As a partner community, we’re looking forward to hearing a host of exciting announcements during Inspire 2018. But, Microsoft has already lifted the lid on one exciting new development – a new programme designed to help Managed Service Providers (MSPs) successfully deliver Azure services.
Microsoft says the Azure Expert Managed Service Provider has been specifically designed to help you assess, migrate, build, deploy, optimise and efficiently manage business solutions on Azure for your customers.
Benefits of the Azure Expert MSP programme
- Differentiation: Earn an exclusive Azure Expert MSP badge, be showcased to customers and gain top priority in Microsoft’s referral engine
- Customer engagement: Be prioritised for co-sell engagements and leads
- Sales and business development: Obtain support to develop new practices
- Access, training, and support: Attend exclusive events and participate in monthly calls with Azure engineering.
Becoming an Azure Expert MSP involves both a pre-audit assessment and on-site audit, providing multiple customer references for Azure managed services projects you’ve delivered over the last 12 months. Depending on your business, the process can take more than 300 hours of effort, requiring expertise from across your business.
Azure Expert MSP prerequisites
To qualify you must meet eight basic requirements:
- Partner programme tier: All partners must have an active Gold Cloud Platform competency
- Azure consumption: You must drive at least $100,000 [£76,000] Azure consumed revenue per month
- Cloud Solution Provider (CSP): You are required to have an active CSP contract in place
- MSP offer: Your offer must be listed in the One Commercial Partner Catalogue, AppSource, or Azure Marketplace
- Azure MSP offer: Your Azure MSP offering must be promoted on your website
- Certified staff: At least 15 of your full-time employees must have completed one of three specific Microsoft Certified Professional exams
- Customer references: You’ll need four Azure customer references, including one public reference with a published case study
- Support contract: You must have Advanced Support for Partners or Premier Support for Partners covering Azure
To retain the badge, you need to continue to meet pre-requisites annually and complete a progress audit every year.