Monthly Archives: November 2006

Ballmer Executive Letter

During the last decade, technology has been the catalyst for incredible change. Ten years ago, the PC was just beginning to achieve broad acceptance. Today, the PC, the Internet, and mobile phones and mobile devices have all reached critical mass, creating fantastic opportunities for hundreds of millions of people and hundreds of thousands of companies around the globe.

In many ways, it was the launch of Windows 95 and Office 95 eleven years ago that signaled the start of this transformation. Together, these two products helped revolutionize the way people create and use information, opening the door to new forms of communication and collaboration that transcend the old limits of time and distance. The free flow of information, goods, and services that resulted has given rise to an era of unprecedented productivity and innovation that has had a profound impact on the global economy. As The Economist magazine recently noted, "the first decade of the 21st century could see the fastest growth in average world income in the whole of history."

But while we like to think that the digital revolution has already happened, we’ve barely scratched the surface. We still rely too much on paper documents to share ideas and paper forms to conduct business. That’s about to change. During the next decade, the world’s information will be digitized. So will the world’s commerce, communications, and entertainment.

New versions of Windows and Office will play a central role in this ongoing transformation. Today, for the first time in 11 years, we are releasing our flagship products simultaneously. With the PC an everyday tool at work and at home for nearly a billion people around the globe, the joint launch of Windows Vista, the 2007 Microsoft Office system, and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 will open the door to an era of even greater productivity and innovation. Because you are a subscriber to executive emails from Microsoft, I wanted to share my thoughts with you about why this wave of groundbreaking products will have a bigger impact than anything we’ve ever built before.

Transforming IT from an Expense into a Strategic Asset

Windows 95 and Office 95 were big, bold bets for Microsoft. The fruit of 20 years of innovation at Microsoft, they embodied our belief in the power of software to change the world. That’s a belief I hold more strongly than ever. In fact, I think the innovation we’ll see during the next decade-both on the desktop and as a result of the emergence of Internet-based software services-will transform the world of business more profoundly than the changes we’ve witnessed so far. Ten years from now, the barriers between organizations, systems, processes, and forms of communication will have given way to a seamless flow of information and ideas that will unlock personal creativity and productivity, and drive even greater opportunity and growth.

Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system, and Exchange Server 2007 include sweeping changes designed to eliminate these barriers. It starts with far-reaching changes to the user experience. From the new Windows Vista Aero interface to the new Ribbon in the 2007 Office system, these products offer dramatic improvements that enable users to focus on content and tasks rather than the interface itself, making it easier to find information and access useful features with fewer clicks.

Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system, and Exchange Server 2007 also deliver new capabilities that enhance security and performance; streamline the flow of information between people, systems, and processes; and transform the way people use information to drive informed, creative decision making.

The changes are dramatic. And with significant change comes more than a little risk. After all, these are some of the best-known and most-used products on the planet. Windows powers 845 million computers. Office is used by more than 450 million people. Any thoughtful businessperson would think twice before tinkering with the products that people use every day to manage their work and run their businesses.

So why are we making these changes? And why should you risk disrupting your business to take advantage of these new features and capabilities? Because business has changed and new tools are required. No one questions the competitive advantages that come when we can communicate and collaborate instantly with colleagues and customers around the world. No one doubts that businesses have benefited from access to nearly limitless information about customers, competitors, and markets.

At the same time, no one labors under the illusion that business is any easier as a result. In today’s global economy, where customers can find the best price without leaving their desks, competitive advantage can come and go in the blink of an eye. Meanwhile, dealing with the endless deluge of data, email, and information often threatens to overwhelm our ability to be productive and to make smart decisions. According to one leading industry analyst firm, we spend an average of 14.5 hours per week reading and answering email, while the time we spend looking for and analyzing information costs companies $28,000 per employee per year. And ongoing studies by the research firm Outsell show that the amount of time corporate information workers spend gathering information has almost doubled in the last five years.

Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system, and Exchange Server 2007 were designed specifically to address these issues. Our goal is two-fold. First, we want to continue to advance the revolution in workplace productivity and efficiency that we started 11 years ago by delivering tools and capabilities that complete the transformation of IT from an expense into a strategic asset. More importantly, we want to provide a platform that is a catalyst for continued expansion of growth and opportunity because it enables companies to get the greatest possible value from the knowledge and expertise that their employees possess.

A Foundation for the People-Ready Business

Behind all of the changes in these new releases is a single, powerful idea: that people are the driving force behind business success. Ultimately, a company thrives or fails based on the thousands of small and large decisions that employees make every day, on how well they can answer customers’ questions, on the insight they can gain, and the product breakthroughs they can deliver based on the information they have at hand. Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system, and Exchange Server 2007 were designed to create a people-ready business where employees are empowered to turn data into insight, ideas into action, and change into opportunity. They deliver a platform that enables employees to build profitable relationships with customers, spearhead new innovations, improve products and services, and drive the business forward.

To provide the capabilities that people need in today’s fast-changing world of work, we’ve focused on four specific areas:

Simplifying how people work together: The nature of how we work has changed dramatically since 1995. Today, people work in teams that cross divisional boundaries and span companies. Collaboration with colleagues and customers in different cities, even different continents, is the norm. The workforce is also increasingly mobile. From unified messaging enabled by Exchange Server 2007 to workflow and collaboration in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, the new products revolutionize the way people work in teams.

Finding information and improving business insight: Companies of all sizes struggle with the fundamental paradox of the 21st century: while we generate more and more information every minute of every day our ability to extract useable knowledge from that information grows more and more tenuous all the time. Deep integration of new search technologies and powerful, easy-to-use business intelligence tools will enable employees to find and use information more easily, streamlining the path from idea to execution.

Helping to protect and manage content: Governmental compliance mandates and the growing recognition that simplified business processes and improved information management enable employees to respond to changing business conditions with greater speed and accuracy make organizational transparency one of today’s critical business imperatives. Advanced content management and document retention tools combined with features to enhance data confidentiality make content authoring the starting point for automated business processes and regulatory compliance.

Increasing security and reducing IT costs: Secure by design and by default, the new versions of Windows, Office, and Exchange Server deliver breakthrough security features and they streamline deployment and management, helping reduce costs and enabling IT departments to focus on providing new capabilities that deliver strategic advantage.

Pioneering Innovation and an Unprecedented Partnership

In many ways, we have been working toward this moment since the day Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft three decades ago. From Microsoft BASIC to Microsoft DOS, through the first versions of Office and Windows, and beyond, Microsoft has pioneered many of the technologies that made the digital information era and the knowledge economy a reality. Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system, and Exchange Server 2007 continue this tradition and I believe they include the best work we have ever done. The result is groundbreaking innovations in interface design, security, networking, communications, and much more.

These new products are also the result of an unprecedented partnership between Microsoft and our customers. We worked hand-in-hand with tens of thousands of customers who allowed us to watch them use Windows, Office, and Exchange in more than 1 billion work sessions to help us understand how they use these products and how new technologies can help them work more effectively. As we moved toward launch, our customers and partners downloaded more than 5 million beta versions of the three products. Their valuable suggestions and feedback helped us assess the quality of our work and the value of the new features and capabilities we’ve built in. No software products have ever been through a more thorough software design and testing process.

No software products have ever created such broad-ranging business opportunities for the computer industry, either. Across the globe, more than 500,000 partner companies, including consulting firms, independent software developers, and systems integrators are poised to help businesses deploy and run Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system, and Exchange Server 2007. Industry analysts expect that in 2007 alone, these products will generate more than $250 billion in revenue for our partners.

The launch of Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system, and Exchange Server 2007 kicks off the most important 12 months in Microsoft history. During the coming year, we’ll introduce new innovations such as unified communications including voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and performance management utilizing cutting edge analytics and business intelligence that will enable businesses to achieve new levels of value from their information technology investments.

