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Announcing updates to Solutions Partner designation for Business Applications



In March, we announced changes to the Microsoft Partner Network, which will become known as the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program, effective October 3, 2022. The program updates and name change reflect our focus on delivering value to our partners and customers in the years ahead with the Microsoft Cloud.  


To summarize, we’re simplifying our program with Solutions Partner designations which are aligned to six solution areas anchored on the Microsoft Cloud and introducing two new qualifying levels that will replace our current gold and silver level competencies: solutions partner and specialist/expert. 


When we announced these changes in March, our goal was to provide partners with the opportunity to prepare and provide feedback on the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program. We’ve listened carefully to your input and have incorporated them into a few key updates, primarily the creation of two new paths to attainment: an SMB track or Enterprise track. This includes fine-tuning some of the thresholds in the partner capability model towards attaining a Solution Partner designation.


New: SMB and Enterprise tracks to attain a Solutions Partner designation

In the March announcement, we shared how our new partner capability score will more holistically measure your organization’s capabilities in helping achieve customer success. A score of at least 70 points (out of a possible 100) across three categories – performance, skilling, and customer success – is needed to attain a Solutions Partner designation. 


Today, based on your feedback, we’re excited to share that we’ve created two paths for partners to attain their Business Application Solutions Partner designation badge – the SMB track and the Enterprise track. These tracks replace the previous Larger Markets and Other Markets tracks. This update will ensure that the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program is inclusive of all partners, regardless of the size of the organizations they do business with. 


While meeting the threshold of 70 points is still required to earn a Solutions Partner designation, the required criteria for each category include different thresholds depending on the associated track. The specific track that is applied is automatically assigned based on the number and size of the customers you serve. You can see your track allocation and your partner capability score in Partner Center as of September 22, 2022. 


And remember, you don’t need to achieve the maximum number of points across each of the three categories. As long as you have at least one point in each category (and a minimum of 70 points total), you are eligible to receive a Solution Partner designation — we refer to this as using partial points. This enables you to optimize in the category that best suits your business.


Moreover, regardless of which track you qualify for, a single Solutions Partner designation badge and associated benefits are granted to all partners upon meeting the criterion.  

Check out what this means for you: 


For partners who are assigned the SMB track: 

The SMB track to Solutions Partner designation is designed to better align to partners who typically service small and medium sized businesses. For this group, the partner capability score requirements reflect an emphasis on velocity. 



For partners who are assigned the Enterprise track:

The Enterprise track to Solutions Partner designation is aligned to partners who tend to do business with large enterprise organizations. This track reflects an emphasis on larger deals.  


New partner capability score available now

The new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program will still be effective on October 3, 2022, including new Solutions Partner designations and rules. However, your new partner capability score, based on these two tracks, is available in Partner Center as of September 22, 2022. The new changes generally reflect a net improvement to partners’ capability scores. 


Next steps

Prepare to make the most of Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers program:


  • Admins can sign in to Partner Center to see how your organization is progressing towards a Solutions Partner designation, see the associated benefits, and access support.  
  • Go to Training Gallery & Microsoft docs to learn about the requirements needed to attain a Solutions Partner designation. 
  • For more information visit the Microsoft partner website

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