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Azure for Partners

Welcome!

Welcome to the May edition of the Azure Partner Newsletter, a roundup of exciting product announcements, feature updates, and new assets available for our partner community, sent to subscribers every other month.

To stay up to date between publications, explore Azure Partner Zone and the Partner Tech Community for the most recent events, resources, news, customer stories, learning material, and more!

To subscribe to the newsletter, head here.

May Spotlight: Microsoft Cloud Partner Program for Azure Partners

 
Effective October 2022, we are changing the name of our partner program from “Microsoft Partner Network” to the “Microsoft Cloud Partner Program.” With this change, we’re simplifying our partner programs with solutions partner designations, anchored on the Microsoft Cloud in six solution areas aligned to how Microsoft goes to market.

Azure has three separate associated solution areas that will have their own separate Solutions partner designations. The three Azure Solution partner designations, Infrastructure, Data & AI, and Digital & App Innovation, offer strategic alignment to customer demand and give customers a way to identify you as a partner who is committed to training and accreditation and has delivered successful customer engagements.

Understanding the Partner Capability Score

To earn the Microsoft Solutions partner designations across Azure, you must meet the qualification requirements on your partner capability score for the corresponding areas. This designation is measured by partner performance, skilling, and customer success, and is informed by data that is recorded in Partner Center, which is where you can go and see your scores today.

If your organization plans to pursue the Solutions partner for Infrastructure, Data & AI, Digital & App Innovation, check out the training gallery for trainings that can help strengthen your competitive edge. Here you can also find additional resources for each of the three Azure Solution Partner designations - Infrastructure (Azure), Data & AI (Azure), and Digital & App Innovation (Azure).

Understanding Azure Specializations

Once you attain a solutions partner designation, you can further differentiate your deep technical expertise and experience with specializations (currently called “advanced specializations”). Partners who have earned a specialization will now have access to additional benefits that include a customer-facing badge and new, incremental product benefits to further accelerate your business.

To learn more, please visit the benefits guide on the Microsoft partner website. and see our FAQ.

Understand more on how the Microsoft Partner Network programs are evolving and what this means for you and for growing your business on Azure - Solutions Partner (microsoft.com).

Digital Events

Azure Cloud Week for Partners

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Azure Cloud Week for Partners is a modular five-day virtual training for technical and sales professionals, giving you the confidence needed to take the Microsoft certification exam with instructor-led training, hands-on sessions, exam preparation, Lab Support, and Q&A. Participants can prepare for certification exams and qualify to earn a free exam voucher.

Monday, May 9 - Friday, May 13, 2022

Register now

Security Cloud Week for Partners

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This virtual training event will provide a concentrated, five-day experience for tech professionals who want to build their security skills in a variety of areas. Participants can choose from instructor-led courses, on-demand labs, and Q&A sessions. Each day will offer two live training sessions with start times optimized for your location so you can easily begin preparing for certification.

Monday, May 16 - Friday, May 20, 2022

Register now

IoT Solutions World Congress

IoT Solutions World Congress

Register for the Internet of Things Solutions World Congress event (IoTSWC) to learn from Microsoft and relayr about how IoT can solve the challenges facing manufacturers in Barcelona. Join Erich Barnstedt, Chief Architect, Standards & Consortia, Azure IoT at Microsoft, at a panel discussion on Digital Twins for Carbon Reporting at the Internet of Things Solutions World Congress.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 in Barcelona

Get tickets

Microsoft Build

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Come together with peers and experts for an engaging experience around the latest in innovation and tools that will help you stay informed. Designed for development, you’ll learn about the latest tech updates, access market-specific content (new this year), and chat with Microsoft subject matter experts in live, interactive sessions.

