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v-jillarmour
Community Manager

Evolving the Microsoft Partner Network programs

Building on our 30-year relationship with partners, we're evolving to help grow your business and meet customer's changing needs.

 

Starting October 2022, the new solutions partner designations will help identify your broad technical capabilities and experience in high-demand Microsoft Cloud solution areas. They'll also showcase your demonstrated ability to deliver successful customer outcomes.  

 

Success is measured by performance, skilling, and customer success. 

 

Nothing changes today. You have time to prepare and assess the new program. 

We want to help you grow your business and to recognize your success and continued commitment to our partnership.  

 

By attaining solutions partner designations, you'll demonstrate your organization's breadth of capabilities to deliver customer success in the solution areas where we see customer demand and where you can scale to meet customer needs. 

 

More info HERE

91 REPLIES 91
salestotheforce
Level 4 Contributor

Hello

I have some questions/concerns about this new solutions partner designations program. More specifically about the Business Applications designation.

1) How will this new solutions partner designation affect publishing in the Marketplace, like Apps in AppSource?

2) Does this mean we can no longer use the Gold/Silver status/badges in our sales efforts after Sep 30?

3) For the Usage Growth metric, is the requirement to maintain the minimum MCV as well as keep increasing it every year? 

4) Will Microsoft revoke a badge/designation if a partner fails to achieve 70pts any given year (at the anniversary date evaluation)? Also, what happens if a partner falls below 70pts at any point before their anniversary date?

5) When will Microsoft hold more online In-Depth Information and Q&A sessions on this new program?

Thank you. 

 

 

MandyC1
Level 4 Contributor

Hi I think these are great points I'd like the anwers to as well, I am not Microsoft, I am very unhappy about the change and am also really struggling


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v-jillarmour
Community Manager

@salestotheforce I've got some responses for you:

 

1) How will this new solutions partner designation affect publishing in the Marketplace, like Apps in AppSource? We have not announced any changes to publishing in the Marketplace at this time.

 

2) Does this mean we can no longer use the Gold/Silver status/badges in our sales efforts after Sep 30? Correct.

 

3). For the Usage Growth metric, is the requirement to maintain the minimum MCV as well as keep increasing it every year? @CatherineC may have an answer for this one.

 

4) Will Microsoft revoke a badge/designation if a partner fails to achieve 70pts any given year (at the anniversary date evaluation)? Also, what happens if a partner falls below 70pts at any point before their anniversary date? Solution Partner Designations will work similar to how competencies work today. Once a partner attains the designation and pays the fee, they will have the designation for 1 year. If they fall below during that year period, we will not revoke it, but we will flag the partner in PC noting the requirements that are no longer being met and which could put them at risk for renewal at their anniversary date. If they do not meet the requirements at their anniversary date, they will not be able to renew the designation. There will be a lapse until the partner is able to meet requirements and pay the fee.

 

5) When will Microsoft hold more online In-Depth Information and Q&A sessions on this new program? We will be holding more in July and September. Please watch for dates and times in Partner Center Announcements. We also have comprehensive readiness resources available anytime in the Partner Training Gallery.

 

 

salestotheforce
Level 4 Contributor

THank you for the reponses @v-jillarmour 

PerWerngren
Influencer

I think that the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program will benefit everyone! The transition from Gold to Solutions partner will be fairly easy for most. Even more important, the world has changed and I welcome a partner program that embraces cloud computing. And Microsoft will be able to articulate the value of having a skilled partner which might reward the ones with the best skillsets. Worth noticing is that partners will be able to keep their old benefits (without the Silver/Gold logo) which is a fallback in case it takes time to figure out how to best utilize the new program.

 

The new partner program is a great leap forward!

shahzadansari
Level 2 Contributor

fairly easy for the most..??? did you go through the requirements before commenting here.. how is an ISV supposed to find cloud based customers if their solution is supposed to be deployed inhouse mostly, must we now insist our customers to go spend on cloud within 6 months and make them change their budget and throw their existing hardware or software licenses in trash, and even if they do, how do we make them add our partner ID in their subscription while a cloud vendor is already doing it or are we supposed to now hire new team within 6 - 7 months and start providing cloud based solutions while making everyone get certified for Microsoft technologies.. this is beyond stupid.. 

On top of that, the number of certifications for every designation/competency has increased and the darn Microsoft has only provided a few months for us to get ready and complete the certifications.. what in the world are they thinking?? 

Please do not mislead people with your limited knowledge of how everyone runs their business..

bryans69
Level 3 Contributor

I'm assuming that 

a) You are not a current partner and

b) You haven't read any of the information

For many small ISVs that have been partners for years, the transition will be impossible, as a large part of it revolves around MS cloud license sales, which we do not do.
I've no clue as to what Microsoft were thinking when they came up with this, but retaining existing partners certainly wasn't on the list.....

BerndS
Level 2 Contributor

I agree, that Azure and M365 will be the future. And I also agree, that most existing Gold Partners meet the requirements. But for smaller Silver Partners it is a hard way. We have a lot more to do than certifying mass of emloyees for the new requirements this year.

KKirby
Level 4 Contributor

Most existing Gold Partners do not meet the requirements - that's the problem. We've been Gold for 22 years (and an MS Partner for 32) but the transition mapping is not at all well thought out. For those partners that invested in the old skill requirements as frequently as Jan/Feb this year, their investment is being trashed. Sure if you're an Accenture of this world you'd qualify on the basis of volume and numbers of staff without any problem. But most are not the size of Accenture or anywhere near. If you have under 100 staff and you just spent a shedload of bucks training them up in the last year, and now that gets trashed because all the certs have changed (and aren't even relevant) then that's a huge problem. And I for one don't want to have to re-spend the budget that we've just "wasted" apparently on re-training staff in areas/topics that are not relevant to them, and are unlikely to be for some time. In addition the pooling of partners into a smaller number of categories just means there will be more partners swimming in the same pool for business. One of the well known tech journalists recently commented that based on a recent survey 80% partners won't qualify for the new designation by the end of the year, so they simply won't bother!  That means the designations become meaningless in the market.  For many its a case of bye-bye Microsoft! And that's very sad. 

 

kkirby@techassoc.com
BerndS
Level 2 Contributor

Hi everyone,
I this a result of a totally failed bachelor thesis?
Does anyone of them who made these program changes know, what partners do?

We are a very early Microsoft Partner (1995) and there were many program changes during that time.
Most of them brougt us new ideas, new solutions and benefit. The last years we specialized for cloud solutions which pushed our business extremely.
Best of all was the CSP Partner Program launched by Microsoft. Never had a better licensing program.

We meet 3 competencies at the moment and just renewed our membership. most of our customers are <10 seats, but there are also a few >500.
In total we have an Azure and O365 volume of about 700K $.
But we are far away to meet the requirements for even 1 solution area (3 times 40%, one time 11%).

Dear Microsoft, work is hard enough in that times. Don't stress your partners! 

shahzadansari
Level 2 Contributor

The requirements for this program is completely outrageous, we are a large Microsoft partner who does not have their mainstream business set up on cloud but still because of our ERP, we help Microsoft sell hundred of thousands of dollars worth licensing for Windows and SQL server as an ISV every year. This new so-called "designation" has runied it for us as we are heavily dependent on MSDN licenses to help grow our ERP and develop for our customers. We are completely screwed because now we will have to purchase probabaly 300K USD worth of VS subscriptions with MSDN benefits every year to keep our development going. On top of cloud, the number of people require to certify on Microsoft technology is completely abhorrent. Does Microsoft assume that developers are doing nothing and have enough time to go prepare for the certification and keep on taking exams like college kids and then if the exam is of an expert level, they will have to keep renewing it every year or so. Microsoft is really trying hard to push everyone away from their products with their highly stupid decisions focused on expanding the PYAG model only.. Seems like this would keep evolving and become tougher and tougher and the partners would start selling AWS and GCP to customers.

KKirby
Level 4 Contributor

I completely agree. The program hasn't been thought through properly or (as far as I can tell from speaking to other "well connected" partners) even been consulted on. We influence millions of dollars worth of licence revenue but we wouldn't even qualify in the new program. We've been a Microsoft Partner for 32 years (since the original program began) and Gold for 22 years, but this new program is just ridiculously over complex and trashes the massive investment made in skilling and staffing we have made in the last 18 months. What really peeves me is that we were advised on requirements by Microsoft back in September (as they were then) and we invested based on that so that our MPN renewal (in March) would be valid. We renewed but that investment is now trashed by the new program and is completely irrelevant because the mapping to the new categories makes no sense. There is no grandfathering across and Microsoft are asking us to re-invest in a whole set of new skills before 3rd October. That simply won't happen and is entirely unrealistic. Our work pipeline runs about 12 months out, so fitting in an entirely new set of exams and certifications for all relevant staff just isn't going to happen. Plus I can't get budget approval because we already spent that on staff skilling in the last year. Microsoft is completely our of touch with the reality of partner business models and operations if they think that its possible to completely skill up from scratch in just a few months. And that's auite apart from some of the ridiculous requirements being placed on partners in the various sub-categories. I feel like we are back at school being "marked" for homework - that's really not the way a partnership should work. And Microsoft should not be dictating how a partner should be running their business IMHO.      

kkirby@techassoc.com
ateece
Visitor 1

The concern I have is around the requirements for "Net customer adds". We're an ISV that produces 1 product used by global businesses. Some of those choose to host on-premise and are already significant Microsoft partners in their own right, paying huge sums in licenses revenue. Our other customers buy via our SaaS offering. In this scenario we can host on Azure, but all revenue would appear to Microsoft as coming from us.

It appears that we'll be completely cut out from the Partner Program no matter how much our customers cause us to spend with Azure. Microsoft is placing greater value on the customer having an Azure account themselves so that they can contact them than they are the actual revenue generated.


Is there any solution to this? It isn't uncommon for ISVs to host on Azure but offer a single SaaS platform to end customers - we generate significant revenue for Microsoft but not brand recognition.

MandyC1
Level 4 Contributor

Interestingly I think we are in a very similar situation; I think we need to keep pushing it to Microsoft that something needs to change if they still want to engage with ISV's like us.
bryans69
Level 3 Contributor

Who do we push it to though? We certainly have direct contact with an individual at Microsoft, and when I last raised an issue via the partner portal, I got a 3rd party who really wasn't interested in any actual feedback.

MandyC1
Level 4 Contributor

personally, I'm raising on forums like this, raising support tickets and just telling anyone I talk too at Microsoft about it in the hope someone will listen. The more we can get people talking the more likely hood it will get noticed, by those who can do something.
mburnham
Visitor 3

We too are in a similar situation. All SaaS revenue comes under our tenant, but still goes to Microsoft. With the changes coming forth in the program, we lose critical IUR tooling and resources. Without those resources, we have little holding us long-term to the Microsoft space. 

MandyC1
Level 4 Contributor

So many ISV's are in this position they really need to re-think this if they still want ISV's involved which they do we have just been accepted into a really good ISV Cloud program I just don't get the thinking
KKirby
Level 4 Contributor

If Microsoft ever needed to find a way of shooting themselves in the foot, then this is it!! 🙂 

kkirby@techassoc.com
MandyC1
Level 4 Contributor

Too right!!|