​The New Year is always a good time to take stock and make personal and professional plans for your success in the coming months. Whether you are new to the Microsoft Partner Network (welcome!) or have been with the program for a while (thank you!), I have recommendations that can help you and your colleagues stay informed about and take advantage of the benefits, training, resources, and information that Microsoft offers you and your company. We have a long history of partnering with companies like yours to serve customers of all sizes, across multiple industries and business types.

Your company’s relationship with Microsoft can range from community participation to Action Pack subscription to attainment of one or more Microsoft competencies. Action Pack subscriptions and competencies include internal-use software licenses and other incremental benefits. Review your options on the Partner Network overview, and download the membership guide for more details. If your focus is cloud computing, or you are adding the cloud to your practice, you can quickly add the Cloud Essentials subscription to your membership and access internal-use software licenses for Microsoft Online Services. Learn more about Microsoft Cloud Solutions and the Microsoft cloud programs.
Use these tips to get the most value out of your MPN membership:
  1. Understand the benefits of your membership, and your utilization of them. The Core benefits overview is a good place to start to get an at-a-glance view by business lifecycle stage and program engagement. And now, you can download a statement of benefits specific to your company that summarizes your membership and details the benefits you are—and are not—utilizing.
    • Tip: No-cost and low-cost training are a significant benefit of your membership. Visit our online Hot Sheet for a listing of upcoming live in-person and online sales and technical training for partners, plus links to on-demand courses.
  3. Update your company’s membership profile. Profile data are used to personalize your online and email experience. An accurate representation of your company’s business model, commercial and public sector customer focus, industry focus, etc. can help us deliver relevant, timely information about new products, programs, training, and opportunities. Your company’s Primary Program Contact is usually authorized to make organization profile updates. To find your Primary Program Contact, sign in to the Partner Membership Center and look in the Organizations tab.
  5. Edit your individual membership profile. The zip code and primary job role fields in your individual profile help us connect you to local and role-specific opportunities and resources like training, networking events, and communities. To manage your individual profile, sign in to the Partner Membership Center.
  7. Sign in to partner websites. While much of the content on the Microsoft partner portal (http://aka.ms/uspartner) is publicly available, I recommend signing in with your Microsoft account (formerly Live ID) that’s associated to your MPN membership. You’ll have visibility to content that is relevant to your company and your role, and a smoother transition when going from the portal to other partner-facing sites. Plus, understanding how partners use the site helps us improve your experience.
  9. Choose how you want to stay informed. We use the partner portal, email, blogs, and social media to communicate with partners. Our How to Stay Informed online guide is frequently updated to help you understand your options. If you are on the partner portal, be sure to check out the home page, where we publish a regularly updated list of our recommendations for partners.
For more articles like this, read the Microsoft U.S. Partner Team blog at http://aka.ms/uspblog.​