Tuesday, May 24 - Thursday, May 26, 2022

Register now

Realizing Success in the Cloud

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Plan your path to success on Azure—and realize your goals every step of the way—with guidance, recommendations, and resources from Microsoft leaders, partners, and Azure customers. Find out more about the proven tools and frameworks designed to help you build, optimize, and accelerate success on Azure with clarity and confidence.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Register now

Azure Hybrid, Multicloud & Edge Day

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See how to innovate anywhere with Azure Arc and the most comprehensive portfolio of hybrid solutions available at Azure Hybrid, Multicloud, and Edge Day, a free digital event on June 15. Delivered in partnership with Intel.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Register now

Azure Migration & Modernization Program

The “Modernize and Migrate with Hybrid Cloud Flexibility” digital event is now available on-demand until the end of June. We will soon be distributing this event’s content to field teams, to enable them to replicate such an event in their areas. This event provides guidance and insights from Azure customers and experts on modernizing apps, data, and infrastructure and drives CTAs to Azure Migration and Modernization Program (AMMP).

Call to Action:

Announcing: Azure SaaS Guide

We recently launched Azure SaaS Guide, bringing Microsoft resources into an integrated and guided digital experience, allowing ISVs to build successfully with Azure. We prioritized a user-friendly self-serve model, so ISVs can find necessary resources based on their business needs without immediate human intervention. SaaS Guide has two sections: a quiz and content library. The quiz asks pointed questions so stakeholders can get tailored resources based on their business case. The content library provides all our resources under organizational tagging that is ISV-centric; meaning, they can navigate hundreds of resources with nomenclature they recognize.

By empowering ISVs with knowledge, they need, SaaS Guide is a necessary educational asset. Regardless of whether you are interacting with ISVs building net new to Azure, migrating, or considering multi-tenancy, we want our partner community to use Azure SaaS Guide as their primary tool to educate ISVs on why Azure makes the most sense for their business. By spreading this tool amongst the ISV community, we empower them to educate themselves.

Resources:

Windows Server Migration

Share with customers the latest guidance on optimizing Windows Server migrations to Azure with our newest blog: Get the most out of Windows Server with these 5 best practices. Recently, the Windows Server docs has a new series of pages focused on Windows Server Management. Learn how Azure Arc, Windows Admin Center, and System Center work together to manage on-premises and hybrid infrastructure. Check out aka.ms/ManageWindowsServer to see the new information.

Hotpatch is a critical feature to drive customer preference for Windows Server on Azure. Only on Windows Server Azure Edition can customers use this feature for now. Hotpatch allows you to patch and install updates to their Windows Server Azure Edition core virtual machines on Azure without requiring a reboot. Together with Azure Automanage and included Azure-orchestrated patching, keeping your VMs up to date is easier and faster than ever. Read more in the announcement blog.

Please remind your customers who are running 2008/2008R2 and 2012/2012R2 of these important dates for their Extended Security Updates. A detailed FAQ on ESUs is here. End of support is a critical customer moment to drive migration and/or modernization. Learn more about the dates below to help your customers plan:

  • Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 ESUs: Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 year two ESUs came to an end on January 11, 2022. The year three end is January 10, 2023. An additional year of ESUs is available only on Azure (including Azure Stack HCI and Azure VMware Solution), giving customers until January 9, 2024 to consider their migration and/or modernization options.
  • Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 ESUs: Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 ESUs will start when Windows Server 2012/R2 reaches end of support on October 10, 2023.

Call to Action:

  • Engage customers about their plan for Windows Server 2012/R2 end of support.

Resources:

Azure Virtual Desktop

New pricing for remote apps streaming.
On April 1, 2022, new pricing for remote app streaming for external users was launched.

