Here is some very exciting news for our partners out there looking to attain the Small Business Competency in the Microsoft Partner Network. For those of you that have participated in any of the online meetings we have been conducting about the Small Business Competency or who attended Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto with us, you heard us say that we have heard the feedback from partners regarding the 70-323 required Office 365 exam that is currently required for the Small Business Competency. We heard your input about the 70-323 Exam being too focused on Enterprise scenarios of Office 365 that you as Small Business partners often do not encounter. Because of this, we are releasing a new 74-324 Exam: Administering Office 365 for Small Business, which will be based on a training course specifically designed to meet the needs of partners administering O365 for small business customers.
What does this mean for you as a partner seeking to earn the Small Business competency?
As a prep for the new 74-324 Exam, we are working on a 10 hour JumpStart clinic which is designed to help you prepare for the new exam. We are tentatively scheduling this JumpStart clinic for August 28-29th and we will post registration details as soon as they become available. I’ll be posting them here on the blog and the MPN Training team will also be sending them out, so be sure you are also following @MPNTraining on Twitter for the latest updates from them too.
Tomorrow, we will be updating the Small Business competency learning path to reflect these changes.
As I have mentioned numerous times in the past, we truly do value the input and feedback from our partners and hopefully you see the results of your partnership with us reflected in this new exam being brought to the Small Business competency. Please continue to share your thoughts, feedback, and input with us and we will be sure to continue to bring you the latest information and resources to help you be successful in your partnership with Microsoft as we embark on the exciting future ahead of us.
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Thank you and have a wonderful day,
Eric Ligman – Follow 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
Than you, thank you, thank you. A step in the right direction. Next---lower the fee of the small business competency permanently; make on all on-premisis solution for small business affordable with Windows Server 2012 products; include Windows Server 2012 Essentials as well for customers with Software Assurance on their SBS Standard license.
Very nice to hear, Eric!
Will the 70-323 still count towards the Competency?
@ Steve - Yes, those partners that have passed the 70-323 already will be able to use the 70-323 for the Small Business Competency.
Thanks for the update - and for listening to all the feedback!
Thanks for the feedback, Guy, Nieronet, and PPerry.
I agree with the comment by pperry803. The cost for the Small Business Silver Competency is high, in comparison to Action Pack used by most Small Business Specialists. I am having a hard time justifying the value of paying 3-4 times the price (discounted in the first year, and even more in the second). Is Microsoft trying to eliminate the Small Business Partner?
@ Alan - Thanks for the feedback. No, actually quite the opposite. We elevated Small Business to a competency to bring more to the Small Business partners and provide it the same visibility, focus, and resources as the other competencies, which it didn't have as a designation. Yes, Action Pack does cost less; however, Action Pack does not provide the same benefits that the competency does, such as: additional software with the competency, additonal cloud benefits, delegated administration support, partner advisory hours (plus unlimited free advisory hours for deals over $3,000), and incentives eligibility, to name a few. If you just want software, Action Pack may be the option for you. If you want more, then that is what the Small Business Competency is designed to provide to partners.
Wish I new this when I took the test this morning, and signed up for the exam last week... This 323 test has nothing to do with small bussines, and 80% of the questions had to due with on-premises solutions. I think that I know the online portal pretty well, and watched the 6 videos for this course, and very few questions alone without having to deal with the online identity. I also saw the Exam cert promo announcement today and very bummed...
This is great news! Exam 70-323 was a blood bath thanks to the coverage of hybrid environments, a concept which is not relevant to most small business customers.