On Monday, November 1, the Microsoft Partner Network evolution will be complete, with new membership opportunities and a wider variety of ways to engage with Microsoft. If you have heard that there are changes coming, but have been waiting for us to tell you that we were really, really serious, here goes. We are really, really serious. This Friday, the Partner Membership Center (PMC) and sites that use PMC data* will go offline at 9am Pacific Time and we will begin making the updates necessary to retire the Registered Member, Certified Partner, and Gold Certified Partner program levels and usher in the new communities, subscriptions, and silver and gold competencies that now comprise membership in the Microsoft Partner Network.
Over the course of this workweek, we’re offering you a “Daily Double” of tips that will help you become acquainted with the new Network. We’ll point you to the tools and resources available now to help ensure you don’t miss out on the new, great opportunities that will be awaiting you starting next Monday.
So here we go. Our countdown begins with a couple of preparation basics.
Tip #10: Know Your Current Membership Details.
If you are currently a Gold Certified or Certified Partner, Sign In to the Partner Dashboard and use the Membership Summary tab to understand your current program status and when your company is next up for re-enrollment. If you are within 90 days of that date (as of this post, January 24) , and have not begun meeting the new competency requirements, we highly recommend contacting the U.S. MPN Experts at firstname.lastname@example.org for help building your plan.
- If your company is a Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC) member, you may need to meet new requirements to retain your SBSC status at your next re-enrollment date. There is a useful checklist for SBSC re-enrollment on the SMB Community Blog.
- If you are a Registered Member, the easiest way to find your next re-enrollment date is to sign in to the partner portal with your Live ID, then click the “View Your Membership Account” bar on the right-hand side of the site (next to the Live ID button). You will see a quick snapshot of your company’s membership, including the date membership expires. If you are the Program Administrator for your company, selecting “Membership Center” will take you to the Partner Membership Center for more details. If you have questions or need help accessing your account, contact the Regional Service Center.
Tip #9: Decide Where You Want to be in the New Network.
Participate in a community, purchase a subscription, earn a silver competency, or attain a gold competency. The Microsoft Partner Network gives you more ways to engage with Microsoft and take advantage of partner-related benefits.
- If you are currently a Gold Certified or Certified Partner, or a Registered Member that is considering pursuing a competency, use the Competency Tool to see how the previous competencies and specializations map to the new gold and silver competencies.
- If you are not sure what membership opportunity is best for you, you may want to look at the Core Benefits at a Glance page. From internal-use software to low-cost/no-cost technical, sales, and business training; from sales resources like Microsoft Financing that can help you close business to access to Partner Technical Services; the benefits you want and need may help you determine your Network participation.
We’ll continue the countdown on Tuesday with two more tips!
To read an overview of what you can expect in the new Microsoft Partner Network, visit our “Prepare” page on the U.S. partner portal. There, you can see links to more transition resources (we’ll be featuring some of them during the course of this week as well). And here’s a bonus tip: from the home page of the U.S. partner portal, you can get to the Prepare page any time from the “Recommended” quick links, top right.
Sr. Marketing Manager, U.S. Partner Team
Learn more about what I do at Microsoft.
* Sites that use PMC data include the Partner Dashboard, the Partner Learning Center, the Digital Download Portal, and the Partner Logo Builder. All of these sites are scheduled to be offline from Friday, October 29 at 9:00am through Saturday, October 30 at 9:00pm, Pacific Time.