Prodigy Learning has teamed up with Microsoft Press to create Self-Start Learning Kits designed to help you learn Office or Windows and then prove your skills by achieving a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) or Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) qualification.
Microsoft Office Specialist (for Office 2003) or Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (for Office 2007) qualifications are valuable, globally recognized credentials which prove your expertise in Office and Windows.
For a quick, cost effective way to learn or offer resources for this qualification, use a Self-Start Learning Kit and follow 3 easy steps to get certified:
o Use the Microsoft Press Step by Step book to learn and study for your exam (RRP £17.99)
o Use the Interactive Learning & Exam Preparation Software to prepare for the exam (RRP 52.99)
o Use the Exam Voucher in a Testing Centre nationwide to take your exam for FREE (RRP £85.99)
- The Kit is available at an RRP of £85.99, offering a 45% discount on all 3 components
- Available for Windows XP/Vista and Office 2003/2007
- For more information on pricing or to place an order, contact Kevin Ryan or go to www.prodigylearningkits.com
As more and more Learning Platforms are deployed so the attention of schools and local authorities is turning to content – its authoring, management and search. One solution for to this problem is THESIS Librarian ContentZone. It makes an ideal addition to a SharePoint Learning Platform, delivering rich curriculum library capability.
THESIS Librarian, currently being deployed within 10 Local Authorities, has been developed into a full repository capability called Librarian ContentZone with the addition of web parts, an easy to use utility for external content, structured templates, and processes to ensure efficient SCORM package operation. At £10K for an installed and functional repository THESIS ContentZone stands head and shoulders above comparable solutions at a fraction of the cost of Equella or Harvest Road or their equivalents.
The Key features outlined below are each complex processes and great care has been taken to provide simple and easy User operation:
Contact Rod Richards for more information – firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some more great resources and events for partners interested in Virtualisation:
To keep up to date visit the following landing page http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/virtualisation
From here you can link to the partner learning path for Virtualisation, on line resource including video overviews of Virtualisation.
Microsoft Virtualisation website - www.microsoft.com/virtualization
Microsoft TechNet website - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/virtualization/default.aspx
Partner specific Virtualisation information - https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/partner
For those partners looking for a briefing video overview of our strategy you or your colleagues can view one of the following two videos:
12 Minute Overview - http://wm.microsoft.com/ms/uk/partners/virtualisation/Taster.wmv -
35 Minute Overview - http://wm.microsoft.com/ms/uk/partners/virtualisation/Overview.wmv
Business and Technical Briefings
We have now run three Briefings outlining the business and technical solutions around our Virtualisation Strategy. The slides from these events can be downloaded from the following location:
Or you can go directly to each deck use the links below:
· GreenIT - https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/trainingevents/40082090
· Business Overview - https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/trainingevents/40082092
· Technical Overview - https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/trainingevents/40082091
· MDOP - https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/trainingevents/40082104
This readiness covers both Sales & Technical aspects and is split into the Solutions areas below.
Links for Training Courses
Microsoft Learning - http://www.microsoft.com/Learning/
Partner Learning Centre - https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc
This is great news for Education and any partner with ambitions to deliver Business Intelligence solutions such as a Head Teacher dashboard or set of KPIs.
Microsoft is announcing an update to its Microsoft Business Intelligence roadmap. Microsoft’s strategy is to deliver BI to everyone in the organization through the broadly adopted tools of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and Microsoft Office Excel, and built on the scalable Microsoft SQL Server BI platform. Based on customer feedback, we are moving the scorecard, dashboard, and analytic functionality from Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server into Office SharePoint Server Enterprise, making these capabilities available throughout the organization at a lower TCO. In mid 2009, we will release PerformancePoint Server 2007 “service pack 3” which will include updates to the current product’s planning module. Thereafter, customers should not expect further investment in standalone versions of PerformancePoint Server. However, ongoing support of our planning customers is a high priority. These changes enable customers to deploy a complete BI solution with existing investments in SharePoint Server, SQL Server, and Excel, the most widely used analysis and planning tool in market today.
