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Level 2 Contributor

ISV Competency


I am one of the partners which is facing the upcoming removal of the ISV competency, and as a Gold partner with this competency, we are facing losing benefits of 35 Visual Studio Enterprise subscriptions plus other IUR benefits that we avail of.

With nothing for us to migrate to in terms of an equivalent competency, why is Microsoft doing this to its own partner community?
If suddenly the ISV competency is no longer fit for purpose, and Microsoft intend to restructure it and replace it with something else, surely they should be putting the new competency in place before sunsetting the old one so that partners don't lose out on such a substantial benefit?
35 VSE subscriptions is not something that we can find down the back of the sofa. It would equate to real costs for our business and to be honest, would turn us away from the partner program in future if Microsoft just randomly decide to remove competencies with nothing for partners to do as an alternative.

What are we supposed to do?


A new blog post by Toby Richards published on the partner news center on Wednesday, May 29 talks about the investments we are making in our partner business and changes that are coming in FY20 to programs and offers in the Microsoft Partner Network. 

As Microsoft is in an ongoing journey towards the Digital transformation, this also leaves space for innovation in the Partner experience and Programs optimizations areas.

Most likely you are already aware there are changes within the Competencies program and you have been notified by Microsoft via email or within the Dashboard in Partner Center:PC.png



What does this mean?

To deliver the right benefits to help ISVs build, market, and sell their innovative apps, Microsoft is taking a different approach from competencies, which are oriented toward services partners.


There won’t be an ISV competency, but there will be offers that help ISVs accelerate application development and delivery and increase customer reach. These offers will exist alongside the services-oriented competencies, with benefits that align to the needs of ISVs. 

Microsoft is planning to release the ISV offers in Q2 of 2020 fiscal year that starts July 2019. An offer for ISVs that build line-of-business business applications using Dynamics 365 and Power Platform was announced in April, and more information is on the Microsoft partner website.

Any updates on ISV will be available under this link and If you are planning to join us at Microsoft Inspire (July 14–18 in Las Vegas, NV, USA), you can learn more during breakout sessions and in the Microsoft Partner Network booth in The Hub.



  • Partners with the ISV gold or silver competency who reach their anniversary date + 30 days, no longer have the renew option available.
  • You can however choose another competencyto work on towards attainment.
  • Please sign in the ISV Resource Hub to get more details.
  • More ISV resources are available until new offer requirement are released in our downloadable guide.

Please also follow @MSPartner social channels on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for latest news.



Visitor 1

I'm in the same boat as many others here.


A MS rep told me last month I could renew our org but had to wait until we hit a certain date - I've since learnt that was the date our ISV competency expired.  I had asked him about the ISV competency and he didn't see any problem with us renewing.


Of course I now see his "not seeing any problem" was actually implicitly saying that we couldn't be an ISV anymore and had to get 2x developers to sit an exam.  That's now got to be finished before July 1st for us - 3 weeks away!


We've got a LOT to do with our customers in the next three weeks since it's end of financial year here in Australia.

We've been a partner for many years - close to a decade I suspect.


I don't mind paying the fees.  I don't even mind having the exam requirement.  But when I ask specifically and am told my only barrier is to wait until a certain date before we pay (we used to just pay early to avoid fogetting) I'm certainly annoyed at the sudden surprise and immense business risk I've now got to handle. 


I'm confident our devs will pass the exam without issue - it's a matter of time.


I also have the problem that the exam booking website is currently experiencing an error.  Not a great first experience with what appears to be a gate through which I must pass.  I'm really hoping it's a transient error - I've tried private browser windows and using both MS accounts and Azure AD accounts.  Login loops or just an error saying the site is probably down at the moment are all I can get.


Someone in Microsoft Australia is at least seeing if we can get the grace period extended so we can pay now and do the exams later in July or something.  It didn't seem to matter that I said I'd asked and been told wrong information by a Microsoft partner rep - that's disappointing 😞


I'll try to remember to come back here and update things in a couple of days when I hear back.


I also note that the updated internal use rights are different from what we had previously...  I haven't explored that enough yet to see what grief we'll hit on that front.  I didn't expect business risk from Microsoft of all companies.

Visitor 1

It appears that MS are now going to remove all internal use rights unless I misunderstood the reports. a great thank you for all the support partners give to MS
Visitor 1

You 'were' sort of right, they removed a majority of IURs, but then rescinded last Friday.  Confirmed at Inspire Corenote

Level 4 Contributor

Dear All,
Our competencies Gold Data Analytics and Gold ISV are at risk. This happened because of recent changes in migration to Partner Center. I have been in touch with MS executive for more than two months (from October) now but my query is not resolved yet.
Our anniversary date is 31st December 2018 and we fear because of this we may lose our competencies and it will affect our business badly.
We have completed all the requirements.
Gold Data Analytics: We are following beginners option
Gold ISV: We have published in Azure Marketplace which is reflecting. 100000$ TTM Azure consumption is not reflecting.
After a lot of struggle and calling almost every day and talking to MS support, our Gold Data Analytics competency requirements got completed. Now Gold Cloud Competency has come to risk(Just saw yesterday) which was showing completed earlier.
Gold Cloud: We are following Azure Consumption option or Distributor option both or met
Any help regarding this will be appreciated.
Mohammed Basha,
Level 1 Contributor

Just before the turn of the century Novell Netware was king. Customers no longer mattered, they thought they would roll on like a supertanker. The new kid on the block was Microsoft - hungry and eager they were easy to contact and deal with. Lotus saw the writing on the wall and newer versions of Notes Server (before it was named after a pizza chain) no longer supported Netware.


