Friday, November 21, 2014

Software and IT Partner News

Author:SuperUser AccountCreated:6/26/2010 10:03 PMRssIcon
Microsoft Product & Partner News
By SuperUser Account on 3/24/2011 1:40 PM
Launched this month, Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 is helping schools from Iowa to Africa deliver more computing to students at a lower cost. It works – and saves schools money – by letting as many as 20 students simultaneously “share” a single computer.

REDMOND, Wash. – March 24, 2011 – Like schools everywhere, Iowa’s Tri-Center Community Schools District wants to give its students the best education possible. And like most, it’s trying to make sure it provides students with the opportunity to use technology to learn while also coping with a shrinking budget.

Windows MultiPoint Server is used in computer labs at schools in Haiti that Microsoft and the Clinton Global Initiative have been building as part of the ongoing rebuilding efforts after last year’s devastating earthquake.
Windows MultiPoint Server is used in computer labs at schools in Haiti that Microsoft and the Clinton Global Initiative have been building as part of the ongoing rebuilding efforts after last year’s devastating earthquake.
Click for larger image. 

“A challenge that Tri-Center and other public schools in Iowa and I’m sure around the nation face is funding,” said Angela Huseman, Tri-Center’s high school principal. “There’s not always enough money, and you only get so much. And that’s the hard part for me to figure out: Well, if I’ve got this much money, where’s the biggest bang for my buck?”

For Huseman, the answer to that, at least in part, was a piece of Microsoft software that lets up to 20 students share one PC at the same time – each with their own keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

For months Tri-Center has been using a new tool from Microsoft that aims to deliver schools the most bang for their IT buck:Windows MultiPoint Server 2011. Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 (WMS 2011) – which went on sale earlier this month – lets multiple users simultaneously tap into the power of a single PC. The result is more computing at a lower cost, helping schools worldwide better prepare students for an increasingly competitive global economy.

“Access to technology provides students with a better platform for learning, but the realities of tighter school budgets make this difficult. Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 is a great solution to this challenge,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of worldwide education at Microsoft.


By SuperUser Account on 3/24/2011 1:36 PM
Leading analyst firm points to opportunities for Microsoft partners both in cloud computing and with current Microsoft products.

REDMOND, Wash. — March 24, 2011 — Today, global research firm IDC issued a new white paper which estimates that members of the worldwide Microsoft ecosystem generated local revenues for themselves of $580 billion in 2010, up from $537 billion in 2009 and $475 billion in 2007. This demonstrates strong revenue growth when total worldwide IT spending increased less than half a percent, and validates the substantial opportunities and benefits available through the Microsoft Partner Network, the program that equips Microsoft partners with training, resources and support they need to successfully compete in today’s marketplace while allowing customers to easily identify the right partner for their technology needs.

Click for a larger version 

Through the Microsoft Partner Network, partners can extend their market reach for greater opportunities and profitability while delivering innovative solutions to help customers achieve their business goals. The IDC study estimates that for every dollar of revenue made by Microsoft Corp. in 2009, local members of the Microsoft ecosystem generated revenues for themselves of $8.70. In an additional study on Microsoft Core Infrastructure Optimization, IDC found that partners that invested in more difficult or a greater number of Microsoft competencies enjoyed 68 percent larger deals and 28 percent more revenue per employee, compared with partners that invested less.

“The Microsoft Partner Network has allowed us to extend and grow our business by delivering innovative solutions to our customers,” said Tom Chew, national general manager of Slalom Consulting. “Over the past year, we’ve increased revenue 45 percent and built strong momentum with Microsoft technologies around cloud services, business intelligence, portals and collaboration, dynamics, and unified communications. As a Microsoft partner, we’ve been able to differentiate Slalom and grow rapidly in an extremely challenging business landscape.”

“Microsoft and its partners make a significant impact on the global economy,” said Darren Bibby, program vice president for IDC Software Channels and Alliances Research. “Microsoft does an excellent job of providing great products for partners to work with, as well as effective sales, marketing and training resources. And the number of Microsoft partners working together is growing. The result is that the Microsoft ecosystem has achieved impressive results and has a very bright future.”

