Summit Coming to New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles
The Microsoft Private Cloud Summit—a full-day event featuring the Microsoft System Center 2012 product team—is coming to New York on May 16, Chicago on May 17, and Los Angeles on May 22. Register for this no-cost summit for a chance to get hands-on experience with the latest Microsoft cloud technologies and hear directly from the teams that created them.

On-Demand Webcast: How to Maximize Your Microsoft Partner Network Benefits
This 60-minute on-demand webcast is designed to show you how to make best use of your Microsoft Partner Network membership benefits and take full advantage of the expertise of the Partner Services consultants.

Get Engagement Management Skills for Optimized Desktop Deployments with Practice Accelerator
Learn how you can help guide organizations to create a more secure and reliable desktop environment by using delivery methodology and templates developed by Microsoft. You can use Practice Accelerator for Optimized Desktop to improve productivity and agility for your customers.

Be a Part of the 2012 Microsoft Dynamics President's Club and Inner Circle
The 2012 Partner Recognition Program for Microsoft Dynamics recognizes our top Microsoft Dynamics partners for their exceptional FY12 performance. Review the requirements to qualify for the President's Club and Inner Circle.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 Partner Launch Portal
Find the latest news and information about the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 on the partner launch portal. It's the best place to access the most relevant collateral, technical resources, tools, and training materials as they are made available.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Software Advisor Promotion
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Software Advisors can qualify to receive a fee of 40%—up from 18% previously—of the value of new subscription sales of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. This offer does not apply to Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premises sales. Offer expires June 30.

Earn Incremental Revenue via the Microsoft Dynamics Lead Referral Program
If your expertise does not extend to selling Microsoft Dynamics solutions—or solutions in a particular Microsoft Dynamics expertise area, industry, or geography—you can pass leads for those opportunities to Microsoft. If the lead referral becomes an opportunity that results in a transaction, you earn a referral fee.

How Microsoft Partner Sovran Uses Ready-to-Go Marketing
Introducing Sovran, one of our 2011 ASPIRE winners. The two-person marketing team at this software and services provider and Microsoft Silver Communications competency holder uses Ready-to-Go Marketing to help them reach more customers.

Unified Communications Ready-To-Go Campaign Updated with Lync Mobile Materials
The Unified Communications Ready-to-Go Marketing Campaign, centered around Microsoft Lync Server, now includes new assets for Lync Mobile Apps, including a presentation and web banner. Use this campaign to introduce customers to unified communications solutions that can help them connect more easily and increase collaboration.

Expert Advice to Help You Sell Microsoft Lync 2010 to More Customers
Get expert selling advice Microsoft Lync 2010 from our experts. Whether you need competitive help, feature overviews and comparisons, or help in overcoming customer objections or selling enterprise voice solutions, our experts are here for you.

Are You Working to Close a Big Deal?
You can receive unlimited presales advisory support for any deal worth $3,000 or more. For deals worth less than $3,000, you can access Technical Presales Assistance by using your partner advisory hours—a benefit of your Microsoft Partner Network competency attainment.

Develop and Deploy Microsoft Office 365 Solutions with Confidence
Let us help you develop and deploy Microsoft Office 365 solutions that meet the needs of your customers. Use your partner advisory hours benefit to get personalized migration, deployment, design, architecture, and development guidance for Microsoft Office 365 with our Advisory Services.

Gold and Silver Competency Benefit for Microsoft Office 365 Solutions
Let us help you deploy and develop the best Microsoft Office 365 solutions for your customers. Use your partner advisory hours to get personalized migration, deployment, design, architecture, and development guidance for Microsoft Office 365 with our Advisory Services.

Training Recommendations

Competency Exam Pack Offer Ends May 31
The Competency Exam Pack offer has been extended until May 15 and must be used by May 31. Take advantage of these great savings and encourage your IT pros and developers to take their exams soon.

May Partner Training Sweepstakes Features Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft System Center, Windows 7, Windows Small Business Server 2011
Earn a chance to win a great prize in our Sweepstakes when you take this month's featured courses. There's something for every role, and you'll receive an entry for each training course you complete. Official Rules.

Power Start and Momentum Workshops Now Open to All Microsoft Partner Network Members at No Cost
Build your knowledge in a solution area with Technical Enablement workshops presented by Partner Services. Visit the Partner Learning Center to find upcoming workshops that meet your needs and fit your schedule.

Earn Your Microsoft Cloud Certification
Validate your cloud computing skills with the new Microsoft Cloud Services Certifications. These certifications cover functional areas such as infrastructure management, software development, database management and services management. They also include Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) credentials, reinvented specifically for the cloud.

