On November 1st, Microsoft launched the Microsoft Partner Network, which brought with it many new things, including new competencies and associated branding, benefits, requirements, and more. Since that time, I have spoken with, heard from, and seen postings from many partners talking about what they have achieved so far in the new Microsoft Partner Network as well as questions and even some misunderstandings about various parts of the new Microsoft Partner Network. With this in mind, I thought I would put up some posts here on the blog to provide some information about various components of the Microsoft Partner Network for all to hopefully confirm and reinforce some things you already know, explain some things your might not be sure of, and answer some questions/misunderstandings you may have. For this first post, I thought I would start with branding.
As stated in my “Microsoft Partner logo, branding, naming updates revealed at #WPC10” post during Worldwide Partner Conference, with the Microsoft Partner Network comes new branding, and a departure from the old branding. Prior to November 1, 2010:
As of November 1, 2010 in the Microsoft Partner Network, there are no longer “Microsoft Gold Certified Partner”or “Microsoft Certified Partner” levels to achieve for companies. Now in the Microsoft Partner Network, partners have the ability to achieve gold competencies and silver competencies which are named based on how customers buy. This provides more opportunity for differentiation for partners, as well as even more opportunity for partners to highlight their specific skillsets and areas of strength. In addition, this naming is more transparent to customers and identifies partners’ core capabilities and expertise. As an example, a partner with a business focus of Server Platform could attain either a Microsoft Gold Server Platform competency or a Microsoft Silver Server Platform competency and would earn the ability to use one of the following logos:
Notice that the “silver” and “gold” designations are associated specifically to the competency, not the “Microsoft Partner” or a company name. This is a very important distinction. Why?
As you can see from above, as of November 1, 2010:
I hope the information above helps provide a good overview of how the new competency branding applies to the Microsoft Partner Network. In future posts, I will be adding some others around things like competency benefits and how to gain visibility through competencies. Besides earning competencies in the Microsoft Partner Network, remember that there are other ways you can participate as well:
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
Thanks for blogging on the portion of the new MPN that has been overadressed. What the recent partner was trying to do I'm sure is either obtain the additional partner benefits of a Gold competency or retain their reputation with their clients. Without our clients understanding the distinction Microsoft has chosen to make on this front when a partner is no longer Gold it can be bad for the partners image. We ran into the same dilemma but I'm happy to report that we are retaining Gold and had to work quite hard at it. With some guidance from our supporters within the MPN we are "Gold"en again. Thank you for that MPN. If you are struggling with these competencies reach out to your regional office, they are overwhelmingly willing to help.
I'm still to be convinced otherwise that clients focus on anything other than the "grading" i.e Gold/Silver and not on the specialization. I totally understand the partner you highlights attitude and it is worrying that if we as partners are struggling to get it, how is it going to bode for clients?
This is really brilliant ! thanks a ton for the info.