BeLux Blog

Dear Partners,

We hope you’re aware of the recent changes that have happened in our Partner Network.

However, we know it’s a lot to take in. You don’t always have the time to read all the communications we send you and it’s not always easy to know where to go if you have questions. That’s why we want to make it a little easier for you. We’re organizing a new call, this time focused on Cloud Essentials.

As you know, this Cloud program is coming to an end and we want to go over the changes and the other options there are for you.

We will hold this call on April 3 at 16h. The call will be 30 minutes long and will include some Q&A time.

If you’re interested in joining us, please send an email to fbnewsbe@microsoft.com and register for this MPN Live Meeting.

I hope to see you there!

Sara Holbrecht
Microsoft Partner Network Lead Belgium & Luxembourg

Partner of the Year Awards are presented each year at WPC based on a self-nominating process by partners. Winners are celebrated at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Washington D.C. from July 13-17.

Recognition, prestige, and opportunity for all Microsoft partners

Partners, this is your opportunity to vie for awards that can showcase your solutions built on Microsoft technologies to benefit our mutual customers.

How Partner of the Year Awards benefit partners

Receiving a Partner of the Year Award positions your company for new business opportunities, generates positive press coverage, and can lead to even greater market recognition.

Winners appear onstage at WPC 2014 in Washington D.C. to be recognized by their peers. Award winners are also invited to an exclusive celebration during the conference.

The Partner of the Year Awards nomination tool is open now until April 11, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. Pacific time. Get started.

Review the 2014 Partner of the Year Award guidelines

Familiarize yourself with the complete Microsoft 2014 Partner of the Year Award guidelines (PDF). Preparing all of your answers and supporting documents now definitely makes it easier to upload your final entry.

Got questions? Read the FAQ

Find answers to your frequently asked questions (PDF) about the 2014 Partner of the Year Awards.

Get valuable advice from the judges

Download the Guidance from the Judges (PDF) document for tips and tricks about how to create a winning awards nomination.

Review these helpful tips on how to create an award winning entry

Here are some terrific words of wisdom on creating an award winning entry (PDF) that judges want to read and that tells your organization’s story.

2014 Partner of the Year Awards official rules

The Partner of the Year Awards program is a skill-based contest with the objective to recognize the best solution(s). We encourage you to closely read through the 2014 official rules (PDF) for the program prior to submitting your entry.

More information is available at www.digitalwpc.com/awards.

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What?

It’s an application on Windows 8(.1) and Windows Phone to find trainings available for Microsoft Partners. The app spots the training options for you!

Why should I install it?

  • It will filter all relevant trainings for you, based on your profile
  • No need to do extensive lookup, the app will notify you of new training opportunities in an automatic way
  • Take full advantage of all training resources that are available for you as a Microsoft Partner
  • The best news is: the app proactively notifies you of new relevant training session for your role. Use the Live Tiles in the Windows start screen to take full advantage of the feature

New in V2?

  • More trainings available, including local in-person trainings
  • The improved design allows to easily navigate, favorite and share trainings
  • Login option available so you can synchronize profile and favorites between devices (Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8)
  • Classroom trainings prioritized

TIP

Install the app on your start screen in order to receive the notifications when a new training, matching your profile, is available.

Install now on Windows 8
Install now on Windows Phone

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1. Microsoft Licensing Essentials training 05/05/2013

“They say that Microsoft licensing is quite complex.” That is correct, but doesn’t mean that you cannot learn the basics. If you attend the half-day Microsoft Licensing Essentials training, you will be able to explain your customer the most important elements of Microsoft licensing:

  • License types: Full Packaged Product (FPP), OEM license, Volume Licensing programs such as Open License and Open Value, introductions to MOSP (the vehicle for ordering Office 365) and SPLA.
  • Software Assurance: what is it, and how to get it?
  • Product licensing: which licenses are needed for Windows, Office and server products such as Windows Server and Windows Small Business Server?
  • Open License, Open Value: what are the most important features and benefits of these Volume Licensing programs?

more info & registration

2. Microsoft Product Licensing Workshop 09/05/2013

In one day, you learn how to use practical knowledge of Microsoft licensing in customer scenarios by attending the Product Licensing Workshop. In this course short presentations about product licensing alternate with five group exercises:

  1. Windows 8 and Office 2013 licensing
  2. Windows Server 2012 licensing in virtualized environments
  3. System Center 2012 licensing
  4. Exchange Server 2013, Lync Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2013 and Office 365 licensing
  5. SQL Server 2012 licensing

This training is delivered by Didactive and offered to you free of charge by Microsoft.

more info & registration

3. Licensing Solutions Competency training: “Volume Licensing Specialist: Small and Medium Organizations” (070-671)

The Microsoft Partner Network contains among others the Licensing Solutions Competency. One of the competencies is the design and implementation of Volume Licensing solutions. To achieve this competency at least two of your employees must be certified for the MCTS exam 070-671 or 070-672.