GENERAL 1. What will happen to PerformancePoint Server? PerformancePoint Server 2007 will no longer be a standalone item on the Microsoft price list as of April 1, 2009. For organizations interested in PerformancePoint Server, it can be obtained by purchasing SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise CAL with Software Assurance. In the future, the monitoring and analytics capabilities will be included in the next release of SharePoint Server and will be available to SharePoint Enterprise CAL customers. Customers with rights to PerformancePoint Server SP3 will be able to download it mid 2009 (please contact your account manager for details). Performance management is a critical component of business intelligence and Microsoft will continue marketing and R&D investment in this area in future product releases.
2. What about from now until SharePoint ‘v-next’? How will I obtain the current PerformancePoint monitoring and analytics functionality for broad BI deployment? From the date of this announcement, PerformancePoint Server will be a license entitlement for SharePoint Server 2007 E-CAL customers with Software Assurance only. The technical requirement to use PerformancePoint planning will continue to be SQL Server Enterprise Edition. Customers will be able to use BI throughout their entire organizations simply by deploying SQL Server, SharePoint Server, and Excel.
3. What about support for existing PerformancePoint Server planning customers? Customer care is our primary focus during this transition. We will keep our commitments to deliver improved planning capabilities in PerformancePoint Server 2007 SP3 in mid 2009 that addresses many of the features and functionality required by our customers to leverage in their planning projects. We will continue to support all PerformancePoint customers per our existing support policy. For further details on this policy visit: http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=12922.
4. What about legacy products such as ProClarity and Business Scorecard Manager? ProClarity Analytics Server and ProClarity Desktop Pro are PerformancePoint Server 2007 Software Assurance benefits, and Business Scorecard Manager (BSM) is a downgrade right of PerformancePoint Server 2007. By the Office ‘v-next’ timeframe, we expect much of the ProClarity Analytics Server functionality to be moved into SharePoint Server and Excel. As for Business Scorecard Manager and ProClarity Desktop Pro, we don’t anticipate any further customer demand for these products as a result of this news.
5. Will customers still be able to purchase PerformancePoint Server if they require more licenses for an existing deployment? No, not as a standalone product. If customers require additional PerformancePoint Server 2007 CALs, they should purchase SharePoint Server 2007 E-CALs with Software Assurance to be entitled to PerformancePoint Server 2007 CALs.
6. If I have additional questions, who do I contact? If you have additional questions, please first work with your Microsoft account team. If you have additional questions following that, you can contact PerformancePoint Server Roadmap Announce team email@example.com.
What Is Partner Academy Live?
These are 1 hour managed Webcasts for Partners and Microsoft employees using Microsoft’s Live Meeting 2007. Connect with Microsoft and other partners; listen to Microsoft subject matter experts as they discuss their areas of expertise related to Microsoft’s sales and competitive strategy. Learn more about Microsoft’s products (including insight into products on the launch horizon); positioning of business value to customers; sharing wins from the field and how the account team won; world class selling skills and best practice; and leveraging Microsoft resources to maximize your productivity. Partner Academy Live caters to all depths of knowledge.
BI59PAL: SQL Server 2008: Business Intelligence Overview
PLC Registration Link for Partners
As the platform for the end-to-end Microsoft Business Intelligence offering, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 builds on the strong momentum in the business intelligence market. This session will provide an overview of the new business intelligence capabilities available with SQL Server 2008 and provide some quick demos to enable you to see the new capabilities in action.
The Identity and Security Business Group is hosting a series of Academy Live sessions running Dec. 2008-Feb. 2009 to brief the Microsoft field about our key ISVs and technology partners. These sessions will begin with a Partner Overview for all audiences and conclude with a Technical Briefing for TSPs and other technical team members.
IDA08PAL: Identity and Security Partner Showcase: SafeNet
· Detailed features/functionality
· Solution architecture
IDA05PAL: Identity and Security Partner Showcase: Quest
IDA10PAL: Identity and Security Partner Showcase: Thales/n-Cipher
IDA11PAL: Identity and Security Partner Showcase: Liquid Machines
Liquid Machines Overview
IOC28PAL: Virtualization Nation - Delivering Microsoft Virtualization
This installment of the Virtualization Nation series will focus on how Microsoft Consulting Services and Partners are delivering Microsoft Virtualization to customers. The session will describe the “How-To’s” of delivering virtualization as well as the lessons learned from the past 6 months of engagements. Featuring speakers from MCS and other Partners. Content recommended for all roles.
FOR35PAL: Overview of ISA Server 2006 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
Join us for a technical overview of the fixes and enhancements delivered in the Internet Security & Acceleration (ISA) Server Service Pack 1 (SP1). SP1 fixes over 200 bugs and integrates all Hotfixes since ISA Server 2006 was released. Additionally, SP1 delivers new enhancements to improve overall ISA Server supportability, manageability and configuration troubleshooting. This includes configuration change logging/tracking, Web publishing rules testing, a traffic simulator and an integrated diagnostic logging viewer. Additional information can also be found at: http://blogs.technet.com/isablog/archive/2008/05/23/isa-server-2006-service-pack-1-features.aspx.
LIC17PAL and LIC17PAL2: Business Productivity Online Suites – Product & Licensing Overview For Partners
PLC Registration Link for Partners –LIC17PAL
PLC Registration Link for Partners – LIC17PAL2
This webcast will be offered live at two separate times to accommodate various time zones and busy schedules. The presenters will cover the same topics at each session; please attend the one that best fits your schedule.
Level 100 partner training for the April 2009 International launch of the Business Productivity Online Suite
LIC18PAL and LIC18PAL2: Business Productivity Online Suites - Sales Channels For Partners
LIC18PAL: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time
LIC18PAL2: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time
PLC Registration Link for Partners –LIC18PAL
PLC Registration Link for Partners – LIC18PAL2
Level 200 partner training for the April 2009 International launch of the Business Productivity Online Suite
LIC19PAL and LIC19PAL2: Microsoft Online Customer - Walk Through For Partners
LIC19PAL: Thursday, February 19, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time
LIC19PAL2: Thursday, February 19, 2009 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time
PLC Registration Link for Partners –LIC19PAL
PLC Registration Link for Partners – LIC19PAL2
Level 300 partner training for the April 2009 International launch of the Business Productivity Online Suite
WNS99PAL: Scalable Virtualization Solutions with Citrix® Essentials™ for Microsoft® Hyper-V
PLC landing page for all Virtualization sessions
Citrix’s new product, Citrix Essentials for Microsoft Hyper-V, is designed to work with both Hyper-V and Virtual Machine Manager to create Hyper-V based virtualization solutions that are scalable, easy to manage and are extremely agile. Essentials helps automate configuring and attaching enterprise storage, manually patching, updating and maintaining VMs and manually creating/provisioning dozens of virtual machines – challenges which make it difficult to respond quickly to changing business needs.
In this session, you’ll learn how Essentials makes Hyper-V more scalable by reducing VM sprawl and simplifying storage set-up, configuration and operation, more manageable by automating the entire VM lifecycle, and more agile by dynamically provisioning virtual and physical servers from single, golden images.
WNS92PAL: Microsoft Hyper-V Server - Stand Alone Server Virtualization Product
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 provides a simplified, reliable, and optimized virtualization solution, enabling improved server utilization and reduced costs. This webcast provides an introduction and overview of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, and a comparison between Microsoft Hyper-V Server, Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition with Hyper-V, and Data Center Edition with Hyper-V. Since Hyper-V Server is a dedicated stand-alone product, which contains only the Windows Hypervisor, Windows Server driver model and virtualization components, it provides a small footprint and minimal overhead. Microsoft Hyper-V Server easily plugs into customers’ existing IT environments, leveraging their existing patching, provisioning, management, support tools, processes, and skills.
WVC19PAL: Plan Now or Pay Later – Why You Should Reconsider Deploying Windows Vista
Now that the PDC and WinHEC events have started the Windows 7 marketing push, our customers can just skip adoption of Windows Vista right? WRONG!
According to ComputerWorld, Windows Vista is actually being deployed at a faster rate with corporate customers than Windows XP. Hmmm… I’ve never heard that and neither have most customers.
The goal of this session is to ensure you are equipped to:
· Address your customer’s top Windows Vista concerns
· Understand how “skipping Vista” could impact you and your customer
· Ensure the customer has a solid Windows Client Strategy
· Most importantly, why is it important that you have this conversation now
WCS03PAL: Microsoft® Commerce Server 2009: Trends, Sales Strategies, and Solutions
Commerce Server 2009 offers powerful, comprehensive e-commerce solutions for B2C (business-to-consumer), B2B (business-to-business), and B2X scenarios (combining B2C and B2B). Please join us for a presentation of Microsoft Commerce Server 2009, a next-generation e-commerce solutions platform. In this session, the Commerce Server Product Unit will review key market trends and discuss how these trends are driving the vision and development of the product, including an overview of the Commerce Server roadmap. We will discuss the different decision-makers within an organization and how Microsoft Commerce Server 2009 will address their specific e-commerce objectives and illustrate how Microsoft Commerce Server 2009 can both save as well as make your customers money. Partners will also gain a better understanding of some of the new features, including interoperability with Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server and Windows Live Services and why this new functionality is so valuable to your customers.
WCS04PAL: The New Microsoft® Commerce Server 2009 Product Release
In this technical session you will get an in depth look into the new Commerce Server 2009 product release, available in Q3/FY09, and the improved capabilities to compress time to market for e-commerce sites. Learn how to use Commerce Server's next-generation e-commerce API and web parts to rapidly develop high performance, rich multi-channel e-commerce user experiences. See improvements to the programming model, improved functionality for working with the desktop and devices, and integration of Commerce Server with Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server and ASP.NET. We’ll also cover future product roadmap.
Now available for download - Infrastructure Planning & Design (IPD) guide for DPM 2007 SP1
The DPM Team has been working with the Microsoft Solution Accelerators group to develop this IPD, which goes into beta this week. Open Beta for IPD Guide-Now Available for Download and tell us what you think.
This guide leads the reader through the process of planning a Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2007 SP1 infrastructure. Work through the infrastructure design process in a logical, sequential order. This IPD guide enables the reader to quickly identify what types of data will be protected, what the recovery goals are, and the protection strategy to achieve those goals. Other benefits of using this guide include best practice design guidance from the product group and an optimized infrastructure to best meet the business requirements.
Please tell us what you think! Download the beta guide and send us your honest feedback. We appreciate your input and will work to make each guide as helpful and useful as possible.
Get the beta IPD by visiting the Connect Web site at https://connect.microsoft.com/InvitationUse.aspx?ProgramID=1587&InvitationID=TPMB-Q7QK-HF4H&SiteID=14.
‘Fast, reliable, robust network’
‘You forget that you’ve got an ICT system’
‘Bring in the professionals from the outside’
‘86% first fixed – mostly within 30 minutes’
‘ICT provision should be done by ICT experts’
‘What we’ve got now is something that is really transformational’
‘In short you couldn’t ask for better managed ICT services’
These are just some of the quotes from the Partnership for Schools video on Managed Services in BSF. These are great reasons why schools should be purchasing services rather than building ever more complex on-premise systems. Here’s the PfS description of the video:
Environments in which teachers and students are distracted by a leaky roof or window that won't shut or open properly are environments in which there is less time to focus on teaching and learning. The same principle applies to ICT, and it is precisely for this reason that the concept of a managed service is so central to BSF.
The ICT area-wide Managed Service has been the default model for delivering ICT within BSF since the programme's inception. The reasons for this are three-fold. First: providing procurement, technical support and management of ICT services across a local authority area. Second: better and more consistent integration of ICT services to schools with construction. And third: greater coherence across a local area to support learning so that students have a more flexible and personalised learning experience. Underpinning this is the key assumption that schools should be released from the need to focus valuable resources into procuring and managing ICT, and that in essence, this should be available to them as a "5th utility" service.
In this short film, students, teachers, heads and technicians from schools in Lewisham, Leeds and Sheffield share their views and experience to date of their ICT Managed Service.
January 14 2009
London Grid for Learning (LGfL), a consortium of all London’s local authorities, has today launched Microsoft Live@edu services for up to one million students across London. This is the first network of its scale for schools, and the LGfL is the only network globally providing fibre optic connections to every school, positioning London at the forefront of 21st-century collaborative education worldwide.
Branded “London Mail” by LGfL, the new service will incorporate 33 local authorities and 2,500 schools, and is the largest potential deployment of Microsoft’s Live@edu mail services worldwide. Schools will be making significant cost savings using the hosted service, as Live@edu includes applications such as mobile, desktop and web-based e-mail — encouraging students to collaborate, create online communities, and make learning and the sharing of information easier.
“Part of our responsibility within education is to bridge that gap between school and the world of work; London Mail gives students an e-mail experience in line with what they will use when they graduate,” said Brian Durrant, CEO of London Grid for Learning. “Amongst the 25,000 students we have been piloting the system with, we have enabled an increase in teamwork across schools, which is extremely positive. And, practically speaking, using this service has helped schools make significant savings. We estimate the average secondary school could save around £18,000 a year using London Mail, so across the 2,500 schools in London, it’s a multi-million-pound reduction in costs.”
The e-mail inbox can be used by students as their primary account, but they will also benefit from additional services, including these:
· Office Live Workspace, which provides an online place to save, share and access documents without having to download anything
· Windows Live SkyDrive, which allows students to store documents and photos online, accessible from any computer connected to the internet
· Windows Live Spaces, which lets students set up a space for weblogs and links to documents stored in SkyDrive
“We know that students want technology to help them communicate with their peers and access and share information easily,” said Ray Fleming, education marketing manager at Microsoft Corp. “The rollout of Live@edu services across London is already enhancing education by allowing students to learn from one another and teachers to share best practices. Working with LGfL allows us to reach as many students as possible, and truly embed ICT into schools — which will give students the advanced IT skills they need to be successful in the workplace.”
Already, 25,000 users are registered to use Live@edu in London, and this is estimated to double to 50,000 by April 2009.
Microsoft Corp today announced the rollout of the Digital Literacy Curriculum (DLC) to schools, a new qualification accredited by the awarding body Oxford, Cambridge and the Royal Society of Arts (OCR) to help improve digital skills for children and to equip them for greater success in the workplace.
This free curriculum developed by Microsoft will be available to all schools in the UK and will provide students with a “quick win” for their portfolio of qualifications ahead of their General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) years. The course is the ideal precursor to the ITQ, the national Level 2 qualification in information and communication technology (ICT) devised by e-skills UK. As well as supporting better learning for students with this curriculum, schools will benefit from 14 league table points allocated for each pupil passing the course.
Recent research released by e-skills UK surveying employers found that 49 per cent of the vacancies they advertised specifically require IT user skills. Moreover, the proportion of employees describing the internet as “essential to their jobs” has doubled since 2001 to nearly a third today. This significance means that if young people are leaving education without the right digital skills, it will have a knock-on effect for the knowledge economy. The DLC rollout in schools is aimed at helping align curriculum with the needs of employers, tie in with the targets set out in the Leitch Review of Skills and help young people succeed in the workplace.
“Around three-quarters of the UK’s jobs already require some level of technology skills. In the future this figure is likely to be even higher,” said Genny Dixon, e-skills UK. “e-skills UK works closely with employers such as Microsoft to help prepare young people with the IT skills that will help them succeed in life and work.”
The DLC has already proved to be a success when it launched for adults in April 2008 to help increase their chances of finding employment.
“Qualifications created in conjunction with industry leaders will teach real skills and better equip students for working life,” said Steve Beswick, director of Education for Microsoft UK. “We are letting down the next generation of workers if we fail to embed digital skills into the curriculum, skills that will help them succeed in the world of work. We believe the private sector needs to become an organic part of the education system, working in close partnership, so we can deliver a curriculum that will draw out the skills which are closely linked with employment.”
