ROAD TO

MICROSOFT CLOUD PARTNER PROGRAM

The Microsoft Partner Network is now the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program, where we prioritize the cloud to ensure our customers’ future success. Digital transformation and acceleration are imperative, and the Cloud Partner Program is invested in partner success, recognizing that technical capabilities—and our strategy—is evolving to exceed customer needs.

The Cloud Partner Program remains a place for all partners – whether they build and sell services, software solutions, or devices – aligned with the core solutions and technologies required to grow their own environments, migrate to the cloud and deliver success for their own customers. The program centers on the core capabilities our customers have been most vocal on: performance, advance technical skills and success for their business.

Find below the most essential information and relevant resources to prepare you for the transition.

 

“Insights from IDC Study ‘Microsoft Ecosystem Value: Partner Paths to Profitability and Growth.
In its European research into the Microsoft ecosystem value, IDC has uncovered the growth benefits a Microsoft partnership can bring to partners.” From playbook.

For every $1 of Microsoft revenue: Services-led partners in Europe make $5.75 Software-led partners in Europe make $7.86 Resale-led partners in Europe make $2.21 in economic value.

Partners that derive at least 75% of their revenue from Microsoft-related activities have the highest profitability, with an average gross margin of 30%.

29% revenue growth expected in 2022 for European partners who invest more than 10% of their revenue in developing IP.

*IDC eBook, Sponsored by Microsoft, Microsoft Ecosystem Value: Partners Paths to profitability and Growth, (Doc. #EUR149732822, October 2022)

Find below the most essential information and relevant resources to prepare you for the transition.

REGISTER TO THE MICROSOFT IRELAND MCPP Bi-WEEKLY OFFICE HOURS NOW

PROGRAM STRUCTURE

Introducing solutions partner designations

Microsoft is streamlining the existing 19 competencies into six solutions partner designations that are aligned to the Microsoft Cloud. By attaining these designations, you’ll demonstrate your organization’s capabilities in delivering customer success in the solution areas. Here is a breakdown

For more information about the details of each Solution area please click in the icons below

This unique new single-level will combine the current Silver and Gold levels. If you have Silver or Gold competencies, you will have time to learn more and evaluate how the solutions partner designation fits into the strategic plan for your business. There will also be an option for partners with legacy competencies to retain the associated benefits.

Learn more about the Solution Partner Designations and how legacy competencies map to them by downloading the guide here.

Solutions Areas: Partner Levels

To help customers better understand a partner’s capabilities, two rating levels have been created on top of the base membership:

  • EXPLORE

    Membership

    First step to accessing Microsoft Cloud Partner Program and free marketing resources.

  • BUILD

    Microsoft Action Pack

    Access to hands-on Microsoft tech, support, and marketing tools.

  • EXECUTE & SELL

    Solutions Partner

    Demonstrate your organization's broad services-solution capabilities aligned to customer needs and the Microsoft Cloud.

  • DIFFERENTIATE & SELL

    Specializations

    Further differentiate your organization's deep expertise in specific technical scenarios aligned to the Microsoft Cloud. .

    LEARN MORE
  • Expert MSP program

    Demonstrate your organization's deep expertise providing managed services across the end-to-end lifecycle for Azure customers.

    LEARN MORE

See below how legacy competencies map to the new Solution Designations.

Find out how to best plan your transition to the program with the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program Playbook: it includes a simplified narrative on why this transition matters, how to best optimize your strategy in making the move and what are the most relevant resources to leverage throughout. You will also find tips and tricks from other organizations on how the made the move, overview of benefits and incentives you can access upon successful transition and much more. There is also a handy cheat sheet section listing out all requirements on how to attain both Solution Designation and Specialization in one single view.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Customers want to know how to find partners with both exceptional technical capabilities, knowledge, and a proven history of delivering innovative solutions that lead to customer success.

The Solutions Partner designation has a holistic framework, the Partner Capability Score (PCS), which measures performance, skilling, and customer success. So, it’s not just what you know, it’s how you apply that knowledge to what you do for customers every day.

 

To attain a Solutions Partner designation, you will need to earn a minimum of 70 points (with points in each category and sub-category) out of the possible 100 points that are available.

Each of the three categories has metrics with different ratings and criteria. When partners meet the threshold for a metric, they will receive the maximum weighted points for that metric. On the other hand, they will get partial points for any progress on that metric.

You can track your progress towards earning a Solutions Partner designation by signing into Partner Center.

Go to the one-stop-shop Training Gallery to ramp up on all things Solutions Partner Designations.
Appoint a sponsor within your company to track progress across all solution Designations you are working on.

For more information about the partner capability score for each Solution Area please click on the icons below.

PROGRAM BENEFITS

To support you as you grow your business, go to market, and reach more customers, Microsoft has updated benefits and aligned them across the six solutions partner designations.

Encouraging business development

Product benefits (formerly IUR) have been designed to align the Solutions Partner Designations, including:

  • Azure bulk credits
  • Development environments
  • New cloud product subscriptions

Increasing customer reach

  • Co-selling with Microsoft
  • Go-To-Market services and tools, assets and personalized consultation
  • Microsoft solutions provider placement

Expanding technical skilling, enablement and support

  • Personalized assistance, comprehensive courses, and world-class Microsoft experts
  • Technical presales and deployments services
  • Product (on-prem and cloud), platform, and technical support

When you attain a solutions partner designation, you’re eligible to receive the new benefits package associated with that designation. This includes product benefits (internal usage rights IURs, cloud licenses, and Azure credits), go-to-market services, customer-facing badges, technical presales and deployment services, technical support, and eligibility to earn incentives.
We’re also introducing additional product benefits aligned to specializations (currently called advanced specializations) and expert programs, further increasing the value for partners that choose to invest in demonstrating deep technical expertise and experience in specific technical scenarios aligned to the solution areas.

To help you to understand the updated benefits, download here the Solutions Partner Benefits Guide.

You may also choose to keep the benefits associated with your legacy competencies until they expire and not adopt the new solutions partner benefits.

Incentives

As a partner in the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program, you have access to various incentives programs that can reward you for delivering services to customers. Many programs pay on top of the standard benefits from the Program. These programs can also help you expand your business.

We understand change takes time. Qualifying requirements for our Co-Sell programs and incentives will not change this year but, in the future, the program will be the access point to them.

CUSTOMER LIFECYCLE

Build Intent

Envision use cases and prove solution value

Modern Work, Security, Business Applications Build Intent Workshops (MW&S; BizApps)

Reward partners for generating demand through assessments, workshops and pre-sales advisory.

Online Services Advisor (OSA) (BizApps)

Reward partners for presales activities that drive the platform sale of Dynamics 365, Power Apps, and Power Automate.

Workload Acquisition and Nurture Campaign (Azure)

Encourage the adoption and increased consumption of strategic Azure workloads (Microsoft Managed Accounts).

Azure Analytics & AI Accelerate Program (AAAP) (Azure)

Provides the resources, credits, and incentives you need to accelerate demand, revenue, and customer success.

Transact

Close opportunity

New Commerce CSP incentives (MW&S; Azure; BizApps)

Cloud Solution Providers providing billing and support as part of a partner-managed experience for customers across all Clouds.

 

CSP WE FY23 Security QoQ Growth Campaign (MW&S)

Drive new seat adoption for a set of strategic products by incentivizing QoQ growth (EMS – M365 BP/E3/E5 + suites) in SMB.

Consume

Unblock usage and realize value

Modern Work, Security, Business Applications
Build Intent Workshops (MW&S; BizApps)

Reward partners for generating demand through assessments,
workshops and pre-sales advisory.

 

Online Services Usage – M365 (MW&S)

Reward partners for helping customers successfully deploy
and adopt Microsoft 365 workloads.

Online Services Usage (OSU) – D365 (BizApps)

Reward partners for driving usage growth for their
Microsoft Dynamics 365 customers by tenant and offer.

Power Platform & Customer Insights Usage

Reward partners for driving customer usage of Power Platform
and Customer Insights.

Azure Enterprise and self-service (MCI-Azure)

PAL-based incentives for partners delivering value-add services to customers.

Workload Acquisition and Nurture Campaign (Azure)

Encourage the adoption and increased consumption of strategic Azure workloads.

Actions:

PROGRAM USEFUL RESOURCES

The best resource to track your progress toward attaining a solution partner designation and associate benefits is the clear Partner dashboard available in the Microsoft Partner Center.

As explained in the Partner Center guide and in the video above, the process for accessing the portal is the following:

 
  • Sign in to the Partner Center dashboard
  • Select the Membership workspace
  • Select ‘Overview’ under ‘Solutions Partner’ on the navigation menu.
  • Select View details for any of the solution area cards on the page or select any solution area of interest on the navigation menu.

As well, as described in the Solutions Areas: Partner Levels section above, the Dashboard can be used as well for applying for specializations and checking their status.

Microsoft Cloud Partner Program playbook ​

Find out how to best plan your transition to the program with the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program Playbook: it includes a simplified narrative on why this transition matters, how to best optimize your strategy in making the move and what are the most relevant resources to leverage throughout. You will also find tips and tricks from other organizations on how the made the move, overview of benefits and incentives you can access upon successful transition and much more. There is also a handy cheat sheet section listing out all requirements on how to attain both Solution Designation and Specialization in one single view.​

Partner Academy sessions:​

– Partner Academy session Differentiate with Solutions Partner Designations and learn more about the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program​

– Partner Academy session Why and How to Obtain a Microsoft Cloud Partner Designation​

Voice of Partner Sentiment Survey

Please leverage this survey to share your direct feedback with Microsoft Voice of Partner Sentiment Survey. Every other month you can find a summary on all of your feedback sent including what the response is and how to take action on it.

Advanced Support from Microsoft

See how our team of Partner Success Account Managers can support you further in your transition: Microsoft Advanced Support for Partners

Solutions Partner associations playbook

This playbook reviews how to use Digital Partner of Record (DPOR), Claiming Partner of Record (CPOR), Partner Admin Link (PAL), Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) for partner associations

Partner associations are the sole mechanism by which customer success, performance and skilling category points are acknowledged and calculated towards achieving solutions partner designation(s). Without these associations in place, partner capability score points are not recognized.

For each of the association processes, the playbook contains information and graphics on how each process works, the benefits for using it, types of associations, a how-to section, a FAQ and links for additional resources.

Solution Partner Associations Playbook

FAQ

TOP QUESTIONS

How is Microsoft simplifying the Microsoft Partner Network programs?

We are simplifying our partner programs focused on differentiating services solution capabilities, to meet customer’s needs and introducing the solutions partner designation, anchored on the Microsoft Cloud in six solution areas aligned to how Microsoft goes to market: Data & AI (Azure), Infrastructure (Azure), Digital & App Innovation (Azure), Business Applications, Modern Work and Security. This new model provides two qualifying levels: solutions partner and specialist/expert.

When will these changes happen?

From September 30, 2022, legacy competencies and associated badging will no longer be valid, although if you have a competency by that date, you will retain your benefits. Starting on October 3, 2022, Solutions Partner designations will be available for partners to attain.

Will I lose my existing benefits as a result of these changes?

No. As part of these changes, we are not removing the benefits you receive today that are aligned to competencies already attained. We will introduce new benefits aligned to the solutions partner designations, and partners that attain the new designations will have a choice of whether to move to the new benefits or keep their legacy benefits.

Who do I contact for assistance?

If something doesn’t appear to be reported correctly on the Solutions Partner dashboard, please log a ticket with Support at https://partner.microsoft.com/support.

Important links

For more information on the evolution of the program, download here the Overview deck: Explore details about the program guide.

In this downloadable PDF you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions.