Partnering with Microsoft allows you to deliver innovative products and services, access new markets and generate more customers. In combination with the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) - it's the best business decision you can make.
A closer look at Competencies
Saving the best for last, today I close out the series with an overview of Silver and Gold Competencies; exclusive branding to endorse your capabilities, a wealth of Sales, Presales and Technical support, internal use licences for the latest Microsoft technology, a boost to your Pinpoint search ranking, even tickets to Australia Partner Conference – a cloud advantage so great, you should probably be ashamed.
As the most exclusive tier of MPN membership - Competencies represent the Microsoft partner elite. Attaining a Competency is the perfect way to showcase your best in class capabilities, maximise engagement with Microsoft and supercharge your growth through a benefit entitlement bordering on outrageous.
At time of writing there are 27 Competencies on offer, each available at the Silver or Gold level and with tailored requirements. "Tailored requirements" is worth emphasising, a Competency certifies your capabilities in a chosen area of business, depending on your competency choice the requirements may include; certified individuals, tested applications, customer references and/or proven performance – it’s important to choose the right competency for your business needs (see the full list of competencies with Silver and Gold requirements here).
New this year are the Cloud Performance Competencies, which, as the name suggests, focus on proven cloud performance for eligibility. To reward your cloud success, Silver can be attained at no cost*, Gold at a reduced rate, and each competency includes a set of exclusive benefits. See below to learn more about the Cloud Performance Competencies, benefits and the attainment process.
- The Small & Midmarket Cloud Solutions Competency - for partners selling Office 365 to SMB customers
- The Cloud Productivity Competency - for partners deploying Office 365 for Enterprise customers
- The Cloud Platform Competency - for partners delivering solutions based on Azure
- The Cloud Customer Relationship Management Competency - for partners driving deployments of CRM Online (scheduled to launch by April 2015)
* Silver entry fee promotional through June 30, 2015
Competency fees are paid once yearly, during that time a partner may attain as many Competencies as they are eligible.
All Competency partners receive the benefits of Community, a "core" Silver or Gold entitlement, as well as incremental benefits associated with their chosen Competency stack. Incremental benefits may include; additional internal use software grants, eligibility to deliver Software Assurance Planning Services as well as incentives, special offers, Signature Cloud Support, a dedicated Microsoft contact and access to competency logos. See the Competency page for a full view of each Competency's incremental benefits.
"Core" Silver and Gold Competency benefits:
- Tickets to Australia Partner Conference
- Microsoft Australia's premiere partner event, Australia Partner Conference (APC), returns for 2015. Subscribe to the blog for the latest updates
- Partners that pay Gold fees in Australia are eligible for two tickets
- Partners that pay Silver fees in Australia are eligible for one ticket
- Please note; partners that take advantage of the no-cost Silver Cloud Performance Competency promotion are not eligible for APC tickets
- Software to run your business
- Internal use licences for over 25 Microsoft software products and solutions, allowing you to run your business on the latest Microsoft technology
- Gold = up to 100 seats per product
- Silver = up to 25 seats per product
- Entitlement includes;
- Visual Studio developer tools
- Visual Studio Premium with MSDN
- Gold = 10 licences
- Silver = 5 licences
- Visual Studio Online Basic
- Gold and Silver = 5 seats
- Visual Studio Premium with MSDN
- Enhanced support options
- Product Support
- Gold = 20 incidents
- Silver = 15 incidents
- Partner Advisory Hours for Technical Presales and Advisory Services
- Signature Cloud Support
- Partners with a "Hybrid" competency are eligible for up to 10 incidents. Partners with a Cloud Performance Competency are eligible for unlimited support.
- Microsoft Partner Network support through the Regional Service Centre
- Access online or call 13 20 58 (Options 2,4,1)
- Unlimited sales, pre-sales and technical support from expert Microsoft consultants and the worldwide partner community through the Partner Support Communities
- Product Support
What are you waiting for? Find the competency that best meets your needs, work towards Silver or Gold and take your business to the next level.
That wraps up my four part series showing how you can gain an unfair cloud advantage with the Microsoft Partner Network. Stay tuned for a new post next Friday, feel free to request a topic in the comments section.
Need Support? Contact the Regional Service Centre on 13 20 58, Options 2,4,1 (Australian partners only) or visit the Partner Support Community.