D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Microsoft Partner Program – Keeping Pace With a Moving Target

Friday, July 9, 2010 12:28 AM


This year Microsoft revamped their partner program with changes to eligibility requirements, competencies, and other areas. In this post I want to talk about some changes to the competency requirements.

The idea of competencies aren’t new, however this year we’re seeing Microsoft take a more serious view of who they allow into their partner program. Because of this, achieving those competencies are more difficult and require more investment. The idea is that only serious partners participate. Microsoft wants organizations that help them sell licenses while making consulting dollars off of those transactions. It’s not a bad model, its a smart one actually…for both parties.

My company is one of those partner organizations, and we’re launching internal initiatives around a large component of the whole partner program: having Microsoft certified professionals on staff.

We had a meeting yesterday to discuss what exams were required for the competencies we’re looking at, who was available for upgrade paths, etc. Most of the information we were going off of was from this document found on the Microsoft Partner website. We had downloaded an earlier version (read: pre-June) and by fluke I opened it up yesterday to verify something…but it looked different.

After reviewing this June version of the document, we realized that all our certification targets had to change because the requirements for competencies had been altered. For example, now instead of requiring 4 MCPD Web (.NET 2.0) or ASP.NET 3.5 developers on staff for the Web Developer Advanced Competency, you need 4 MCPD Web Developer 4…as in .NET 4.0. And while individual ASP.NET 3.5 exams still count towards the base competency, why bother when they can’t help you towards the advanced competency certification?

So anyway, the point of this blog post is to serve as a warning. If you’re a Microsoft Partner up for renewal in the next 6 months, you NEED to review the new requirements. Luckily we opened that document up again, otherwise we wouldn’t have been made aware of the changes to the competency requirements.

Also changed seems to be the licenses available for the different competencies (a colleague mentioned that the calculators were spitting out different numbers from before, although I haven’t looked myself to validate that…but it wouldn’t surprise me).

D




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