​Partners! Today we’ve hit a major milestone as we evolve to the Microsoft Partner Network. I’m happy to announce we’ve officially retired our previous competencies and specializations – and launched new competencies, a new subscription, and enhanced a long-time favorite subscription.

 
 
 
 
Registered partners – check out Microsoft Action Pack Solution Provider and Microsoft Action Pack Development and Design, which provide access to the latest Microsoft technology and resources to help you be at the top of your game.
 
Gold Certified and Certified partners – while we changed the competency structure (you can see it here), your current benefits will continue until you re-enroll. After October 2010, the new competencies will offer a range of tailored benefits (software, learning, marketing, and sales assets) along with to the ability to create a customizable logo to articulate your strengths to your customers.
 
I want to highlight a major change for partners earning a competency or advanced competency. New requirements state that you must be current on the latest Microsoft technology. Why? Because customers and partners requested we raise the bar. As partners, you are our voice and advocate to customers on the latest technology, so it is critical that you deeply know and use the latest technology yourself. To help, we will provide hands-on experience with beta releases and early adoption programs, and offer training for your staff with role-based learning paths, as well as online and in-person classroom training.
 
I encourage you to review the specifics of the new competencies and requirements and make sure that you understand the changes we’re making. To see the latest information, download and review the Value of Earning a Microsoft Competency Guide. We update the Guide regularly (usually monthly), so make sure you review the latest edition.
 
Take Advantage of Exclusive Partner Offers
 
 
 
We’ve created a couple of great offers to help with passing the latest exams. If you are re-enrolling now through June 30, take advantage of the Microsoft Learning Second Shot offer. Until June 30, 2010, you can register to retake any IT Pro or Developer exam for free if you don’t pass on your first attempt. To help you prepare, you also get free access to Safari books’ vast online technical book library for 30 days. Visit Prometric, Microsoft’s official testing partner, to get started today.
 
As a special bonus, the “WPC 5-for-1 Exam Pass” is exclusively available to WPC 2010 attendees. It lets an individual take up to five exams until October 10, 2010 for the regular price of one exam in your home country. Each partner location can purchase up to four of these passes. This offer starts July 11, 2010, and can be redeemed worldwide at Prometric Testing Centers for all IT Pro, Developer, and Dynamics exams. Whether you are looking to maintain your existing competencies or upgrade to an advanced competency, this is the best offer you’ll find to help you meet the new requirements. Visit the Microsoft Partner Network booth at WPC 2010 to purchase your passes.
 
Join Us at WPC 2010 and Digital WPC
 
Finally, we encourage all of you to attend WPC 2010 from July 12-15 to learn more about the changes to the Microsoft Partner Network. This is the must-attend event of the year for partners to hear about the latest Microsoft products, innovations, and solutions. If you can’t attend the event in person, check out Digital WPC.
 
And for those looking to profit from the cloud, we are offering over 200 sessions at WPC this year to help you understand Microsoft’s cloud offering. It’s a great opportunity to build new partner relationships and enhance the ones you already have with partners and Microsoft. There are so many great reasons to attend. I hope to see you there!
 
For even more information about the recent changes, check out my new video, Infinite Possibilities with the Microsoft Partner Network. Questions? We value your input, so please let us know what you think by leaving a comment. –-Julie Bennani, General Manager, Microsoft Partner Network
Best Regards,
 
 
Julie