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Microsoft Partner Network

Where Microsoft's CSP, MSP, SI, and ISV partners seek new opportunities and learn from each other

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?


Hi Mohammed,

The best resource to help with all of your competency questions and escalations is to contact the Partner Support Desk at https://partner.microsoft.com/support, where you can access an online chat tool or get a direct link for the support desk. The support desk can then look through your membership info and walk you through any gaps or outstanding issues. Have you tried exploring this route yet?



Level 4 Contributor

Thanks, Cathy.

As indicated earlier I am in touch with MS executive and it's not working out. Somewhere even they are not able to figure out why consumption is not visible on the portal. I could see only CSP clients consumption which is visible but not DPOR clients.




Hi Basha,

Can you share which MS contact you've been working with on this issue? I'm not clear on what the DPOR issue is here in regards to the Data Analytics and ISV competencies as the former doesn't have any ACR requirements and the latter doesn't use DPOR to qualify into the competency. I'd like to dig into this more on this side. 


Level 4 Contributor

Dear Cathy,

Thank you so much for your interest. SRX1448938806ID, SRX1448938547ID, S201811200323167890, SRX618101791361201ID are some of the tickets that were generated. I have been in touch with MS executive since October 26th, 2018 and I am based out of India. 

You are right Gold Data Analytics and Gold Cloud Platform competency are now reflecting on the portal but:

Gold ISV: 100000$ TTM Azure consumption is not reflecting. We are following Published App option.

Hopefully, a screenshare session will help and I can explain in detail. My contact details are: +91 7338345084 and email id: mohammed.basha@thedatateam.in



Level 3 Contributor

I have a similar issue...

We hold an ISV Gold Competency - all requirements met, no Dashboard notification mentioned anything about ISV Competency being at risk. However, I found out (by chance) two weeks back that IUR benefits for ISVs are being re-evaluated.

I spent months working with Partner support to confirm that the ISV Gold competency would cover us regarding IUR benefits and now, less then a  month before our anniversary, I hear this information.

I have also been working with Partner support and the response has been...

We do not know anything more and will let you know if anything changes.

Very frustrating for a Partner that dedicates their core resources and product vision towards providing solutions that run on Azure...

After so many years of being a Microsoft Partner, I am very troubled by the lack of communication and clarity regarding Partner Communications in this area...


Level 3 Contributor

We are a current Application Development Partner and have been for many years.

Recently we were migrated into the new Partner Portal and to our surprise find that the requirements for this competency have changed. Our renewal date is Jan 15 2019 so we have been in a rush to get a few of our developers to pass new exams. In the past, we had maintained this certification via tested applications and customer references.

In the meantime and in parallel to this, I find that we have already met the requirements for Gold ISV as we use an Azure EA to host our solutions for some very large retailers and manufacturers. We clearly meet the Azure spend requirements and our solution is listed in the Azure MarketPlace for quick integration with Azure AD. I was so happy to see that (as a Gold ISV) we would still have similar IUR benefits (primarily Visual Studio Subscriptions and O365 Licenses) which we rely on to support our teams and development – these benefits are  clearly identified in the new Partner Portal.

To confirm this, I even worked with a Partner Support representative a few months ago to validate these benefits.

So I’m thinking - we are a Gold ISV and should be good to go for renewal in January and (just in case), I’ll have our developers spend some time taking a few exams to see if we can hold onto the Application Development Competency. However, focusing on taking tests is not where I need developers at the moment and it’s never easy to pull them off active projects.

Nevertheless, I felt confident that the Gold ISV Competency was a good fallback plan for maintain IUR software benefits.

Just by chance, I was speaking with A Microsoft partner account assistant the other evening, and she mentioned that Microsoft decided to remove the ISV competency from receiving all IUR software benefits? I was startled and asked: “When was this decision made?”  The response was late in September 2018…

What in the world is going on here?
How is a Partner supposed to keep up with this?

I asked the account rep to show me some evidence of this change and she directed me to logout of the Partner Center and visit a Microsoft Public Website to download the latest IUR benefits for competency Partners.

ISV was not even listed on the document!

I spent weeks working with a partner account rep, validating that the ISV Gold competency would be a great fallback plan to maintain IUR software benefits and now this change?


Can anyone help explain this?

Level 4 Contributor

It is frustrating for changes to occur without notice, but you may find that you qualify for the Cloud Platform competency. Note that there are multiple options - 'Hosting Option' is just Azure spend, whilst 'Azure Consumption Option' requires less Azure spend but needs exams and/or online technical assessments.

Level 1 Contributor


I find our organization is in a very similar situation to yours. We too have been a Gold Partner for 20+ years and qualified as an ISV via tested applications and customer references and when we switched over to the new Partner Portal discovered that we unable to renew our Partner offer. It appeared at first to be a billing/invoice issue but we have since learned that it is not and we no longer qualify without any notice.

I have contact via an initial online chat session regarding the invoice but they don't seem to be able to help past that and I am desperately looking for a Partner rep or contact that can help us.

Were you able to get any answers to your questions ?

Thank you.

Blaine Huntley
GEOSLOPE International

Visitor 1

We were a Silver ISV Partner and just went through this.  I had to scramble and take 3 exams and an assessment in about a month in order to at maintain Silver, but this time it is a Data Platform competency.  And after going through that, I now find that the benefits have also changed and we don't have enough Visual Studio subscriptions for our team now.  This has been an incredibly painful experience.

Level 4 Contributor

Have you seen the license table for competencies that earn Visual Studio licenses? Maybe you meet (or could meet) the criteria for other competencies? Each of the following earns 5 for Silver and 25 for Gold

  • Application Development
  • Cloud Business Application
  • Cloud CRM
  • Cloud Platform
  • Cloud Productivity
  • Dev Ops
Visitor 1

Just logged into the partner website to disover the ISV competency is gone and we now have all our developers sit exams to requalify.  I've searched my email and I received absolutely no communication from Microsoft that this was happening!  None of the new competencies are particularily relevant for what we do which is still developing & selling desktop applications in a closed enironment where the cloud and Azure is neither allowed or relevant.  


Our developers are now locked out of Visual Studio despite the partner portal claiming we are in a renewal grace period and the licenses are valid until 15th June.  


Microsoft you really know how to piss people off sometimes!

Level 6 Contributor

I got an email from Microsoft Partner Center back in February.



Starting 15-Feb-2019, you’ll no longer be able to enroll in or renew the ISV competency. If your organization currently has the ISV competency, it will remain active with no change to benefits until your anniversary date + 30 days.


I would check to see who's getting the emails and whether they did recieve one. Would be interested to know if there is a replacement and when its released.


Hi @JASA1976 ,


ISV is under review. For now there is no update on timing for any new ISV programs as per this notification.  

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 competency to work on towards attainment. Please sign in the ISV Resource Hub to get more details.


Hope the added hyperlinks help,



I'm so sorry to hear this and totally understand the frustration. Have you gone to Partner Support to speak to an agent about this? https://partner.microsoft.com/en-us/support


If you click on the "My Support" drop down up top, you'll be given the options to create support tickets for product or advisory issues. For program specific issues, you can go here: https://partner.microsoft.com/en-us/pcv/servicerequests/create or speak to a Regional Service Center agent at +1 800-676-7658 (800-MPN-SOLVE)

Visitor 1

The company I work for has been an MS Gold ISV partner for several years.  The ISV partnership track has been under review the last several years. This has always made renewals stressful as the requirements were not documented.  Microsoft has finally announced the new requirements. These requirements include an approved application (not a problem) and $100k in Azure consumption in the prior year.  My problem is that this new requirement gets made halfway through our partnership year and now we are at risk.  The new application once launched will consume the $100k per year in Azure consumption. The problem is that by our renewal period the App will have only been public for a month or two.    Anyone else having struggle with the new ISV requirements?

Visitor 1

This is something we have experienced since July of 2018 without knowing what it was. Being patient with Support as some may believe you no longer have benefits and cautious with projections for clients/potential clients in the event your benefits and resources aren't accessible may be something to consider.  

