If your organization is one of the 400,000 members of Microsoft’s Partner Network (MPN), then you may want to pay close attention to this article related to upcoming changes to your partnership requirements. Microsoft’s partner organization spans over 30 years and is a critical channel to building, selling, supporting and servicing joint customers.
Earlier this year, Microsoft made a formal announcement that changes are forthcoming to MPN starting in October 2022. We encourage each partner to thoroughly review the new program and assess the impact to the respective organization.
Microsoft will be re-branding the “Microsoft Partner Network” to the “Microsoft Cloud Partner Program”. According to Microsoft’s Channel Chief, Rodney Clark, “This announcement is about more than a name; this change better reflects the enormous and ongoing transition of business operations to the cloud, and how Microsoft intends to support partners in the future. It aligns our partners’ go-to-market motions with the way customers buy today.”
Starting in October, Microsoft will be introducing Solution Partner designations to help identify a partner’s broad technical capabilities and experience delivering successful customer outcomes via Microsoft’s cloud solutions. Solution partner designations include: Data & AI (Azure), Infrastructure (Azure), Digital & App Innovation (Azure), Business Applications, Modern Work, and Security. Achieving a solution designation will be measured on a point-based system of performance, skilling and customer success. Partners can track their progress against these KPIs in Microsoft Partner Center.
- Performance: Measured by net customer adds.
- Skilling: Verifies and demonstrates a partner’s dedication to skilling and training. Points are awarded for each person on your team with specified certifications.
- Customer success: Measured by usage growth and number of successful deployments
Microsoft has also updated the benefits they provide to partners who achieve a solution designation. This includes product benefits (IURs, cloud licenses, and Azure credits), go-to-market services, customer-facing badges, technical presales and deployment services, technical support, and eligibility to earn incentives. Incremental benefits are available to partners that invest and demonstrate deep technical expertise aligned to the solution areas.