US Partner Skills Development update and resources

By Ron Grattopp ronaldg-001_thumb2_thumb_thumb1_thum….Just wanted to update you on Microsoft Partner readiness opportunities and resources. I’m hoping most of you are already familiar with these tools and resources and are using them to your best advantage, but it’s always good to do a refresh.  

Here are three primary resources that are available and pertinent to all partner types:

1) Learning Plan Tool (
    • Now automated with WPG to deliver the most current training content
    • Role-based learning plans available for launch products, exam prep, and competency attainment

2) Partner Sales Excellence (
The Partner Sales Specialist site now includes BI, Communications, CRM, ERP and Private Cloud/Virtualization accreditations for pre-sales technical professionals

3) Microsoft New Certification program (
    • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) more accurately reflect the experience, knowledge, and skills that IT Pros & developers need, to deploy, manage and optimize technology solutions

If you are a transacting partner this site should be a tool you use very regularly:

1) Gear Up (
     • Training module for LARs to launch on Gear Up in September
     •Sales Advisors, eToolkit and LicenseWise offer the latest product and licensing information for sales and pre-sales technical professionals

Here’s a list of resources you can leverage to stay informed on Microsoft training.

Read the U.S. Partner Learning Blog Series
    • Training Hot Sheet – Register for upcoming in-person, live online training and learn about training/certification promotions
    • Learning Plan Tool – How-To Series – Meet your training goals using tips and guidance from the U.S. Partner Team
    • Learning Plan Updates – Link to the latest learning plans for sales and technical training by competency, role, and exam
    • Training Sweepstakes – See what on-demand courses will earn you automatic prize drawing entries each quarter
    • Competency Training – Find Microsoft certification offers, exam prep training, and guidance for attaining competencies
    • Increase Selling Potential – Updates about Gear Up, Sales and Pre-Sales Specialist accreditations, and other sales webcasts
    • Practice Accelerator – Build a practice around products like Windows, SharePoint, Lync, Office 365, SQL Server, & System Center
    • Role-Based Training Recommendations – See our training recommendations for Microsoft products, aligned to your role

Visit the U.S. Partner Portal for a wealth of additional partner-focused training information
    • Click Training at the top of any portal page to go directly to training-related pages like Training overview; Get certified; Pass assessments; and Training promotions
    • Visit the Regional portal pages for links to register for the next six weeks of in-person and live online training: East | Central | West

And, lastly for training, On Twitter – Follow U.S. Partner Training @mslearningcurve

For product and technology information, here are some links that should be useful

And, here’s more links to other Microsoft Partner resources:

Hope this was helpful, Cheers,