The Microsoft-commissioned IDC report reveals that the modifications made to the Microsoft Partner Network equip Microsoft partners with the training, resources and support they need to be well-positioned in the competitive IT marketplace, both with the current lineup of Microsoft products and in the cloud. Cloud-based solutions offer Microsoft partners the opportunity to grow by extending their current businesses via cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (private and/or public), software-as-a-service (Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite and/or Office 365), platform-as-a-service (Windows Azure) or a hybrid combined with on-premise solutions. Microsoft’s cloud offerings are based on products customers already use and that partners have already built their businesses around.

By SuperUser Account on 3/21/2011 10:38 AM
Large retailer runs business-critical applications for 1,755 stores on Microsoft virtualization technologies.

REDMOND, Wash. — March 21, 2011 — Microsoft Corp. announced today that Target Corp. is running business-critical workloads for all its retail stores on 15,000 virtual machines using Microsoft virtualization and management technologies, giving its IT department greater agility and economies of scale. The second-largest discount retailer in the U.S., Target has virtualized inventory, point-of-sale, supply-chain management, asset protection, in-store digital media and more on Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center.

“Target’s investment in Hyper-V is a result of the strong technology partnership between our two companies,” said Jeff Mader, vice president, Target Technology Services. “With Hyper-V, Target can reduce our stores’ server footprints without sacrificing the mission-critical application performance that contributes to a superior retail experience for our guests.”

Minneapolis, Minn.-based Target Corp. serves guests at 1,755 stores in 49 states and operates 37 national distribution centers. Earlier this year, Target scaled its deployment of Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V to every U.S. store in the chain. Applications, ranging from Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SP1, SharePoint 2007 and Exchange 2007 to third-party, line-of-business software, can now be deployed and managed more quickly, with 8,650 fewer physical servers to maintain, power and refresh. Target has also implemented the Microsoft System Center management platform to manage and patch more than 300,000 endpoints, ranging from servers and PCs to mobile inventory devices and point-of-sale registers. System Center provides the automation, insight and data to help ensure Target guests can quickly find the products they need at the lowest possible cost and check out without delay.

By SuperUser Account on 3/10/2011 10:03 AM


Greenville, SC – March 7, 2011 – AssetPoint (, a leading Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solution provider, celebrated the success of one of their customers pursuing the business benefits of procurement best practices utilizing the latest TabWare EAM procurement solution TabSource. 

With the standard functionality of AssetPoint’s cloud computing (SaaS) TabWare EAM solution in use by over 1,000 users, one of the world's largest steel companies launched a strategic initiative last month to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their overall procurement process. AssetPoint and Life Cycle Engineering (, a leading professional services firm focused on customer-specific solutions for reliability excellence and achieving successful organizational change, partnered  to validate and reinforce the customer’s new procurement strategy by ensuring the right people and technology come together in the context of best business practice in order to achieve and sustain the targeted business benefits.

According to the Aberdeen Group report “The Role of Software in Asset Performance Management,” the growing impact of asset management and procurement processes on organization’s bottom lines as well as on the safety of plant and employees has certainly elevated the importance and the criticality of these functions in the eyes of senior management.  The report also listed the top two goals for asset maintenance: improving uptime and improving asset utilization.

By SuperUser Account on 3/8/2011 9:51 AM

Carlsbad, CA — March 7, 2011 EPM Live, a global leader in Enterprise SharePoint Project and Work Management applications, announced today its launch of WorkEngine’s Enterprise Portfolio Management Capabilities for SharePoint.  Building on its award winning foundation aligned with project and work execution, WorkEngine has extended its core capabilities to include Portfolio Planning, Portfolio Modeling and Portfolio Optimization with an infuses on costs and resources .  WorkEngine supports end-to-end Project and Portfolio Management disciplines through the entire life cycle of your projects as well as non-project work.  

“This launch marks a critical milestone for businesses looking to maximize return on their SharePoint investment by adding a Project and Work Management Solution to their platform.  WorkEngine is now a true end-to-end Enterprise Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) system for SharePoint,” said Joe Larscheid, CEO of EPM Live.   

