Most of us wish we could stay one step ahead as the world around us changes. Knowing what’s just around the corner, means we can come out on top. The ways we live and work has changed immeasurably. Your customers’ needs have likewise evolved significantly as a result. And you need to do more than simply keep up: you need to pull ahead and get out in front to anticipate their needs.
Microsoft wants to support its partners to do so. That’s why, from October, Microsoft Partner Network will become the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program. Microsoft is taking steps to ensure that you’re best placed to deliver the best, most relevant cloud services for your customers.
For a start, this new programme simplifies the way in which partners demonstrate their capabilities. The current 19 two-tier gold and silver competencies are out. Instead, there will be six new designations designed to simplify the process, and better reflect your skills and new cloud-based ways of working.
If you currently have one of the 19 competencies you will continue to have the benefits of this, but come your next renewal date you will need to look at moving over to the new designations, which are:
• Data & AI (Azure)
• Infrastructure (Azure)
• Digital & App Innovation (Azure)
• Business Applications
• Modern Work
To obtain one of these designations, you simply need top marks across three different categories: Performance (net customer adds), Skilling (intermediate and advanced certifications) and Customer Success (usage growth and number of solution deployments).
The current annual cost of attaining a designation is currently $3,100, in line with the old gold competency fee. Once you have your first designation, though, others can be added free of charge.
What do you get for that money? Again, in line with former gold competency rewards, you’ll get a bumper pack of marketing and technical support benefits. And of course, you’ll be best placed to show your customers that you’re one step ahead when it comes to meeting their needs.
You can already see how your business is progressing towards each designation in the Microsoft Partner Center.
The Westcoast Cloud Amplify team is available to support your accreditation journey. Give them a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org, and they’ll get you up to speed and over the line in no time.
A member of the Amplify team, Modern Workplace expert Louis Graham, recently hosted a live webinar on the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program. He went through the finer points of the programme, including the benefits, what you need to know and what we can do to keep you one step ahead of this huge change to the Partner Program.