Microsoft Solution Partner Designation
Data and AI
The Microsoft Cloud Partner Program is set to replace the existing Microsoft Partner Network(MPN) on October 3, 2022. The new program will aim to drive and promote partner's proficiency in six technology areas: Data & AI (Azure), Infrastructure (Azure), Digital and App Innovation (Azure), Business Applications, Modern Work, and Security. Partners can choose to get certified in one or more of the above areas.
Legacy competencies, as well as the Gold and Silver badges that partners used to differentiate their expertise levels under the MPN, will no longer be valid in the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program. Under the new program, Microsoft will measure partner's expertise in their chosen fields using a new “partner capability score” (PCS) that takes into account their number of new customers, deployments and certifications, as well as their overall growth.
The maximum PCS score an organization can get is 100. There will be two expertise levels for partners in the new program, each with their own badges. The “solutions partner level” is open to partners that earn a PCS of 70 or higher. The next level, which Clark described as “specializations and expert programs,” is open to partners that demonstrate “deep technical expertise and experience in specific technical scenarios under each solution area.”
Microsoft is slightly tweaking its partner benefits program in the run-up to the Oct. 3 switch. For instance, partners will continue to earn licenses to run Microsoft products in-house, but that benefit’s name will change from “internal use rights” to simply “product benefits.”
Microsoft is updating their partner program from the Microsoft
Partner Network (MPN) to the
Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP) .
A single Solutions Partner
designation will replace
Silver and Gold.
Legacy competencies will be going away including
the Silver and Gold designations .
Solutions Partner designations will be available starting October 3, 2022. Legacy competencies and associated badging will no longer be valid, but partners that have a competency by September 30, 2022, will continue to receive legacy benefits until their next anniversary date.
If you have an anniversary date after September 30, 2022, Microsoft will provide options to continue to purchase legacy benefits after that time.
(Meaning you can pay the fee and still get the incentive kickbacks/IURs after September 30th 2022 through October 2023) .
October 1, 2023, and beyond: Attaining a Solutions Partner designation will be required to be eligible for incentives. Legacy competencies and legacy benefits will no longer be recognized as eligible criteria for incentives.
You can track your progress towards Solutions Partner designation in Partner Center
today as an admin .
Partner Program Overview
The above pic is Microsoft’s marketing fluff which emphasizes program simplification and mutual growth over time. The new Solutions Partner designations include metrics that we have seen in the past with legacy competencies such as net new customer adds, internal certification achievements, and growth metrics. In fact, Microsoft is now classifying the qualifications into 3 major categories:
Performance (Aka new customer adds)
Skilling (Aka Certs)
Customer Success (Aka Usage and Deployment growth)