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News: Microsoft Partner Network is updated to help Partners Embrace the Cloud, says Microsoft

A little ago, Robert Wahbe, STB corporate vice president, posted to the Official Microsoft Blog, writing: “While the path to cloud computing might be different for each customer, the economics, agility and focus the cloud provides will eventually prove irresistible to customers. For our partners, the resulting economic opportunity to work with those customers will, I believe, be equally irresistible.”
After the Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft has announced updates for the Microsoft Partner Network. The company is investing $5.8 billion in tools, training and incentives throughout fiscal year 2012 to better help partners grow their businesses and meet evolving technology needs of customers. Specifically, Microsoft is investing heavily in helping partner embrace the opportunities of public and private cloud computing. The new partner programs and incentives related to cloud computing comprise:


•    The SQL Server Solution Incentive Program delivers rewards to Gold-certified partners that drive application platform and business intelligence solutions to customers, particularly with the upcoming cloud-ready information platform, SQL Server “Denali.”
•    Private Cloud Incentives: The Management and Virtualization Solution Incentive Program will reward qualified Gold-certified partners that influence sales of Microsoft’s private cloud technologies. This complements the Hyper-V Cloud Accelerate program that will fund partner and customer private cloud assessments, proofs of concept and production deployments.
•    Software Assurance Planning Services will be available in August, paying qualified partners to deliver deployment services to Microsoft Software Assurance customers for Microsoft private cloud, Windows Azure public cloud, SQL Server and software development. These opportunities will help partners grow their client base, strengthen customer relationships and increase service revenues.
•    A new, combined Systems Management and Virtualization partner competency (certification) will help partners deliver Microsoft private cloud solutions to customers, helping them benefit from the cloud on their terms.
•    Windows Azure Incentives to reward qualified partners that influence customer adoption of Microsoft’s public cloud platform.  As a result, partners can build new, sustainable revenue streams by helping customers benefit from the public cloud.

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