We started to change from Netware to Server 2000 at the end of 1999.


When the first version of VS came out it wouldn't connect to a Sybase backend, but MS were helpful and still motivated. You could talk to someone, or email them, and they actually helped


During the next decade things were good for MS and developers. VS was quite robust, Server 2008R2 was reliable and updates were once a month and took no more than ten minutes.


The 950 /950XL came out and made every other phone look like it was manufactured by Fisher Price. It still is the best hardware/software combo even now! We talked our customers into buying hundreds of them. MMMmmmm


Fast forward to today. Windows phone, the best thing MS have ever produced, they decide to scrap. Server 2016 and 2019 are buggy, take forever to install updates that now appear twice a month, and regularly cause boot failures and BSOD. I think there were four updates that needed a reboot for Win 10 this month to date!!


Now when I go to renew at the new partner site I get 'As of 14-Feb-2019 ISV competency is no longer available for enrollment or renewal.' - Wonderful. No notice.


Partner is described as 'either of a pair of people engaged together in the same activity.' Clearly MS has a different definition.

Visitor 1

Has anyone gotten any resolution on this issue?  We too have been a Gold Partner for over 10 years and without was just provided the notice our partnership will expire and there is no way to meet the compentencies requirements by 4-14-19.  In addition, the compenties are not really something our developers are going to benefit from...


It would have been great if MS could have provided notice well in advance for their partners to plan for this.


Our Case ID: 201904031639371361 if anyone can provide any assistance. 



Visitor 1

Just discovered two days ago that we were unable to renew with ISV competency (having one certified app). We have to renew before 28th February. This is impossible to have 4 individuals certified for this date.

We were not informed at all by Microsoft during 2018. End of last year, the old partner website explained that we need to wait the new partner website before renewing our gold membership. This is what we done. We waited. And now we are "rewarded" by MS by not being able to renew.

I just looked at the MSCD:App Builder certification. This is a complete Joke. We need first to have 4 developpers to become MSCA:UWP. This requires to pass 2 exams : 70-483 and 70-357. After that we need to pass another exam to be choosen among 70-532, 70-535, 70-487, 70-488, 70-489, 70-496, 70-497, 70-498. But if you look carefully, all those exams are now marked as "RETIRED" except 70-487 "Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services". This joke needs to have 4 people spending hours and hours in order to prepare this exam. During this time they do not work for company and for making business and profit. If one of those developper decides to leave the company just weeks or months after passing all the exams then we need to pass again all the 3 exams with a new developper. If MS changes policy and decides in future (in 1, 2, 5 or 10 years?) to deprecate a MSCA or MSCD, or to ask for a new MSCA or MSCD competency, then we need to pass exams again and again and again. GOLD and SILVER status are now virtually impossible for small companies.

I am totally disgusted by MS. We were one of the rare mobile developper company to support Windows 8 Metro, Windows Phone and UWP while all others were focusing on Android and iOS.

This is a good lesson for us. Do not trust big companies like MSFT. Never. Now I need to set up a self hosted open source GIT server (and surely NOT USING GITHUB as it has been bought by MS!), and will move all our source code to this new server. Same for bugtracking tool. I will get rid of Team Foundation Server and the Windows Server that hosts it. Satya Nadella wanted to change MS position on open source... it seems this is done by "encouraging" its (ex-)partners by dropping MS products and switching to open source products...


Hi Julien,

I appreciate you sharing your feedback and I sincerely apologize for the experience that you've had. I completely understand the frustration and how this impacts your staff and business. In order for me to look into this further, do you have any relevant support ticket #s that you can share with me? Have you spoken to support before about this?


Level 1 Contributor

Hi Cathy,

In fairness renewals have turned shambolic.

We have a gold erp renewal and I have been just trying to confirm the cost and bank details to pay the renewal for 6 weeks now (case ID S201812181739391446).  so very simple how much and who do I pay - 6 weeks of gibberish emails and still not able to renew.  New Dashoard portal "download invoice" directs you to the old PMC when in turn re-directs you back to the new Dashboard.

Trying the online  - 65 in queue (so looks like 3 hour wait time) - if we serviced our customers like Microsoft Service their Partners then we would be out of business in a month.

Level 1 Contributor

We are currently going through exaclty this problem. It is very frustrating and Microsoft support has been very poor on this.

We have been a gold partner for many years and our renewal date was 31 Dec 2018. It was mid December when we discovered ISV was being withdrawn, which gave us very little time over the holiday period to try and qualify for another competency. After contact with Microsoft they assured us that we would have a 30 day grace period after renewal date and we would not lose our benefits.

