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Microsoft announces revamp of partner network programme

By Mitchell Hageman
Thu 17 Mar 2022

Microsoft has announced a revamp of their partner programme, creating new opportunities within the company's extensive partner ecosystem across the globe.

The Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) is now evolving into the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program, a change that will assist more than 400,000 global organisations.

The company says the change will help create better solutions for its partners and allow them to continue to innovate, grow, and deliver on the promises of digital transformation amidst the pandemic. 

As part of the revamp, Microsoft has focused on three key holistic areas relating to a partner focus:

Strengthening digital capability

Microsoft will provide guidelines and resources for partners across their digital experiences. By aligning partner experiences across the commercial marketplace, Partner Center, and the Microsoft Partner Network, this will make it easier for access and collaboration.

Deepening partner technical capabilities

The change will equip partners to better meet customer needs by investing in and accelerating Microsoft's joint capability. In addition, the company says they will support partners on their readiness journeys by helping them gain advanced specialisations and in-depth technical training across a variety of solution areas.

Streamlining engagement

Enhancement of the commercial marketplace will continue, as well as the Partner Center, making it easier for partners to engage with Microsoft and drive profitability. Through occurrences like reductions, for example, partners can then invest even more deeply in their own growth plans.

The six main solutions of focus within the programme are:

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

Categorisation of partner capabilities will also change, with a solutions partner level and specialisations and expert programmes being implemented. Both will help create more tailored business solutions and immediately validate a partner's capability to meet specific and evolving customer requirements.

To attain a solutions partner designation, partners will need to earn a partner capability score of at least 70 points (out of an available 100 points) across the four measurement areas. Starting today, all partners can access their dashboard in the Partner Center to see their progress toward a solutions partner designation.

Beyond gaining access to the previously mentioned dashboard, there are no immediate systematic changes for partners. The company says the updates and revamp will provide better experiences and solutions for the future, and they will still continue to recognise partner commitment and growth with programmatic incentives.

Microsoft says that they are excited to take this next step in the evolution of the partner ecosystem.

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