Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

Microsoft Dynamics Partner Events, Information and Tips

August, 2009

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  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics Advanced Technical Workshops and Web Seminars

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    US Partner Training is excited to be partnering with our Microsoft Dynamics Technical Support Team and the Technical Advisory Service Team to bring to market Advanced Technical Training for Microsoft Dynamics partners.

    • Microsoft Dynamics TAS Series: These web seminars are 100 level content that are 60-90 minutes in length and focus on key support issues or niche topics within Microsoft Dynamics products.
    • Microsoft Dynamics TAS Extended Series: These web seminars are 200 level content available to GOLD partners and are eligible for use of the partner’s MSPP Advisory hours benefit.

    Click here to view the Microsoft Dynamics TAS Series.

    • Microsoft Dynamics Advanced Technical Remote & Classroom Workshops: Both remote based and classroom workshops are available for partners. These offerings are trained by our technical support team and are based upon key areas of the product that come through our support queues in addition to niche areas of the product. Moreover, remote based technical training allows you to leverage the content and have a live instructor without having to leave the comfort of your home or office. Most classroom training will be facilitated in our Center of Excellence in Fargo. 

    Click here to view available workshops.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Learning Plan Tool Enhancements

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    The Microsoft Learning Plan Tool is a FREE tool that dynamically builds prescriptive learning plans of recommended training broken out by Specialization, Product, Role or Exam. Partners should use this tool when preparing for an exam to gain a Competency or Specialization, ramping new employees, reviewing launch product information, deepening technical skills, needing new sales strategies, or learning new ways to market to your customers.

    Based upon your feedback, we have made enhancements to the learning plan tool, which include:

    • Ability to pass or share ownership of a learning plan.
    • Excel integration to accommodate for uploading a large number of individuals, deleting trainees and the ability to categorize multiple trainees.
    • Events will be labeled "Free" if there is no cost.
    • Notifies partners of plan updates allowing owners to adopt or ignore changes made by Microsoft.

    The ongoing benefits of using the learning plan tool are:

    • Eliminates searching through multiple systems.
    • Ability to export learning plans to Excel.
    • Direct links to view and download packages without creating a plan.
    • Numerical and/or category grouping available to help plan progression.
    • Provides Microsoft recommendations on key, high value training.
    • Communicates consistent training to all participants.
    • Ability to manage your plan as a manager and/or participant.

    Start using the Learning Plan Tool today!

    --Kevin

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  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics Partner Academies and the Fargo Center of Excellence

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    US Partner Training is excited to announce the general availability of both Online Partner Academies and Classroom Partner Academies through our Fargo Center of Excellence! Courses are now available through December for registration on the Partner Learning Center.

    Our Online Partner Academies combine the convenience and cost savings of not having to travel or be out of the office for long periods of time while receiving the in-depth technical training they need to prepare for customer scenarios and exam preparation. Online partner academies also provide student and instructor interaction to be able to ask questions and have dialog about key areas of the product.

    The Fargo Center of Excellence for Classroom Training will allow us to continue to bring the best in class trainers to help your learn and understand the product in a hands-on environment both from certification preparation aspect as well as the trainer’s real world experience. In addition, our Technical Support organization will visit for Q&A’s based on key areas of the product that you may be interested in. This will also allow us to provide students with the complete Microsoft Experience as we roll out the red carpet for them in Fargo as our guest.   

    Click on the links below to learn more. (Hint: Bookmark this link to always have the schedule at your fingertips.)

    Partner Academy Link

    To view other available Microsoft Dynamics partner training, please visit the Partner Learning Center. Don’t forget about the Learning Plan Tool where you can customize your own learning plan with available training.

    --Kevin

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  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    The VAR Rebate Program is Back

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    Earn up to 20% in rebates on your new Open Value and Online Services sales. A partner can earn 6% on Microsoft Dynamics CRM sales.

    The VAR Rebate Program is Back

    The Open Value and Online Services rebate program delivers great value for you to grow your business with Microsoft. This program pays on most products sold through the Microsoft Open Value, Open Value Subscription, and Online Services programs. With this offer, each partner can earn up to 20% of Microsoft Estimated Retail Price ("ERP") in rebates from Microsoft for qualifying purchases.

