MCSE is back! Get Certified on the Private Cloud

by Shijaz Abdulla on 24.04.2012 at 15:19

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Moving to cloud-enabled solutions means IT Professionals and Developers need a deeper and broader set of skills, and they need to be current on the latest technology solutions.  As cloud-enabled solutions transform IT in organizations, it is important for technology professionals to enhance their on-premise skills to unleash the potential of Microsoft technology solutions.

That’s why Microsoft has reinvented its certification program—to certify a deeper set of skills that are mapped to real-world business context. Rather than testing only on a component of a technology, IT Professionals and Developers are now tested on more advanced skills and a deeper understanding of the technology.

And just as Microsoft continually updates the certification exams to cover the latest skills, certified professionals will be required to recertify every two to three years.

The certifications have been reinvented to focus on technology solutions and the appropriate related skill level:

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  • The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) level is the prerequisite certification necessary to get the Expert level certification. 
  • The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is Microsoft’s flagship product for those who want to lead their company’s journey to the cloud.   It is the destination for established IT Professionals who have expertise working with Microsoft technology solutions.  The Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) is the destination for established Developers who have expertise developing solutions with Microsoft tools. 
  • After people have achieved their Expert level certification, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) is for the select few who wish to further differentiate themselves from their peers.

To learn more about Microsoft Certification Paths Go to MCSE overview page.

Operations Manager 2012 Sizing Helper

by Shijaz Abdulla on 17.04.2012 at 22:31

Use the System Center Operations Manager 2012 Sizing Helper to help plan hardware capacity for deployments.

The SCOM 2012 Sizing Helper is basically an Excel macro sheet, which sizes your SCOM implementation based on inputs you provide, including Management servers, database/data warehouse servers etc.

Partners should use this while sizing customer designs, and customers can use this for their in-house deployments and upgrades of Operations Manager.

Screenshots below.

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2012 Qatar Partner Awards – Feb 7 – Qatar Open Door

by Shijaz Abdulla on 12.02.2012 at 18:40

At the Open Door event in Qatar, Microsoft recognized some of our top partners and customers and presented them with awards.

Mamoun Al Bishtawi SMS&P Lead Qatar, Naim Yazbeck, Country Manager Qatar, Bruno Delamarre, SMS&P Director at Microsoft Gulf, and Samer Abu Ltaif, General Manager at Microsoft Gulf presented the awards to partners and customers at a Gala Dinner ceremony on February 7.

The nominees and winners in each category are listed below.

Partner Awards

Innovation Award

Nominees:

  • Cloud implementation (public or private)

Afkar, Wirestorm, Mannai, WIPRO

  • Business Relevance

Winner: Afkar

  • innovative customer offering

Customer Satisfaction Award

Nominees:

  • Customer feedback

Mannai, ICT, QDS, Ever Gulf, Ebla, IT Worx, LBI

  • quick issue mitigation

Winner: QDS

  • consistency in delivery

Impact Award

Nominees:

  • Market coverage

IT Worx, Mannai, QDS

  • business empowerment

Winner: Mannai

  • Project scope

Best Training Center Award

Nominees:

  • extraordinary customer experience

Infocenter, New Horizons, Al Attiyah Training Center

  • Strategic impact and support

Winner: Infocenter

  • Community Reach

Microsoft Distributor of the Year Award

Nominees:

  • Year over Year Growth

Emitac, Logicom, Mindware

  • Partner Outreach

Winner: Emitac

  • Partner Satisfaction

Alliances Award

Nominees:

  • Cross business segment impact

HP, IBM, Dell

  • Cross regional success in partnership

Winner: HP

Mid-Market Award

Nominees:

  • Customer outreach

Qatar Business Systems, Mannai, Qatar Datamation Systems, Qatar Compuer Services, ICT

  • Year Over Year growth

Winner: Qatar Business Systems

  • Customer Support

 

Customer Awards

 

National Impact Award

Nominees:

  • Community Impact

SEC, ICT Qatar, CBQ, SCH

  • Citizen Empowerment

Winner: SEC

Cloud Award

Nominees:

  • planning and implementation (no. of nodes)

AJN, Hamad Medical Corp, ICT, QNA, SEC, Oryx, QFIB

  • early adopter

Winner: Al Jazeera Network

  • innovative use of cloud technology for business requirement

MBS Award

Nominees:

  • Impact- of implementation (on business and on customers)

QA, Al Meera, ICT Qatar, QPM, Rayan Bank, CBQ, Nasser Bin Abdullah

  • best practice/ strategy

Winner: Qatar Airways

Productivity Award

Nominees:

  • innovative use of productivity

Qtel, Qatar Gas, MOFA, CNAQ, QNA, QA, QPM, Kahrama, Oryx

  • completeness of solution

Winner: Qtel

  • internal/external impact

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you for all that you do!

