You’ve made the decision to partner with Microsoft, and have signed up to be a member of the Microsoft Partner Network. Now, you’re wondering what to do next. When I joined the US Partner Team a little over a year ago, I also dealt with the “Where do I start?” question. Building on the US MPN 101 approach that was already in place, I created the New Partner Orientation calls and the MPN 101 Community call series. Preparing for and hosting these calls has helped me learn about the program from worldwide and US partner subject-matter experts, and extend that knowledge to partners.
To get the most from your membership in the Microsoft Partner Network, here are three steps every US partner should take.
1. Determine your path for successful partnership
Every partner business has its goals for growth and success. It is up to you to decide how the Microsoft partner program benefits and opportunities can help you reach those goals. To learn about the program and the opportunities that are available, and make the most of your MPN membership, use these resources:
- Get acquainted with membership benefits and options by attending a New Partner Orientation call, or watch the MPN 101 narrated presentation on demand
- Understand the four pillars of the modern partner and what it takes to build a successful, profitable cloud business
- Learn how to get started with the cloud competencies (even if you aren’t sure you’ll sign up for one, I recommend working toward meeting the technical requirements)
- Take on-demand training for Microsoft products and competencies by using the Microsoft partner learning paths
2. Take a step toward cloud adoption and consumption with internal use rights
Of the many benefits that membership in the Microsoft Partner Network offers, Internal-Use Rights cloud and software benefits are the most valued. Available to MPN members with a Microsoft Action Pack subscription or an MPN competency, these licenses may be used to run your business, to develop and test your applications, and to help your sales team get familiar with new Microsoft releases for better customer conversations.
- Access and activate your Internal-Use Rights (IUR) cloud and software benefits
- Sign in to your company’s Partner Summary Report to see your IUR utilization
- Use our on-demand resources to learn how to activate your Office 365, Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online IUR
3. Engage with the Microsoft US Partner Community
Participate in the US Partner Community and stay informed about the benefits, training, and resources that can help you build and sustain a profitable cloud business, connect with customers and prospects, identify and nurture strategic partnerships, and differentiate your business.
- Read the weekly US partner newsletter and subscribe to the US Partner Community blog by email or RSS
- Join our technical practice-building communities to build your knowledge and capabilities: Application Development, Microsoft Azure, Data & Analytics, Dynamics 365, Enterprise Mobility, Office 365 and Voice, Open Source Solutions, and Windows and Devices
- Request your invitation to the US Partner Community Yammer network, then join the MPN 101 group and other groups relevant to your areas of interest (if you’re not already a member of Yammer, start here)
- Plan ahead for partner training courses, webcasts, community calls, and office hours by referring to the Hot Sheet schedule