Michael Frisby, Vuzion Managing Director, writes …Well, it has been quite a year for Microsoft announcements (I am thinking Microsoft 365 price rise and NCE per Seat of course) and last night Microsoft announced big changes to their partner program, impacting the global community of more than 400,000 partners.
The announcement represents a major restructuring and renaming of the Microsoft Partner Network to the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program. Gone are Silver and Gold Competencies, that have been a stable of the Microsoft Partner world for as long as I can remember, replaced with new Solutions Partner designations aligned to Microsoft’s six key Solution Areas, that were introduced a few years ago.
- Business Applications
- Data & AI
- Digital & App Innovation
- Modern Work
In addition to the new Solutions Partner status for achieving a minimum Partner Capability Score in each Solution Area, there will be Specialisation and Expert programs which provide enhanced partner differentiation and benefits.
Following the announcement new functionality has been released in Partner Centre that includes new Solutions Partner dashboards, based around the new Partner Capability Score. This new measurement methodology is anchored on partner performance, skilling and customer success. The new dashboards in Partner Centre provide detailed insights on how the Solutions Partner status can be achieved for each Solution Area.
The changes will start to go live from October 2022, aligned with the annual change in Microsoft Partner incentives, with existing benefits maintained through the October 2022 to September 2023 incentives period.
The good news is that Microsoft is claiming an increase in partner benefits as a result of the change, with a renewed commitment to Internal Use Rights, now called Product Benefits. The full list of partner benefits are available in this new guide.
Whilst this has been a year of significant change already, and this announcement adds more for partners to consider, we believe that aligning the partner program with Microsoft’s broader go-to-market solution areas will provide more opportunity for partners.
At Vuzion we will evolve the courses and content within Vuzion EDGE to help partners achieve the new Solutions Partner status in their chosen areas of specialisation.
As we learn more about the details of the new program, we will share these to ensure that you are enabled to maximise the benefits of the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program. Expect to see updates on the new program in upcoming Vuzion partner events.
Thank you for working with Vuzion. The team and I are committed to your success, so please do connect with the team with any questions that you may have.