AfkarQatar Datamation SystemsMannai Trading CompanyQatar Business SystemsHPEmitacInfocenterIMG_1579IMG_1587Qatar AirwaysQTel

Microsoft Solution Selling Process training for partners

by Shijaz Abdulla on 17.01.2012 at 18:53

We organized a Microsoft Solution Selling Process training on January 16 and 17, 2012 at the Marriott Hotel in Doha for salespersons working for our top partners in Qatar.

During the two day program, partners were trained on enabling World Class Selling using the Microsoft Solution Selling Process (MSSP). This equips partners to better understand customer needs and creatively position technologies that benefit the customer, leaving the customer with a positive experience and helping them earn respect as a trusted advisor.

WP_000482  WP_000487WP_000494  WP_000496

Number One: Microsoft voted Best Partner and Best Place to Work

by Shijaz Abdulla on 19.11.2011 at 14:16

Best company to partner with in the world

I am very excited to announce that Microsoft was just named the 2011 #1 Best Company to Partner with by CRN and the Partner research survey they ran. This is exciting news, particularly as the finding was purely based on Partner-driven responses.

You can read more about it here: http://www.crn.com/slide-shows/channel-programs/231902705/2011-best-companies-to-partner-with.htm;jsessionid=J1RWHOHu48RLsVv6nf4dQA**.ecappj03?pgno=26

I want to thank our partners for valuing our partnership and wish for more success moving forward.

Best place to Work in the world

A few weeks ago, Microsoft was also listed as 2011 #1 Best Place to work, ranked by Great Place to Work, a research and consulting firm that has collaborated in the past with Fortune magazine to produce a "Best Companies to Work for" series of publications.

Read more: http://www.greatplacetowork.com/best-companies/worlds-best-multinationals/list-of-the-25-best-from-2011

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Partners: Earn up to 30% incentive with Microsoft solutions

by Shijaz Abdulla on 20.10.2011 at 18:19

The Solution Incentives reward partners for driving sales of specific Microsoft solutions, chosen for their growth and market potential. The program creates opportunities for partners to build new sustainable revenue streams and increase their value to customers.

What partner types can participate?
Solution incentives are customer segment and partner-type agnostic. Partners need to meet eligibility requirements and each opportunity being registered needs to meet the eligibility criteria described in the Program Guide, to be eligible for incentives.

What if the Solution Partner also transacts the order?
Whether the Partner is only advising the customer, or advising and transacting, there will be no difference in the solution incentives calculation and payment.

For more information, check out the following documents:

Management and Virtualization

Windows 7

Application Platform (Microsoft SQL Server)

Microsoft Lync

New to PSX? Check out the PSX resources here.

Top Community Honor goes to QDS employee

by Shijaz Abdulla on 25.09.2011 at 16:02

Wajahat Abbas, Service Manager at Qatar Datamation Systems (QDS) has been awarded the Microsoft Community recognition award.

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“Community Recognition Award” is an award rewarded to those who are contributing to Microsoft development community within the region as a speaker, trainer and mentor.
 
Wajahat received this award from Microsoft Pakistan on his continues service to Microsoft development communities. He is also a Judge for Microsoft Image Cup Pakistan since 2007. He was also Microsoft Official trainer for SharePoint 2010 Ignite and a founder member of INETA Pakistan committee.
 
He was the SharePoint Speaker for Microsoft Open Door Pakistan 2010.
 
Wajahat is currently working as a Service Manager at QDS. He is an experienced SharePoint consultant and through his consulting and training, he helps clients in Middle East, Pakistan & East African region. He has closely worked with Microsoft consulting services as a contingent consultant. He was also Microsoft MVP for 3 consecutive years. He has around 10 years of IT industry experience.

