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Responding to COVID-19: Partner guidance and resources.

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JASA1976
Level 6 Contributor

Renewals during Corona Virus Pandemic

Probably not high on most peoples priorities at the moment, but our partner renewal is due in May and wondering whether Microsoft are going to put something in place to help partners such as deffering renwals by 3 months as we struggle to maintain service to our customers and for businesses that are predomentaly delivering projects have an uncertain future as they are put on hold?

 

We have everything in place at the moment for renweals except for a couple of exams and will probably struggle to get those done before the renwal now as staff are isolating or test centres closing. I imagine other partners will be in the same position.

13 REPLIES 13
lgitsmart
Visitor 1

Our renewal is due next week (15 April 2020).  When will we receive clear communication and direction regarding the renewal extension?  Will our Internal Rights Use cloud software (like M365 and Azure) also be extended? We rely on these MPN software licenses to run our MPN business.

JASA1976
Level 6 Contributor


@lgitsmart wrote:

Our renewal is due next week (15 April 2020).  When will we receive clear communication and direction regarding the renewal extension?  Will our Internal Rights Use cloud software (like M365 and Azure) also be extended? We rely on these MPN software licenses to run our MPN business.


You still have tp pay your renewal and then you'll keep your internal rights use. They'res no extension to existing subscriptions. WHat they are saying is that if you have any gaps in competency requirements such as requiring additional exams to be passed that they are waving those requirements for the moment due to test and training centres being closed.

JASA1976
Level 6 Contributor

As Microsoft have now annouced delays to retiring some of the exams that were due to expire shortly will this be reflected in competency requirements? 

 

Over a week and no response to this thread from anyone? I'm sure we aren't the only partner wondering what Microsoft position is.

Andra
Community Manager

Hi @JASA1976 ,

 

Thanks a lot for raising this question and following-up!

I have not seen any official announcement on this topic yet, I know relevant teams are reviewing the plans to help partners, so I will share on this thread an update as soon as is out.

Regarding Test Centers, it might be that some organize online testing, is this something you could consider?

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding,

Andra

JASA1976
Level 6 Contributor

Some of the team have tried the online testing with mixed results with issues around not just the technology, but with the environment that they are in trying to take an exam (ie background noise).

For myself I souldn't even consider an online proctored exam due to my home office working setup. It would be impractical for me to reorganise my room to meet the requirements and with home schooling the chances of not being distrubed limited.

The other issues for us is that in the UK we now have furloughing, so staff not able to work will get up 80% of their salary covered by the government, but they are not allowed to work. I therefore can't ask them to do the exams and study if this happens to them as projects are halted or cancelled. Its not realistic to keep staff on full time and paying them just to study for the next 3 months and do exams without any revenue coming in.

Andra
Community Manager

Hi @JASA1976 ,

 

Hope all is well!

Just to close the loop here, as you might have seen this already, yesterday a new blog post has been released on this topic.

Please Read Gavriella's blog post from 2 April - providing Microsoft Partner Network updates in response to COVID-19.

 

To you questions:

Competency extension

  • We’ve heard from many partners that it’s challenging to meet requirements and renew existing competencies in the current climate. To help you focus on supporting your customers, if your competency anniversary date is between January 1 and June 30, 2020, we are extending your existing competency or competencies through your next anniversary date in 2021. You will need to take action in Partner Center to take advantage of the extension. Information specific to your organization will be available in Partner Center later this month.

Training, exams, and certifications  

  • The Microsoft Worldwide Learning team recently announced plans to help ensure that your teams can get trained and certified. We’re increasing the number of digital testing centers so certification exams can be done at home, waiving rescheduling fees, and extending exam voucher expiration dates. Learn more about these updates.
  • We are moving hundreds of in-person technical training sessions to virtual platforms so that partners can continue to receive specialized training from local subject matter experts and trainers. You can see available events on events.microsoft.com.
  • Microsoft Learn is your destination for free digital training, offering a comprehensive catalog of online training that includes interactive coding environments and role-based learning paths for Azure.
  • Partner Technical Services are available to help partners who are trying to close deals with pre-sales technical and deployment guidance, as well as application development assistance. This resource is available to partners who have advisory hours included with their competency or Action Pack.


Thank you,

Andra

BDenby
Level 1 Contributor

I understand that the competency expiry dates are to be extended until 2021 but does this also apply to the Partner Membership renewal, as ours is due to renew 16th April ? Please can you clarify and confirm?

JASA1976
Level 6 Contributor

I have the same question. Competencies are renewed when you renew you membership, so are we to take it that this is what is meant by this? If you don't renew you don't keep you competencies, so some clarity I thinks required on this point.

Andra
Community Manager

Thank you @JASA1976  & @BDenby  for flagging this. 

I am gathering these questions to raise them internally.

I will update this thread as soon as more information is available.

 

Thank you for your patience.

Andra

 

Andra
Community Manager

Hello @JASA1976 & @BDenby,

Hope all is well!

I am getting back with some clarification.

The competency extension means that you will not have to meet the exam or performance requirements to maintain the competency or competencies you had/have. You will still need to pay the competency fee in Partner Center to take advantage of the competency extension. 

 

Andra

 

 

BDenby
Level 1 Contributor

Hi Andra

thank you for the below but it doesn't really answer my question. I understand that the competency dates will be extended but it's the Microsoft Partner Renewal I am wanting to clarify please, these are two separate things ?

I appreciate your help, thank you Bridget 

JASA1976
Level 6 Contributor


@BDenby wrote:

Hi Andra

thank you for the below but it doesn't really answer my question. I understand that the competency dates will be extended but it's the Microsoft Partner Renewal I am wanting to clarify please, these are two separate things ?

I appreciate your help, thank you Bridget 


Normally these would be the same thing as your competencies renew when you do your subscription, but due to test and training centres being closed at the moment and gaps when it comes to the renewal are being over looked. 

You still have to renew and pay subscription as normal.

JASA1976
Level 6 Contributor

For renewals we still have to pay the same subscription fee, but existing competencies you'll retain them without having to meet the criteria.

That means as long as you pay the subscription you'll retain the existing benefits.

Goes against the blog article on the Redmand Magazine where one fo hte points is to talk to your vendors to say you might have to delay payment etc.