Private Cloud Technical Training for IT Pros
Learn how to build and manage private cloud solutions with familiar tools you may already use in your data center. Provide your customers with a new kind of agility, focus, and cost savings with this new model for IT delivery.

Prepare to Attain the Data Platform Competency
Use the materials and courses in the Partner Exam Academy to prepare to pass the exams in the current requirements for the Microsoft Data Platform competency.

Windows Azure Technical Training for Developers
Build deep development skills on Windows Azure with workshops from the Partner Services team. In this listing, you'll find both on-demand and live sessions.

Windows Phone Developer Workshops
Register for upcoming live webcasts presented by the Partner Services team about developing applications for Windows Phone.

May 17 and May 24: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Training Blitz Days
Because education of our partners is a key component to a successful launch, we are excited to bring you the next Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Blitz Day. Join us May 17 and May 24 for two blitz days of content focused on the sales and presales roles in your organization.

Prove Your Sales Expertise for a Chance to Win
Earn your first Microsoft Sales Specialist badge or add a Sales Specialist accreditation to enter our sweepstakes. Through May 31, you'll be entered to win one of two Grand Prize trips to Whistler, B.C. or an REI Gift Card for each Sales Specialist assessment you pass. Official Rules.

May 8–10 in Fort Lauderdale, FL: Microsoft Office 365 Partner Deployment Training
Attend this no-cost, three-day program to learn how to plan, prepare, and migrate customers to Microsoft Office 365. Sessions include coexistence, simple migration options, and deployment tools and resources.

May 15–17 in New York, NY: Microsoft Office 365 Partner Deployment Training
Attend this no-cost, three-day program to learn how to plan, prepare, and migrate customers to Microsoft Office 365. Sessions include coexistence, simple migration options, and deployment tools and resources.

Take the New ISV Track into the Microsoft Mobility Competency
Watch how to make your mobile business stand out by attaining the Mobility competency in one of two ways: develop a qualifying business app or meet exam requirements. Earn partner resources to help you win customers in the mobile market.

June 6 in Waltham, MA: Windows 8 Metro Excellence Clinic
In this clinic, we'll walk you through the certification process for Windows 8 applications. Along the way, you'll learn a process for checking your applications for quality prior to submitting them to the marketplace, which will decrease the chances for any surprises during certification and increase the overall quality of your app.

June 13 in New York, NY: Windows 8 Metro Excellence Clinic
In this clinic, we'll walk you through the certification process for Windows 8 applications. Along the way, you'll learn a process for checking your applications for quality prior to submitting them to the marketplace, which will decrease the chances for any surprises during certification and increase the overall quality of your app.

June 21 in Chevy Chase, MD: Windows 8 Metro Excellence Clinic
In this clinic, we'll walk you through the certification process for Windows 8 applications. Along the way, you'll learn a process for checking your applications for quality prior to submitting them to the marketplace, which will decrease the chances for any surprises during certification and increase the overall quality of your app.

June 27 in Alpharetta, GA: Windows 8 Metro Excellence Clinic
In this clinic, we'll walk you through the certification process for Windows 8 applications. Along the way, you'll learn a process for checking your applications for quality prior to submitting them to the marketplace, which will decrease the chances for any surprises during certification and increase the overall quality of your app.

July 11 in Tampa, FL: Windows 8 Metro Excellence Clinic
In this clinic, we'll walk you through the certification process for Windows 8 applications. Along the way, you'll learn a process for checking your applications for quality prior to submitting them to the marketplace, which will decrease the chances for any surprises during certification and increase the overall quality of your app.

May 15–17 in Chevy Chase, MD: Windows 8 Developer and UX Workshop for Partners
During this three-day workshop, the designers of Windows 8 will provide in-depth, practical training for designing and developing differentiated Windows 8 experiences. Attendees will get a technical deep dive, hands-on experience, and advice for designing Metro-style apps.

May 23–25 in Waltham, MA: Windows 8 Developer and UX Workshop for Partners
During this three-day workshop, the designers of Windows 8 will provide in-depth, practical training for designing and developing differentiated Windows 8 experiences. Attendees will get a technical deep dive, hands-on experience, and advice for designing Metro-style apps.

Role-Based Training for Windows Azure and Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP)

Find training opportunities and recommendations on the U.S. partner portal, U.S. Partner Learning blog, Partner Training Finders, and Partner Learning Paths.

Training for Business Decision Makers
Windows Azure

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP)

Training for IT Professionals
Windows Azure

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP)

Training for Developers
Windows Azure

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP)

Training for Sales and Marketing Roles
Windows Azure

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP)

Training for Training Roles
Windows Azure

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP)