School is in! It’s September, which in Redmond means kids are heading back to school to start a new year. Are you ready to learn?
 
Learning is a lifelong pursuit. Staying current on new products and technologies helps you speak with authority to your customers and recommend the best solutions for their business needs. Staying trained can also ensure your skills are fresh, so that you don’t slip behind competitors.
 
I’ve put together a curriculum of key training that Microsoft partners should consider this year. Plus, at the end, I’ve included a few bonus resources.
 
 
 
Burke Fewel’s MPN Training Curriculum – 2014
 
Key Goals
  1. Read IDC’s “Partner Success with the 3rd Platform: Why Training Matters” white paper to understand why you need to keep learning.
  2. Prepare to move to the cloud. Start with Cloud Partner Profitability, a multi-module online series with short videos and downloadable PowerPoint decks. The videos take under 30 minutes (total) to watch, so it’s not a big investment of your time, but it’s a big investment for your business.
  3. Consider a new competency. At the 2014 Worldwide Partner Conference, we announced three new cloud-infused competencies: Cloud Productivity, Cloud Platform, and Cloud Solutions. Click here to learn more.
Special Offers
 
Now it’s time for some goodies. Stuff your backpack with these savings and special offers:
  • Exam Packs are back! This popular offer allows you to purchase bundles of competency-required exams at a discount – to help you and your team get certified. This year, Microsoft partners may purchase packs of certification exams at the following discounts:
    • Buy 10 exams, save 35%
    • Buy 5 exams, save 25%
    • Buy 1 exam, save 15% 

       

  • Book and ebook discounts: Microsoft partners can save 40% off print books and 50% off ebooks from the Microsoft Press Store. Try Microsoft Azure titles like Exam Ref 70-487: Developing Windows Azure and Web Services, or Microsoft Office 365 Administration Inside Out.

     

  • Practice test savings: As a Microsoft partner, you can save 40% off select tests through two companies: MeasureUp and Transcender. Both companies offer practice tests for Windows Server 2012, part of the Microsoft Cloud OS, such as:
    •  70-410 Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 R2
    •  70-411 Administering Windows Server 2012 R2
    •  70-412 Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services R2
    •  70-417 Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012

These exams can help you meet requirements for the Management and Virtualization and Server Platform competencies.

MeasureUp also offers a practice test for 70-487 Developing Windows Azure and Web Services, to help you study for Application Development competency requirements.

Featured Tools
Action Plan
  • Set weekly time on your calendar for training. You can start small – 30 minutes to one hour. Use this time to read the IDC white paper, watch Cloud Profitability Program videos, and brainstorm/followup.
  • Create a list of certification tests to pass this year. Once you have your goals, purchase Exam Packs so you can buy those exams at discount, and also start studying with learning paths and practice tests. (Remember, the Exam Pack discount only runs through December 31.)
  • Tweet us @mpntraining and use hashtag #MPNTrainingBacktoSchool – let us know which resource is your favorite.​