Today is the day that the new Microsoft Partner Network arrives! With the launch of the new Microsoft Partner Network comes some very exciting changes and benefits for partners around the world.
One of the most notable changes, as mentioned in my “Microsoft Partner logo, branding, naming updates revealed at #WPC10” post during Worldwide Partner Conference, is that the launch of the new Microsoft Partner Network brings with it the formal retirement of the old organizational levels, including Gold Certified, Certified and Registered member. In the new Microsoft Partner Network, there are no longer “Gold Certified Partners,” “Certified Partners,” or “Registered Member” levels as company designations.
So what are the ways to participate and connect in the new Microsoft Partner Network? Let’s take a look:
In the new Microsoft Partner Network, it is now at the competency level that you can obtain different levels, which are: Silver competencies and Gold competencies. Some of the feedback we heard from partners in the past was, “Help us differentiate ourselves better,” and “Raise the bar” to obtain certification levels. The new Silver and Gold competencies combination distinguishes you as a premier business solution provider, creating an even more exclusive community which will allow you to develop your business in alignment with emerging customer needs. It also allows you to highlight and showcase your company’s specific areas of focus and expertise.
There are a few things to know about the new Silver and Gold competencies in the new Microsoft Partner Network:
Now some of you might be wondering, “With the launch of the new Microsoft Partner Network, what is Microsoft going to do to help promote and raise awareness about its partners who do engage in the program?” Great question! Here are just a few of the things you can expect to see from Microsoft to help promote and raise awareness of our Microsoft partners and their skills:
I want to call your attention to the first bullet point above, because there are some really exciting enhancements coming to the Microsoft Pinpoint tool that will make this an even bigger benefit to our Microsoft partners worldwide:
Now, with all of these enhancements coming to Microsoft Pinpoint to highlight our Microsoft partners, I would HIGHLY suggest that you ensure that your business profile is up-do-date (on either Pinpoint or Solution Finder, depending on which tool is available in your country) and ensure that you have customer reviews. Partners listed in Pinpoint that have customer reviews receive 10 times the amount of leads as partners with no customers review.
As I mentioned last Friday, I believe the new Microsoft Partner Network is one of the “11 Reasons why today is a day to remember…” and Microsoft partners are another. In addition, it is also just one reason why I am sooooo very excited for the future! While the information above is designed to give you an overview of the new Microsoft Partner Network and some guidance on how to begin or continue engaging with us through it, there are many other steps we are taking in conjunction with the launch of the new Microsoft Partner Network to enhance your experience with Microsoft, to make it easier to do business with Microsoft, and to simplify your navigation of and access to resources and benefits from Microsoft that we will be bringing forward. I will be putting up several posts here on the blog to call out some of these items in the very near future (some today even), so keep an eye out for these, such as:
Here are a few other resources you might want to take a look at as well:
Here’s to the next generation of our partnership together and the incredible success I look forward to having with all of you through the new Microsoft Partner Network!
Thank you and have a wonderful day,
Eric Ligman – Follow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and RSS and see “What I’m thinking” Global Partner Experience Lead Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
really cool guys it seemed to work well at my co-op
The new competency structure is a slap in the face to the Partners that have chosen to work with Businesses with less than 50 users. Requiring that a Partner achieve a Competency in the Mid-Market solutions to be deemed "competent" and keep their software rights is ridiculous (those solutions have little to no application to our market space), and shows a total disconnect from the real world in which very competent Partners provide hardware and services to this market space. This will be the third time I've had to totally change out our Internal Use Software (format and reinstall) and rebuild our network due to wavering commitment and unclear vision for the Small Business segment, making one of the most valuable assets provided by Microsoft (Internal Use Licenses) much, much less valuable.
@ John - Thank you for the feedback. Question for you... Why would you need to get the Mid-Market Solutions competency to keep your internal use software? If you are focused on serving Small Business, why would you not achieve the Small Business Specialist designation then obtain a competency relevant to your business strengths, such as the Desktop Platform Competency or the Server Platform Competency? Then you would have the Small Business Specialist designation showing your focus in the Small Business space and a correlating competency that highlights your company's specific business skills. I just chose Desktop Platform or Server Platform as examples since many Small Business Specialist organizations have practices in these areas but note that you could choose any of the competencies that are relevant to your company's strenghts and focus areas. By the way, you can see what Internal Use Rights you get with each of the competencies on the Microsoft Partner Network Portal on this page: http://bit.ly/bsQeAM
@Eric - Your response is very much appreciated. Either my MPN liason is clued out, or I don't understand what's happening. We were a Certified Partner Networking Infrastructure with Small Business Specialist designation. I was told that I "mapped" to the Mid-Market Solution Provider (?), and when I looked up the competency--well, you read the post. When I told him that we didn't do Midmarket, he said we'd lose our IUR and woud need to go back to the Action Pack. Your answer appears to make much more sense. I'm not sure why this is the first time that I've recieved that explanation. We DON'T want to do Midmarket, and my area doesn't have a "midmarket" anyway. So if I'm MCITP: Server Administrator and I employ two MCPs that pass 70-640, we can just keep trucking? I remain curious why the Small Business Server technical exams aren't in the list of possible tests that qualify for Server Platform Competency. That still doesn't make any sense to me.