Skilling: Live and on demand.
Watch and share with customers:

New and customer case studies featuring Azure Virtual Desktop:

Call to Action: Review the new pricing for remote app streaming for external users

Resources:

SAP on Azure

SAP Center of Excellence Global Virtual Summit is a three-day virtual event series hosted by SAP Insider, one of the largest and fastest growing SAP membership groups worldwide. The summit is designed to help customers build and strengthen their Cloud Center of Excellence for SAP on Azure.
Microsoft was invited to present in two sessions led by Will Bratton, Product Management Lead, SAP on Azure Platform Solutions:

SAP and Microsoft Partnership - Collaboration, Innovation and Transformation.
According to IDC, by 2024, more than 75% of organizations will run at least some of their SAP ERP systems on IaaS public cloud. Learn about the vision for the SAP & Microsoft partnership and the motivations for customers to move their SAP estate to the Azure Cloud.

Helping shape your Cloud Center of Excellence for SAP on Azure.
In this session, you will hear about the Platform and Automation dimensions of the Cloud Center of Excellence for SAP on Azure. The SAP on Azure Migration Framework is covered, in addition to a Product overview spanning SAP certified compute, SAP Deployment Automation Framework, Azure Monitor for SAP solutions, Azure Backup for SAP, and Sentinel for SAP Threat Monitoring.

Call to Action: Register and watch the presentations on demand here: SAP Center of Excellence Global Virtual Summit - SAPinsider

RISE with SAP on Azure and Intel, now available on-demand, with the focus on what Microsoft, SAP, and Intel are doing to help customers accelerate migration and innovation, unify processes, and enrich communication and connections. The event consists of main and panel discussions along with customer stories. Hear from Zespri’s Chief Digital Officer about their digital transformation strategy and their journey to selecting RISE with SAP on Azure.

Resources:
Watch the new video case study for the NBA, highlighting how they leverage RISE with SAP, with the built-in AI, data warehouse, and personalization capabilities of Azure to bring together business, game, and fan data to deliver enhanced fan experiences.

Hybrid Cloud Solutions

In April, we started the promotion of all the activities that make up our first Channel Partners marketing campaign: Retail Beyond Limits. The kickoff for this campaign is a joint webinar with Intel on the value of Azure Stack HCI in retail.

  • Learn how Azure Stack HCI and Intel make it easy to support the evolving needs of retail businesses: https://hciinretail.com.
  • The next activity after the webinar is a virtual trade show highlighting the value of our partners: Retail Beyond Limits, Partner Solutions Showcase on May 12, 8:00 am PT - 11:00 am. You can register for this event at: https://hciinretail.com/ssreg.

New Azure Arc campaign live
Check out our new articles, live on CNN, that share Microsoft’s vision around hybrid cloud environments, including quotes from CVP’s Roanne Sones and Kathleen Mitford. Readers will also hear from customers on the success they’ve achieved with Azure Arc and the role Intel technologies can play in executing a successful hybrid strategy.

Resources:

SQL Server Migration

SQL Server and Windows Server workloads run better in Azure, enabling the best TCO for our customers. Azure SQL provides the best variety of options to meet customers where they are for data migration, modernization and innovation.
SQL Server 2012 is Coming to End of Extended Support on July 12, 2022. Customers can stay protected by migrating to Azure VMs for free Extended Security Updates, and save as much as 69% over staying on-premises. Read more here.

Resources:

  • See how Mosaic Life Care modernized their SQL Server workloads in this new case study.
  • In a recent benchmark by analyst firm GigaOm, SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines had up to 42% higher transactions per second than SQL Server on AWS EC2 virtual machines.
Open Source Migration

Azure offers a wide open-source ecosystem for every workload, providing excellent value for Linux and OSS DB migrations, from managed PostgreSQL and MySQL to distributed NoSQL database from Cosmos DB. A benchmark report by global tech consultancy Cazton found Azure Cosmos DB faster than MongoDB Atlas in most common use cases, 93% less expensive for reads, and 20% less expensive for writes. Read and share with your customers!

