Hero Banner

Incentives Programs

Subscribe to this forum to be notified of upcoming incentives webinars.

Reply
raluca_mancu
Moderator

Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP) - FAQ

raluca_mancu_0-1659520666146.png

 

 

We are evolving Microsoft Partner Network programs and are committed to our partnership and helping you grow your business. This includes simplifying our partner programs and aligning how we go to market, validating partner capabilities to deliver successful customer outcomes, and investing in your growth and profitability.


Here are the frequently asked questions regarding the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program. If you have any further questions, please log a ticket at Partner Center Support https://partner.microsoft.com/support 

 

 

How do you start learning about the new program?

 

First, start by reviewing the Microsoft partner blog post and Microsoft docs pages. about the new program with links to more information.

 

 Next, review the materials in the partner training gallery on the Microsoft partner website that include an overview presentation, FAQ, data sheets, timelines, and information on specific solution area designations.

 

 From there, explore other resources such as the Solutions Partner Designations Overview, the Solutions Partner Designations - Benefits Guide, a Microsoft documents overview article, and a documents article on the partner capability score.

 

Finally, download the attached PDF and look for future communication and learning opportunities from Microsoft.

 

 

How are the Microsoft Partner Network programs changing?


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)
  • Digital & App Innovation (Azure)
  • Infrastructure (Azure)
  • Business Applications
  • Modern Work and Security

 

This new model provides two qualifying levels: Solutions Partner and specialist/expert.

For more information, please visit the Microsoft partner website.

 

 

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. To learn more about the timeline for these changes, please visit the Microsoft partner website.

 

 

What are Solutions Partner designations?


We are introducing the Solutions Partner designations, anchored on the Microsoft Cloud in six solution areas aligned to how Microsoft goes to market. By attaining Solutions Partner designations, you can demonstrate your organization’s capabilities in delivering customer success in the solution areas. That’s valuable for you, because it’s where we see customer demand, and where the opportunity is for partners to scale to meet customer needs. The six designations will be Solutions Partner for Data & AI (Azure), Digital & App Innovation (Azure), Infrastructure (Azure), Business Applications, Modern Work, and Security.


A Solutions Partner designation helps to easily identify partners with experience in high demand Microsoft Cloud solution areas, and that have delivered successful customer outcomes. Success is measured by customer success, skilling, and performance. For more information about the Solutions Partner designations, please visit the Microsoft partner website.

 

 

Are competencies going away?


Yes. September 30, 2022 is the last day for partners to renew competencies. From October 2022, competencies will no longer be valid, meaning that badges will go away, and competencies will not be promoted by Microsoft. Partners will retain their benefits.

 

 

I have questions about my legacy competencies. What should I do today if I have legacy competencies?


If you have competencies, you will have time to learn more and assess how the Solutions Partner designation fits into the strategic plan for your business. September 30, 2022 is the last day to renew legacy competencies. Once Solutions Partner designations are available on October 3, you will have the option to retain legacy benefits.

 

 

My competency renewal is before September 30, 2022, should I renew my legacy competency or wait to attain the Solutions Partner designation?


You should assess the new designations and benefits to determine how they align with your business plan. You can work with your global or MPN partner admin to sign into Partner Center to check your progress towards attaining the Solutions Partner designation. If you choose to renew your legacy competency before September 30, 2022, you will be provided your legacy benefits through to your next anniversary date and can renew them at your next anniversary date. If, after October 3, 2022, you attain 70 points for the Solutions Partner designation, you will immediately receive the new customer-facing badge and no additional fee is paid. On your next Dates subject to change anniversary date, you will be able to choose whether to retain your legacy competency benefits or move to the updated Solutions Partner designation benefits. You will pay the appropriate fee and receive the benefits. However, you may choose not to renew your legacy competency and instead focus on attaining the Solutions Partner designation. In this example, once you attain the Solutions Partner designation, since you do not have legacy benefits, you immediately have the opportunity to pay the fee and move to the new Solutions Partner benefits. However, note that in this case you would not have the opportunity to select your prior legacy competency benefits as part of your Solutions Partner membership.

 

 

My competency renewal is after September 30, 2022, can I renew under legacy in September?