Over the course of the next decade, we expect that Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system, and Exchange Server 2007 will be used by well beyond 1 billion people. They will be used by CEOs to plan corporate strategy and by elementary school teachers to help children learn the skills they need to thrive in tomorrow’s knowledge economy. They’ll help researchers explore the far reaches of science and enable artists to explore the outer edges of creativity. Product planners at the world’s largest consumer enterprises will use them to understand market trends while craftspeople in remote villages will use them to reach out to customers in distant nations. The future of business computing begins today-we look forward to the new ideas, the new businesses, and the new innovations that will result.

Steve Ballmer

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Posted by on November 30, 2006 in Hot Topic


West Region Partner Technical Community Call

Announcing the West Region Partner Technology Call this Tuesday, Dec. 12th at 8:30am to 9:30am Pacific Time.

 We will be holding these calls the 2nd Tuesday of each Month through the balance of our Fiscal year.  The goal of these calls are to highlight new products and the compelling business advantages for those that adopt them.  This is a partner only call and geared towards the technical audience.  We will post our deck on the West Region Partner Portal and include numerous links for all related information and to call out available partner training.  Our goal is to provide valuable information and eliminate any confusion on where to go to get the detailed information that you need.


West Region Partner Technical Community Call Agenda:

 When a Customer Should Choose SQL Server Enterprise Edition Versus SQL Standard Edition and Why:  (20 minutes)

    1. Key Technologies Differentiating Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition

a.  Scalability and Performance

b.  High Availability

c.  Manageability

d.  Business Intelligence

    1. Pricing Options For Standard vs. Enterprise, Including Competitive Migration Discounts


·         Exchange 2007 Outline: (20 minutes)


1.      Built-in protection

a.       Enterprise class availability

b.      Protection (internal/external)

c.       Compliance

2.      Anywhere access

a.       Unified Messaging

b.      OWA

c.       Collaboration

3.      Operational efficiency

a.       Scalability

b.      Deployment

c.     Administration


  • CRM 3.0 Ver. C for Office 2007: (15 minutes)
    1. Overview of New Features in Ver. C

a.  Desktop Software requirements


    1. What’s needed for CRM 3.0 Ver. C on Exchange 2007



n      Conference #  1 800 779 9641                               PIN: 2990082


  Subject: West Region Partner Technology Call – Dec. 12th, 8:30am to 9:30am

  Meeting URL:

  Meeting ID: GZF4N3

  Role: Attendee

  No Password required

  Audio Conferencing (Toll-free): +1 800 779 9641                              

  Participant Code: 2990082


FIRST TIME USERS: Install the Windows-based Meeting Console before your meeting:


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Posted by on November 29, 2006 in Training


Microsoft Northern California Partner Community Weekly Newsletter


Highly Recommended!!

December 4th Several Vista sessions on Deployment (exclusive for IAMCP members and SBSC partners), plus Business Readiness Panel (Open to All Partners). Plus….ODD!


Open Door Days Revived!!

By popular demand we’re holding our first ODD in 4 years. Drop by the Microsoft SF office on December 4th from 11:30 – 1:00 to network with partners and the Microsoft team.


Must Attend!!

SBSC Partners and other Interested in SBS and/or Licensing Made Fun

Mark your calendar for a special (educational and entertaining) session with Eric Ligman, the host of and other great sites and blogs. December 13th from 8:30 – noon.


Vista Load-a-Thon Registration Info Below! Harold Wong is our Host.

 Hot Topic

December 4 – Vista Deployment Presented by Chris Henley

December 4th, 2006

8:30 am – 10:25 am

Microsoft San Francisco Office, The Landmark@One Market, Suite 200, San Francisco

Please Register:


Session overview presented by Chris Henley

1.  Windows Vista Deployment Tools

2.  Imaging Concepts

3.  The deployment process

4.  Cool things you can do with Deployment tool outside of deployment.


$25 attendance fee paid at the door (IAMCP members and SBSC partners no fee required).

Chris Henley is a fun and energetic representative of the Microsoft TechNet Team.  He is passionate about the way that technology influences people’s lives for good.  He spends much of his time showcasing the latest client and server innovations from Microsoft.  He has extensive experience in designing, building, and supporting Microsoft networks.  He holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Management and loves to discuss technology solutions that can change the face of business.  Chech out his blog

Breakfast Provided

December 13 – Please join the Microsoft Northern California Team for our 2nd Quarter Partner Briefing.

