The Microsoft Authorised Education Reseller (AER) programme is designed to ensure that our partners that work with education customers have been trained and passed tests on our Academic licensing programmes. This is especially important for smaller education customers, where they might choose to buy their licences from a local smaller partner, but will still want to ensure that they are getting the best deal on Microsoft academic licences for software.
For much of our software and online services, education customers typically get a discount of up to 80% from the normal price that commercial customers pay, and that’s why it’s important for our partners to understand the different academic licensing options!
But with hundreds of Microsoft Authorised Education Resellers in Australia, how can customers differentiate between them? Previously you couldn’t - the AER search portal would simply give you a list of AERs for a state or city. But all that changed this week, when the global education team announced three levels of AER, connected to the Certifications that our partners have on the main Microsoft Partner Network. So from now on, when customers look for details of an AER on the AER Search portal, they will see whether the partner is a standard AER, a Silver AER Partner, or a Gold AER Partner. And partners can now use the new logos on their website and marketing materials.
This is good for you, because it means that you get better recognition for making the effort to train and certify you staff through our Microsoft competencies - like Business Intelligence, Data Platform, Office 365 Cloud Deployment, Customer Relationship Management etc (see the full list of competencies here)
And it’s really good for our customers, because they can now find more experienced partners more easily, and it is now much easier to identify a partner who has invested in understanding our academic licensing, as well as becoming certified in a specific Microsoft technology or competence.
How do customers find Silver and Gold AERs?
From now, whenever customers search for an AER on our global portal (https://aer.microsoft.com/SearchAER.aspx) the search results will be prioritised with Gold Partners at the top, then the Silver Partners, and then those who don’t have a Microsoft Competency.
NB: If you’re an AER with a competency, and it’s not showing you as Silver/Gold, then check your profile to ensure that the correct MPN number is listed, as that’s how the AER system checks your competency status!