Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations Blog

Don’t Lose Your Partner Benefits! Fulfilling Your Certified or Gold Certified Partner Program Requirements

Remember, Microsoft is NOT GRANDFATHERING Partners into the Microsoft Partner Program this year!  If you do not have your minimum points to meet the Certified or Gold Certified Levels and are beyond your anniversary date, you will lose your Certified or Gold Certified status and benefits.

Here are some tips that may help you more quickly fulfill the reenrollment requirements and enable your company to earn the Certified or Gold Certified level.

1. Make sure you have Global Administrative rights to manage your company’s account status in the Partner Membership Center online at

a. If you don’t, the current Primary or Executive Contact within your company will need to sign into the Partner Membership Center and assign you these rights so that you can update your account status.

b. Remember that you must complete an individual profile (15 minutes) and successfully associate yourself to your company’s account in order to be assigned these rights.

2. Make sure all your technical folks are associated to your company. This includes MCPs, MCADs, MCSEs, etc. You can earn 1-3 points for each individual for a maximum of 40 qualifying points to be used toward your account.

a. If given permission, a contracted individual may also choose to associate themselves, and their Microsoft Certified Professional credentials, to your company’s account in order to assist your company in qualifying for a competency.

b. Invite these folks to associate by using the Partner Membership Center to send an invite email. You can review a short online training video to help you navigate the Partner Membership Center quickly.

c. The “Achievements and Assets” tab of the Partner Membership Center will help you determine which competency your company is closest to achieving, based on the skills of the technical staff you have on board. This will happen automatically once these folks have profiled and associated themselves to your company. (Takes 3 days for the MS Learning system to synch to the Partner Program database.)

3. To earn the 50 required Partner Points and reenroll as a Certified Partner, the fastest path to do so is to earn a competency.

a. Start by determining which of the 13 competencies most closely matches your company’s business model. Begin at and then review the requirements to see which is the best fit.

b. Your first competency will earn you at least 50 points: 30 qualifying points for the competency and another 20 bonus points, essentially making that competency worth 50 points.

4. If you are “going for Gold”, then you’ll need to earn two competencies and also earn an additional 20 Partner Points in order to have a total of 120 Qualifying Partner Points.

a. Customer references are another great way to earn points. For every customer reference that is submitted, your company earns 2 points for a maximum of 20 qualifying points.

b. For other ways to earn points, please visit the Partner Point Estimator.

5. Once you have completed your requirements you need to do the following:

A. Review and sign the Microsoft Partner Program Legal Agreement.
B. Update your Microsoft Partner Program profile.
C. Choose the monthly box shipments you want your office(s) to receive.
D. Pay the annual fee.

6. If you have any questions along the way, please contact the Partner Program team at 1-800-765-7768 Monday through Friday.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman
Microsoft US Senior Manager
Small Business Community Engagement
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights