Autumn 2022 will see the Microsoft Partner Network make way for a refreshed, simplified partner programme.
Transformation and simplification are the name of the game in 2022. While the Surveil team busies itself implementing simplified dashboards and a fine-tuned user experience, Microsoft has similarly turned its own eye to making the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) easier to engage with for both partners and their customers.
The change marks a significant moment for partners, coming twelve years after the Microsoft Partner Network replaced its predecessor, the aptly named ‘Microsoft Partner Program’. Over a decade later, the technological landscape has evolved – with new solution expertise to match. Now, partners need new levels of support, opportunity, and clarity – all of which can be offered by the evolved programme.
What to Expect
If the idea of a total partner programme overhaul feels overwhelming, don’t worry: Microsoft has already started to communicate exactly what we can expect as the changes unfold across late 2022.
It wouldn’t be a refresh without a catchy new name. From October 2022, we’ll all be addressing the Microsoft Partner Network by its new name, the ‘Microsoft Cloud Partner Program’ – a title that aptly draws attention to the new programme’s main focus: the cloud.
New Solution Alignment
Six solution areas have been chosen to form the basis of the new programme moving forward, each of them aligned to the Microsoft cloud. These areas will tie directly into how partners operate. They are:
- Data & AI (Azure)
- Infrastructure (Azure)
- Digital & App Innovation (Azure)
- Business Applications (Power Platform or Dynamics365)
- Modern Work (Microsoft 365)
To help customers understand a partner’s capabilities within these new solution areas, the programme will introduce updated designations. From October 3rd, qualifying partners will be known as ‘Solutions Partners’ – with the ‘Specialization and Expert’ tier differentiating partners based on their capabilities. To qualify, partners will need a ‘Partner Capability’ score of 70 out of 100, measured across areas such as growth, deployments, and certifications. Customers won’t be able to see a partner’s score but will be able to determine which partner to work with based on their designation.
Getting Prepared Early
OK, October might seem quite far away, but (as always) preparation is key; partners already have access to a dashboard highlighting areas of improvement to bolster their Capability Score ahead of their competitors.
Meanwhile, it pays to read up using Microsoft’s own communications – including a short video on understanding the Capability Score and the blog series adding detail to the new Cloud Partner Program. Microsoft are also investing in workshops to support partners during the transition.
Thinking further outside of the box, an early start also gives partners the opportunity to tighten areas of concern and a chance to develop and align offerings relevant to the new solution areas.
Those not yet ready to say goodbye to the familiar Gold and Silver designations will be glad to know that they won’t lose the current benefits of their already-attained competencies. What’s more, renewal by September 30th will mean they can continue to use their Gold and Silver badges for another year.
All in all, the change represents a bold new direction for the Microsoft Partner Network, filled with possibilities – and it’s a direction that makes sense with how technology and Microsoft’s own solutions continue to evolve.
Mark the new cloud era by forming a better understanding of your customers’ Azure environments. Get in touch with our team to find out more about our new Azure Health Check, powered by Surveil.