No, you can't renew your legacy competency before your anniversary date. If your anniversary date is after September 30, you will have options. If you meet the requirements, you immediately attain a Solutions Partner designation and the new customer-facing badging. Legacy competencies and associated badges will no longer be valid after September 30, 2022. However, you will retain your legacy benefits (benefits you received based on the competency you held on September 30, 2022), until your next anniversary date. On our anniversary date, if you don't meet the requirements for the Solutions Partner designation, you will have the option to pay the fee and retain your legacy benefits (benefits you received based on the competency you held on September 30, 2022), until your next anniversary date.

 

 

If we renew our gold competency between now and September 30, 2022, can we get a pro-rata discount to the end of September?


No, however you don't pay another fee until your next anniversary date. If you have renewed your legacy competency ahead of September 30, 2022, and you attain the Solutions Partner designation from October 3, 2022, onwards, you will immediately receive the new customerfacing badge and no additional fee is paid. On your next anniversary date, you will be able to choose whether to retain your legacy competency benefits or move to the updated Solutions Partner designation benefits. You will pay the appropriate fee and receive the benefits.

 

 

I have a legacy competency and choose to attain a Solutions Partner designation. What is the process?


Starting October 3, 2022, Solutions Partner designations will be available for partners to attain. If you meet the requirements and earn the required partner capability score, you immediately attain a Solutions Partner designation and the new customer-facing badging. Legacy competencies and associated badges will no longer be valid after September 30, 2022. However, you will retain your legacy benefits (benefits you received based on the competency you held on September 30, 2022), until your next anniversary date. On your next anniversary date after October 3, 2022, you will have the following options:

Qualifications for designation at the time of anniversary: Maintain a Solutions Partner designation if you have attained one. Partner will have two options relating to benefits, they can only pick one option. A partner must choose option #1 or #2 in order to keep the Solutions Partner designation.

• Option #1: To receive the Solutions Partner designation benefits you will pay the annual fee. Annual fees for Solutions Partner designation will be aligned to the legacy gold competency fees. OR

▪ Option #2: Retain your legacy silver or gold competency benefits and pay an annual fee. Annual fees for legacy silver or gold competency benefits will be aligned to the legacy silver and gold competency fees.


Does not qualify for designation at the time of anniversary:
• Retain your legacy silver or gold competency benefits and pay an annual fee. Annual fees for legacy silver or gold competency benefits will be aligned to the legacy silver and gold competency fees.

 

 

I have a legacy competency and will not attain a Solutions Partner designation. What is the process?


Competencies and associated badges will no longer be valid after September 30, 2022. You will continue to receive legacy benefits (benefits you received based on the competency you held on September 30, 2022), for legacy competencies until your next anniversary date. After that time there will be an option to continue to purchase legacy benefits.

 

 

I have questions about the partner capability score and points. What is the difference between partner capability score and the partner contribution indicator score?


PCI (Partner Contribution Indicator) score has seven key indicators used to assess your progress toward attaining or retaining a legacy Cloud Business Applications competency only. With the introduction of Solutions Partner designations, PCI will no longer be used, and we are moving to a new holistic measurement called the partner capability score which measures performance, skilling, and customer success categories aligned with each solution area. A minimum of 70 points (with points in each category and sub-category) out of the possible 100 points that are available, is needed to attain a Solutions Partner designation. For more information, please visit the training gallery on the Microsoft partner website. 

 

 

raluca_mancu_6-1659520666156.png

 

 

 

How can I attain a Solutions Partner designation? (Partner capability score)

 

A Solutions Partner designation has a holistic measurement framework, the partner capability score, which measures performance, skilling, and customer success. So, it is not just what you know, it is how you apply that knowledge to what you do for customers every day. This holistic measurement provides you flexibility to demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and experience. 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. For detailed partner capability score requirements for each Solutions Partner designation, please visit the training gallery on the Microsoft partner website: 


• Solutions Partner for Data & AI (Azure): www.aka.ms/Solutionspartner.DataAI 
• Solutions Partner for Digital & App Innovation (Azure): www.aka.ms/Solutionspartner.DigAppInnov

• Solutions Partner for Infrastructure (Azure): www.aka.ms/Solutionspartner.Infrastructure

• Solutions Partner for Business Applications: www.aka.ms/Solutionspartner.BizApps

• Solutions Partner for Modern Work: www.aka.ms/Solutionspartner.ModernWork 
• Solutions Partner for Security: www.aka.ms/Solutionspartner.Security 

 

 

Where can I see what points I have towards the Solutions Partner designation?

 

Admins can sign into the Solutions Partner page in Partner Center to see how their organization is progressing towards the Solutions Partner designation. Read this post and watch the demo video to learn more on how to view the dashboard : Video - Solutions Partner Dashboard Demo - Microsoft Partner Community

 

 

When will the data be updated in the Solutions Partner dashboard on Partner Center?

 

Across all Solutions Partner designations, skilling data is updated daily with a latency of 72 hours, customer success and performance sub-categories will be refreshed monthly, typically by the 15th of every month with trailing 12-month data.

 

 

If something doesn't appear to be reported correctly on the Solutions Partner dashboard, who do we contact for assistance? 

 

Please log a ticket with Support at https://partner.microsoft.com/support 

 

 

Is it possible to earn partial points in a category?


Yes, you can earn partial points in whole increments. For example, if a metric requires three customer adds with a total of 30 total points and you obtain one customer add you will earn 10 of the 30 total points.

For more information about specific requirements, please visit Microsoft Docs:
• Solutions Partner for Data & AI (Azure): www.aka.ms/solutionspartnerdataai 
• Solutions Partner for Digital & App Innovation (Azure): www.aka.ms/solutionspartnerdigiapp 
• Solutions Partner for Infrastructure (Azure): www.aka.ms/solutionspartnerinfra 
• Solutions Partner for Business Applications: www.aka.ms/solutionspartnerbizapps 
• Solutions Partner for Modern Work: www.aka.ms/solutionspartnermodern 
• Solutions Partner for Security: www.aka.ms/solutionspartnersecurity 

 

 

What if I do not have the 70 points required to meet the Solutions Partner designation?


If your organization does not have the 70 points required to meet the Solutions Partner designation, you can sign into the Solutions Partner page in Partner Center for guidance on how you can improve your score in each of the categories: performance, skilling, and customer success.

 

 

Is the 70 points for the Solutions Partner designation only or does it contribute to the specialization and expert programs?


70 points is the minimum requirement to attain a Solutions Partner designation. Note that it is 70 points out of a possible 100 points, and partners need to have points in all subcategories. The associated Solutions Partner designation will become the prerequisite for specializations and expert programs. For example, to earn the Calling for Microsoft Teams specialization, a partner would first need to attain the Solutions Partner for Modern Work designation, then meet the specialization requirements which are otherwise unchanged. For more information on the requirements visit the specialization pages on the Microsoft partner website.

 

 

Our partner capability score is currently 50 points or less, but we are working towards an advanced specialization, will that boost our score?


No. Specializations (currently called advanced specializations) and expert programs will continue to be a way to further differentiate your organization’s deep technical expertise. Solutions Partner designations are the first opportunity to differentiate your organization's capabilities in delivering customer success. 70 points is the minimum requirement to attain a Solutions Partner designation. Note that it is 70 points out of a possible 100 points, and partners need to have points in all subcategories. The associated Solutions Partner designation will become the prerequisite for specializations and expert programs. For example, to earn the Calling for Microsoft Teams specialization, a partner would first need to attain the Solutions Partner for Modern Work designation, then meet the specialization requirements which are otherwise unchanged. For more information on the requirements visit the specialization pages on the Microsoft partner website.

 

 

What happens if we attain the Solutions Partner designation but dip below 70 points between attaining the designation and our anniversary date?


At any time after October 3, 2022, if your organization meets requirements for the Solutions Partner designation, you’ll immediately receive the corresponding customer-facing badge. On your anniversary date, we'll check if you still meet the requirements. If you do, you'll retain the Solutions Partner designation and corresponding badge after paying the annual fee.

 

 

Can all types of partners attain a Solutions Partner designation for example ISV, services partners, indirect providers?


We recognize that Solutions Partner designations are primarily for partners providing services, but all partners are welcome to participate in Solutions Partner designations and our broader partner program that offers additional benefits. For example, new features and functionality are now available to help Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) sell more with Microsoft through our commercial marketplace. Microsoft continues to make commitments to make the commercial marketplace the most partner-focused business platform with flat agency fees of 3%, the opportunity to motivate partners in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program to sell an ISV’s offer with margin sharing and unlock enterprise customers with enhancements in private offers for customized deals. For services partners who focus on SMB, there is a path within the Solutions Partner for Modern Work. For more information, please visit www.aka.ms/Solutionspartner.ModernWork

 

 

Can all types of partners attain a Solutions Partner designation for example ISV, services partners, indirect providers?


We recognize that Solutions Partner designations are primarily for partners providing services, but all partners are welcome to participate in Solutions Partner designations and our broader partner program that offers additional benefits. For example, new features and functionality are now available to help Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) sell more with Microsoft through our commercial marketplace. Microsoft continues to make commitments to make the commercial marketplace the most partner-focused business platform with flat agency fees of 3%, the opportunity to motivate partners in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program to sell an ISV’s offer with margin sharing and unlock enterprise customers with enhancements in private offers for customized deals. For services partners who focus on SMB, there is a path within the Solutions Partner for Modern Work. For more information, please visit www.aka.ms/Solutionspartner.ModernWork 

 

Find out more about how we’re supporting ISV partners today:
• To help remove the traditional barriers to founding a tech company, we launched Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub, where you can grow your business at your pace with Microsoft tools and platforms, guidance from business leaders and technical experts, and startup-friendly offers from Microsoft partners.
• For tailored support as you develop, extend, and sell Microsoft Cloud solutions, you can join the ISV Success Program, the pathway for ISVs within the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program.
• One of our top priorities is to help you deliver quality, high-performing cloud solutions to customers across every market and industry. As an ISV partner, you can expand your customer connections through the Microsoft commercial marketplace

 

raluca_mancu_7-1659520666159.png

 

 

Why should I attain a Solutions Partner designation?


Customers want to work with partners who have the right skills and capabilities to meet their needs, along with demonstrated ability to deliver customer success. The Solutions Partner designations clearly differentiate you from your competition. By attaining a Solutions Partner designation, you demonstrate your commitment to skilling and training and highlight the innovations and successful solutions you are building and delivering that contribute to customers’ success.


By attaining Solutions Partner designation, you will demonstrate your organization’s breadth of capabilities in delivering customer success in the solution area aligned to how Microsoft goes to market. That is valuable for you, because it is where we see customer demand, and where the opportunity is for partners to scale to meet customer needs. To learn more about the Solutions Partner designations, please visit the Microsoft partner website.

 

 

Where can I track my progress towards attaining a Solutions Partner designation?


You can track your progress towards earning a Solutions Partner designation by signing into Partner Center and navigating to the Solutions Partner page.

 

 

What are the benefits associated with Solutions Partner designations?


Program benefits will continue to support you as you grow your business. The Solutions Partner designations benefits include internal use licenses (IUR) as well as other familiar benefits such as go-to-market services and resources, support and more. All Solutions Partner designations include benefits such as marketing, support, and advisory benefits. Each designation also has specific incremental benefits. To learn more about Solutions Partner benefits, please visit the benefits guide on the Microsoft
partner website.

 

 

How are badges and benefits distributed between a partner global account and a partner location account?


Designation badges and benefits are attained on the partner global account (“PGA") level; badges and benefits can be distributed to the partner location account(s) (“PLA”) that are associated to the PGA. It is at the discretion of the PGA regarding how to distribute benefits to PLA(s)? To learn more about the relations between PGA and PLA, go here: Two levels of MPN partner accounts - Partner Center | Microsoft Docs

 

If a partner has multiple PGAs, they can choose to consolidate by following these steps
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/partner-center/mergeaccounts?msclkid=46915f2ed07e11ec9095d7db342d8208 

 

 

I have questions about the new customer-facing badges. What badges are available for the Solutions Partner designations?


New customer-facing badges for the Solutions Partner designations will be available from October 3. 2022. There is one badge per solution area which represents the Solutions Partner designation. There is also a Solutions Partner for Microsoft Cloud badge, for partners who attain all six Solutions Partner designations.

 

 

Where can we find the new logo designation design guidelines for print and website/digital use? Will there be black/white/transparent images available?