Returning to work on 2 January 2019 we found that we had lost our gold partner status and we had lost all the license benefits for Visual Studio Enterprise. The result is 35 dev's unable to work because they are locked out of Visual Studio since the license is expired. I spent several hours on the phone to Microsoft to try and restore the licenses since we are still in the grace period. They were unable to do this even after escalating the call higher up the chain. The final reply on it was Microsoft closing the ticket saying we just had to apply for another competency instead.

After many years being a Microsoft partner, writing our entire product suite based on Microsoft technolgies, promoting, supporting and selling Microsoft products we feel that Microsoft has unfairly treated us as a partner - not just by withdrawing the ISV competency at short notice, but also failing to honour their grace period and offering very little assistance to us on how to overcome this situation.

The replies from Microsoft on here just enforce their unfair behaviour. A statement of "it is being re-evaluated" and something new will be available in FY20 does not help us. We either have to find a new way of rapidly attaining gold partner status, or face a huge bill for 35 VS Enterprise licenses.

Level 3 Contributor

Thanks for the feedback and warning!

This causes me some concern as I was informed the same - from Microsoft Partner Services and our renewal begins tomorrow (Jan 15).

 I think I will call in today and start a support ticket because (at this stage), I cannot trust any information coming from Microsoft on this subject.


Hi Adrian,

I completely understand your concern and will help work to assist you the best I can. Can you please provide the ticket number you had and confirm the country you're based in? We'll take a look from our side.


Level 1 Contributor

Yes sure, we are in the UK and it is ticket 1455004461.


Very Good Day mohammed_basha


Here is some info i would like to share with you and the community,  related to Competencies at Risk


the below reasons are common:

Sales Performance option

  • ISV is a new Competency and there are confusion when it comes to validating which Subscriptions qualify for ISV (EA Agreements). We have to reach out to AskPI (before) to get a confirmation if the submitted subscriptions of the Partner is qualified or not (if the information is not showing up in PC already)
  • For Data Analytics, source file in identifying the correct Power BI sales of Partner is not synchronized with what we see in PC Performance Analytics report and the Partner Insights view of the Partner

Certified application

  • For ISV, lack of resource and communication regarding the published application of the Partner once done


However ,as i mentioned before, we already contacted an agent ino Order to provide you some guidance and most important a resolution.



Level 3 Contributor

Hi Laura,

Could you elaborate on why Microsoft has removed the IUR Software benefits from the ISV competency? For that matter, the word "ISV" is not even listed on the latest IUR software benefits document.

Currently, in the new Customer Service Portal, we hold the Gold ISV status and show current IUR software benefits available until our renewal (in Jan). The ISV competency is not listed at Risk. However, (two weeks ago) I was recently informed that these benefits would no longer be provided under the ISV competency. When I questioned further, the response was that this is currently under evaluation.

As a Microsoft Partner, we have been developing Industry wide supply chain solutions for the past 30 years using Microsoft tools and technologies and now developing, supporting, hosting many of our client’s solutions and subscriptions in Azure. 

Does Microsoft no longer feel that ISV Partners require tools like Visual Studio or require licenses for O365 or Windows OS for Dev, Test and demonstration?

Some ISVs also do much more than simply develop applications. We sell, host, develop, demonstrate, evangelize and promote Microsoft technologies across a wide industry scope of retail / manufacturing and industry associations. I certainly can’t speak for all ISVs but we certainly rely on the IUR benefits provided under this competency.


Happy Friday NGCBSiegel 


The ISV competency is being reevaluated. We are hoping to have a new program in FY20 available to ISVs. If you have the ISV competency, you can continue to access and utilize your benefits until your anniversary date. Visit the partner website, select Dashboard, and sign in to view your benefits. 

As long as partners will be able to see the ISV competency available on their own Partner Dashboard and they meet the requirements, they will be able to purchase the corresponding membership and be awarded with the offered benefits by this competency (Technical Journeys <Advisory Hours> and the new Go-to-Market services).

Removal of Competency in Partner Dashboard: current estimate is sometime in January 2019. No exact ETA on that.


Here is more  information that may help

You can find it in the ISV Competency in Partner Dashboard - https://internal.support.services.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4294545/isv-competency-in-partner-dashboard

Under FAQs






Level 3 Contributor

What is frustrating about this - is that we were informed this decision was made about a month ago. We try to plan our development, technologies, tools and resources and licensing based upon some of these IUR software benefits. Since our anniversary date in in January, this does not offer us much time to prep for an alternative competency that offers similar IUR Software benefits.

One would think it would make more sense to leave the benefits in place with the ISV competency and then provide a more advanced warning that the ISV competency and benefits will be changing in the future.

As opposed to …

The Partner Portal, giving no hint of this and allowing partners to believe everything is fine with the ISV competency renewal and then leave it as a (last minute) surprise that the benefits will not be the same…


Happy Holidays  NGCBSiegel


I will be more than Glad to provide some guidance, let me go back with my team in order to get all the answers and some resources, and  i will get back to you.






Hi Mohammed,

Thank you for reaching out. I'm working to connect you with the best resource to help you out. I'll keep you posted once I get more information.