Simplifying your Microsoft Partner Network membership management – Partner Membership Center

In my The new Microsoft Partner Network is here! post on Monday, I mentioned that in conjunction with the launch of the new Microsoft Partner Network, we would be making some additional enhancements to simplify your working with Microsoft, finding, and accessing information and benefits.  One example that I posted on Monday is the new Microsoft Partner Network homepage that we are trying out and looking for partner input on.  Here, I will be talking about another update we have made to improve your experience as part of the Microsoft Partner Network, the new Microsoft Partner Membership Center.

The Partner Membership Center is where you manage your membership in the Microsoft Partner Network and it can easily be access from the main Microsoft Partner Network homepage by clicking on “View Your Membership Account” and then the “Membership Center” button from the dropdown menu:

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With the new Microsoft Partner Membership Center page, we have taken several steps to make your administration easier.  Let’s start with the main page of the Partner Membership Center itself:

Before new Membership Center update

After new Membership Center update

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Some things you should notice in comparing the two:

1) In the former world of “Gold Certified,” “Certified,” and “Registered Member” levels in the Microsoft Partner Program, you had to earn points from various activities, certifications, etc. that would add up to certain levels which would then translate into your level (See #1 in the “Before” image above).  We heard loud and clear from partners that the points system was far too complex and really made things difficult for you.  In the new Microsoft Partner Network, we have eliminated points completely and now you earn competencies at either the Silver or Gold level.  (See my The new Microsoft Partner Network is here! post for more information on this)

2) We have added a new “Your Competencies At A Glance” view directly into the main page (See #2 in the “After” image above) which shows you a quick view of your competencies and notifications of your status in each.  Notice that in the “After” example screen above, you can clearly see that you have two competencies (Silver Desktop and Silver Server Platform) and there are notifications showing that you have actions to take for each (see the red exclamation point and “Non-Compliant” notice)

3) Another big difference between the old and new Partner Membership Center views is that in the new view, and when inside of your 90 renewal window, we show you a snapshot of your membership and competencies as they will stand at your renewal date, so that you can see if you have actions to take prior to your renewal date.  In the former Partner Membership Center view, it used to show you a snapshot of your membership and competencies at the moment you were viewing the page.  Why is this such a big benefit?  In the past, you may have viewed your membership and seen you were all set at particular level at that moment, but not had any idea that your references were going to expire just prior to your renewal date.  Then when you came back in to renew, suddenly you weren’t compliant because your references had expired.  We heard from partners that this made things very difficult, so we changed the view to the new one to give you insights into where you are and where you will be upon your anniversary date.

4) To make managing your competencies simpler, we have also added a new “Competency Summary View” that you can easily view by simply clicking the “See full Summary” link just below the “Your Competencies At A Glance” header on the main page (See #3 in the “After” image above).  this new view is designed to make it much clearer exactly what you have achieved and have left to do in order to achieve/maintain your competencies now and prior to re-enrollment.  You can see the former competency summary view and the new competency summary view below for comparison:

Former Competency Summary View

New Competency Summary View

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  • Notice in the new competency summary view, it gives you the option to see where you are vs. the requirements for a Silver level in that competency or a Gold level in that competency by simply clicking on the “Silver” or “Gold” selector at the top of the page (See #1 in the “New Competency Summary View” image above) and restoring the expanded view by clicking the arrow to the left of the competency name.
  • In addition, at a quick glance, you can see if you have anything left to do to ensure you meet the desired competency level for your competencies.  If you look at #2 in the “New Competency Summary View” image above, you will easily see that you have actions to take for this competency by the red exclamation point and the “Non-Compliant” message located right there.
  • To see specifically what actions you have to take to achieve/maintain that competency level, the requirements are broken out below and show your assets that are aligned to them, in addition to when these expire.  For instance, look at #3 and #4 in the “New Competency Summary View” image above and you will see that it is telling you how many references and Business Assessments you need and then shows you which ones are associated to this competency to achieve these.  For the references, there are none showing, so you will have to associate the required references.  For the Microsoft Licensing Online Assessment, you have someone already associated with this requirement and it shows you who in your organization has achieved this and is associated with the requirement.  As for the Sales and Marketing Assessment, you will see that you still have to associate someone that has achieved this in your organization with this requirement.  If you were to scroll down further, you would also see the MCP requirements and associated MCPs for those showing as well.

5) Another update we have made is to the MSDN & TechNet benefits management portion of the Partner Membership Center.  In the past, regardless of how many MSDN or TechNet benefits you had, you were allowed three people to be assigned access to the benefits and they had to provide the resources to the others.  Now, you can assign the MSDN and TechNet benefits (up to the number you have access to) to specific individuals within your organization and they will then have direct access to utilize these benefits.

The list above is just a few of the improvements we have made to help make managing your membership in the Microsoft Partner Network as well as accessing your information and benefits through your membership easier for you.  As noted in my The new Microsoft Partner Network is here! post, I will be adding some additional items here on the blog around some other simplifications and improvements we have made to further simplify your working with Microsoft through the Microsoft Partner Network.  As always, your comments and feedback are welcomed and appreciated.  By the way, we’re also looking partners willing to spend about an hour on the phone with us in an interview about the Microsoft Partner Network site all up.  For your time, you could earn $100.  Details available online HERE.

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Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and RSS and see “What I’m thinking
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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Comments (2)

  1. Pascal Lagarde (pascal[at]tamtam[dot]nl) says:

    Thanks for this post. To be honest I find it amusing to read since from my perspective the Partner Membership Center is one of the worst webapplications ever. In terms of performance, usability, user-centered-design etc. It really is a pain to use.

  2. mssmallbiz says:

    @ Pascal – Thank you for the input and feedback.  I'd love your input on where the new Partner Membership Center is better and worse than the former Partner Membership Center, as well as any suggestions on how it could be more effective for you as a partner.  You can submit here in the comments or directly through my online feedback form:  Thanks!