Color and black and white versions of the badging will be available for download from Logo Builder in Partner Center once partners have attained the designations from October onwards. Badge use guidelines will be available from October in Logo Builder and on the Microsoft partner website.

 

 

I have questions about fees. What is the fee to attain a Solutions Partner designation?


The annual fee to attain a Solutions Partner designation is $4,730 USD (or equivalent, local fees vary). This is aligned to the existing fees to attain a legacy gold competency. For partners with a legacy competency by September 30, 2022, who attain a Solutions Partner designation, the required annual fee is based on the benefits selected and is due at your existing anniversary date (as listed in membership page in Partner Center).


For example, if you choose the Solutions Partner designation benefits, you will pay an annual fee of $4,730 USD (or equivalent, local fees vary) aligned to the legacy gold competency fee. If you choose to retain the legacy benefits (benefits you received based on the legacy competency you held on September 30, 2022), you will pay a fee aligned to your legacy silver or gold competency fee (local fees vary).


You can choose to attain one Solutions Partner designation, or more, if applicable to your business. Once you attain a Solutions Partner designation, subsequent Solutions Partner designations can be attained, after requirements are met, with no additional fee. For more information, please visit the Microsoft partner website.

 

 

Do we need to pay a separate fee for each of the six Solutions Partner designations and what is the fee?
The annual fee for the Solutions Partner designation, regardless of how many designations, will be $4,730 USD (or equivalent, local fees vary), aligned to the legacy gold competency fee. As it works with competencies today, if a partner earns subsequent designations, they do not need to pay the fee again.

 

 

If I meet all the requirements for an additional designation, will the benefits be available immediately, or is there a time delay in Partner Center?
If you earn a subsequent designation in between anniversary dates, you will be able to access the subsequent benefits immediately, you do not have to wait until your upcoming anniversary date.

 

 

If I attain an additional designation mid-year, is the designation valid for twelve months from attainment or is it valid through the next anniversary date?
The designation is valid until the anniversary date of when the first designation was attained. For example, if a Solutions Partner for Modern Work designation is attained November 2022, and then Business Applications is attained January 2023 and Security in February 2023, all three designations will have the same anniversary date of November 2023.

 

 

I have questions about specializations and expert programs. How are Microsoft advanced specializations changing?
Advanced specializations will become specializations on October 3, 2022. If you attain a Solutions Partner designation, specializations further validate and differentiate your deep technical experience and expertise. Specializations demonstrate your ability to deliver project based services related to specific technical scenarios aligned to the solutions areas, and with how we go to market. Earning a specialization strengthens and differentiates you from your competition in areas with high customer demand. We are also introducing new badges and benefits. To learn more about specialization benefits, please visit the benefits guide on the
Microsoft partner website.

 

If you have an active advanced specialization on October 3, 2022, it will automatically transition to specialization. At that time, legacy gold competencies will no longer be valid, and Solutions Partner designations will become prerequisites to earn specializations. You will have 60 calendar days to ensure you meet the relevant Solutions Partner aligned to your specialization to retain your specialization.

 

 

What is the difference between Solutions Partner designations and specializations?
The Solutions Partner designation becomes the first opportunity for you to demonstrate your breadth of skills, knowledge and set yourself apart from the competition. Once you attain a Solutions Partner designation, you can further differentiate your deep technical expertise and experience with specializations (formerly called advanced specializations) and through the Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Service Provider (MSP) program.

 

 

When will changes to the advanced specializations happen?
Starting on October 3, 2022, Solutions Partner designations will be available for partners to attain and will become a prerequisite to earn, maintain, and renew a specialization. To learn more about the timeline for Solutions Partner designations, please visit the Microsoft partner website.

 

* Note dates subject to change

Source FAQs - Find answers to the most frequently asked questions here (updated July 13th, 2022)
to view the full list of other FAQs & latest version: Download - Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP) - Frequently Asked Questions

 

Get up to date and visit the Microsoft Ireland MCPP Partner Zone Community Forum: 
Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP) - Microsoft Partner Community

To learn more about the program changes, review helpful assets in the training gallery on the Microsoft
partner website, and Microsoft docs pages.

Download the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program Resources - Quick Access Guide now! 

0 REPLIES 0