BeLux Blog

Archive for December, 2012

TechDays 2013: Registrations OPEN and First Sessions & Speakers Announced


The 11th edition of the Microsoft TechDays in Belgium will be held in Kinepolis Antwerp on 5-7 March 2013. Year after year, thousands of developers & IT professionals gather at this 3 day conference to dive deep into Microsoft technologies and learn about the latest products and solutions.

We are working hard to get the best and most knowledgeable speakers to Antwerp. We have already announced more than 30 speakers and over 60 sessions on http://techdays.be.

Hot topics of the 2013 edition will be Windows 8, Visual Studio 2012, Windows Server 2012, Windows Azure, System Center, Exchange 2013, the New Office, Windows Phone 8, … and much more.

To give attendees more value for their time and money, we’re also introducing hands-on labs in two dedicated rooms to try our solutions at their own terms. We will have a good number of labs to choose from, covering different technologies and scenarios (ranging from Windows 8 to System Center to Windows Phone development). More info about these labs can be found in a blogpost by Arlindo Alves.

Early Bird registration for TechDays 2013 is OPEN! Don’t miss out on the 15% discount: make sure you register before 1 January 2013.

It’s also possible to become a Partner of TechDays 2013: you will have a unique chance to position your company towards thousands of tech enthusiasts attending the conference to learn about new technologies and to influence, evaluate, recommend or make a decision for their company. More info can be found here.

Looking forward to see you at TechDays 2013!

Windows Server training update

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clip_image001[6]Welcome

Happy holidays! No matter how you plan to celebrate this month, please take a moment to improve your Windows Server 2012 sales and technical skills. There are dozens of courses in the Windows Server 2012 Learning Track that will make every role more knowledgeable about product features and selling techniques. But this is also a perfect time for you to begin to test your skills with a number of MSL exams (and supporting training guides) and assessments. Check out the links below for more information.

Have a safe and joyful holiday!

clip_image001[7]What’s New

Windows Server and Client “Office Hours” January 15

Don’t miss this opportunity to attend Windows Server and Client “Office Hours” January 15, 2013 8:30-10:00am PST. The Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) team is hosting this unique live online discussion designed to enable experienced IT Pros to ask technical questions regarding Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. This exclusive session will feature two Senior Technical Evangelists, Joey Snow and Rick Claus, who’ll engage in dialog, debate and demos shaped by a global audience of esteemed IT Pros.  Be a part of it!

Hot Off the Press! New Training Guides Prepare for Windows Server 2012 Exams

Two new training guides have been published to help you improve your Windows Server 2012 skills and also prepare you to pass related Microsoft Certification exams. Leverage both on the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 learning path:

· Training Guide: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012

(Helps prepare for MSL Exam 70-417)

· Training Guide: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012

(Helps prepare for MSL Exam 70-410)

Assessments for Sales and Licensing Roles

Measure your understanding of Windows Server 2012 with these online assessments. Test your knowledge today:

· Sales Specialist Assessment

· Licensing Specialist Assessment

· Pre-Sales Technical Assessment

Not ready for a test yet? Prep for the assessments by taking courses in the Windows Server 2012 Learning Track.
Report: Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Meets High IT Demands, Saves on Costs

An independent evaluation recently published by ESG Labs reveals that Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V running SQL Server 2012 tier-1 workloads in a virtualized environment significantly improved performance, scalability, and the ability to reduce IT’s total cost of ownership. The report is a great tool for helping customers understand Hyper-V’s ability to meet their most demanding IT needs without sacrificing performance. To learn more, check out the Server & Cloud blog or go directly to the full and summary reports.

clip_image002[6]Sales & Licensing (On Demand)

· Selling Windows Server 2012 (Module 1): Understanding the Opportunity

· Selling Windows Server 2012 (Module 2): Product Overview

· Selling Windows Server 2012 (Module 3): Sales Scenarios & Strategies

· Selling Windows Server 2012 (Module 4): Compete and Objection Handling

· Selling Windows Server 2012 (Module 5): Transforming your Customer Conversations with the Whiteboard