Level 2 Contributor

We are Silver Partner and startup, lossing the beniefits this year. 

What are the support people doing (extending expirty of your VS subscriptions, product license )? Just want to know if it is worth calling them.


Level 2 Contributor

Here is another example.  On October 23rd, Microsoft accepts our $500 for ISV competency application testing fee.  Obviously, some time later I come to find out ISV will no longer be a competency that can be used to acheive Gold or Silver status.  Ok, here is a reasonable request...send the $500 back.  Here we are on April 2nd, no $500 refund has been received.  Its our job apparently to chase the refund down and do so about every month to check progress.  The answer I got shortly ago: "Hi Paul

It is showing in progress. I am following up with the team and update you back.

Thanks & Regards

Application Certification Team



I don't blame the sender of this email, he/she is just a messenger.  My point is Microsoft's Systems, Processes and People who make up decisions about these program changes are the problem.  The people in the field are powerless to get anything done.  What happened Microsoft Leadership?  You are the problem.


Level 2 Contributor

Here is another example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.  Our developer goes to the exam center.  Takes the exam, 10 questions before completing the testing center systems crashes.  After an hour of attempting to recover, it is determined the testing center can't resolve the problem.  So our developer has to take the entire exam all over again from the very beginning.  Is that fair and reasonable?  Ok, next scenario.  The testing center says we will get a Voucher to cover the next round of testing.  However, when attempting to reschedule, the Offshore resource dealing with my employee tells him to simply go online and reschedule the exam, however we already paid for it and the only way to reschedule is pay for another exam.  So we have to get a credit and there is no such option as a voucher unlike the testing center claimed was the case.  Meanwhile, my developer is unbillable and we work to satisfy Microsoft's wants and we pay for it.  Is this a partnership?  A one way partnership is how we see it.  

Level 2 Contributor

Microsoft you blew chunks on this boneheaded decision.  Totally empathize with others on this subject. This decision by the inner circle @ Microsoft is a total debacle on every level.  Those in the inner circle clearly didn't think through the implications at the field level.  Also, the programs/systems and people on the Microsoft side were not well prepared and if the systems and people on their side aren't prepared with helping partners transitions from - > to some other program and help us get fast tracked, how do they expect us partners to get through this process?  Off shore resources who do not have proper information, provide bad information, prep exam fees, exam fees, courseware fees, two weeks of non-billable time for each developer to prepare, study and travel to testing centers...to take exams???   Then your testing centers blow chunks during the exams and require us to get refunds, reschedule and retake the exams when my staff are 10 questions away from finishing!!  Where can I direct my invoices for lost developer time while we all satisfy your money making schemes for testing centers, prep materials, pre-exam materials, etc. etc.?   Seriously, pull a developer out of the field to prep for all these exams and actually take them and we are getting hit with lost revenue and increase in expenses only to satisfy your wants, not a need.  This is all freaking ridculous!  Did Microsoft think through the fact that ISV's were publishing apps on Azure Marketplace over the years prior to this boneheaded program termination decision that your partners in the field may actually be already competent in developing Azure apps?  Afterall, you are receiving and gladly taking our subscription dollars and Microsoft you APPROVED the apps before they were published in Azure Marketplace!!  We have been dealing with your program changes now for months and its because your field operations and your systems are broken, ill informed and even the content on your websites as far as exam requirements has been found to be incorrect.  On top of this, you then offer NO GRACE to your partners who are dealing with your broken system, people and processes.   


Looks like we are not alone and in good company with other partner concerns. Seriously frustrated with your "new and improved" MPN program.  

Visitor 1

Facing similar issues.  We've been Gold ISV and Gold AppDev  for many years, always working hard on customer references, top satisfaction scores, and major commitments to testing and certifying our ISV products.  

Now with just 45 days notice we find all product-certified related are competencies are gone ?    

Certainly not the Win-Win Microsoft Partner community that we're used to.

Team Microsoft - Please consider the impact and provide some suggested solutions