EPM Live has also released a new application, PPM WorkEngine, to align the new capabilities with the business.  “Apps are the future; our vision is to not only provide a wide variety of applications that will apply our powerful capabilities to various work such as projects, products and services, but we want our customers to have them at their fingertips, at no additional cost,” said Joe.  The WorkEngine product combined with numerous work apps will not only give businesses the tools they need to manage all projects and all work across their organizations, but will do so by accommodating all user maturities and all processes, making the WorkEngine SharePoint platform relevant to any business, simple to deploy and one of the most cost effective systems on the market.  

WorkEngine continues to be on the forefront of market demand.   The industry needs for PPM will continue to change as well.  
Gartner's Analyst Daniel B. Stang wrote in the June 7, 2010 release of Gartner's Magic Quadrant for IT Project and Portfolio Management, “An appropriate PPM application should match some immediate functional needs and also support a successive road map toward improving PPM maturity. PPM applications are aimed at automating elements of good organizational processes. Where no good organizational process exists, these applications can do one of two things: "dictate" what organizations should do, or support what they already do or want to do well.”  The WorkEngine product helps organizations meet their current business needs as well as plan for the future, improving processes and promoting maturity growth.  Dan also stated, “PPM application value is often initially achieved and increased through the definition and tracking of specific key initiatives. With maturity and a few years of use, integration of a PPM application to appropriate data sources, such as IT service management (ITSM), application life cycle management (ALM) and ERP systems, can expand an application's reach and value even further over time.”  The WorkEngine work apps are intended to meet this need now, protecting IT investments such as SharePoint and eliminating the need for additional IT systems such as IT service management and application life cycle management.  

By SuperUser Account on 3/7/2011 9:59 AM
Ericsson, Convergys, MetraTech, Redknee and Tech Mahindra choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM to extend their existing billing and customer care offerings for service providers.

REDMOND, Wash. — March 7, 2011 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) today announced its growing ecosystem of independent software vendors (ISV) and systems integrator (SI) partners within the telecommunications industry. Ericsson, Convergys Corp., MetraTech Corp., Redknee Inc. and Tech Mahindra Ltd. have all selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a customer care component of their existing business support systems solutions, helping ensure service provider customers worldwide are able to support the delivery of new services effectively and affordably.

“It is exciting that partners recognize Microsoft Dynamics CRM can help them optimize their business and operational support offerings for telco customers, helping to deliver greater efficiencies and address new market opportunities,” said Brad Wilson, general manager, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Product Management Group. “As telcos look to transform their business, innovations in billing and outstanding customer service can make all the difference. These partnerships are a testament to the familiar, intelligent and connected experiences that Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides and that telco organizations require today.”

ISV and SI partners transitioning to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 are looking forward to passing on breakthrough productivity to telcos. The Microsoft Office user interface helps reduce initial per-call-center-agent training time and costs, delivers access to real-time data, and streamlines processes to boost internal collaboration, resulting in more satisfied customers.

By SuperUser Account on 3/1/2011 10:33 AM

By Anya Ciecierski, PartnerPoint Contributing Writer

That headline may have you confused. We aren't generally bashful in singing the justly-deserved praises of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, yet here we are advising Microsoft Partners against purchasing that very software. Why is that? Because Microsoft Partners can get Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online for free. That’s right. Free!

Microsoft recently revealed the details for an exciting program that makes the life of a Microsoft Partner even sweeter. All Microsoft Gold Certified partners can claim up to 250 seats of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online for free, while Silver Certified partners can claim up to 100 seats. On top of that, further seats can be purchased for the discount rate of $19 per user per month. This offer can't be combined with any other competencies, but who can complain after a freebie like that? Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack or Microsoft Cloud Accelerate Partners are also in on the deal, getting the same offer as Gold Certified partners: 250 free seats with more following at $19 per user per month.

By SuperUser Account on 2/25/2011 10:26 AM



Join Us: 4th Annual Microsoft Government Contractor Summit

Powering Business Growth and Transformation in the

Government Contractor Sector

You’ve heard the buzz about business transformation but what does that really mean to you as a Government Contractor?  What do you need to know to respond quickly to the challenges facing the industry? This year’s much anticipated Microsoft Government Contractor Summit continues to build on the tradition of the ‘not-to-be-missed’ industry event by taking Government Contractors to the heart of what business transformation means to their business. The event-filled day features a keynote by the Honorable Tom Davis, panel discussions by some of the leading figures in the government contracting market, and networking opportunities to meet people you need to do business with. Plus, you’ll get a first-hand view of the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM solutions that are taking the government contracting world by storm.

