Industry experts expect the public IT cloud services industry to reach US$108 billion by 2017 - the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) is here to help you capitalise on that opportunity. To assist in your journey, were updating the program with an increased cloud focus; including the introduction of three new cloud performance competencies and updates to existing competencies.

- The Management & Virtualization and Server Platform competencies to merge

- The Small Business and Mobility competencies retire

- New exam requirements for the Communications competency

Find your competency below to see the changes that will take effect at September 30th.

If you have queries remember you can also contact partner support for further guidance.

 

Application Development, Silver Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:
Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications
-Exam 74-353: Windows UX Design
Technical Assessment for Using Microsoft Azure for Application Development
An additional benefit has been included:
-Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 5 incidents

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.

Application Development, Silver Competency, ISV - Effective September 30, 2014

The Silver Competency Test for Windows Server 2012 is being retired on September 29, 2014. Existing Application Certifications on Windows Server 2012 will continue to be honored for competency qualification and Customer References for one year.

After September 29, 2015 to meet the competency qualification, your organization may choose from the remaining application tests. The complete list of application test options can be found on the Partner Portal.

An additional benefit has been included:
-Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 5 incidents

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.

Application Development, Gold Competency, ISV - Effective September 30, 2014

The Gold Competency Test for Windows Server 2012 is being retired on September 29, 2014. Existing Application Certifications on Windows Server 2012 will continue to be honored for competency qualification and Customer References for one year.

After September 29, 2015, to meet the competency qualification, your organization may choose from the remaining application tests. The complete list of application test options can be found on the Partner Portal.

An additional benefit has been included:
-Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 10 incidents

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Application Integration, Silver Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:
Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications
-Exam 70-412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
-Exam 70-464: Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
-Exam 70-483: Programming in C#
-Exam 70-595: TS: Developing Business Process and Integration Solutions by Using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.

Application Integration, Gold Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:

Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications
-Exam 70-412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
-Exam 70-464: Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
-Exam 70-483: Programming in C#
-Exam 70-595: TS: Developing Business Process and Integration Solutions by Using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.

Collaboration and Content, Silver Competency, ISV - Effective September 30, 2014

An additional benefit has been included:
-Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 5 incidents

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.

Collaboration and Content, Gold Competency, ISV - Effective September 30, 2014

An additional benefit has been included:
-Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 10 incidents

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Communications, Gold Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

An additional exam is required to demonstrate proficiency in setting up proper networks for Lync. This additional exam requirement must be completed within your anniversary date. All partners with anniversary dates between September 30, 2014 – November 15, 2014 will receive an extension on their anniversary date to November 30, 2014.

Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications
-Exam 74-335: Lync Network Readiness Assessment

An additional benefit has been included:
-Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 10 incidents

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.

Communications, Silver Competency, ISV - Effective September 30, 2014

An additional benefit has been included:
-Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 5 incidents

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.

Communications, Gold Competency, ISV -Effective September 30, 2014

An additional benefit has been included:
-Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 10 incidents

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.

Customer Relationship Management, Silver Competency, Value-Added Reseller (VAR) - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:

Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications
Business Assessment:
-2014 Sales Specialist Assessment - Customer Relationship Management
For existing exam options and benefits, see
Partner Portal.

Customer Relationship Management, Gold Competency, Value-Added Reseller (VAR) - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:

Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications
Business Assessment:
-2014 Sales Specialist Assessment - Customer Relationship Management

Additional Internal Use Rights (IUR) benefits: (Available July 1, 2014)
-Microsoft Social Listening: 80 seats
-Microsoft Dynamics Marketing: 15 seats

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.

Customer Relationship Management, Gold Competency, ISV - Effective September 30, 2014

An additional benefit has been included:

Additional Internal Use Rights (IUR) benefits: (Available July 1, 2014)
-Microsoft Social Listening: 80 seats
-Microsoft Dynamics Marketing: 15 seats

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Data Analytics Competency, Services (formerly Business Intelligence) - Effective September 30, 2014

This competency was formerly the Business Intelligence Competency. We have renamed the competency to reflect the broader analytics solutions partners are delivering as well as the expanded analytics capabilities of our key data management products (SQL Server 2014 and Microsoft Azure).

