This morning, we announced that in October, 2011, we will be splitting the current Unified Communications competency into two separate competencies, based on input and feedback we have received from partners, as well as trends in the industry. When you take a look at the changes announced, I think you will see the way the split is designed provides you with greater opportunity for differentiation in your expertise as well as alignment to the specific competencies themselves.

Starting in October, 2011, here is how the Unified Communications competency will split:

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As you can see, this refinement of the Unified Communications competency now focuses on two distinct areas of expertise: 1) Messaging and 2) Communications (Voice). Here is some more details on how these are organized by skillset:

Messaging Competency

The Messaging competency recognizes your expertise in implementation design, deployment, and support of Microsoft Exchange Server. In addition, the Gold Messaging competency highlights your additional investment and specialization in archiving, security, and voicemail, along with your ability to help customers with their journey to the cloud with Microsoft Exchange Online.

Communications Competency

The Communications competency recognizes your expertise in implementation design, deployment, and support of Microsoft Lync. The Silver Communications competency enables you to highlight your investment and capabilities around IM and presence and conferencing workloads, and the Gold Communications competency demonstrates further expertise in enterprise voice and video, PBX integration, and Microsoft Lync Online.

Now, since I know many of you are asking yourselves, “So what happens once this splits for assessments and those in or pursuing the Unified Communications competency?” Here is a timeline of how it will roll out:

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While this change does not take place until October, I would highly suggest you take a look at the collection of information we now have posted on this change located on the Microsoft Partner Network portal on this page. Included on this page is not only information on the change, but also an Evolution of the Unified Communications Competency Guide that I would definitely recommend you look at. It includes:

  • Messaging Competency Overview
  • Communications Competency Overview
  • UC Competency Transition and Roadmap
  • Requirements
  • FAQs

The messaging and communications opportunities today and moving forward are incredibly exciting, especially as you think about what this can and will enable for people and businesses around the world today and moving forward! As part of the Unified Communications competency today and the Messaging and/or Communications competency after October, you can be the ones leading that change. Now that is BIG opportunity!

Did you find this information helpful? If so, you may want to make sure you are utilizing all of the areas I share information online, such as: my Facebook page, my Twitter account, my LinkedIn account, and my blog.

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Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and RSS and see “What I’m thinking
Director, Worldwide Partner Experience
Microsoft Corporation
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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