The Northern California Team cordially invites you to attend the upcoming Northern California Quarterly Partner Briefing Wednesday, December 13 at the Microsoft Silicon Valley Conference Center.  

We are very excited to be able to offer partners exclusive tours of the Microsoft Technology Center, a state of the art lab and customer briefing center that partners can use to close customer deals.  Come tour the lab and find out more!   

 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Registration and Tours of Microsoft Technology Center


1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.              Keynote:  Northern California Area Update (to include Vista/Office Updates, partner readiness, launch Event schedules)                    

Diana Beckman, Area General Manager SMSP

1:45 p.m. – 2:25 p.m.              Promos and Licensing Update                  

Eric Ligman, Senior Marketing Manager

2:25 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.              Microsoft Technology Center

                                                Ashu Goel, Microsoft Technology Center Director

2:30 p.m. – 2:35 p.m.              MSAM Update – Marketing Resources at Your Fingertips

Jonathan White, Regional Engagement Manager

2:35 p.m. – 2:55 p.m.              Using Microsoft CRM to Increase Your Company’s Sales Velocity and Enhance your Customers’ Satisfaction

                                                Arleigh Taylor, Region MBS Partner Technology Specialist Manager

2:55p.m. – 3:10 p.m.               Break

3:10p.m. – 3:30 p.m.               SharePoint – Your Key to Driving Increased Revenue across the MS Stack

Subhash Jawahrani, Technology Specialist

3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.              Vista Readiness

                                                Keith Moore, West Region PTS Manager

3:45 p.m.  – 4:05 p.m.             Northern California Partner Awards

                                                Diana Beckman

4:05 p.m. – 4:35 p.m.              Breakout Sessions:

                                                End to End Security Story

                                                Using the Office System and Office Platform as a Key Differentiator for Dynamics partners

Winning with Exchange 2007

4:35 p.m.                                 Informal  Networking and Continued Tours

Microsoft Technology Center

Join us for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a chance to expand your own Circle of Trust by meeting your fellow partners who offer complementary products and services.

To confirm your attendance, please register on-line by THURSDAY, December 7, 2006

Or Call: 1-877-673-8368

Date and Time: Wednesday, December 13, 2006  1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

*Cocktails and hors d’oeuvre will be provided

 Location: Microsoft Silicon Valley Conference Center, 1065 La Avenida, Building One, Mt. View, CA  94043

Vista Load-a-Thons

December 15, 2007

Microsoft San Francisco Office, The Landmark@One Market, Suite 200, SF

Friday 10:00 am – 3:30 pm



December 18, 2007

Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus, 1065 La Avenida. Mountain View

Monday 9:00 am – 2:30 pm



December 19, 2007

Microsoft Sacramento Office, 8880 Cal Center Dr., Suite 330. Sacramento

Tuesday 4:00 pm – 8:30 pm



Looking for tips and tricks on a perfect Vista load? Want a forum for asking all the questions you have around deploying, implementing and planning for Vista? This is the event for you.

All Partners, system builders, and resellers are welcome to put your hands on the new code for Windows Vista and Office 2007.
Here are the specifics:
– Bring your own laptop (or complete desktop system and monitor, but a laptop is easier).
– If you have the release code for Vista (MSDN, Partner downloads, etc.) bring it.
– We’ll provide Vista RC1 DVD if you need it.
– We’ll provide Office 2007 install CD.
– We’ll provide a Small Business Server 2003 to connect to when your build is complete.

– Meal provided.

Harold Wong from Microsoft will discuss issues, deployment strategies, and cover Q&A. We’ll discuss options as well as installation choices. We’ll also cover the business side of migrating to Vista.

BONUS: There will be NO slide deck telling you what Vista is. Harold wants to focus on your questions and your issues.

Training Offerings

December 4 – Is your business ready for vista?