No requirements have changed.

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.

Data Platform, Silver Competency, ISV - Effective September 30, 2014

An additional benefit has been included:
-Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 5 incidents

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.

Data Platform, Gold Competency, ISV - Effective September 30, 2014

An additional benefit has been included:
-Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 10 incidents

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Data Platform, Gold Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:

Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications
-Exam 70-457:Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 1
-Exam 70-458: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2
-Exam 70-459: Transition Your MCITP on SQL Server 2008 to MCSE: Data Platform

An additional benefit has been included:
-Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 10 incidents

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.

Datacenter, Silver Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

Server Platform and Management and Virtualization are being merged into new Datacenter competency

Microsoft infrastructure solutions are evolving in order to deliver a robust, streamlined, and scalable infrastructure platform that can run on a customer’s datacenter, as a partner-hosted service, or in a hybrid environment. As a part of this evolution, we are merging the Management and Virtualization competency, along with the Server Platform competency, into a single, new Datacenter competency, effective September 29, 2014.

What do you need to do?
Nothing. On September 29, 2014, Server Platform as well as Management and Virtualization partners will be automatically migrated into the new Datacenter competency. You will have a minimum of six months to meet the new requirements for this competency, regardless of your anniversary date. In addition, you will be able to keep the Internal Use Rights (IUR) benefits for products that you are entitled to as a Server Platform and/or Management and Virtualization partner, but are not offered in the new Datacenter competency, for one year.

More about Datacenter
The new Datacenter competency will require that partners have strong capabilities with Windows Server deployment and management, including Hyper-V virtualization, as well as Systems Center infrastructure management capabilities. The requirements, which will be published on the Microsoft Partner Network portal on September 29, 2014, are:

Silver - Services track
Business Assessments:
One individual must pass the following:
• Microsoft Partner Network Pre-Sales Technical Specialist Assessment for Datacenter
One individual must pass the following:
• Microsoft Partner Network Sales Specialist Assessment for Datacenter
Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications:
Two individuals must pass one of the following:
• Exam 70-243: Administering and Deploying System Center 2012 Configuration Manager
• Exam 70-246: Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012
• Exam 70-247: Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud with System Center 2012
• Exam 74-409: Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center
• Exam 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
• Exam 70-411: Administering Windows Server 2012
• Exam 70-412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
• Exam 70-413: Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure
• Exam 70-414: Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure
• Exam 70-417: Upgrading your skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012

Customer Evidence:
-Three customer references related to the implementation of Windows Server, System Center, or Microsoft Azure

An additional benefit has been included:
-Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 5 incidents

Datacenter, Gold Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

Server Platform and Management and Virtualization are being merged into new Datacenter competency

Microsoft infrastructure solutions are evolving in order to deliver a robust, streamlined, and scalable infrastructure platform that can run on a customer’s datacenter, as a partner-hosted service, or in a hybrid environment. As a part of this evolution, we are merging the Management and Virtualization competency, along with the Server Platform competency, into a single, new Datacenter competency, effective September 29, 2014.

What do you need to do?
Nothing. On Sept. 29, 2014, Server Platform as well as Management and Virtualization partners will be automatically migrated into the new Datacenter competency. You will have a minimum of six months to meet the new requirements for this competency, regardless of your anniversary date. In addition, you will be able to keep the Internal Use Rights (IUR) benefits for products that you are entitled to as a Server Platform and/or Management and Virtualization partner, but are not offered in the new Datacenter competency, for one year.