· Growing Your Small Business Practices with Windows Server 2012

· Growing Your Mid-Market Business Practices with Windows Server 2012

· Getting Started with Windows Server 2012 Licensing, July 2012: Licensing Readiness

· Windows Server 2012 Product and Program Overview July 2012: Licensing Readiness

· Windows Server 2012 Pricing and SKU Overview July 2012: Licensing Readiness

· An Overview of Windows Server “8” Beta

· Why Hyper-V? Competitive advantages of Windows Server “8” Hyper-V over VMware

· Windows Server performance improvements and optimizations

· Using Windows Server 8 for building private and public IaaS clouds

· Introducing Windows Server 2012 e-Book

· License Migration and Software Assurance for Windows Server 2012, July 2012: Licensing Readiness

· Basic License Scenarios for Windows Server 2012, July 2012: Licensing Readiness

· Complex License Scenarios for Windows Server 2012, July 2012: Licensing Readiness

· Windows Server 2012 Licensing Assessment

clip_image002[7]Partner Academy Live Sessions (On Demand)

· Windows Server 2012 for Service Providers

· Windows Server 2012 Internal Disclosure and Launch Readiness

· Windows Server 2012 Disclosure

· Windows Server Licensing Update for Service Providers

· Windows Server 2012: OEM Licensing & CAL

clip_image003[8]Tech 100-200 (On Demand)

· Windows Server 8 Beta Download

· Windows networking with PowerShell: A foundation for data center management

· A deep dive into Hyper-V networking

· RemoteFX 2.0

· Optimal cloud performance with BranchCache

· Enabling the hybrid cloud using remote access appliances

· Network acceleration and other NIC technologies for the data center

· Using Windows Server 8 for building private and public IaaS clouds

· Designing systems for continuous availability and scalability

· Designing systems for continuous availability – multi-node with remote file storage

· Designing systems for continuous availability – multi-node with block storage

· Building continuously available systems with Hyper-V

· Designing the building blocks for a Windows Server 8 cloud

· Microsoft Private Cloud Technical Overview Course

· Focusing on Customer Benefits for Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012

· Understanding Microsoft Private Cloud Competition

clip_image003[9]Tech 100-200 (Instructor-led)

· Hands-On Lab 40006A: Hands On Lab: Windows Server 2012

· Course 20410A: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012

· Course 20411A: Administering Windows Server 2012

· Course 20412A: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services

clip_image003[10]Tech 300 (On Demand)

· What’s New in Hyper-V with Windows Server 2012, Part 1

· What’s New in Hyper-V with Windows Server 2012, Part 2

· Hyper-V Network Virtualization for Scalable Multi-Tenant Datacenters with Windows Server 2012

· Enabling Disaster Recovery for Hyper-V Workloads Using Hyper-V Replica with Windows Server 2012

· Changing the Landscape with Hyper-V Live Migration with Windows Server 2012

· IP Address Management with Windows Server 2012

· Hyper-V Switch Extensibility with Windows Server 2012

· Cost-Effective Business Critical Storage: Storage Spaces with Windows Server 2012

· The New File Server for Information Workers with Windows Server 2012

· Failover Clustering in Windows Server 2012

· Hyper-V Over SMB: Remote File Storage Support in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V

· Cluster Shared Volumes in Windows Server 2012

· Unified Remote Access in Windows Server 2012

· Introduction to Dynamic Access Control in Windows Server 2012, Part 1

· Introduction to Dynamic Access Control in Windows Server 2012, Part 2

· What’s New in Active Directory with Windows Server 2012

· Overview of Server Management and Powershell in Windows Server 2012

· Designing a Unified Access Strategy with Windows Server 2012

· Windows Server 2012 Cloud Optimization with Branch Cache

· What’s New in Internet Information Services (IIS) 8 with Windows Server 2012

· Internet Information Services (IIS) 8 Application Initialization with Windows Server 2012