    This Offer is Time-Limited and Exclusive

    The rebates are exclusive to U.S. Value Added Resellers ("VAR") that purchase Open Value and Online Services through Microsoft Authorized Distribution Partners. To find a Microsoft Authorized Distributor, visit here.

    Now through January 1, 2010, VARs can earn up to 20% in rebates on new Open Value and Online Services purchases. Simply sign up for this promotion, purchase a qualifying agreement(s) and start earning your rebate dollars. For details and restrictions, see the Terms and Conditions.

    Sign Up to Receive Your Rebate

    Carefully review the complete program terms and conditions, and sign up for the rebate program before or after placing an order from the Open Value 2.0 Price List. You will need a Windows Live ID (Microsoft Passport) to access the site. Provide your reseller name/address and select the email permission information check box. Microsoft will send you a confirmation email within 24 hours.

    Click here to sign up now.

    (By signing up, I agree to the Official Terms and Conditions of this program as well as receiving communications, which include emails as well as postal mail from Microsoft.)

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Announcing the New MPN Partner Learning Center

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    With the evolution of the Microsoft Partner Program to the new Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), our partner portal and partner tools are starting to reflect the new MPN brand. The transition to MPN welcomes exciting improvements directly related to your training experience—specifically, a new Partner Learning Center (PLC). The Partner Learning Center provides you with a vast portfolio of training offerings that focus on the latest innovations and strategies - all designed to enhance your team's skills.

    Based on your direct feedback, the Partner Learning Center is now better than ever:

    • Ease of use: Quickly find, register for, and take training with more effective tools and shorter processes.
    • Comprehensive: Easily search for and gain access to a vast library of training across Microsoft including worldwide events, online training courses, and local, instructor-led training—all from one, central location.
    • Administer: More effectively manage training for individuals within your organization by registering them for training and viewing their transcripts.
    • Relevant: Find training relevant to your job function and the tasks you need to perform to enhance skills and meet program requirements:
      • Search for role and product-based learning paths at the Microsoft Partner Program portal.
      • View courses by curriculum and then register using a one-step registration process.
      • Search the Partner Learning Center catalog using the Microsoft Partner Portal search.

    Remember, PartnerSource and the Microsoft Learning Plan Tool are still your go-to resource for readiness opportunities, and will help facilitate the new PLC experience for you. For more information, click here.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM Test Drive

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    Direct your customers and prospects to experience Microsoft Dynamics CRM in a virtual environment.

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM has transformed the way many companies secure and retain their most valuable asset - loyal, satisfied customers. Learn how Microsoft Dynamic CRM's innovative functionality in Sales Force Automation and Customer Service make it an effective way to stay in touch with customers and drive business goals by experiencing the product in a virtual environment called a test drive.

    The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Test Drive is enabled for the following functionality:

    • Sales Force Automation - Get your sales teams quickly up to speed with the advanced but easy-to-use features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Take advantage of a highly intuitive interface and embedded Microsoft Office capabilities to boost productivity, streamline sales cycles, and gain insights to drive more sales.
    • Customer Service - Transform your customer service into a strategic asset with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. With a 360-degree view of the customer, your agents can resolve issues quickly and reduce handling times. By automating processes, you can also reduce costs and help to ensure consistent service is delivered across all touchpoints.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    FY10 Campaign Development Funds Available

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    FY10 Campaign Development Fund allocations have been determined and eligible partners will be notified by their Microsoft field representative. The CDF administration website will be updated and available for partner access on or around August 24th. Partners are no longer required to provide individual campaigns on the CDF administration site. Instead, marketing plans and the estimated quarterly expenditure will be captured as part of business planning discussions with your Partner Account Manager (PAM). The ability to enter expense reimbursement claims will be enabled upon confirmation that business planning has been completed beginning after September 4. Click here for more information on the requirements for qualifying FY10 CDF.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Using LinkedIn to Promote Events

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    Recently, I used the "Events" application feature within LinkedIn to promote some of our Microsoft partner readiness activities. Lately, I've seen an uptick in the use of this feature. I'm wondering if any one else has noticed this or has leveraged this technology.