On the dates mentioned below Didactive in cooperation with Microsoft BVBA delivers a training that prepares you for the MCTS exam 070-671 “Volume Licensing Specialist: Small and Medium Organizations”.

  • May 6th and 7th, 2014, Microsoft BVBA in Zaventem – register

Choose between the following rates:

  • The Early Bird rate of € 495 per attendee is available until six weeks prior to the training session. Early Bird registrations cannot be cancelled.
  • The regular rate is € 595 per attendee.

At a surcharge, this can be extended to a three-day program, thus also preparing the attendee for the 070-672 exam for large organizations. The rate of this extended program is € 695 (Early Bird) or € 850 (regular) per attendee.

Download the course description (Adobe® Reader required).

4. Licensing Solutions Competency training: “Volume Licensing Specialist: Large Organizations” (070-672)

The Microsoft Partner Network contains among others the Licensing Solutions Competency. One of the competencies is the design and implementation of Volume Licensing solutions. To achieve this competency at least two of your employees must be certified for the MCTS exam 070-671 or 070-672.

For the preparation for the MCTS exam 070-672 “Volume Licensing Specialist: Large Organizations” Didactive offers a two-day training on the following dates:

  • May 6th and 8th, 2014, Microsoft BVBA in Zaventem – register

At a surcharge, this can be extended to a three-day program, thus also preparing the attendee for the 070-671 exam for small and medium organizations. The rate of this extended program is € 695 (Early Bird) or € 850 (regular) per attendee.

Download the course description (Adobe® Reader required).

1. Sales Windows Azure Blitz training 3/04 EBC Brussels

Register

Learn in this sales training about Microsoft’s Cloud OS and how to position Windows Azure with customers to accelerate and expand your services businesses. Attendees will learn how to deliver the holistic Cloud OS pitch and to identify opportunities that drive more and richer SharePoint, BI, App Dev, O365, Storage, and Infrastructure deals with Windows Azure.
This training will enable you to accelerate existing deals, open new doors and elevate status with customers, build new pipeline, expand to new offerings, and grow their incentives payouts.

2. Technical Windows Azure Blitz training 10-11/04 Amsterdam

Register

The Partner Practice Enablement training starts with an introduction to Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks (Infrastructure Services).  It delivers the foundational knowledge needed for users intending to run new workloads in Windows Azure or migrate existing workloads from on-premises.

Students will be introduced to the rich features of Windows Azure Active Directory and see how it can be used to achieve single sign-on across cloud applications, protect application access, enforce multi-factor authentication, and integrate with Windows Server Active Directory.

The latter half of the boot camp builds on the technical knowledge from the first half, shifting to coverage of common workload scenarios for cloud computing, such as Dev/Test, SQL Server, SharePoint Server, and monitoring of workloads running in Windows Azure Infrastructure Services.

Throughout the training, students will see presentations and demos followed with recommended resources and hands-on training experiences.

AGENDA:

· Infrastructure Services Introduction

· Infrastructure Services Networking

· Windows Azure Active Directory

· Windows Azure Active Directory Integration

· Cloud Services, Websites and Infrastructure Services

· Development and Test

· SQL Server and SharePoint

· Management and Monitoring

Earlier this week, previously communicated changes to the Microsoft Partner Network program officially went into effect. These include updates for Microsoft competencies and requirements.

Complete details of the changes can be found on the Microsoft Partner Network website, and you can refer to the Disclosure Guide that highlights what has changed.

Today, I want to call out one of the changes regarding Presales Technical assessments – and how we at MPN Training can help.