More about Datacenter
The new Datacenter competency will require that partners have strong capabilities with Windows Server deployment and management, including Hyper-V virtualization, as well as Systems Center infrastructure management capabilities. The requirements, which will be published on the Microsoft Partner Network portal on September 29, 2014, are:
Gold - Services track
Business Assessments:
Two individuals must pass the following:
• Microsoft Partner Network Sales Specialist Assessment for Datacenter
One other unique individual must pass the following:
• Microsoft Partner Network Pre-Sales Technical Specialist Assessment for Datacenter
Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications:
Four individuals must pass one of the following:
• MCSE Server Infrastructure certification
• MCSE Private Cloud certification

Customer Evidence:
-Five customer references related to the implementation of Windows Server, System Center, or Microsoft Azure

An additional benefit has been included:
-Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 10 incidents


Devices and Deployment, Silver Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:
Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications:
Option 2:
Two individuals must pass one of the following:
-Technical Assessment for Devices and Deployment
For existing exam options and benefits, see
Partner Portal.


Devices and Deployment, Gold Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:
Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications
Option 3:
Four unique individuals each must pass the following:
-Technical Assessment for Deploying Windows and Office AND
-Technical Assessment for Deploying Desktop Virtualization Technologies

Additional benefits have been included:
-Eligible for Microsoft Online Services Advisor Web-Direct and Deploy*
-Accelerator for Windows Intune and Deploy*
-Accelerator for Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS)
*Additional requirements will apply

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Enterprise Resource Planning, Silver Competency, Value-Added Reseller (VAR) - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:

Business Assessments:
-2014 Sales Assessment – Enterprise Resource Planning (SMB)
-2014 Sales Assessment – Enterprise Resource Planning (AX)

Presales Assessments:
-2014 Presales Technical Assessment – Enterprise Resource Planning (SMB)
-2014 Presales Technical Assessment – Enterprise Resource Planning (AX)

Option 5 (Microsoft Dynamics SL):
-Exam MB4-723: Microsoft Dynamics SL 2015 Financials
For existing exam options and benefits, see
Partner Portal.


Enterprise Resource Planning, Gold Competency, Value-Added Reseller (VAR) - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:

Business Assessments:
-2014 Sales Assessment – Enterprise Resource Planning (SMB)
-2014 Sales Assessment – Enterprise Resource Planning (AX)

Presales Assessments:
-2014 Presales Technical Assessment – Enterprise Resource Planning (SMB)
-2014 Presales Technical Assessment – Enterprise Resource Planning (AX)

Option 5 (Microsoft Dynamics SL):
-Exam MB4-723: Microsoft Dynamics SL 2015 Financials

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Enterprise Resource Planning, Silver Competency, ISV - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:

Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications
Option 5 (Microsoft Dynamics SL):
-Exam MB4-723: Microsoft Dynamics SL 2015 Financials

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Enterprise Resource Planning, Gold Competency, ISV - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:

Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications
Option 5 (Microsoft Dynamics SL):
-Exam MB4-723: Microsoft Dynamics SL 2015 Financials

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Hosting, Silver Competency - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:
Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications
Option 2:
Two individuals each must pass the following
• Technical assessment for Hosting Architects – IaaS & Cloud OS AND
Both individuals must pass one of the following:
• Technical assessment for Hosting Architects – Infrastructure and Management
• Technical assessment for Hosting Architects – Infrastructure & Database

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Hosting, Gold Competency - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:

Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications
Option 2:
Four individuals must pass the following:
• Technical Assessment for Hosting Architects – IaaS & Cloud OS
AND
All four individuals must pass one of the following:
• Technical Assessment for Hosting Architects – Infrastructure and Management
• Technical Assessment for Hosting Architects – Infrastructure & Database

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.