    With LinkedIn Events you can gain insight into events that your connections are managing and attending, plus schedule your own activities. In fact, I found out about a LinkedIn training session through this feature that was attended by close to 100 individuals mostly from my network of Connections. As more individuals registered for this specific event, more awareness was generated through the expanded connections. Partners may find this an additional option for lead generation activities.

    If you wish to connect on LinkedIn, you can view my profile here.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics ISV Playbook

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    The Microsoft Dynamics ISV Playbook is intended as a resource for you to use as you explore becoming an independent software vendor (ISV) for Microsoft Dynamics. It is also intended as a roadmap for new ISVs as you begin your partnership with Microsoft Dynamics to help you understand the decision points you will encounter as you build your solution, certify it and market it throughout the Microsoft ecosystem. Lastly this document can be used as a resource if you are already a Microsoft Dynamics partner and are considering creating functionality to address vertical market needs.

    How This Guide is Organized

    The structure of the Microsoft Dynamics ISV Playbook follows our taxonomy for ISVs in that as a new Microsoft Dynamics ISV or existing partner considering developing functionality on a Microsoft Dynamics platform you need to Learn, Build, Test and Market your solution. Each section provides you with comprehensive sources that will help you along each stage as you develop your relationship with Microsoft.

    • Learn – Deals with the various subjects you will need to learn and understand as you work toward becoming a partner with Microsoft Dynamics. It also presents the models in which you can choose to engage with Microsoft as a partner in general and specifically with the Microsoft Dynamics competency and presents training you can take advantage of to accelerate your ramp up on Microsoft Dynamics.
    • Build – Provides guidance on the toolsets and architectural knowledge you need to build your solution as well as specific offerings from Microsoft and its partners to assist you with your development.
    • Test – Discusses the testing you can undertake to certify both your product and personnel on Microsoft Dynamics.
    • Market – While there are a large number of marketing programs available for Microsoft partners in general, this section highlights ones that are of specific interest to Microsoft Dynamics ISVs

    How You Should Use this Guide

    We hope you find this guide helpful as you begin your relationship as an ISV with Microsoft Dynamics. This document is intended as a companion to the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Playbook which all ISVs should familiarize themselves with and is referred to extensively throughout this playbook.

    The ISV Playbook covers many facets of your interactions with Microsoft and the Microsoft Dynamics product line. Your engagement model, the application platform(s) you choose as well as the development model you select will influence which content in this document is most relevant to your organization. Where we best can, we’ve provided helpful delineation of the content for Reselling ISVs and Influencing ISVs.

    For example, some partners may elect to resell the Microsoft Dynamics application along with their specific solution functionality that they have added using the Microsoft Dynamics toolset, extending the core functionality natively. For this ISV model, you should look for sections that are labeled as applicable to RESELLING ISVs. Likewise some ISV organizations may not be selling Microsoft Dynamics directly but instead provide your solution as a companion product that integrates. These ISVs would look for content specifically for NON RESELLING ISVs.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Watch WPC09 Microsoft Dynamics Value Keynote and Breakout Sessions On-Demand

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    Thanks to all those partners who attended our recent Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans, if that event is any indication of things to come, 2010 promises to be a very exciting year for all of us.

    We had an outstanding program for our partners this year. The Value Keynotes for Dynamics were very well attended and received. We had somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 attendees across the two sessions. Doug Kennedy presented the FY10+ Microsoft Dynamics Partner Strategy. And Kirill Tatarinov presented a competitive framework for how we will compete with the Bandits, the Zombies, and the Dark Force.

    We had 17 dedicated Microsoft Dynamics breakout sessions played to mostly packed rooms. All the sessions focused on effective sales and marketing, as well as specific business strategies and market insights related to Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM solutions. More than 25 Dynamics partners were presenting with us on stage! Judging by the feedback we received, partners found these sessions to be highly informative, relevant, and useful. If you missed any, or weren't able to attend the conference, check out the presentations here.

    Please let us know if you have any questions or feedback to any of the sessions. We would be happy to hear from you. Give us your feedback.

    --Kevin

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