SNAGHTML29330dcWhen we launched the updated Microsoft Partner Network back in November of 2010 with the new competency structure and branding (and retired the “Certified Partner” and “Gold Certified Partner” brands/logos), one of the design benefits of this approach was to help partners differentiate themselves for their clients and from their competitors based on the specific skillsets that their companies had to offer based on the competencies achieved. So how much differentiation does earning a Microsoft competency provide? Well, did you know that:

  • By achieving a silver competency, your organization will have not only demonstrated consistent and solid expertise in specific technology areas, but you are also placed amongst the top 5 percent of Microsoft partners worldwide
  • By achieving a gold competency, your organization will have not only demonstrated “best-in-class” capability as market leaders within specific technology areas, but you are also distinguished amongst the top 1 percent of Microsoft’s partner ecosystem worldwide

Distinguishing yourself as being within the top 5% and/or 1% of all Microsoft partners around the world are fantastic accomplishments and indeed something to be celebrated. Just think about it… You have accomplished something that 95% or 99% of all other Microsoft partners worldwide have not and that no organization outside of the Microsoft Partner Network has! Those are both amazing accomplishments.

So now what? How can you tell prospective clients about your accomplishments and use these to further differentiate yourself from your competitors? To help all of our partners out, we provide several tools to help you celebrate your successes as you achieve your various competency(ies), so I thought I’d share them with you here for you to start using today:

  • Microsoft Logo Builder tool: Helps you create your Microsoft competency logos, utilizing as many of the Microsoft competencies as you have earned within the Microsoft Partner Network. In just a few quick steps, you can select the competencies you want included to create the logo, then save and download the image(s) for use online or in your printed materials. Remember that you can create different logos depending on the customer audiences that you are targeting.
  • Microsoft Partner Network FAQ: Provides you with answers to many questions regarding the Microsoft Partner Network that can help you in positioning your organization and the achievements you have accomplished. For instance, one of the questions in there is, “How should I refer to our organization when I think about our Microsoft Partner Network membership or showcase our achievements to customers?”
  • Microsoft Press Release Kit for Gold & Silver Competencies: This ready-to-use kit includes the FY12 Competency Press Release Announcement Template to create your press release announcing your achievement as well as Partner Competency Attainment PR Guidelines which provides guidelines you can use to create press releases to promote your organization's achievements.
  • Microsoft Pinpoint: Make sure your profile is updated in Microsoft Pinpoint by checking out the “Get Listed” page on Pinpoint. Pinpoint helps business customers find technology experts, software applications, and professional services that solve specific business issues and support long-term goals. If your profile is not up to date, your chances of showing up accurately are far less. We have several resources available to help you create your best profile on Pinpoint located on the “Get Listed” page.

Congratulations again on all of your accomplishments within the Microsoft Partner Network and I hope you find these tools above helpful in telling your amazing story. If you have used them already, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them. If you haven’t, then I am glad I could help you find them and if you have any feedback after giving them a try, please let me know.

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:

Also, get the Microsoft Partner Info Mobile App to get access to the latest from all of those and many more resources here at Microsoft right on your phone:

Thanks again for being a reader of 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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