What do the changes to Microsoft Partner Network mean for your cloud business?


Microsoft is making a host of changes to the Microsoft Partner Network to simplify its partner program and make it smarter. Let’s take a look at the changes to the program, now called the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program, as well as how we can provide cutting-edge solutions and knowledgeable guidance to simplify your transition.

Under the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program, partners will need to align with six solution areas, which will replace the existing partner competencies. You will also be able to aim at new partner designations, including Solutions Partner, Specialized Partner, and Expert Partner. The six solution areas are:

  • Business Applications—replacing the following legacy competencies: Cloud Business Applications, Enterprise Resource Planning, Project Portfolio Management.

  • Data & AI (Azure)— replacing the following legacy competencies: App Integration, Data Analytics, Data Platform.

  • Infrastructure (Azure)—replacing the following legacy competencies: Cloud Platform, Datacenter.

  • Digital & App Innovation (Azure) —replacing the following legacy competencies: Application Development, App Integration, DevOps.

  • Modern Work—replacing the following legacy competencies: Cloud Productivity, Collaboration and Content, Communications, Messaging, Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions, Windows and Devices.

  • Security—replacing the following legacy competencies: Enterprise Mobility Management, Security.

We’ve got your back

The announced changes will start to take effect in October 2022. When you renew your membership, you will have a choice of pursuing a solutions partner designation or maintaining your legacy benefits. You can use Stactize, our Go-to-Marketplace enabler, to guide you through the process of setting up your Microsoft partnership, and accelerate the journey of obtaining the correct designations for your product offerings.

What can you do right now?

Each partner will be scored using a new Partner Capability Score (PCS) across three categories: Performance, Skilling, and Customer Success. You can view your current PCS in Partner Center, if you have the Global Admin or MPN Partner Admin roles, by following the below steps.

  1. Sign in to the Partner Center Dashboard and select the Membership workspace.

  2. Select Solutions Partner > Overview in the nav menu.

  3. Select View Details if you want to see a more detailed view on any of the solution area cards.

    Once you have a view of your current PCS, scored out of 100, you can see what actions you need to take to achieve the optimal score for each of the three categories. To qualify as a Solutions Partner, you would need a PCS of 70 or above.

    Key metrics for each category

    Each category has key metrics, outlined below:

    • Performance:

    Key Metric: Net Customer Adds

    • Skilling:

    Key Metrics: Intermediate Certifications and Advanced Certifications

    • Customer Success

    Key Metrics: Usage Growth and Deployments

    Each metric per solution area designation has a unique scoring model, eligibility criteria, eligible workloads and eligible association types, outlined in the Microsoft Solutions Partner Program guide.

    Microsoft has made these changes to simplify the partner programs, setting out a clear path to obtaining new designations that validate your capabilities in delivering successful customer outcomes. Achieving these designations will enable Microsoft to further invest in partner growth and profitability.

    With the Enablement program of our Stactize offering, we guide Microsoft partners in navigating these changes and setting up a smarter roadmap to achieve the desired designations. Together we can simplify and accelerate your journey into the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

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