You will:

- Get an understanding of Microsoft’s strategy, investments and insight on technology trends for government contracting

- Learn best practices from peers who are utilizing technology to optimize their day to day business processes and gain real time insights

- Hear the Honorable Tom Davis speak on trends facing Government Contractors; as a former congressman and noted technology leader, he will share Government Contractor strategies and vision

- Gain insights from well-known Government Contractor CEOs on important hurdles facing the industry and how to overcome them

- Meet with industry leading Microsoft partners who are bringing the best of breed Government Contractor solutions to the market


Target Audience: Government Contractor C-Level and Business Executives

Price:  $75 USD NOTE: Space is Limited! This event will sell out. Click here to register.

Agenda *


Registration, Networking & Exhibits
Visit the showcase of leading-edge technology solutions specifically suited for Government Contractors


Kickoff and Microsoft Keynote
Greg Myers, General Manager, Civilian and Healthcare, Microsoft Federal who will provide an overview of Microsoft’s strategy, investments and insights on technology trends for government contracting.


Break & Visit the Technology Exhibits


Federal Government IT Budget & Spending in 2011 & Beyond
Karen Evans, former OMB's Administrator for e-government & IT, will provide insight into the President’s Budget Request and implications of the Continuing Resolution.


Break & Visit the Technology Exhibits


Industry Keynote Luncheon
The Honorable Tom Davis, former congressman from Northern VA, who has been recognized as one of the most knowledgeable congressmen in history on technology topics and the government speaks about the role of Government and IT.


Government Contractor CEO Panel
Hosted by Federal News Radio Morning Anchorman Tom Temin
Featuring Bob Burleson, CFO, Software Process Technologies Inc.; Tony Jimenez, CEO, MicroTech; David Kriegman, Senior Vice President, Jacobs Engineering; and, Ajay Madan, CEO, OST Global.


Break & Visit the Technology Exhibits


Industry Solution Breakouts – Three Concurrent Tracks. Presented by:

- Pleasant Valley Business Solutions

- Unanet | SSI Consulting

- McGladrey


*Agenda subject to some change.

 Click here to register.


Title Sponsor:

Register now by clicking here!



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Registration opens at 7:30am

Detailed agenda below.



Fairview Park Marriott

3111 Fairview Park Drive

Falls Church, VA

Free parking onsite


Gold Sponsors:




Pleasant Valley Business Solutions


SSI Consulting


Broadpoint Technologies

Cole Systems


IPM Global

Goodman & Company

SBS Group

Tech Council of Maryland



By SuperUser Account on 2/24/2011 3:12 PM


Cloud Computing EAM Solution Achieves Perfection
Greenville, SC – February 24, 2011 – AssetPoint, a leading Enterprise Asset Management
(EAM) solution provider, announced its TabWare Cloud Computing solution achieved 100%
uptime for its customers during the 2010 calendar year.
TabWare is the leading EAM solution for companies who want full functionality without the
expense, resources and time other solutions demand. Designed by maintenance professionals for
maintenance professionals, TabWare is proven to maximize asset performance, resulting in
maximum uptime and higher profit margins. The TabWare Cloud Computing solution is hosted
by AssetPoint in an SAS-70 Type II audited environment, and customers access their data
through a secure, password protected internet link. It’s designed to handle all customer locations
from a secure database, giving views of their operation at a site, region, division, country and
enterprise levels.
By SuperUser Account on 2/24/2011 10:26 AM
Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie gathered with individuals from across the company this week for a day of futuristic demos showcasing natural user interfaces, 3D technologies and new ways to interact with computers. Get a behind-the-scenes look.

REDMOND, Wash. – Feb. 24, 2011 – Microsoft provided a glimpse into computing’s future at the Microsoft Home this week, showing demos of 3D and virtual worlds, vision systems that create new models for interacting with computers, and research that explores potential scenarios for Kinect beyond gaming.

Mundie and Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, also announcedplans to make a Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) available this spring. The non-commercial SDK will be geared to academics and enthusiasts.

See videos of some of the demos in the Rethinking Computing newsroom.