Intelligent Systems, Silver Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:
Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications
MCSE: Business Intelligence
-Exam 70-457:Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 1
-Exam 70-458: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2
-Exam 70-459: Transition Your MCITP on SQL Server 2008 to MCSE: Data Platform
-Exam 70-460: Transition your MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer 2008 to MCSE: Business Intelligence
-Exam 70-466: Implementing Data Models and Reports with MS SQL Server
-Exam 70-467: Designing BI Solutions with MS SQL Server
-Exam 70-464: Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases
-Exam 70-465: Designing Database Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server
-MCSE: Data Platform
-Exam 70-464: Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
-Exam 70-412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
-Exam 70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
-Exam 70-331: Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, Core Solutions
-Exam 70-332: Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, Advanced Solutions
-Exam 70-488: Core Solutions of SharePoint 2013 Development
-Exam 70-489: Advanced Solutions of SharePoint 2013 Development
-Exam 70-688: Managing and Maintaining Windows 8
-Exam 70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA: Windows 8
-MCSE: SharePoint
-MCSD for SharePoint Applications
-MCPD: Windows Developer 4
-MCSA: Windows Server 2012
-MCSE: Server Infrastructure

Additional benefits have been included:
-Partner Practice Enablement Kit for Intelligent Systems
-Preferred status for showcase opportunities
-Eligible for early adopter program(s), as available

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.

Intelligent Systems, Gold Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:
Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications
-Exam 70-243: Administering and Deploying System Center 2012 Configuration Manager
-Exam 70-331: Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, Core Solutions
-Exam 70-332: Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, Advanced Solutions
-Exam 70-457: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 1
-Exam 70-458: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2
-Exam 70-459: Transition Your MCITP on SQL Server 2008 to MCSE: Data Platform
-Exam 70-460: Transition your MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer 2008 to MCSE: Business Intelligence
-Exam 70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012
-Exam 70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
-Exam 70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012
-Exam 70-464: Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases
-Exam 70-465: Designing Database Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server
-Exam 70-466: Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server
-Exam 70-467: Designing BI Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server
-Exam 70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
-Exam 70-488: Core Solutions of SharePoint 2013 Development
-Exam 70-489: Advanced Solutions of SharePoint 2013 Development
-Exam 70-511: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
-Exam 70-513: TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
-Exam 70-516: TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
-Exam 70-518: PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4
-Exam 70-688: Managing and Maintaining Windows 8
-Exam 70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA: Windows 8
-Exam 74-409: Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center

Additional benefits have been included:
Partner Practice Enablement Kit for Intelligent Systems
Eligible for early adopter program(s), as available

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Intelligent Systems, Silver Competency, ISV - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:
-Silver SQL Server BI 2012 Platform Ready
-Silver SQL Server 2012 Data Platform Test Server BI 2012 Platform Ready Test
-Silver competency test for SharePoint

Additional benefits have been included:
-Partner Practice Enablement Kit for Intelligent Systems
-Preferred status for showcase opportunities
-Eligible for early adopter program(s), as available

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Intelligent Systems, Gold Competency, ISV - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:
-Gold SQL Server BI 2012 Platform Ready
-Gold SQL Server 2012 Data Platform Test
-Gold competency test for SharePoint

Additional benefits have been included:
Partner Practice Enablement Kit for Intelligent Systems
Eligible for early adopter program(s), as available

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Messaging, Silver Competency, ISV - Effective September 30, 2014

An additional benefit has been included:
Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 5 incidents

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Messaging, Gold Competency, ISV - Effective September 30, 2014

An additional benefit has been included:
Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 10 incidents

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Project and Portfolio Management, Silver Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

For a complete list of new internal use right products and licenses added please refer to the Project and Portfolio License table.
You have the choice to deploy your program license grants as an on-premises only, online only, or an on-premises and online combination solution. Your internal-use of online services decrement from your on-premises licenses and vice-versa.
-Microsoft Project Pro for Office 365: 10
-Microsoft Visio Pro for Office 365: 10
-Microsoft Project Online: 5
-Microsoft Project Lite: 20

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Project and Portfolio Management, Gold Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

For a complete list of new internal use right products and licenses added please refer to the Project and Portfolio License table.

