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Capturing the Office 365 SMB opportunity with the Microsoft Small Business competency
Julie Bennani
GM, Microsoft Partner Network
3/15/2013 1:30 PM
Microsoft Partners –
 
We are well on our way to get the 1000th partner enrolled in the Small Business competency - we greatly value the strong partnership!  Investing in the Small Business competency will provide resources to your organization that will help strengthen your commitment to Small Business customers and help you generate new revenue opportunities. Key feedback we received from you as part of the creation of this competency was that you wanted the ability to own the customer relationship, billing, and top line revenue for Office 365.  We took that feedback to heart and launched Office 365 Open and Full Packaged Product earlier this month. There is never a better time than now to capitalize on your investment to sell Office 365 to SMB customers. Post the exciting launch of Office 365 for Business, we are seeing great momentum and strong pipeline velocity with our partners promoting Office 365 to SMB customers.
 
What better way to unlock opportunities for Office 365 with SMB customers than to drive a “show and tell” conversation by using the product yourself!  
  • If you are already a Cloud Essentials partner, familiarize yourself with the product through internal use software rights for Office 365.   This is the best way to ensure you are a credible advisor – actually using the product.
  • To further monetize your cloud investment with Small Business customers, sign up for the Small Business competency and get:
  • Finally, use our Office 365 Best Campaign to drive demand and trial with your customer base.
 
But that’s not all. I also want to call out a few updates to the Small Business competency that we’ve put in place since it launched last June:
 
New - Bing Ad Credit Benefit
 
We are offering Bing Ad credits to partners in select competencies, including Small Business, as a way to introduce our Digital Marketing products to our partners across the Microsoft Partner Network.  Microsoft’s unique Digital Marketing products can help partners and their customers, grow and retain their customers.  The Bing Ad credits allow a partner or their customers to advertise up to the amount provided for no charge in a Bing Ads account.  The credits can be redeemed by the partner or their customers towards a new or existing Bing Ads account, via the Bing Ads User Interface
 
$999 limited time fee reduction for Silver
 
To continue the strong momentum we’ve seen since the Small Business competency launched, we have extended the $ 999 limited time fee offer through June 30, 2013. With this limited time offer, the Silver Small Business Competency fee has been reduced from the standard $1,850USD to $999USD - a 46% discount! (Note: Pricing varies by country - exact prices are available within the Partner Membership Center; please find the details here). To take advantage of this limited time offer, please visit the Small Business Competency page or the Partner Membership Center within the Microsoft Partner Network for steps to enroll.
 
Exam Requirement Options
 
Windows 8 exams have been part of the silver and gold Small Business requirements since the Windows 8 launch.  You might already be on the road to earning the Small Business competency without even knowing it!  Check the Small Business Competency page for the full list of requirements. Based on partner feedback, we are also adjusting the enrollment requirements to provide more flexibility to partners that have MCPs focused on a specific technology.
 
I strongly encourage you to complete your Small Business competency enrollment today and start monetizing the massive opportunity with Office 365!
 
Best,
Julie​
 
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