Behind the Demos: Exploring Natural User Interfaces

Image 1 of 11
Avatar Kinect replicates a user’s speech, head movements and facial expressions on their Xbox avatar. Avatar Kinect lets users hang out with friends in virtual environments and shoot animated videos to share online. Redmond, Wash. Feb 21, 2011.

A Look at Avatar Kinect for Xbox

Avatar Kinect replicates a user’s speech, head movements and facial expressions on their Xbox avatar. Avatar Kinect lets users hang out with friends in virtual environments and shoot animated videos to share online. Redmond, Wash. Feb 21, 2011.


A Look at Avatar Kinect for Xbox
Microsoft Surface: Sensing & Interaction
3D Scanning with a Regular Camera
Creating 3D Models from 2D Photos
Mirage Blocks
Photo-Realistic Talking Head
Retro Reflective Air Gesture Display
Conceptual Vision Demo
Remote Organization
Image Manipulation Using Surface
New Interaction with Images Using Surface


By SuperUser Account on 2/23/2011 1:09 PM
Government agencies, universities and public school systems choose company’s Online Services to increase productivity, save money.

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 23, 2011 — Today at the Microsoft U.S. Public Sector CIO Summit, Microsoft Corp. announced cloud computing agreements with 16 new government and education customers. In his keynote address, Curt Kolcun, vice president of U.S. Public Sector at Microsoft, welcomed several of the newest users of Microsoft Online Services, including Portland Public Schools, Oregon; University at Albany — SUNY; Fashion Institute of Technology — SUNY; Vanderbilt University; City of Alexandria, Va.; City of Virginia Beach, Va.; and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians tribal government in southern Alabama.

These public sector organizations join a rapidly expanding community of government agencies and schools that have recently implemented Microsoft cloud computing solutions, including the state of California, the state of Minnesota, U.S. Department of Agriculture, California State University campuses at Long Beach, Pomona and San Francisco, the State University of New York (SUNY), New York City Public Schools in partnership with ePals Inc., Kentucky Department of Education, and the University of Georgia. In addition to cost savings and efficiency gains, public sector organizations are choosing Microsoft cloud solutions for their security features, interoperability with existing technology investments and the 24/7 voice support services. Microsoft’s newest government customers join more than 190 state and local government organizations in nearly every U.S. state, bringing the total to more than 3 million government employees utilizing some form of Microsoft Online Services. In addition, Microsoft Live@edu is currently one of the most popular communication and collaboration cloud suites for education, serving more than 15 million people in more than 10,000 education institutions worldwide.

“Public sector organizations are looking for enterprise-grade cloud solutions, and that means providing high levels of security, functionality and support,” Kolcun said. “We’re seeing government and education organizations of every size and dimension using Microsoft cloud solutions to help reduce costs and increase productivity in support of their missions.”

Portland Public Schools Leads the Path in Oregon to the Cloud

Portland Public Schools, the largest school district in the state of Oregon with more than 46,000 students across 85 schools, is planning to move to Microsoft Live@edu as its core collaboration and communications suite for students, teachers and staff to drive improved teaching and learning in the classroom. Portland was looking for a new e-mail solution as its current on-premises Novell GroupWise system was coming to end of life, and it wanted to provide new services to students. After a thorough analysis of both Live@edu and Google Apps for Education, Portland chose Live@edu because of Microsoft’s training and support structure, security, and interoperability advantages.

By SuperUser Account on 2/22/2011 4:57 PM

 By Ingrid Lunden

Updated: Several sources (look here and here) are now reporting that Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) is not facing any delays with production of the iPad 2. The device will be launched at an event in San Francisco on March 2. The news caps days of intense speculation over the device, as Verizon on Thursday gears up to launch the Motorola (NYSE: MOT) Xoom tablet, seen as the first Android device that will really provide viable competition against the iPad. Original post follows below.

Tablets were nearly as much of a story at Mobile World Congress as handsets were—a huge leap considering how small market share is today, and how relatively new they are on the market. This week there are even more reports and speculation about what will be in the next devices from Apple, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Android and Microsoft, and when we might really get to see these things on the market.

iPad 2: Sightings and hints of Apple’s next-generation iPad have been cropping up herethere and everywhere, and everyone now seems to take as fact the thinner design, dual cameras, and better speakers and processors.