Partners: 40% discount on Microsoft exams + free retakes :)

by Shijaz Abdulla on 05.07.2011 at 12:42

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This offer is exclusively available for Microsoft Partners that will attend WPC 2011 in Los Angeles and is designed to make it as easy as possible for you to meet competency requirements and showcase your organization’s skills.

MPN Competency Exam Packs allow you to save up to 40% and come with free Second Shot exam retakes on selected exams! By purchasing these exam packs, you can hand out exam vouchers to any individuals within your organization that need to take an exam. These packs will be available until July 22nd, 2011 and allow you to take your exams until May 31st, 2012.

Choose the MPN Competency Exam Pack that works for you:

  • 3-Pack – Save 30% plus one free retake for each exam (if necessary)
  • 5-Pack – Save 35% plus one free retake for each exam (if necessary)
  • 8-Pack – Save 40% plus one free retake for each exam (if necessary)
  • 20-Pack – Save 40% plus one free retake for each exam (if necessary)

For more information, click here.

Qatar Partner Competency Leaderboard: July 2011

by Shijaz Abdulla on 03.07.2011 at 12:38
Partner SILVER Competencies GOLD Competencies
EBLA Computer Consultancy

Portals & Collab
Search
Web Development
SAM
Data Platform
Business Intelligence
Virtualization
Desktop
Content Management
Systems Mgmt
Unified Comms
Midmarket Solutions
Identity & Security
Volume Licensing
Server Platform

Midmarket Solutions
Virtualization
Unified Communications
Volume Licensing
Server Platform
Data Platform

Mannai Trading Company Data Platform
SAM
Systems Management
Virtualization
Web Development

Digital Marketing
Volume Licensing
Server Platform
Portals & Collab
Content Management

Information & Communication Technology WLL Systems Management
Identity & Security
Unified Communications
Virtualization
Volume Licensing
Cyquent Server Platform
Midmarket Solns
Portals & Collab
Virtualization
Unified Comms
Systems Mgmt
Data Platform
Desktop
Identity & Security
Identity & Security
Diyar Search
Server Platform
Mobility
Midmarket Solns
Portals & Collab
Virtualization
Volume Licensing
Web Development
Software Development
Unified Comms
Systems Mgmt
Data Platform
Desktop
Content Mgmt
Identity & Security
Portals & Collab
Volume Licensing
Content Mgmt
Desktop
Data Platform
Identity & Security
ITWorx Server Platform
Midmarket Soln
Portals & Collab
Web Development
Software Development
Content Management
Business Intelligence
ISV
Portals & Collab
Software Development
Content Management
Business Intelligence
Computer Arabia Server Platform
Midmarket Solns
Desktop
Mobility
OEM hardware
Server Platform
OEM Hardware
Qatar Datamation Systems Digital Marketing
Systems Management
Midmarket Solns
Server Platform
Desktop
Virtualization
 
Afkar Digital Marketing  

If your organization operates in Qatar and want to be enlisted above, please contact me or leave a comment.

  • This list is not intended to be an exhaustive list of partners in Qatar. There is no significance in the order of listing.
  • The above table reflects the information being provided to customers upon request.
  • The competency information is subject to change as partners obtain new competencies. The changes will be reflected the next monthly refresh of the leaderboard.
  • Abbreviations:
    • SAM = Software Asset Management
    • Mgmt = Management
    • Dev = Development
    • Collab = Collaboration
    • BI = Business Intelligence

Microsoft VDI Licenses for partners

by Shijaz Abdulla on 08.06.2011 at 06:14

A partner approached me recently requesting Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) licenses for internal use.

Here’s the official statement on the matter:

Windows Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) is licensed only to those partners who have either the Gold Desktop or Gold Virtualization competency; these partners receive 5 VDA licenses.  Windows VDA licenses are required for devices to access the VDI environment.  Windows VDA is a device-based subscription and licensed per device per year.  Beyond what is licensed for gold desktop or gold virtualization competency, partners would need to purchase VDA licenses unless the partner has Software Assurance outside of the program.  SA includes rights to Windows VDI desktops. 

There’s a good Windows licensing for VDI overview that may be a helpful resource.

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