I've mentioned before that the Microsoft Partner Network's (MPN) greatest strength - the ability to support and develop the world's most diverse and innovative partner ecosystem - can also be our Achilles heel. This, to an extent, is also evident in the fee structure. Fortunately that needn't be the case, read on to learn all you need to know about Microsoft Partner Network program fees.
Please note: whilst much of this content is relevant worldwide, some elements, such as pre-paid Australia Partner Conference (APC) tickets, are only applicable to Microsoft Partners paying fees in Australia. All fees are in $AUD, include GST and are accurate as of 08/05/2015.
The MPN has three distinct, mutually exclusive membership tiers:
- Community (AKA "Network") - Absolutely no cost, includes business critical benefits for partners of all kinds (especially those in the cloud
- Action Pack - Builds on Community. Introduces licences to run your business on the latest Microsoft technology, increased support options and additional sales & marketing resources
- Competency - The Microsoft partner elite. With twenty seven choices available - your Competency status is an endorsement of your best in class capabilities (and provides access to an unparalleled benefits entitlement)
Learn more about MPN membership, requirements and benefits.
Your Anniversary Date (AD) is the day your current MPN membership expires. Partners can renew up to 90 days prior to their AD - early renewal is recommended to minimise the risk of unforseen surprises, doing so does not “bring forward” your AD, there is no time penalty. It is important to keep your membership active, regardless of your program tier, letting your membership lapse has a flow on effect for all Partner benefits - from incentive payments and POR to training and support. Competency Partners that are unable to renew their status by the AD are advised to renew at Community or Action Pack in the interim whilst they work back to Competency (this is especially critical for Partners selling and deploying Microsoft Online Services!).
You can view your Anniversary Date and renew your membership by signing in to the Partner Membership Centre.
Membership Fees, Upgrades and Anniversary Dates
- Community - At no cost, the fee structure here is pretty simple. Make sure to renew your membership before the Anniversary Date to maintain access to your benefits (including incentive payments, O365 Partner Admin Centre functionality, and Partner Of Record (POR) eligibility)
- Action Pack - Available at a flat fee of $539p.a. Partners that sign up as an Action Pack member or upgrade from Community will receive a full year of Action Pack status and benefits. Your Anniversary Date will be set as a year from payment. Please note that Partners are unable to purchase multiple Action Packs
- Competency - The standard Silver and Gold Competency fees are $2,970 and $6,710 respectively. If you have paid your Competency fees since the last APC, you will be eligible for one (Silver) or two (Gold) pre-paid tickets to the next APC (learn more). Be sure to plan for your renewal in advance as Competency requirements may have been updated during the year, you can renew your Competency status up to 90 days prior to your AD (renewing early will not bring forward your Anniversary Date)
- Silver - Attaining a Silver Competency and paying the Silver fee entitles you to a years' worth of Silver status. During this time you may attain as many Silver Competencies as you wish (assuming all requirements have been met) at no additional cost. You will be eligible for one set of Silver "Core" benefits plus any "Incremental" benefits associated to your Competency stack
- Gold - Attaining a Gold Competency and paying the Gold fee entitles you to a years' worth of Gold status. During this time you may attain as many Gold and/or Silver Competencies as you wish (assuming all requirements have been met) at no additional cost. You will be eligible for one set of Gold "Core" benefits plus any "Incremental" benefits associated to your Competency stack
- [NEW] Cloud Performance Competencies - New this year, the Cloud Performance Competencies (CPCs) are designed to reward you for your cloud success. They include all the benefits of the "standard" Hybrid and On-Prem Competencies*, plus a number of exclusive incremental benefits. Partners with diverse capabilities can mix and match Cloud, Hybrid and On-Prem Competencies as they please - see below for what this means from a fee perspective
- Silver Cloud Performance Competencies - available at no-cost (offer ends June 30, 2015), attaining a Silver CPC makes you a "Silver" partner, meaning you can still attain as many additional (Standard and/or CPC) Silver Competencies as you please (at no cost) until your AD. You will be required to pay the Standard Silver Competency fee at renewal
- Gold Cloud Performance Competencies - available at a reduced fee ($5,610) compared to the standard Gold rate ($6,710). As with other Gold Competencies, a Gold CPC allows you to attain as many other Silver or Gold Competencies as you please before your AD expires. If you meet the Gold CPC requirements at renewal you will be charged the reduced fee (currently $5,610)
*Please note: if you were not required to pay Competency fees due to a Silver Cloud Performance Competency, you are ineligible for pre-paid tickets to APC. Fear not! The amount you've saved is more than enough to cover your tickets with plenty left over for a little something extra (or four 😉 ).
Upgrading from Silver to Gold
New this year is the ability to upgrade from Silver to Gold with no upgrade fee. If you're a Silver Competency Partner looking to step up to Gold, all you need to do is to meet the full requirements of your chosen Gold Competency(s) and click "Attain" in the Partner Membership Centre. There will be no upgrade fee and your Anniversary Date remains the same - when you next renew as a Gold Competency Partner you will be required to pay the Gold fee. This is a fantastic way for growing organisations to accelerate their development whilst saving money.
I hope this post has helped to alleviate some of the confusion around MPN fees. The MPN truly provides an incredible amount of value to Partners of all types – the new fee structure only makes this more so. Please feel free to request further clarification 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.