Last year (October 2022) Microsoft rolled out their brand-new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program! This new approach is designed to simplify the partner network program and focus more on what customers actually want.
What is the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program?
Microsoft has revamped its partner program to focus on solutions that cater to the evolving workforce. The introduction of Microsoft Solutions Designations now recognises the competency and expertise of partners in delivering specific solutions to customers.
To earn these Microsoft Designations, partners must demonstrate their ability to provide top-notch solutions that meet customer needs. This new approach replaces the previous 18 legacy competencies with a more streamlined experience. The solutions that partners can specialise in are:
- Data & AI (Azure): Providers with this designation specialise in managing customers’ data across multiple systems so they can build analytics and AI applications.
- Infrastructure (Azure): Partners can earn this designation by demonstrating their proficiency in assisting customers with the migration of key infrastructure workloads to Azure.
- Digital & App Innovation (Azure): This solution designation recognises partners who develop, run, and manage applications across multiple clouds and on-premises.
- Business Applications: This distinction offers great opportunities for partners providing Dynamics 365 and Power Platform consulting, deployment, and management.
- Modern Work: A Solutions partner for Modern Work demonstrates broad capabilities in helping customers transition to hybrid work and boost their productivity.
- Security: Solutions partners with specialised skills need to implement integrated security, compliance, and identity solutions to help customers safeguard their entire organisation.
At Bespoke XYZ, we’re excited to share that not only have we achieved the “Data & AI” and “Digital & App Innovation” designations, we have also attained the “Advanced Specialisation in Low-Code Application Development”. A major achievement, so huge congratulations to the team for making this possible.
Breaking Down the Criteria: How Partners Can Earn Microsoft Designations
To earn one of these designations, partners must score at least 70 points out of 100 based on metrics across three categories (with at least one point in each category):
First up, there’s performance. This one takes into account net customer adds, as well as customer churn over a 12-month period. Basically, partners need to show they’re bringing in new customers and keeping ’em happy.
Next, there’s skilling. This is all about demonstrating the partner’s expertise with certifications – both intermediate and advanced. The more skills and knowledge they can show off, the better.
Last but not least, there’s customer success. This one’s measured by usage growth and the number of solutions deployed. Partners need to show they’re making a real impact and delivering results for their customers.
From Microsoft Gold Partner to Microsoft Cloud Partner
Microsoft’s new partner designation model is shaking things up and paving the way for a more robust recognition of partner skills and expertise. At Bespoke XYZ, we were once proud Microsoft Gold Partners (this has now been phased out), but we’re excited to see how these new designations will elevate the industry standard for showcasing capabilities.
However, let’s be real – achieving these designations is no walk in the park. The new model considers a holistic partner capability score, taking into account technical capabilities and other relevant factors. So, we’ve had to buckle down and work even harder to ensure we meet the criteria. But, we’re up for the challenge and believe this new approach is a positive step forward in acknowledging partner excellence.
What Does the New Microsoft Cloud Partner Program Mean for Customers?
The new Microsoft Partner Program is not only shaking things up for partners, but it’s also bringing a ton of benefits to the customers who work with partners like us.
By simplifying the program and focusing on customer-centric solutions, Microsoft (and us) is putting the customer needs front and centre.
So, what does this mean exactly?
- Increased value: By focusing on customer-centric solutions, the new program is designed to provide greater value to customers. Partners are now evaluated on their ability to meet customer needs and solve their challenges effectively.
- Expertise: The new program’s six solution areas offer specialised expertise in high-demand areas such as Data & AI, Infrastructure, Digital & App Innovation, Business Applications, Modern Work, and Security. Customers can now choose partners based on their specific needs and trust that they have the expertise required to provide the best solutions.
- Trust: The program’s new approach ensures that partners are evaluated on their technical capabilities, as well as other relevant factors. This means that customers can trust that their chosen partner has the necessary skills, experience, and value to deliver high-quality services and solutions.
Looking for a Microsoft Cloud Partner?
As an experienced Microsoft Cloud Partner, Bespoke XYZ is dedicated to providing modern, cloud-based solutions that can transform the way businesses work. We’re proud to have already obtained the Data & AI designation and we’re constantly expanding our expertise to offer even more innovative solutions to our clients.
If you’re looking for a trusted and reliable Microsoft Partner, get in touch with our team of friendly advisors. We’ll work with you to find the right solutions for your business needs and help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of modern technology.