But when will we see them? Here’s one indirect clue: stock of the current crop of devices is, apparently, running out. 9to5 Mac is taking this as a sign that a new iPad could be coming as soon as next month. In Europe, it notes, reseller Carphone Warehouse has run out of its 64 GB WiFi model, and all 3G models; while T-Mobile and Orange have reduced the price on their 16 GB 3G/WiFi devices by half, to £99.99, for those buying them on two-year 3G contracts.

I’m inclined to be a bit cynical: these could be real shortages of finished lines (CPW) and a drive to shift stock before new devices arrive (the operators). But it could also be down to actual supply and production issues; two operators keen to drive sales after a lacklustre start to their subsidised iPad push. (Plenty of reports of slow sales for Orange around the holidays, but the operator has never confirmed directly.)

We’ll only know for sure next month. In the meantime, real fans can already start picking out their favorite color of case (pictured), or wait until June, if the report from Bloomberg—the device has now been delayed until June because of production delays at manufacturer Foxconn—sounds more credible.

Motorola Xoom: Meanwhile, we now have the latest teaser ad for the Xoom, a 15-second clip (embedded below) that embodies the Xoom sales slogan—“grab it and it grabs you”—and continues the sci-fi, brave new world theme introduced in the Xoom ad effort for the Super Bowl.

By SuperUser Account on 2/22/2011 3:45 PM
By Carin Moonin, PartnerPoint Contributing Writer
There is no doubt that a well-tended garden is beautiful. The flowers, shrubs, trees, grass—all come together to provide a peaceful, serene, and enjoyable setting. In a garden like this, it’s evident that while all the elements are lovely, it’s the collective effect that’s breathtaking. 
Believe it or not, going green can be just as charming—even at the office. 
With all the recent growth in green technology, with consumers opting for environmentally conscious choices, it’s interesting to remember how offices looked and dealt with document management. Back in the days before Windows revolutionized the workplace, file cabinets were crammed with both unimportant memos and highly sensitive documents. But with Windows, we’ve gone from carbon paper to Word documents, from mailboxes to email, from memos to instant messages.
And yet there’s still much to be done to help businesses go greener. 
By SuperUser Account on 2/17/2011 7:33 PM

For those of you Microsoft Partners with questions or concerns about the new Microsoft Partner Program, here is a great opportunity.  Eric Ligman has just announced thru his blog that Microsoft is hosting an interactive forum in which we can participate.  The team that will be presenting is impressive, and there is a Q&A session.  Below is the blog post with the details.

And also, if you havent already done so, be sure to post your thoughts on our discussion of this topic on our LinkedIn Group

From Eric Ligman's Blog, Microsoft Worldwide Partner Experience Lead

Join us for a Microsoft Partner Network Interactive Leadership Forum

What are you doing Thursday, March 10th from 7:00 – 8:30 am PST?  If you are a Microsoft partner, I would like to invite you to join us for a unique opportunity designed just for you: an interactive online forum with the leadership team of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group.

As I have mentioned many times here on my blog, through my Twitter account, my Linkedin account, in-person meetings, and many other places, here at Microsoft, we are continually striving to reach out, listen to, communicate with, and work with our partners to build a strong partnership with you and to enable the highest levels of joint success possible. Part of this effort includes helping partners get answers to questions they have, addressing misconceptions that may exist, and bringing awareness to resources available that you may not be familiar with.  As such, we are hosting an interactive online forum with the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group leadership team to discuss topics, questions, concerns, misconceptions and more that we have heard from partners around the world regarding the Microsoft Partner Network to help address and answer these for you.

I will be moderating this session and joining me will be:

  • Julie Bennani: General Manager, Microsoft Partner Network
  • Ross Brown: Vice-President, Worldwide Partner Sales
  • Karl Noakes: General Manager, Microsoft Partner Strategy & Programs
  • Jon Roskill: Corporate Vice-President, Worldwide Partner Group (hopefully, based on travel schedule. Should know by end of this week.)
By SuperUser Account on 2/17/2011 5:39 PM

By Mark Armstrong, PartnerPoint Contributing Writer

I am a co-host on a weekly gaming podcast, there are 3 of us that take part in the show each week with a broad range of opinions over the various consoles and their good and bad points.

