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Microsoft Solutions Partner for Data & AI (Azure) Designation

In today's data-driven world, being an expert in data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a significant asset. The Microsoft Solutions Partner Designation program allows qualified partners to showcase their proficiency in specific areas. The "Solutions Partner for Data & AI (Azure)" designation signifies your organization's ability to help customers unlock the power of Microsoft Azure for their data and AI needs. This guide will explain everything you need to know about the program's requirements and how to achieve this prestigious distinction. 


Why Earn the Solutions Partner for Data & AI (Azure) Designation? 

Microsoft solution partner designations

Earning this designation demonstrates your commitment to excellence in the data and AI space. It validates your team's skills in Azure data and AI services, making you a trusted advisor for potential clients. Here are some key benefits: 

  • Stand Out from the Crowd: Showcase your advanced capabilities in data and AI solutions, attracting new customers. 

  • Boost Customer Trust: Potential clients will be confident in your ability to deliver successful data and AI projects on Azure. 

  • Gain Marketing Advantages: Access valuable co-marketing resources and participate in exclusive Microsoft events. 

  • Increase Profitability: Attract new customers and potentially command premium rates for your expertise. 


The Key to Success: Partner Capability Score 

The Solutions Partner Designation program is based on your Partner Capability Score. This score reflects your organization's overall performance, skills, and customer success within the Azure ecosystem. It's calculated based on three key categories: 

  • Performance: Your ability to grow your Azure customer base and their Azure usage. 

  • Skilling: The qualifications of your team through relevant Microsoft Azure certifications. 

  • Customer Success: Your track record of delivering successful data and AI projects on Azure. 


Reaching the Minimum Requirement: 70 Points 

To achieve the "Solutions Partner for Data & AI (Azure)" designation, you must attain a minimum total score of 70 points. Crucially, you need to earn points across all five specific metrics within the Partner Capability Score: 


  • Minimum Required Points per Metric: You must earn at least one point in each of these areas: 

  • Performance (Adding New Customers who use Azure) 

  • Skilling: Intermediate Certifications (Azure Administrator Associate) 

  • Skilling: Advanced Certifications (Optional, Requires Azure Solutions Architect Expert) 

  • Customer Success: Usage Growth (Increase in Customer Use of Azure Data & AI) 

  • Customer Success: Deployments (Deploying Successful Data & AI Solutions on Azure) 


Understanding Each Requirement in Detail 

Now, let's break down the specific criteria for each metric in easy-to-understand terms: 


This metric focuses on your ability to expand your customer base that uses Azure services. Here's a breakdown of how it works: 


Each new customer who meets the eligibility criteria contributes 10 points, with a maximum of 30 points attainable. 



(Number of Eligible Customers this month) - (Number of Eligible Customers last year) = Net New Customers Added 


Eligible Customers

These are unique customer accounts (tenants) who have spent at least USD $1,000 on Azure services relevant to Data & AI in the past two months. 


Key Points

  • Focus on acquiring new customers who utilize Azure Data & AI services. 

  • Track your customer base growth over time to demonstrate an upward trend. 


This category assesses the qualifications of your team through Microsoft Azure certifications. 

Intermediate Certifications (Mandatory)

At least two individuals within your organization must hold the Azure Administrator Associate certification. This certification validates foundational knowledge and skills in managing Azure resources. It's a prerequisite for earning points in this category. 

Key Points

  • Ensure at least two team members possess the Azure Administrator Associate certification. 

  • Consider additional training programs to enhance your team's overall Azure knowledge. 

Advanced Certifications (Optional): 

While not mandatory, having additional team members with advanced certifications can significantly boost your score. The Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification serves as a prerequisite for earning points in this category. This advanced certification demonstrates a deeper understanding of designing and implementing cloud solutions on Azure. 


Key Points 

  • Having team members with advanced certifications, like Azure Solutions Architect Expert, showcases a higher level of expertise. 

  • Additional advanced certifications can significantly contribute to your overall score. 


Customer Success 

Customer success is a vital aspect of the program. Here's how your achievements contribute to your score: 

Usage Growth

This metric evaluates the growth in your customers' consumption of Azure Data & AI services. Demonstrating a steady increase signifies the value you deliver through your data and AI solutions. 


Percentage usage growth is calculated based on the increase in your customers' total qualifying Azure Consumed Revenue (ACR) over the past year. ACR refers to the revenue generated by your customers' usage of Azure services. Each 1% growth contributes one point, with a maximum of 20 points attainable. 

Key Points

  • Focus on delivering solutions that drive increased customer usage of Azure Data & AI services. This could involve helping them store and analyze large datasets, build machine learning models, or create data-driven applications. 

  • Track your customers' ACR growth over time to showcase the value you provide. 


This metric recognizes your success in deploying real-world data and AI solutions on Azure for your customers. The number of unique, advanced Azure services used in these deployments contributes points. 


Each eligible deployment contributes two points, up to a maximum of 10 points attainable. 

Eligible Deployments

Defined as unique Azure services used by your customers that generated ACR over the past year, excluding Virtual Machines and their licenses. Virtual Machines are a basic Azure service, and Microsoft wants to see you using more advanced data and AI-specific services. 

Key Points

  • Successfully deploying data and AI solutions using advanced Azure services like Azure Machine Learning, Azure Databricks, or Azure Synapse Analytics contributes to your score. 

  • Track the number and types of Azure services you deploy for your customers to demonstrate your expertise. 



Q: What are the benefits of achieving the Solutions Partner for Data & AI (Azure) Designation? 

  • Stand out from the crowd and showcase your advanced capabilities in data and AI solutions. 

  • Increase customer trust by demonstrating your expertise in delivering successful data and AI projects on Azure. 

  • Gain access to valuable co-marketing resources and participate in exclusive Microsoft events. 

  • Attract new customers and potentially command premium rates for your expertise. 

Q: How long does it take to achieve the Solutions Partner for Data & AI (Azure) Designation? 

The timeframe can vary depending on your organization's existing qualifications and customer base. However, by focusing on acquiring new Azure data & AI customers, skilling your team with relevant certifications, and delivering successful data & AI projects, you can significantly accelerate your progress. 

Q: What resources are available to help me prepare for the Solutions Partner for Data & AI (Azure) Designation? 

  • Microsoft Partner Center offers a wealth of information about the program, including learning paths and resources to help your team develop their Azure Data & AI skills. 

  • Microsoft Azure training and certification programs provide your team with the opportunity to acquire the necessary qualifications. 

Q: Where can I find more information about the Solutions Partner for Data & AI (Azure) Designation? 

  • Alif - The Microsoft Service Distributors offers a free program called "Solution Partner Program" to help partners achieve the Solutions Partner for Data & AI (Azure) Designation. This program provides resources, guidance, and support throughout the process. Learn more and enroll at


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