· Server Storage on Windows Server 2012

· Data Deduplication in Windows Server 2012

· Architecting Cloud Optimized Infrastructure with Windows Server 2012

· Deploying Windows Server 2012

· Remote Desktop Services for Windows Server 2012

· What’s New with Internet Information Services (IIS) for Windows Server 2012: Open Web Platform for the Cloud

· Overview: Server Virtualization in Windows Server 2012

· Overview: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) in Windows Server 2012

· Overview: Identity and Access Features in Windows Server 2012

· Overview: Storage Improvements in Windows Server 2012

· Overview: Web Application Platform in Windows Server 2012

· Overview: Networking in Windows Server 2012

· Overview: Windows Server 2012

· Windows Server 2012 Virtual Labs

Learning Paths

Windows Server 2012 Partner Readiness

o Executive-Business Decision Maker-Practice Manager

o Licensing Specialists

o Sales-Account Managers-Account Executives

o Tech Pre-Sales – Sales Engineers

o Implementer

o Architect

MPN Pre-Sales Technical Assessment for Private Cloud, Management and Virtualization


Saved Searches

o Implementers: Virtualization in Windows Server 2012

o Implementers: Networking in Windows Server 2012

o Implementers: Storage in Windows Server 2012

o Implementers: Identity and Security in Windows Server 2012

o Implementers: Management and Deployment in Windows Server 2012

o Implementers: Remote Access in Windows Server 2012

o Implementers: Web/App Platform in Windows Server 2012

o Windows Server 2012 Sales Specialist Learning Path

o Licensing in Windows Server 2012

o Private Cloud Training/Assessment for Pre-Sales Techs

o Windows Server 2012 Technical Features Overviews

o Tech Pre-Sales Courses and Assessment for Management and Virtualization

o Microsoft Partner Network Pre-sales Technical Specialist Competency Assessment for Private Cloud/Management and Virtualization

Questions? Contact Rodney Miller

New Resources about the New Office

clip_image002

 

clip_image003Welcome

Connect.

Prepare for this exciting release of our flagship productivity suite by making sure you are up to speed with new Office training! New Office will help your customers achieve on their terms by delivering performance and convenience. Read the details below to see what’s available now & be on the lookout for what’s coming soon in licensing, sales and technical readiness. Happy Holidays!

clip_image003[1]What’s New

Be sure to leverage the following readiness tools for new Office:

· Ignite Office labs for the new Office/servers

NEW: Live@edu to Office 365 Upgrade Content

Access these online trainings to better understand the upgrade process to help your Live@edu customers and capitalize on numerous upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

· Technical Overview: This overview discusses the user experience and what you can do to prepare and add value to the process.

· Updating Provisioning Tools: This training provides an overview of Go Now steps, and discusses the current end user password experience and what the upgrade will look like in January. The training also discusses the differences between how Live@edu and Office 365 are administered, provisioning methods, and provides guidance for helping customers select an effective provisioning solution for Office 365, and deploying the Directory Synchronization tool.

· Updating to ADFS and Federation: This training can help you learn about identities, single sign-on, and how a federated identity enables users to access both on-premises and cloud-based organizations with existing credentials. The training also explains how Office 365 supports two modes of authentication for cloud and federated identities, and discusses deployment architecture and topology.

clip_image004Sales & Licensing (By Product)

OFFICE 2013 | OFFICE 365

· Meet the new Office Keynote

· Understanding the new Office Business Model

· Making Money with the new Office

· Selling the new Office to SMB

· New Office: Competing to Win Against Google Apps in the Enterprise

· New Office: Competing to Win Against Google Apps with Small Business Customers

· Getting Started with Office 2013: Licensing Readiness

· Office 2013 Product and Program Overview: Licensing Readiness

· Office 2013 Pricing and SKUs Overview: Licensing Readiness

· Office 2013 Migration and  Software Assurance: Licensing Readiness

· Office 2013 Basic Customer Scenarios: Licensing Readiness

· Office 2013 Complex Customer Scenarios: Licensing Readiness

· Office 365 Licensing Assessment

· Office 365 Licensing Assessment (DE-de)

· Office 365 Licensing Assessment (ES-es)

· Office 365 Licensing Assessment (FR-fr)

· Office 365 Licensing Assessment (JA-jp)

· Office 365 Licensing Assessment (PT-br)

LYNC SERVER 2013

· First Look: Lync 2013 Technical Overview

clip_image004[1]Partner Academy Live Sessions (By Product)

OFFICE | OFFICE 365

· Creating New Opportunities with Microsoft CRM Online and Microsoft Office 365

· How To Series: Learn How To Demo Office 365 To Your Customers

· Microsoft Cloud How-To Webinar Series Presents How To Close Your First Microsoft Cloud Deal and Increase Profits with Office 365 and Intune

· How To Demo Office 365 and Take Advantage of Limited Time Offers To Close Deals!

· Introducing “The New Office” to Enterprise IT Decision Makers

· Introducing “The New Office” to Small and Midsize Businesses

· Live@edu to Office 365 Upgrade: Partner Update

EXCHANGE SERVER 2013

· How to Introduce “The new Office” to Enterprise IT Decision Makers

LYNC SERVER 2013

· Lync Server 2013 Overview

· Session: Lync Accelerate: Delivering a Lync Proposal

· Session: Lync Accelerate: Planning for Successful Lync Deployment and Rapid Adoption

· Session: Lync Accelerate: Planning for Lync Engagements & the Lync Customer Trial Programs

· Session: Lync Accelerate: Lync Deployment Options and Reference topologies

· FY13 Lync Accelerate Overview for Partners

SHAREPOINT SERVER 2013

· What’s New With SharePoint

clip_image004[2]Managed Services Provider Resources

· Sample Templates for Managed Services Providers

clip_image005Tech 100-200 (Instructor-led)

SHAREPOINT 2013

· Clinic 40027A: First Look Clinic: What’s New for Developers in Microsoft SharePoint 2013

· Clinic 40028A: First Look Clinic: What’s New for IT Professionals in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

· Clinic 40029A: First Look Clinic: What’s New for IT Professionals in Microsoft Lync Server 2013

clip_image005[1]Tech 300 (On Demand)

OFFICE 365

· Installing and Configuring Active Directory Federation Services (Virtual Lab)

· Active Directory Synchronization (Virtual Lab)

· Configuring Active Directory Federation Services and Verifying Federation (Virtual Lab)

Learning Paths

Office 2013 | Office 365

o Sales

o All Roles

Exchange Server 2013​

o Sales

SharePoint Server 2013

o Developers

o Technical


Questions? Contact Chuck Botsford

A new home for Microsoft Partners

Today the new MPN Portal went live in Belgium and Luxemburg and it has some exiting changes! Powered by Microsoft SharePoint, your new website offers features to help you make the most of your membership and its benefits. Usability and functionality are key here! Below you can find the four most important improvements to the new portal.

A clean design

The portal has been redesigned to a fresher, cleaner look. More condensed pages, breadcrumbs, and task-driven navigation help you find the information you need more quickly.

Personalized content

Sign in on the Portal with your Windows Live ID associated with your partner organization. This way, you get the content most relevant to you, personalized according to your membership profile. This means that, rather than getting standard content for all, you get content that is connected to your profile. Sign in here to the Portal and see it for yourself!

More robust support

Easily get answers to your questions with the new support functionality. There are multiple possibilities for you to get support. For example, you can type your question in the Virtual textbox of select one of the Top Support Questions. Next to that, here you can find the number for the Regional Service Center or submit incidents online via email. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, a single click connects you to a live chat with a support agent.

Improved search

Built on Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint technology, the search capabilities on the new portal deliver more relevant results, more quickly. Also, you can now filter search results and use contextual search to find content within site sections. New filters enable easier navigation of your search results. And last but not least, a unified search federates search results from multiple external sources.

The new MPN Portal has also been pre-populated with query suggestions based on the most popular search terms from the legacy MPN Portal.

Visit your new portal today!

Competency news: December edition

December 2012

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Learn what’s new about your competency and get the latest info and tips!