I am classed as a Microsoft fanboy (boy is a bit unfair as I am now 50) but yes I have been an adopter of Microsoft hardware and software since the introduction of Windows 95 and have followed closely their various innovations in products.

What I wanted to write about is the Microsoft Kinect addition to the 360 and it’s likely impact on gaming in general.

On the show the jury is still out as far as Kinect goes and out of the three of us opinions are evenly spread. First off I am a die-hard Microsoft supporter who bought Kinect has a good number of games and uses it pretty much on a daily basis and loves the interaction it provides. Then we have the show’s host, who invested in the unit, again has as good cross section of games but is pretty much sitting back and saying is that it, where are the games I want to play that blow me away. And finally the other co-host who is playing the waiting game to see if the killer game comes out that says to him go and buy this unit.

By SuperUser Account on 2/17/2011 1:55 PM

With the introduction of Azure Platform, Microsoft is helping small and medium businesses (SMB) make the move into the cloud with integrated cloud applications that were once only available to large enterprises at a considerable price.  One could say Microsoft has helped SMBs grow their wings and soar into the cloud.

Tools like the Azure Platform make it easy even for small businesses to deploy their own web applications right alongside trusted Microsoft products such as Office 365, SharePoint, Lync, and Dynamics CRM.  Additionally, all of Microsoft's cloud products play nicely with on-premise or hosted tools, such as Microsoft Dynamics GP Add the quickly rising market share of Microsoft's new search engine, Bing, and you have a legitimate advertising platform for your business as well, one that can reach audiences on everything from mobile phones to gaming consoles.


By SuperUser Account on 2/16/2011 9:44 AM


Microsoft delivers the Power of Productivity for customers across all deployment models; raises bar for performance and scalability with 150,000-concurrent-user benchmark.

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 16, 2011 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) today announced that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for on-premises and partner-hosted deployments has been completed and released for customer download. This release complements the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, which delivers Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 as an on-demand service from Microsoft’s datacenters and was launched into 40 markets and 41 languages in January. With a single multitenant code base across cloud and on-premises deployment models, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 delivers the Power of Productivity to sales, service and marketing organizations worldwide.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is now globally available and existing customers with active Microsoft Software Assurance agreements can access the new version immediately via theMicrosoft Download Center.

In addition, Microsoft announced the new release scaled to 150,000 concurrent users in a single instance while delivering sub-second response times, once again raising the bar for performance and scalability in the CRM industry. The new benchmark results will be detailed in a Microsoft Dynamics CRM performance and scalability white paper that will be delivered in the coming weeks.

“The need to build deeper and more profitable relationships on a global scale remains a CIO top priority,” said Mark Barrett, senior vice president, CRM, Avanade. “The combination of Avanade’s deep experience in solution development and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 enables us to deliver comprehensive CRM capabilities to our clients through on-premises deployments as well as a software-as-a-service offering. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 provides a platform for us to help companies strengthen customer and partner relationships, increase productivity, and collaborate across the organization.”

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 provides customers and partners with a wide range of benefits, including point-and-click configurability, enterprise scalability, and easy interoperability to existing applications and databases. It delivers the Power of Productivity for users in organizations of all sizes through its focus on the following:

Familiar experiences through a next-generation native Microsoft Outlook client, browser-based and mobile access, RoleTailored design, and advanced user personalization, improving user adoption and giving users easy access to the information they need to be successful.

Intelligent experiences through guided process dialogs, inline business intelligence for performance and goal management, and real-time dashboards, providing the most up-to-date information critical to enabling sales, service and marketing professionals to do their jobs effectively.

Connected experiences through flexible cloud development, Windows Azure interoperability, contextual Microsoft SharePoint capabilities and the new Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace, making it easy for customers and partners to configure and customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM to meet specific business needs.