Resources:

Linux Migration

Red Hat’s premier open source event, Red Hat Summit is back this year on May 10-11, 2022. Red Hat Summit is a hybrid event this year with selected attendees invited to Boston while others accessing the sessions virtually for free. Microsoft is sponsoring this year’s Red Hat Summit showcasing joint innovations and product announcements at our virtual booth and sessions. Our field account teams will be interacting with customers live in Boston. Over the two days and beyond, you will unlock access to sessions and technical presentations that will help you solve your most pressing tech challenges related to Red Hat workloads.

Register here to gain virtual access to the event!

Resources:

Modernize .NET Apps and Java Apps

Product momentum for Java on Azure continues with new free evaluation licensing for IBM WebSphere on Azure VMs, Java 17 and Tomcat 10.0 support on Azure App Service, and Red Hat JBoss EAP clustering support on Azure App Service.

Resources:

AI

AI Show Live:
Following a short hiatus, the AI Show Live is back! Join us on Friday, May 27 at 11:00 am PDT when Seth Juarez welcomes several guests and showcases some exciting announcements from Build. Tune in to hear about the latest features and product updates from OpenAI, Azure Form Recognizer, Responsible AI and AutoML! Guests will join Seth for a live Q&A during the show. Join us at https://aka.ms/AIShowLive or at https://aka.ms/LearnTV.

Resources:

App Innovation

For business leaders charged with driving the next stage of growth for their organizations, digital and application innovation will be key to achieving their business goals. The ability to deliver differentiated, immersive customer experiences, improve teamwork and wellbeing, and adapt and scale to new business models and ways of working will be critical to success. Our Digital and Application Innovation story landed at the Innovate for Impact digital event on April 5.

During an action packed 90-minutes, thought leaders from inside and out of Microsoft delivered valuable insights and spoke to stories of startups and enterprises that have realized business growth and transformation by prioritizing innovation at the Innovate for Impact digital event.

Call to Action:

Cloud Native Apps

On May 17, we’ll be running a one-hour webinar for how to Operate Kubernetes Clusters Like a Pro to show customers how Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) makes the management of Kubernetes easier and provides unique features to help them achieve operational efficiency. Microsoft is also participating in KubeCon 2022 in-person in Valencia, Spain (May 16 - May 20, 2022) as a platinum sponsor. We’re going to have a booth with theater sessions, demos, and more. Also on May 17, we’re going to host a full day Kubernetes on Azure pre-day at KubeCon 2022, virtually and in-person.

Resources:

Analytics

Check out the recent MVP video featuring Wolfgang Strasser and our monthly Synapse update blogs and videos. Follow and share @Azure_Synapse on Twitter and the Synapse channel on YouTube.

Analytics in a Day (AID) and the Analytics Immersion Workshop (AIW) now have new content and labs. Updates include new modules addressing data governance, log and telemetry analytics, and industry-specific database templates.

Azure Databricks Delta Live Tables (DLT) is now generally available. Delta Live Tables (DLT) is a framework for building reliable, maintainable, and testable data processing pipelines. Read more.

Resources:

Cloud Adoption Framework

New Azure Enablement Show videos are available now! Learn how to assess your cloud journey using the Cloud Adoption Strategy Evaluator and get ready to start migrating to Azure—the SMART way.

As an update to the cloud economics blog series, we have published new blogs that talk about achieving real-time cost optimization with autoscaling and optimizing cloud investment with Azure Reservations. Check them out!

Cloud Adoption Framework was featured in the "Unlocked: Cloud Scale Analytics” event on April 21, 2022. The event covered how to optimize data strategies and achieve cloud-scale analytics. It also provided guidance on how to create a foundational design for cloud governance and management which aligns to both data mesh and CAF.

Call to Action: Review the cloud adoption guidance on the cloud-scale analytics scenario.

Resources:

Well-Architected

The Azure Enablement Show published three new videos in late March and early April: Assessing your Machine Learning Workloads, Understanding Chaos Engineering, and a Getting Started with Chaos Studio. All three videos provide rich insights into how Well-Architected principles can help to design and build optimized workloads. design and build optimized workloads. There are also over ten new blog posts in Tech Community related to the Well-Architected initiative. Just search with the label, “Well-Architected”. One in particular that’s been a favorite so far: Armchair Architects: Exploring the relationship between Cost and Architecture

The Azure Architecture Center now has 679 architectures with 14 newly-published reference architectures.

