Microsoft Is Requiring All Customer Facing Technical Microsoft Employees To Be Certified

Earlier this year, two Microsoft Vice Presidents, Kevin Turner and Gerri Elliott, made abold announcement at MGX this year. That all customer facing-technical employees will obtain a Microsoft Certification. In Kevin Turner’s own words: “By having everyone obtain certification, we send a message that we are serious about building a world-class sales organization”.

This new initiative is part of Kevin’s Word Class Selling plan and MSL has worked with them to create easy to understand mappings between the different job roles and our MCP programs and also implement effective self-studysolutions for their learning/preparation needs. This is a pretty important step in growing the internal and external appreciation and recognition of Microsoft’s new Generation of certifications.




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Comments (6)
  1. mdalligood says:

    How do you feel about this George? Considering that certification are designed for experienced professionals? Do you think this could be mislead as, "Kevin’s World Class Selling Paper Certified Plan"?

    Don’t get me wrong, the idea is a positive one. However, it does sound very similar to businesses "forcing" their employees to get certified for various reasons.

  2. The folks who are being asked to get certified are Microsoft technical hires. They’ll do great where ever they go and where ever they work, and will make great advocates for all of us who hold our certifications. The value here to us all is that we’re getting folks with technical experience certified who know the products. These folks will see that there is value in getting certified even if you’re experienced, because it fills in the gap in your technical knowledge. When Windows NT4 came out in 1996, I figured that after a few NT 4 deployments under my belt, I knew my job. However, after I got my NT 4 certification in 1998m, I found out that while I knew my job pretty well, there were certainly some gaps in my knowledge that I wasn’t aware of until after I got my certification. This is what I think they’ll experience as well.

    While my certifications won’t make me a better Steve Sheppard (my friend and mentor), it will make me a more technically competent George.

    George, MCSE Windows NT4/2000

  3. Hi Michael – I just wanted to add that I don’t think that there is anything wrong with a business or employer requiring an employee to show a level of proven competency through certification. After all no one wants the doctor who hasn’t passed his residency/board certifications to operate or them or their family members… or have the pilot who doesn’t have a pilot’s license to pilot their commercial airline flight… even if they’ve stayed in a Holiday Inn last night…

  4. mdalligood says:


    I totally agree with you George. I am use to playing Devil’s advocate when discussing certifications.

    Here is a disgression and just out of curiosity, what do certifications mean to you? Unfortunatly, I have seen certifications being a means to an end for most people — something that you are not interested in but that you do because it will help you to achieve something else, like a job. This mindset creates paper certifications. Since they have no interest in certifications, they tend not to care how they achieve them, i.e. cheating. What are your thoughts?

  5. Wayne Anderson says:

    Definitely a good thing for Microsoft.  Avanade does it already.  All customer facing employees below a certain experience level are required to certify on specific multi-exam intermediate level microsoft tracks, depending on skill family.

    Certification provides a driver for customer trust in situations where customers are often unfamiliar with the specific capabilities of some team members when transitioning from an envisioning stage to begin various stages of testing, and implementation.


    Additionally, this is a really good opportunity for Microsoft to kind of dogfood its own program.  Maybe drive an internal feedback channel to help power a field connection that it may not be proper to open to a wider audience for frank and open communication on some aspects of certification?

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