By SuperUser Account on 2/15/2011 5:43 PM
By Mary Hester, PartnerPoint Contributing Writer
Not that long ago, the only way to get high-quality, professional materials was through a graphic designer. Printing was a complicated, expensive process that was left to the print shops.  Each project required assembling pictures, graphics and content that was camera-ready.
Today, we have access to everything needed to make agency-quality marketing materials with full-color and amazing graphics. Brochures, mailers and newsletters can be printed on-demand or in the perfect quantity to reducing waste and keep the offering fresh.  To save more and reach the online audience, electronic files are brilliant and easy to distribute.  If you have an idea, a good eye and the right tools, you can make magic.
Microsoft Office offers the right tools with its Office 2010 Suite of Applications.  Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Publisher provide improved and enhanced features for creating and publishing. Many of the features are cross-platform so you can learn a skill in one application and use it in another.  There are a host of classes for beginner, intermediate and advanced users that can be taken in a classroom environment or online depending on your best learning method.  Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and others offer free, online classes that are perfect for the self-learner.
Word is the standard for creating and formatting documents of all types from simple letters to documents with a table of contents, index and glossary. It makes the task of creating and editing documents easy.  Tools like spell check and thesaurus make us look smart and polished. New and improved photo-editing tools let you transform pictures right in Word 2010 – no extra software needed. Change color saturation, temperature, brightness, and contrast to turn a simple Word document into a work of art.  Turn text into visual effects with enhanced text effects and SmartArt graphics. Change basic bullet-points into compelling visuals and add text effects like shadow, glow, reflection, and 3-D in just a few clicks.  With co-authoring, you can edit at the same time as others, even if you're working from different locations, and keep versions in sync with version control. This is a great way to eliminate typos (ever used a there for their or your for you’re?) by having others review your work for content and correctness.
By SuperUser Account on 2/14/2011 12:28 PM
At the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain, Microsoft leaders announced upcoming new features for Windows Phone 7 and provided a glimpse into the new phone’s early feedback and growing momentum.

BARCELONA, Spain – Feb. 14, 2011 – Microsoft today kicked off Mobile World Congress by giving people a glimpse of what the rest of the year will bring for Windows Phone 7. Among the updates are several new features, a booming app marketplace, and the integration of even more Microsoft products with the phone.

A concrete example of the company’s vision is the new strategic partnership with Nokia. “This partnership will combine the strengths of our two companies, and fuel our growth as we build the global Windows Phone ecosystem. This is a great win for us, for Nokia, and for our existing and new customers around the world,” said Andy Lees, president of Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business.

New Windows Phone Features & Apps

Image 1 of 7
IE9 will be available for Windows Phone 7 in the second half of 2011, offering "a dramatically enhanced mobile Web browser experience." The IE9 beta has been <a href="">downloaded</a> an estimated 25 million times. Feb. 14, 2011

IE9 Mobile

IE9 will be available for Windows Phone 7 in the second half of 2011, offering "a dramatically enhanced mobile Web browser experience." The IE9 beta has been downloadedan estimated 25 million times. Feb. 14, 2011


IE9 Mobile
Twitter Integration
Xbox LIVE Extras
Xbox LIVE: Pac-Man
Xbox LIVE: Tetris
Xbox LIVE: Full House Poker

“...A year ago, we introduced Windows Phone 7 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We described how we are putting the entire muscle of our company behind our mobile strategy including Windows, Windows Live, Bing, Zune, Xbox LIVE, Office, SharePoint, Exchange, and our developer tools,” Lees said. “Our alliance with Nokia creates opportunities for both companies far beyond what we could achieve separately, and offers a compelling alternative to the existing choices for consumers, mobile operators and developers.”




By SuperUser Account on 2/11/2011 9:13 AM

LONDON, England – The strategic alliance announced by Nokia and Microsoft today could create some rather special devices. Nokia’s phones have always been famed for their great hardware – best-in-class durability, the most powerful cameras on the market and sleek and stylish designs that sit beautifully in the hand. But what about a new OS to go alongside that? Here’s five things that you might look forward to on a Nokia Windows device.

Great Usability
We’ve enjoyed our widgets on Symbian devices, but Microsoft’s tiles are even simpler to set up and to use: and they put the information that’s most needed by users right where you need it. Microsoft Windows Phone 7 offers great ease of use in comparison to other mobile operating systems. Every alternative will have it’s fans, but this one definitely drives up the usability of devices.

Gaming at the next level
If you like to use your mobile device for gaming, then your world just might have got a lot rosier. Using a Nokia Windows phone we’re excited about the possibility of powerful console franchises appearing right on our mobile devices.

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