10:30 – 11:30 am

Microsoft San Francisco Office, The Landmark@One Market, Suite 200


Please join the IAMCP for a panel discussion where you can ask the experts first hand all the questions you need to know to get ready to be ready for this People Ready business.


What is Vista?

What does it mean to you?

What does Vista mean to your customers?

What it mean to your enterprise?

How will it impact you?

How will it be deployed?

How will it be maintained?

What are the business benefits?

How will you train your people to support it?

What happens if your clients are ready for Vista and you aren’t?

Will your clients be ready before you?


This is one event you don’t want to miss!

This event will be followed by an Open Door Day J

December 8 – Software Assurance – So Why Is It So Important?

Live Meeting 9:00 – 10:00

Kirk Selby, Northern California Licensing Specialist, will be reviewing Software Assurance benefits with an emphasis on those benefits that can be used when implementing a Microsoft solution in a client account. For instance, the Information Workers Solution Seminar offering will be discussed as a tool to use to help determine high priorities projects in an account.


Live Meeting Info:

Call in information: 866 500 6738 ID 675400


December – Blitz Days

SBSC Partners please join us for a day of Cold Calling in our Microsoft office. Start with a refresher on the Technology Assessment Tool, Solution Selling, review of special offers, financing, and rebates; then start calling down on lists provided by Microsoft. Register immediately – only 12 slots available, email


Register and mark your calendar for additional Blitz Days:

December 6 – Sacramento (10:30 – 2:00)

December 14 – San Francisco (9:00 – 2:00)

December 19 – Sunnyvale (10:00 – 2:00)

Special Session with Eric Ligman December 13th

Mark your calendar for a special training session on Licensing, Benefits of the SBSC program and much more. December 13th from 8:30 – 12:00. Followed by a open forum lunch discussion.

User Group Corner

BASBiTS SBS 70-282 Exam Cram – December 6th
BASBiTS (SF Bay Area Small Business Information Technology Specialists’ Users Group) is hosting a three hour exam cram on Wednesday, December 6th starting at 5:30pm in East Palo Alto. Visit for address and map links. Email Tim Carney at or call 408-221-6423.

To prep for the exam cram, we can send you the Harry Brelsford’s & Beatrice Mulzer’s book, Small Business Specialist Primer & 70-282 Exam Preparation Guide. We also have several 70-282 certification exam 30% discount coupons. The coupons expire on 12-31-06 so as soon as you confirm you will attend our exam cram, we will forward you the coupon code and registration information so you can schedule your test.

Costs: $45 includes the book and the food & drinks, or just $10 for the food & drinks.

To become a MS Small Business Specialist, the complete the following steps:

1.      Sign up for the BASBiTS’ 3 hour SBS 70-282 Exam Cram – just email

2.      Sign up for the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Program

a.       Your organization must be a Certified Partner, a Gold Certified Partner, or a Registered Member.

b.      Your organization must have a current subscription to Microsoft Action Pack or be currently enrolled in Empower for ISVs. Get the Action Pack

c.       Your organization must employ at least one individual who has passed the Small Business Sales and Marketing Skills Assessment.

d.      Your organization must employ at least one individual who has passed one of the following technical exams: Microsoft Exam 74-134 OR Microsoft Exam 70-282.

3.      To help you pass the 70-282 Exam:

a.       Go to to get the update guide.

b.      Go to and register for the exam.

c.       Study the book and study the update guide.

d.      Go back to the link on step 3 and take the practice test.

e.       Bring your money for the book and food to the class on December 6th.

f.       Take the test.

4.      Optionally

a.       Attend a training or Workshop on SBS

b.      Enroll in SBS additional training

Connections and TS2 Events

December 05, 2006 1:00 PM –  5:00 PM – Santa Clara

Dynamics Corner

Microsoft Dynamics CRM: New Addition to Microsoft Dynamics Price Lists
Beginning December 4, Microsoft Dynamics CRM will be available to order via the Microsoft Dynamics price lists. If you sell licenses of Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, or Microsoft Dynamics SL, you now will be able to license a full Microsoft Dynamics suite or cross-sell Microsoft Dynamics within your existing accounts. Learn more now about this exciting opportunity at:

Complete the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SPA Addendum
Make sure your organization has completed the necessary paperwork so on December 4th, you can place your Microsoft CRM order with your Microsoft Dynamics order. Download the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SPA addendum at the following location. For additional questions, you can also refer to the SPA guide.