You have the choice to deploy your program license grants as an on-premises only, online only, or an on-premises and online combination solution. Your internal-use of online services decrement from your on-premises licenses and vice-versa.
-Microsoft Project Pro for Office 365: 40
-Microsoft Visio Pro for Office 365: 40
-Microsoft Project Online: 20
-Microsoft Project Lite: 80

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Small & Midmarket Cloud Solutions (formerly Small Business), Silver Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

Small Business competency now Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions
The Small Business competency is evolving to become a cloud-focused competency and will be renamed Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions. The Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions competency enables you to capitalize on the demand from the small and mid-market customer marketplace for cloud and hybrid solutions built on Microsoft Office 365, providing you with additional support and incentives as you grow your business. Partners will be able to earn this competency by providing customer references and by meeting specific sales performance requirements—specifically, Office 365 seats sold and customer adds, plus customer references.

If you are a Small Business silver competency partner who meets the performance requirements of the Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions competency on September 29, 2014, you will be granted the competency at the silver level. If you have not met the requirements, you will have until your anniversary date to meet the performance requirements and collect customer references to retain the competency. If, at your anniversary date, you do not meet the performance requirements, you will have the option to earn another competency or purchase an Action Pack subscription to retain key benefits.

SUMMARY OF CHANGES (compared with the Small Business Silver competency)
Business Assessments
Retiring:
Small Business sales assessment
New: None

Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications:
Retiring:
-Exam 74-324: Administering Office 365 for Small Business
-Exam 74-325: Administering Office 365 for Small Business
-Exam 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
-Exam 70-417 Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012
-Exam 70-687: Configuring Windows 8
-Exam 70-688: Managing and Maintaining Windows 8
-Exam 70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows 8
-Exam 70-680: TS: Windows 7, Configuring

Customer evidence: Your organization must submit 3 Office 365 customer references.

Cloud Performance Requirement: Your organization must sell 150 seats to 15 new customers within the last 12 months. There are a minimum number of seats and customer adds you must attain within the last 12 months, click here to see your requirements.

NEW AND RETIRING BENEFITS
Retiring: None
New:
Core competency benefits
10 additional Office 365 Internal Use Rights
1 Office 365/Intune demo tenant
Unlimited Signature Cloud Support
Eligible for Microsoft Online Services Advisor Accelerator for Office 365

To give you more ways to sell Office 365 to your customers, we are announcing availability via Open licensing and through distribution in the near future.

Note: For now qualification is based on sold seats and customer adds. In the future we plan to move to measurement of active use as a more accurate representation of customer value received.

Small & Midmarket Cloud Solutions (formerly Small Business), Gold Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

Small Business competency now Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions

The Small Business competency is evolving to become a cloud-focused competency and will be renamed Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions. The Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions competency enables you to capitalize on the demand from the small and mid-market customer marketplace for cloud and hybrid solutions built on Microsoft Office 365, providing you with additional support and incentives as you grow your business. Partners will be able to earn this competency by providing customer references and by meeting specific sales performance requirements—specifically, Office 365 seats sold and customer adds, plus customer references and technical exams at the Gold level.

If you are a Small Business gold competency partner who meets the performance requirements of the Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions competency on September 29, 2014, you will be granted the competency at the gold level. If you have not met the requirements, you will have until your anniversary date to meet the performance requirements, plus any additional requirements (e.g. Customer References, Customer Satisfaction, Technical Assessments), as applicable, to retain the competency. If you meet the requirements for the gold level, you will have to pay the gold fee. If, at your anniversary date, you do not meet the performance requirements, you will have the option to earn another competency or purchase an Action Pack subscription to retain key benefits.

