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Microsoft makes good on WPC 2015 partner promises

Microsoft has kept the promises it made earlier this year to channel partners regarding cloud competencies.

Microsoft has kept promises it made at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2015 (WPC 2015) regarding training, certification, exam delivery and performance tracking, with today's announcement around changes to the vendor's cloud competencies.

In a new blog post, Gavriella Schuster, general manager of worldwide partner programs at Microsoft, elaborated on how the company is upping the value of its cloud competencies to partners.

The Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions competency has reduced requirements to achieve silver or gold levels.

Schuster addressed six changes; the first three lower thresholds for faster achievement:

  • The Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions competency (SMCS) has reduced requirements to achieve silver or gold levels. SMCS performance requirements are now 40 seats of Office 365 sold and four new Office 365 customers for silver level -- 12 months trailing. And for gold level, the requirements are 25 net new Office 365 customers and 250 Office 365 seats -- 12 months trailing.
  • The Cloud Platform competency has been aligned to Azure pricing fluctuations to help partners focused on small and medium-sized businesses qualify by reducing the performance requirements for silver-level status. Microsoft has also eliminated the silver competency fee. Going forward, partners who demonstrate U.S. $15,000 Microsoft Azure customer consumption in developed markets and/or $10,000 in developing markets qualify for the silver-level performance goal.
  • The vendor has ended manual tracking of unique Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) per competency, a topic the company discussed at WPC 2015.

Other changes

  • The Cloud Productivity competency will now be defined by active users -- aka Active Entitlements -- for silver- and gold-level status. Partners can meet the active user requirements via any Office 365 workload or with Office 365 ProPlus.
  • The Cloud Platform competency, like other cloud competencies, requires partners to be attached as the Digital Partner of Record in order to earn the Cloud Partner competency, as well as qualify for Azure and deployment incentives. 

Next Steps

Read more SearchITChannel coverage of WPC 2015 here

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