As part of the updates this week, Presales Technical assessments will now be required to earn the following competencies:

Collaboration and Content
Communications
Customer Relationship Management
Business Intelligence
Devices and Deployment
Enterprise Resource Planning
Messaging

This requirement is designed to help you in your presales activities. Beyond being a requirement for these business areas, the Presales Technical Specialist program is a great way to boost your business: internal research shows that the impact of trained Presales Technical Specialists can lead to larger and faster deals. You can learn more about the Presales program here, and you’ll also find links directly to our partner learning paths, which show a recommended training path and can prepare you and your employees to pass the required assessments.

To help you make the transition to these new program changes, you can consult our learning paths. Also, take advantage of the Exam Pack offer to help you purchase packs of required certification exams.

Thank you for your interest in the Microsoft Partner Network.

Dear Partner

Last month, many program changes took effect, including requirements updates for Microsoft competencies and programs. In case you missed what changed, you can always review your Microsoft competency’s details. Also, the MPN Training team has resources to help you study for and pass required assessments and certifications. We recommend you start with our learning paths. And, remember that you can use the Exam Pack offer through May, to purchase packs of required certification exams.

Want to get an overview of all Belux training? Check out the Training Calendar!

. Are you making the most of your Microsoft Partner Network membership?

A new infographic from Microsoft Partner Network Training shows MPN Training by the numbers, including the quantified benefits of certification to teams, and how much training costs. Learn how you can best leverage their Microsoft partnership and MPN Training resources.

Stand out from the Crowd: 2014 Partner of the Year Awards!

The Partner of the Year Awards nomination tool is open now until April 11, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. Pacific time.

40% off Certification Exams and a Second Shot to Pass!
Microsoft Partner Network competencies show your customers that you have proven capabilities and expertise on the latest Microsoft technologies. Right now, you can purchase packs of certification exams at up to 40% off. In addition, each voucher comes with a Second Shot if retakes are needed. Order packs before May 31, 2014 and be sure to use them before they expire at the end of the year.

Azure Technical curriculum – live training starts March 4

New Azure Technical Curriculum resources are available now on this MPN learning path. Live webcasts begin March 4.

Competency Specific Information

APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT

APPLICATION INTEGRATION

APPLICATION LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT

April 9: DevOps – Visual Studio Release Management Jump Start

Developers, IT administrators, and project managers: Are you interested in improving the software release processes? This no-cost, online live Jump Start is for you. Users of Visual Studio ALM will learn the skills to build an effective release pipeline with the Release Management functionality of Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server. Register here.

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

COLLABORATION AND CONTENT

COMMUNICATIONS

Sales Specialist Assessment for Communications (Lync 2013) – Hosting Track

To support the new Competency requirements, this assessment is now available in English + 10 localized languages.

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT

Virtual Convergence 2014

Can’t make it to Atlanta this year? You can still attend Convergence via Virtual Convergence, the no-cost, online event. Tune in the morning of March 4, 2014 for live broadcasts including the pre-show and keynote address, followed by general sessions. Come back after the event for on-demand access to hundreds of session videos. Register today and return March 4-6 for the live event.

Get ready for Microsoft Dynamics CRM spring release 2014

To prepare for the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the Getting Ready Guide has been updated to include information on readiness events and materials focusing on this new release. This document will continue to be updated as new materials become available over the coming months.  Check out Addendum I in the Getting Ready Guide to find out more.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM spring release 2014 Training Blitz

Save the dates: April 9, 2014 and April 10, 2014 for online training, designed for the following roles:

· Marketers

· Sales Specialists

· Presales Specialists

· Functional consultants

· Technical consultants

· Developers

Registration info coming soon.


Microsoft Dynamics CRM Enterprise Academy

This training provides 300-level technical training to help address the unique needs of your enterprise customers. Drive more architectural type knowledge into deals and implementations, and access technical content designed by R&D and Microsoft Services. All material is based on the new features and functionality of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. Sessions are scheduled for the coming months – register today.

DATA PLATFORM

DEVICES AND DEPLOYMENT

Exams updated with Windows 8.1 content
Two new exams that count towards the Devices and Deployment competency are now updated with Windows 8.1 content: Exam 70-688 and Exam 70-689.

Partner Opportunity – Windows 8 Devices

In this 5-minute video, the Microsoft Windows product team demonstrates Windows 8.1 on a range of Windows device form factors to satisfy various customer usage requirements. Then, partners can discover five key resources where they can learn more to begin selling Windows 8.

