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The Shift from Microsoft Partner Network to Microsoft Cloud Partner Program

Updated: Jun 8


MPN is now MCPP

The Shift from Microsoft Partner Network to Microsoft Cloud Partner Program

Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) is a program that helps partners build and sell solutions based on Microsoft technologies. MPN provides partners with benefits such as training, certification, marketing, support, and incentives.

However, MPN is evolving to meet the changing needs of customers and partners in the cloud era. Effective October 2022, MPN will be renamed to Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP). MCPP is designed to help partners grow their business, go to market, and win new customers across the Microsoft Cloud.

In this article, we will highlight the key differences between MPN and MCPP, give an overview of the new program structure and benefits, and share some tips to achieve the solution partner badges. We will also mention the timelines for the transition and how to get ready for it.


Table of Contents

  • Key Differences between MPN and MCPP

  • Overview of MCPP Structure and Benefits

  • Tips to Achieve Solution Partner Badges

  • Timelines for the Transition

  • How to Get Ready for MCPP

Key Differences between MPN and MCPP

The Shift from Microsoft Partner Network to Microsoft Cloud Partner Program

The main difference between MPN and MCPP is that MCPP simplifies the partner program with single-tier Solutions Partner Designations that are aligned to six solution areas on the Microsoft Cloud:

  • Solutions partner for Security

  • Solutions partner for Modern Work

  • Solutions partner for Business Applications

  • Solutions partner for Data and AI (Azure)

  • Solutions partner for Infrastructure (Azure)

  • Solutions partner for Digital and App Innovation (Azure)

By attaining a solutions partner designation, partners will become eligible to receive the new benefits package associated with that designation. Only partners that obtain all six solutions partner designations will receive a Solutions Partner Designation for Microsoft Cloud demonstrating partner capabilities across the Microsoft Cloud.

Another difference is that MCPP will move away from silver and gold competencies to new qualifying designations of Specialized and Expert. These designations will recognize partners who have deep expertise and proven customer success in specific cloud scenarios within each solution area.

Additionally, MCPP will introduce a new Partner Capability Score (PCS) that will measure partners’ performance, skilling, and customer success across each solution area. A solutions partner designation will only be given once partners receive a minimum PCS of 70 points (out of 100) across the three categories and at least one point in each category.


Overview of MCPP Structure and Benefits

MCPP is structured around six solution areas on the Microsoft Cloud that reflect the most common customer needs and opportunities. Each solution area has a corresponding solutions partner designation that partners can attain by meeting the requirements in performance, skilling, and customer success.

The six solution areas are:

Solution Area

Description

​Security

​Protect identities, data, devices, apps, infrastructure, and cloud platforms from cyber threats

Modern Work

Enable collaboration, communication, productivity, and employee wellbeing in hybrid work environments

Business Applications

Automate processes, optimize operations, and deliver insights with Dynamics 365 and Power Platform

Data and AI (Azure)

​Unlock insights from data with Azure data services, analytics, AI, and machine learning

Infrastructure (Azure)

​Build, migrate, manage, and scale cloud infrastructure with Azure compute, storage, networking, and management services

​Digital and App Innovation (Azure)

Develop modern applications with Azure app services, DevOps tools, containers, serverless computing, and blockchain

Partners can also differentiate themselves further by attaining specialized or expert designations within each solution area. These designations will require partners to pass additional technical assessments or audits and demonstrate customer success stories in specific cloud scenarios.

The benefits of MCPP are designed to help partners build quickly, scale growth, sell worldwide, and stand out—all with a partner they can trust3. Some of the benefits include:

  • Access to product licenses, technical courses, certifications, and support

  • Co-marketing opportunities, sales collateral, and marketplace exposure

  • Incentives, rebates, and discounts

  • Recognition badges, logos, and awards

The benefits vary depending on the solutions partner designation, specialized designation, or expert designation that partners attain. Partners can review the Solutions Partner Designation Benefits Guide to see the updated benefits available2.


Tips to Achieve Solution Partner Badges

To achieve a solutions partner badge, partners need to meet the requirements in performance, skilling, and customer success for each solution area. Here are some tips to help partners achieve these requirements:

  • Performance: Partners should focus on acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones by delivering high-quality solutions and services that meet customer needs and expectations. Partners should also leverage the Microsoft commercial marketplace, partner-to-partner sales channels, and sales tools and resources to drive customer purchasing3.

  • Skilling: Partners should invest in developing and refining their knowledge and skills on Microsoft technologies by accessing the training gallery and learning paths available on the partner website. Partners should also encourage their employees to obtain intermediate and advanced certifications that validate their expertise3.

  • Customer Success: Partners should demonstrate their ability to deliver successful outcomes for customers by increasing the usage and adoption of Microsoft cloud solutions and deploying them in various scenarios. Partners should also collect and share customer feedback, testimonials, and case studies to showcase their customer success stories3.


Timelines for the Transition

The transition from MPN to MCPP will start in October 2022 and will be completed by July 2023. Here are some of the key dates and milestones for the transition:

  • October 2022: MCPP will launch, and partners can sign into Partner Center to review their PCS and track their progress toward a solutions partner designation. Partners can also start applying for specialized or expert designations within each solution area.

  • January 2023: Partners who have attained a solutions partner designation will start receiving the new benefits associated with that designation. Partners who have not attained a solutions partner designation will continue to receive their current MPN benefits until June 30, 2023.

  • July 2023: The transition from MPN to MCPP will be completed and all partners will be aligned to the new program structure and benefits. Partners who have not attained a solutions partner designation by June 30, 2023, will lose access to their current MPN benefits.


How to Get Ready for MCPP

Partners who want to prepare for MCPP can take the following steps:

MCPP is an exciting opportunity for partners to grow their business across the Microsoft Cloud and differentiate themselves in a crowded market. By attaining a solutions partner badge, partners can unlock benefits and resources that will help them build quickly, scale growth, sell worldwide, and stand out—all with a partner they can trust.

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