The Microsoft Partner Programme Is Evolving
Customer needs have always fueled the Microsoft Partner Programme. Created to provide clarity to clients when searching for their next Microsoft Partner.
With March’s announcement of a change in the competencies finally coming into force on October 30th, it’s essential to understand the details of the change.
To help you stay updated with the latest changes, we’ve summarised the essential parts of Microsoft’s Partner Programme changes.
How are Microsoft Partners recognised today?
Until recently, Microsoft partners obtained competencies across specialist areas- Cloud Platform, Cloud Productivity, and Security, to name a few. Under the previous programme, there were nearly 20 competencies available for partners to attain, which could be achieved at silver or gold levels.
The competencies required businesses to meet certification requirements where a specific number of employees are certified in particular exams and performance requirements to show customer growth in a specific area of expertise.
From October 1st, all competencies will be removed and replaced with six solutions designations:
- Security (Microsoft 365 and Azure)
- Modern Work (Microsoft 365)
- Business Applications (Dynamics 365 and Power Platform)
- Infrastructure (Azure)
- Data & AI (Azure)
- Digital & App Innovation (Azure)
Businesses with fundamental skills in any of the above areas will have the chance to work towards advanced specialisations. We show a strong commitment and technical talent in that area by achieving one.
What does this mean for customers?
It’s a well-known fact that the world of work has been transforming for some time right now, so it only feels right that these statuses change to match customer needs and goals.
Customers will now have a new way to access a potential Partner’s skillset based on these designations. The new, more demanding requirements will mean that there will likely be fewer Microsoft partners as Microsoft is making the award criteria much higher and across fewer categories.
While challenging for partners, this is an excellent way for customers to better understand partner capabilities and find the right partner to implement or manage a particular Microsoft technology or solution.
Benefits of the new partner programme
Whilst completely renovating the partner programme might feel a bit unneeded. There are several benefits customers will see over the coming months.
Simplicity- with fewer categories, customers no longer need to spend time trying to work out which partner designation to search for. There are fewer possibilities and stricter standards.
Provides greater customer value- stricter standards mean you know you’re working with the best in the business.
Thus, allowing you to efficiently invest in growing your business.