Resources:

Skills Building

Introducing the Azure Enterprise Data Analyst Associate certification.
We launched the beta version of the Enterprise Data Analyst Associate certification along with the corresponding Exam DP-500: Designing and Implementing Enterprise-Scale Analytics Solutions Using Microsoft Azure. This certification is designed for folks with advanced Power BI skills, including managing data repositories and data processing in the cloud and on-premises, along with using Power Query and Data Analysis Expressions (DAX).

Call to Action: Review the Tech Community blog post for more details!

Resources:

New Exam for Azure Support Engineer for Connectivity Specialty Certification
We are excited to announce the beta launch of the new Exam AZ-720: Troubleshooting Microsoft Azure Connectivity. This exam is required to earn the new Microsoft Certified: Azure Support Engineer for Connectivity Specialty certification, which validates expertise in this area and offers the opportunity to prove your Azure connectivity troubleshooting skills.

Call to Action: Share the new Exam AZ-720: Troubleshooting Microsoft Azure Connectivity with subject matter experts in using advanced troubleshooting methods to resolve networking and connectivity issues in Azure.

Resources:  

Azure Retirements

We strive to provide continuous innovation to create the experiences and business opportunities you and your customers envision. As we retire older and outdated services and update them with new offerings to help your customers improve their business operations, please review these retirements in Azure updates. We have sent targeted email communications and service health notifications to affected customers. If you know your customers are using the retired services, features, APIs, tools or SKUs, please remind them to follow the steps in the migration documents and transition to the replacement versions.

Call to action:
Go to Azure updates on Azure website, in Update type, select retirements and the year. Select filter results.

Specialized Areas
IoT

Resources:

Mixed Reality

Learn more about HoloLens 2 and mixed reality purchase journey
In Q3, we completed a HoloLens 2 and mixed reality purchase journey study. Learn more about the opportunities and key pain-points for mixed reality adoption. We also recently published a HoloLens 2 and mixed reality manufacturing blog outlining the key manufacturing opportunities with mixed reality.

Resources:

Azure VMware Solutions

In March, we completed the Azure VMware Solution digital event. For those that may have missed it, the sessions are available on-demand here. Highlights include executive interviews with the University of Miami and Carhartt. Throughout the day there was also strong attendee engagement with SMEs across the live Q&A, Workshops and MS learn sessions.

The AVS team is also excited to share a range of new customer stories ready to share with customers, including a new video case study released for Avianca Airlines. The full list of AVS customer stories below:

Resources:

HPC

International Supercomputing (ISC) ’22 is in Hamberg, Germany this year, and Microsoft will have an exhibition booth. Check out our blog to see where we’ll be, and make sure to stop by to say hi. In new case studies, MML discussed their use of Azure HPC to decrease the time to go to market with new pharmaceuticals through simulations. Another highlights Rimac Technology’s use of the HBv3 virtual machines to aid in its product design, testing, and manufacturing of its next-generation components and sportscars.

Call to Action:

Advanced Networking

In March we published two blogs, Manage port forwarding for backend pool with Azure Load Balancer and Bring your own IP addresses (BYOIP) to Azure with Custom IP Prefix, as well as one Tech community blog – Azure Site-2-Site VPN with Ubiqueti Edge Router running EdgeOS and Azure CLI. The retirement notification of Classic Networking services (retiring August 31, 2024) was released to customers on March 18 in both email and Azure updates.

Azure Virtual Network: The Managing Cloud Workloads with Azure Virtual Networks webinar recording is now available. Also, the Azure.com page for Virtual Networks is updated with the latest features and announcements.

Resources:

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