Limited Time Promotion for e-Learning
For a limited time, you and your customers can try the same unlimited organizational access to E-Learning that will be available to partners and customers enrolled in a service plan for Microsoft Dynamics.
Between November 20 and December 31, 2006, you and your customers can try e-Learning for Microsoft Dynamics and related business products at no charge. E-Learning consists of interactive, self-paced courses that are available 24 hours a day and cover detailed concepts related to specific topic areas. E-Learning allows you and your customers to gain a level of product knowledge that is comparable to classroom training.
Learn how you and your customers can access eLearning for free during the promotional period, by visiting PartnerSource at:

Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM 3.0 Blended Learning Boot Camp
Nov. 6, 2006 – Feb. 9, 2006 Locations Vary
Attend the Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM Blended Learning Boot Camp for Applications, Customization, or Installation & Configuration and you will receive the in-depth technical training you need to prepare for customer scenarios and exam preparation. The blended learning delivery allows you to pick the specific area, or combination of areas, you would like to train on and keep the out-of-office time to a minimum. With this training delivery format you’ll be able to take any combination of the three tracks available.

Utilizing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 for Marketing – Tips and Tricks
Dec 13, 2006 1:00 PM Pacific
Join your Microsoft team for a 1 hour partner readiness presentation showcasing Microsoft CRM and how you can leverage the marketing functionality embedded within to increase your efficiency and business success. This 1 hour presentation will involve a demonstration with Q&A following and is intended only for Microsoft Partner organizations representing Microsoft CRM or those wanting to learn more.

Understanding the Opportunities ERP Partners Have to Sell Microsoft Dynamics CRM/Ask the Expert
At WPC 2006 we announced another way to purchase Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Beginning on December 4th 2006, Microsoft Dynamics ERP Partners will have the ability to order Microsoft Dynamics CRM via the Microsoft Dynamics Price Lists. Attend a training session to understand the opportunities that ERP Partners have to sell Dynamics CRM into your installed based. To learn more about this new initiative and to sign up for training please visit:


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Posted by on November 29, 2006 in Newsletter


Partner Training

US Partner Readiness creates thousand of technical, business value, sales and marketing courses each year to enable YOU, our Partners, to make more money with Microsoft. Readiness is a very important component of the partner life cycle, and we are glad to offer these courses to assist YOU in your endeavors.


Below is a current listing of all Readiness Events coming to your region.


US Partner Readiness Events Schedule


Class Start Date



Windows Vista: Doing Deployment Right!


San Francisco


Microsoft Solution Selling for Partners


San Francisco


Hands-On Development For The 2007 Microsoft Office System


San Jose




San Jose


Microsoft® Messaging and Mobility on Windows®


San Francisco


Visual Studio 2005 Team System – “Deep Dive” Advanced Training


San Francisco


Microsoft® Messaging and Mobility on Windows®


San Jose


Windows Vista: Doing Deployment Right!  


San Jose


SQL Migration Virtual Workshop Sessions




SQL Migration Virtual Workshop Sessions




MBS Offerings




Microsoft Dynamics AX Accelerate Bootcamps




Microsoft Dynamics NAV 4.0 Development Training




Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0 Roadshow




Accelerate! Microsoft Dynamics™ GP Financials & Supply Chain Bootcamp


San Francisco


Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM 3.0 Blended Learning Boot Camp


San Francisco



For a complete listing of all US Partner Readiness offerings, including Online Sales Classes, Virtual Workshops, eLearning and Web Seminars please visit


Useful links and resources:


Search for an event now!


Not finding what you need?  Request a new training topic and/or location at: 

Pre-register for a class and guarantee your seat when the course goes live:

For additional questions or concerns, please contact your Partner Account Manager or 

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Posted by on November 20, 2006 in Training