DIGITAL ADVERTISING

 

ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING

Virtual Convergence 2014

Can’t make it to Atlanta this year? You can still attend Convergence via Virtual Convergence, the no-cost, online event. Tune in the morning of March 4, 2014 for live broadcasts including the pre-show and keynote address, followed by general sessions. Come back after the event for on-demand access to hundreds of session videos. Register today and return March 4-6 for the live event.

New E-Learning for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013

The first Microsoft Dynamics course available on Microsoft Virtual Academy is now available. Be sure to take advantage of this free, on-demand learning offering for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013: Business Intelligence in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM spring release 2014 Training Blitz

Save the dates: April 9, 2014 and April 10, 2014 for online training, designed for the following roles:

· Marketers

· Sales Specialists

· Presales Specialists

· Functional consultants

· Technical consultants

· Developers

Registration info coming soon.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Enterprise Academy
This comprehensive technical training program is designed to enable enterprise partners to accelerate technical and functional capabilities to successfully sell and implement Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 solutions. These interactive trainings provide an opportunity to learn from Microsoft Certified Trainers or the Microsoft R&D team for the Advanced Workshops. Sessions are scheduled for the coming months – register today.

HOSTING

New Hosting track training and assessments
The Presales Technical Specialist Assessment for Datacenter – Hosting Track is now available in English + 10 localized languages. Coming soon: Presales Technical Assessment for Data Platform – Hosting Track.

See the Communications and Messaging sections for additional details related to Hosting tracks.

IDENTITY AND ACCESS

INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS

Save up to 40% on Intelligent Systems competency exams

Are you hoping to attain this new competency? Qualifying partners may receive 40% off the cost of exams required to fulfill the requirements. Exam vouchers are available for other MPN competencies as well.

Intelligent Systems development and deployment training

As part of the requirements for the new Intelligent Systems competency, the Windows Embedded team has developed a new training course and associated technical assessment around developing and deploying Intelligent Systems solutions, Microsoft’s solution that addresses the Internet of Things opportunity and the focus of the newest MPN competency. Access this training via the Intelligent Systems competency learning path.

LEARNING

 

MANAGEMENT AND VIRTUALIZATION

System Center 2012 R2 Advisor for IT Pros

This on-demand course explains the benefits of using System Center Advisor, and how to deploy and use Advisor on its own or integrated to System Center Operations Manager. You’ll also learn about the high level architecture in System Center Advisor, along with how it can be used to optimize your installation of Windows Server and server workloads.

App Performance Monitoring with System Center 2012 R2

Learn how to improve your company’s Application Performance Monitoring (APM). Also get insights into reporting and a holistic overview of APM and the application delivery lifecycle.

MESSAGING

Microsoft Exchange Conference April 2 in Austin, Texas
MEC is just around the corner: April 2, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Register now and connect with partners and experts on Exchange in the world of Office 365.

Sales Specialist Assessment for Messaging – Hosting track
This is now available in English + 10 localized languages. A newly published learning asset titled “The Value of Hosted Exchange” is also available in English.

MIDMARKET SOLUTION PROVIDER

Update your skills on Office 365
Exam 74-325 is available as an option to qualify for the Midmarket Solution Provider competency. Access Midmarket training via partner learning paths.

 

 

OEM

Competency requirement changes

Changes made to the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) includes updates to the OEM competency requirements.  These updates include new Silver and Gold requirements for passing a qualifying exam or certification and passing a new business-focused assessment: MCP’s must pass Exam 70-684 or Exam 74-697 and a Device Sales Business Assessment. Also, new exams 74-324 and 74-325 have been added and are now available. Download and review the revised MPN disclosure guide (published in December) for detailed OEM competency updates that may affect you.

PROJECT AND PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT

Prepare for the Certification Exams
Study guides now available for Exams 74-343: Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013 or Exam 74-344: Managing Programs and Projects with Project Server 2013.

SERVER PLATFORM

Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

In this on-demand course, Microsoft Product Marketing Manager David Fabritius takes you through Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials and the new Windows Server Essentials Experience role available on the Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server 2012 R2.

SMALL BUSINESS

New Exam: 70-687
This counts toward Small Business competency requirements.

Update your skills on Office 365
Exam 74-325 is available as an option to qualify for either the Small Business competency. Find Small Business via partner learning paths.

SOFTWARE ASSET MANAGEMENT

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