The DLC has already been piloted in a number of schools across the UK, with hundreds of students signing up for the course. Students are motivated by the instant evaluator which allows them to see what level they are at before they start the course and get immediate feedback at the end of module tests. The DLC provides good value to all children in school — not just IT GCSE students — ensuring that all young people have the opportunity and access to gain the skills needed for the workplace and daily life.
“We’re always keen to ensure that qualifications meet the needs of industry,” said Clara Kenyon, qualifications director at OCR. “Digital literacy is one of the latest qualifications designed with the needs of the employer in mind. It will motivate young people and encourage them to climb the IT skills ladder. Digital Literacy is part of a comprehensive range of ICT qualifications available from OCR, giving teachers and students a real choice.”
More information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/dlc.
January 12 2009
Microsoft has today announced its ‘Home Learning Package’, a comprehensive, high-spec software suite to support educational and social use of computers and the internet as part of the Government’s £300m Home Access initiative being managed by Becta. The software suite from Microsoft will be incorporated by suppliers into the full Home Access solution which also includes a computer, broadband and technical support.
The initiative, announced in September last year, is designed to enable anytime, anywhere learning for all children, boosting their learning and life skills. The Home Access solution will be available to every child in the UK with information being provided to parents on how to improve their children’s computer and online access. The initiative will also provide grants for children coming from underprivileged backgrounds to allow them to take advantage of the Home Access solution.
Becta has today announced the approved suppliers who will be working with it to deliver the programme.
Simon Pettit, Contracts Director, Stone Computers commented:
“The Home Access computer package will allow parents to give their children technology at home that is specifically tailored to their needs. Exclusively for the Home Access initiative, Microsoft is offering a very special deal for the highest specification Microsoft Office, ‘Office Ultimate’. This product will be packaged with a range of additional education and social software which has been chosen because of its relevance to families. This means that parents will be getting great value for money as well as knowing that they are providing the very best tools to help their children learn.”
The Microsoft Home Learning Package is designed to support the way children use technology socially – with Instant Messenger, video and photo sharing, and social networking sites – as well as the way children use technology at school – note-taking, building presentations, and learning online – to provide a rounded, relevant experience. Incorporating Office Ultimate, the highest specification package of Office 2007, and the Windows Live Suite, the complete learning package will ensure that those benefiting from the scheme have access to some of the best products available. The Home Learning Package from Microsoft will also provide software which gives parents easy-to-use tools to ensure their children are kept safer online.
Steve Beswick, Director of Education, Microsoft commented:
“We know that when students have access to technology at school as well as at home they are more motivated and their parents are able to take a more active interest in their education. Our goal is to provide the richest functionality, and be flexible in our licensing, to ensure that students have the software they need to support learning and their digital lifestyle software wrapped in a single, pre-loaded, package to help the entire family get the most from their computer.”
The Microsoft Home Learning package consists of:
· Microsoft Office Ultimate which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher which will allow children to complete schoolwork at home, as well as OneNote to help them collect and organise information.
· Microsoft Learning Essentials to help children as they prepare their homework, with templates and language tools to help them get started.
· The Windows Live Suite which includes Messenger, Photo Gallery and Spaces and the newer offerings such as Sky Drive which allows the safe sharing and storing of files online.
· Windows software to support creativity, such as Microsoft Movie Maker and Microsoft Media Player.
· Resources to encourage children to explore their world in new ways including Photosynth, Virtual Earth and Worldwide Telescope.
· Access to online resources to help children develop new skills. For instance, Microsoft Popfly gives an easy introduction to web design.
· The Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum, which will support all the family in learning how to do essential computer tasks from email to digital photography and music.
· Family Safety Settings for Windows which will allow parents to set limits on computer use, control internet access and monitor usage.
· KnowITAll for parents: a set of award winning resources to help you keep your children safer online, with a special section for children.
For more information on the Home Learning Package, please go to www.microsoft.com/uk/homelearning.