SUMMARY OF CHANGES (compared with the Small Business Gold competency)
Business Assessments
Retiring:
Small Business sales assessment
New: None

Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications:
Retiring:
-Exam 74-324: Administering Office 365 for Small Business
-Exam 74-325: Administering Office 365 for Small Business
-Exam 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
-Exam 70-417 Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012
-Exam 70-687: Configuring Windows 8
-Exam 70-688: Managing and Maintaining Windows 8
-Exam 70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows 8
-Exam 70-680: TS: Windows 7, Configuring

New:
-Exam: 70-347: Enabling Office 365 Services

Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications:
Two unique individuals must pass the following exam:
-Exam: 70-347: Enabling Office 365 Services

Customer evidence: Your organization must submit 5 Office 365 customer references.

Cloud Performance Requirement: Your organization must sell 300 seats to 30 new customers within the last 12 months. There are a minimum number of seats and customer adds you must attain within the last 12 months, click here to see your requirements

NEW AND RETIRING BENEFITS
Retiring: None
New:
Core competency benefits:
-25 additional Office 365 Internal Use Rights
-1 Office 365/Intune demo tenant
-Unlimited Signature Cloud Support
-Eligible for Microsoft Online Services Advisor Web Accelerator for Office 365
-Field or TPAM Management

To give you more ways to sell Office 365 to your customers, we are announcing availability via Open licensing and through distribution in the near future.

Note: For now qualification is based on sold seats and customer adds. In the future we plan to move to measurement of active use as a more accurate representation of customer value received.

Midmarket Solution Provider, Silver Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:

Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications:
Business Assessments:
-Sales Specialist Assessment for SMB Infrastructure

An additional benefit has been included:
-Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 5 incidents

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.

Midmarket Solution Provider, Gold Competency, Services - Effective September 30, 2014

For greater flexibility, here are new options that are in addition to the current list of exams, certifications, and assessments:

Technical Assessments, Exams and Certifications:
Business Assessments:
Sales Specialist Assessment for SMB Infrastructure
An additional benefit has been included:
Signature Cloud support additional benefit of 10 incidents

For existing exam options and benefits, see Partner Portal.


Mobility Competency - Effective September 30, 2014

Mobility competency will be retired in September

As was previously announced, we are retiring the Mobility competency, effective September 29, 2014. Existing partners will automatically be migrated into one of two existing competencies at that time. Service-oriented partners will be transitioned into the Devices and Deployment competency, while ISVs who have completed the Application qualification requirements will be transitioned to the Application Development competency.

What do you need to do?
Nothing to migrate; that happens automatically. After being merged into either Devices and Deployment or Application Development you will have a minimum of six months to meet the requirements for those competencies, regardless of your anniversary date.

You can see the complete list of requirements for the Devices and Deployment and Application Development competencies on the Microsoft Partner Network portal.


Cloud Accelerate - Effective September 30, 2014

As a Microsoft Cloud Accelerate partner, we would like to let you know that the program is being retired on September 29, 2014. However, we are replacing the program with two new competencies, Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions and Cloud Productivity, and are very excited about the potential of these new programs to help our partners capitalize even further on the cloud. After September 30, 2014, visit the Partner Center to choose your new competency, view the associated requirements, and sign up.

Also, in FY15, partners can earn incentives for selling, deploying and managing Online Services solutions and driving consumption of Microsoft Azure Services. Please visit the Microsoft Partner Incentives page for more details.


Cloud Essentials - Effective September 30, 2014

As a Microsoft Cloud Essentials partner, we would like to let you know that the program has been retired. However, we are replacing the program with two new competencies, Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions and Cloud Productivity, and are very excited about the potential of these new programs to help our partners capitalize even further on the cloud. After September 30, 2014, visit the Partner Center to choose your new competency, view the associated requirements, and sign up.

Also, in FY15, partners can earn incentives for selling, deploying and managing Online Services solutions and driving consumption of Microsoft Azure Services. Please visit the Microsoft Partner Incentives page for more details.

Effective September 30, 2014
Good news! We understand that program changes can be challenging, and our goal is to minimize the impact. You have no changes at this time.

If you would like, you can find out more about the new program and view detailed updates on the portal as well as download the Microsoft Partner Network Disclosure Guide.