Everything you need to know about the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program as a customer
Back in March 2022, Microsoft announced that it will be redesigning the Microsoft Partner Network and implementing one of the most significant changes in its partner history. In short, all the Microsoft Competencies, both Gold and Silver, have since October 2022 been replaced with six new Solution Partner Designations as part of the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program.
Microsoft decided to evolve its existing partner Program to keep up with the clients’ constantly shifting business needs and to ensure it becomes easier to connect customers to appropriate and capable sellers.
This blog will focus on what these changes mean to you as a customer.
What is the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program?
Starting October, the partner program has officially been renamed from ‘Microsoft Partner Network’ (MPN) to the ‘Microsoft Cloud Partner Program’ (MCPP). Besides the name change this also brought changes to how partner success is measured and how they get recognised.
There used to be nearly 20 Microsoft Partner Competencies available to attain. Intelogy was proud to have 4 Gold and 5 Silver competencies. From October all the competencies have been removed (and can no longer be renewed) and consolidated into six Solutions Partner Designations. These are defined by Microsoft as follows:
A Solutions Partner for Modern Work can demonstrate its broad capability to help customers boost their productivity and make the shift to hybrid work by using Microsoft 365.
Digital & App Innovation
A Solutions Partner for Digital & App Innovation (Azure) can demonstrate your broad capability to help customers build, run, and manage applications across multiple clouds, on premises, and at the edge, with the tools and frameworks of your customer’s choice.
A Solutions Partner for Business Applications can demonstrate its broad capability to deliver solutions with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform.
A Solutions Partner for Security can demonstrate your broad capability to help customers safeguard their entire organisation with integrated security, compliance, and identity solutions.
Data & AI
A Solutions Partner for Data & AI (Azure) can demonstrate your broad capability to help customers manage their data across multiple systems to build analytics and AI solutions.
A Solutions Partner for Infrastructure can demonstrate your broad capability to help customers accelerate migration of key infrastructure workloads to Microsoft Azure.
If you are interested to know how the existing competencies map to the new Solution Partner Designations then the following table is a helpful guide.
Partners can obtain designations by growing their Partner Capability Score. This score rates the partner in three different areas:
1. Performance – The primary metric for this area is the number of net new customer adds. This area focusses on increasing the customer base of the partner and Microsoft.
2. Skilling – The primary metric for this area is the number of people in the partner organisation who are certified.
3. Customer Success – This area has two metrics: usage growth and deployments. A partner will need to help organisations to get more from their existing investment in the Microsoft Cloud and also increase utilisation of different Microsoft products.
How will the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program impact you, our clients?
Over the coming months, you can expect to see Microsoft and Microsoft Partners communicate the changes through various channels to raise awareness and educate organisations on the new format.
Partners will be removing their Gold/Silver Competencies and replace those with the achieved Solution Partner Designations. Microsoft has raised the bar to reduce the number of Microsoft partners and ensure only strong and genuine partners can benefit from being official Microsoft partners. We are expecting to see partners give up their status as official partners because of the reduced number of categories for designations, but mainly because of the stricter and tougher requirements to gain them.
For customers, it will become easier to identify highly qualified partners with appropriate skills, qualifications and experience.
Additionally, as part of the scoring system, Microsoft partners will need to account for all the work that was done with a customer. This process involves customers confirming the declarations made by partners. This means that partners will need to rely more heavily on their customers to retain their status in the Program. Therefore, Intelogy is truly grateful for clients that have stepped up to help us on this journey. We appreciate your support and are lucky to have customers like you.
Intelogy – Modern Work Designation
Currently Intelogy is already the proud owner of the Modern Work designation, and we are working hard to demonstrate our success in other areas to achieve more accreditations in the near future. We are one of the first partners to qualify for this designation, which puts us among Microsoft’s most capable, and trusted partners in the UK.