MPN Competencies

clip_image001[1] Application Development

clip_image001[2] Application Lifecycle Management

clip_image001[3] Business Intelligence

clip_image001[4] Collaboration and Content

clip_image001[5] Communications

clip_image001[6] Customer Relationship Management

clip_image001[7] Data Platform

clip_image001[8] Devices and Deployment

clip_image001[9] Digital Marketing

clip_image001[10] Enterprise Resource Planning

clip_image001[11] Hosting

clip_image001[12] Identity and Access

clip_image001[13] Management and Virtualization

clip_image001[14] Messaging

clip_image001[15] Midmarket Solution Provider

clip_image001[16] Mobility

clip_image001[17] OEM

clip_image001[18] Project and Portfolio Management

clip_image001[19] Server Platform

clip_image001[20] Small Business

clip_image001[21] Software Asset Management

Competency Specific Information

APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT

Take the HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript Jump Start – get an exam voucher! 

Microsoft partners: You can get a voucher for Exam 70-480 Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 when you take the Developing Windows 8 Apps Jump Start online training. Get details (log-in required).

APPLICATION LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT

Visual Studio 2012 readiness

First, review the learning path to discover the latest sales, licensing, and technical training.

· How sell Visual Studio 2012 and attach other products: partner materials, reseller kit

· Host customer events using launch-in-a-box kits Part 1 and Part 2

· Host ALM customer events with the ‘Rise to the New Normal’ IT decision maker event-in-a-box kit

Sales Specialist competency assessment

This 200-level, 45 minute sales assessment covering Visual studio 2012 can help you prepare to meet ALM competency requirements. Available in English.

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

Upcoming Practice Accelerator session December 10th

Business Intelligence (SQL Server 2012) – December 10th 9 a.m. Pacific. Register here.

COLLABORATION AND CONTENT

New! Beta publication of the new SharePoint 2013 exams

· 71-331 Core solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 (live version will be available February 1st)

· 71-332 Advanced solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 (live version will be available February 1st)

Courseware mapped to these exams is in development and scheduled to go live in the coming months:

· Course 20331: Core Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

· Course 20332: Advanced Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

Google compete courses

· New Office: Competing to Win Against Google Apps in the Enterprise

This session is designed to help you become stronger in knowing the key value pillars and differentiators in Office 365, to help your business compete to win against Google Apps in your enterprise customer engagements in winning against and winning back from scenarios.

· New Office: Competing to Win Against Google Apps with Small Business Customers

This session is designed to help you become stronger in knowing the key value pillars and differentiators in Office 365, to help your business compete to win when engaged in Google Apps competitive scenarios such as winning against, and winning back customers.

Workshop: Building apps for Microsoft Office and SharePoint 2013 using web technologies

Developers: learn the concepts of the new app model and how to use it for building apps for Office and SharePoint. Also, consider about elasticity, scalability, and reliability of your backend services, and the steps for getting your app into the Office Store. Find an event in your area.

COMMUNICATIONS

Lync conference February 19-21, 2013

You are invited to the first-ever Lync Conference to learn about the Lync platform futures, and connect with the Lync engineers, consultants, partners, and attendees. Event takes place in San Diego, California. Visit the conference website to register.

Newly available Lync 2013 exams

· 70-336 Core solutions of Microsoft Lync Server 2013

· 70-337 Enterprise voice and Online Services with Microsoft Lync Server 2013

Courseware mapped to these exams is in development and scheduled to go live in the coming months:

· Course 20336: Core Solutions of Microsoft Lync Server 2013

· Course 20337: Enterprise Voice and Online Services with Microsoft Lync Server 2013

Deploying Lync Server 2010?
Take Practice Accelerator for Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Enterprise Voice to get best practices and reusable tools that can help you enable customers to communicate from anywhere in a cost-effective and secure manner. Use your Microsoft Partner Network benefit – 5 partner advisory hours – to participate in this training.

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT

New technical training: Microsoft Dynamics CRM

· SDK new features

· Cross browser and online new features

Convergence 2013 – early registration now open!

Register for this premier Microsoft Dynamics event by January 25, 2013, to receive $300 USD off the registration fee! Convergence is a great event to attend with your customers—it provides an opportunity to increase revenue, strengthen relationships, and network with peers and experts from around the world. Register now and check PartnerSource (login required) for easily customizable marketing materials and resources to help you drive attendance by your customers.

DATA PLATFORM

DEVICES AND DEPLOYMENT

Increase Volume Licensing opportunities with Windows 8 and new Office

The updated Good-Better-Best sales card for enterprise can help you qualify opportunities and drive sales for Windows 8 and the new Office. Learn how to engage with customers, listen to their challenges, sell these new products with EA attach, and more. This training is specifically tailored for LAR and SI partners who sell into the Corporate Account segment with 250 PCs to 2,500 PCs, who can take advantage of Enterprise Agreements, Select and other VL products.

Windows 8 e-book offer

Get a no-cost e-book to explore the new features Windows 8 offers for IT professionals and businesses. This e-book is designed to help you prepare to deploy Windows 8, deliver apps, and manage recovery, security, and virtualization. Download this first preview release. For full details on the offer, visit the Microsoft Press blog website

Put your optimized desktop practice on the fast track
Learn how you can use delivery methodology and templates developed by Microsoft to help guide your customers to create a more secure and reliable desktop environment. Use your Microsoft Partner Network benefit – 5 partner advisory hours – to participate in this training.

DIGITAL MARKETING

Take the HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript Jump Start – get an exam voucher! 

Microsoft partners: You can get a voucher for Exam 70-480 Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 when you take the Developing Windows 8 Apps Jump Start online training. Get details (log-in required).

Sales Specialist competency assessment
This 200-level, 45 minute sales assessment can help you prepare to meet Digital Marketing competency requirements. Available in English.

Updated competency learning path

Now featuring updated assessments including the Sales Specialist item (see above) and Bing ads and SEO assessments.

ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING

New technical training: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013

· Financial new features – Part 1 and Part 2

· System-wide new features

Convergence 2013 – early registration now open!

Register for this premier Microsoft Dynamics event by January 25, 2013, to receive $300 USD off the registration fee! Convergence is a great event to attend with your customers—it provides an opportunity to increase revenue, strengthen relationships, and network with peers and experts from around the world. Register now and check PartnerSource (login required) for easily customizable marketing materials and resources to help you drive attendance by your customers.

HOSTING

 

IDENTITY AND ACCESS

 

MANAGEMENT AND VIRTUALIZATION

Upcoming Practice Accelerator session

Datacenter Consolidation and Migration – December 10th 9 a.m. Pacific. Register here.

Free study guides to help you pass exams

Two free study guides are available to give you the best prep possible to pass Microsoft Learning (MSL) exams. The guides were created by Microsoft Evangelist Keith Mayer, who recorded all the study resources that he used to pass the exams himself. Each guide helps you self-assess their preparedness for each exam as well as providing free study resources for each objective area to quickly close knowledge gaps.

· Study guide for Exam 70-246: Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012

· Study guide for Exam 70-659: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization (Note: through January 2013, exam 70-659 may be taken in place of Exam 70-247: Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud with System Center 2012)

MESSAGING

New! Beta publication of new Exchange 2013 exams

· 71-341 Core solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 (live version will be available January 15th)

· 71-342 Advanced solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 (live version will be available January 15th)

Courseware mapped to these exams is in development and scheduled to go live between January and March 2013; however, if you want to get a head start, visit this site to access the new Exchange online guided lab platform.

Deploying Exchange Server 2010?
Customers are demanding greater mobility, with anywhere access to communications. Meet that demand more easily with tools and resources provided through Practice Accelerator. Use your Microsoft Partner Network benefit – 5 partner advisory hours – to participate in this training.

MIDMARKET SOLUTION PROVIDER

MOBILITY

Take the HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript Jump Start – get an exam voucher! 

Microsoft partners: You can get a voucher for Exam 70-480 Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 when you take the Developing Windows 8 Apps Jump Start online training. Get details (log-in required).

Windows Phone 8 Development Internals – special offer

Microsoft Press is making Windows Phone 8 Development Internals available in two preview digital editions—plus the final e-book, when ready—at special promotional pricing. This e-book provides an in-depth look into how the new Windows Phone 8 platform works, how it differs from Windows Phone 7.x, and how you can take advantage of the platform to build apps and games that you can sell through the Windows Store to reach millions of customers directly. See complete details.

Study guide for exam 70-243

This guide, developed by Microsoft Evangelist Keith Mayer, contains various study resources and presents the exam objectives in a checklist format for ease of use. This guide is designed to help you prepare to pass Exam 70-243:  Administering and Deploying System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

OEM

Competency exam changes

The OEM competency qualifying exams are being updated to help ready our OEMs, resellers and system builders on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. See the OEM competency learning path for the latest list of qualifying exams and training resources.

PROJECT AND PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT

SERVER PLATFORM

Upgrade your Windows Server 2008 certification – special offer

Windows Server 2008 certification holders: Buy an MCSE: Server Infrastructure, MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure, or MCSE: Private Cloud upgrade certification exam set, and get an exam 70-417 at no-cost, along with complimentary training for the exam and Second Shot offers (retakes!) on all of the exams in the pack. Request your certification today.

Refreshed sales assessment

The Sales Specialist assessment has been revised for Windows Server 2012 and is now available for you to take as part of your Server Platform Competency achievement. It’s in English only right now, but will be available in multiple languages later this year.

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V meets high IT demands, saves on costs

An independent evaluation recently published by ESG Labs reveals that Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V running SQL Server 2012 tier-1 workloads in a virtualized environment significantly improved performance, scalability, and the ability to reduce IT’s total cost of ownership. The report is fully redistributable by partners and a great tool for helping customers understand Hyper-V’s ability to meet their most demanding IT needs without sacrificing performance. For more information, check out the Server and Cloud blog or go directly to the full and summary reports.

Windows Server 2012 learning path – more than 80 technical courses

Find training on popular topics including Hyper-V, networking, and storage. Less techie-types can check out the sales and licensing training, get a product overview, or take an MSL course and exam that leads to MCSA/MCSE certifications.

Windows Server 2012 exams

The following exams, which can help you meet Server Platform competency requirements, are now available at Prometric test centers worldwide. These exams are also applicable for Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification:

· 70-413 Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure

· 70-414 Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure

SMALL BUSINESS

Reminder: Small Business exam

Have you taken Exam 74-324 Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses yet? This was created especially with small business-focused partners in mind. You can get ready for this exam now through the associated Jump Start training.

$999 offer ending soon

Through December 31st, you can earn a Silver Small Business competency for USD $999. Find complete eligibility and details here. Also, view the Small Business Competency requirements page for information about the competency benefits and requirements.

Build a practice in the cloud

Be sure you’re ready to help your customers move to the cloud. Special offer: Practice Accelerator for Office 365 is available at no cost to Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate partners.

SOFTWARE ASSET MANAGEMENT

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The new Office

Office 2013 and related servers are now available.  Try the new Office so you can see firsthand how this powerful combination can benefit your organization.

 

Best experience across devices     

Improve mobile productivity.  Increase employee satisfaction and retention.  Simplify and save with per-user licensing

Stay connected to your business  

Collaborate in new ways with social, voice, and video.  Reduce your organization’s costs of video conferencing, telephony, and travel.

Security without compromise       

Keep your organization’s critical business data protected.

Streamline legal discovery.  Comply with industry and government regulations.

Run it the way you want

Reduce software deployment and update costs with streaming.

Accelerate adoption of online services.  Reduce IT operations costs with common tools.

 

Take a look at what press are saying about the new Office

The new Office is the best Office”   Gizmodo

makes Office more relevant in today’s multi-device world”   WIRED

fast, polished and painless to use”   Engadget

 

Try the new Office today and find out how it can take your organization to the next level

of productivity.