In yesterday’s first Microsoft Partner Network “daily double,” we provided you with foundational resources to help you assess your current membership and determine what your initial next steps are as we finish the transition to the new Microsoft Partner Network. At the end of this week, the Partner Membership Center will undergo an update (beginning at 9am on Friday), and the final changes will be implemented for a fresh start on Monday, November 1.
The most significant change we are making is to the competencies. We have done away with the specializations, created a new list of competencies that are better aligned to how your customers buy, mapped the old to the new, and moved from a blanket membership identifier (Certified Partner, Gold Certified Partner) to an identifier that articulates your competency attainment and speaks to your specific, proven skill set (Silver Portals and Collaboration competency , Gold Unified Communications competency).
Our countdown continues with competency-related resources.
Tip #8: Get Current on Business Assessments for Licensing, Sales, and Marketing
More than half of the new competencies require your organization meet the requirement for the Licensing Overview Assessment and/or the Sales and Marketing Competency Assessment. Use the Business Assessment Requirements page on the partner portal to understand the specifics for the competency or competencies you are pursuing. Links to the appropriate assessment are listed within the two tabs on the page.
Tip #7: The Anatomy of a Competency
There are close to 30 competencies. While there is a core set of requirements and benefits that are almost universal across the competencies, each one also has some unique requirements and benefits. My counterparts in the Worldwide Partner Group have done a nice job of creating consistent pages for the competencies. Here are some tips for navigating to find exactly the competency-related information you need.
- Competency Basics. Start with the “Showcase Your Expertise” page, which offers the list of core benefits and the general requirements. In the left-hand navigation of the Network Membership tab, where this content is published, you should now see the full competency list, too, and can navigate directly from there. It will stay open as long as you are looking at content within the competencies, and you can also expand the list at any time by clicking the “+” icon next to the word Competencies when you are in the Network Membership tab.
- Specific Competencies. Each competency comprises two portal pages: an overview page and a requirements page.
- Overview. We summarize the business opportunity, provide guidance for determining whether the competency is right for you by business model and product, and then detail the additional benefits. Requirements are on a separate page, and that page is accessible from the introductory text at the top of the page.
- Requirements. These are broken out by what’s needed to attain either the silver competency or the gold competency, with information about the customer evidence needs, exams eligible to meet the Microsoft Certified Professional requirement, business assessment(s), the revenue requirement (for gold competencies), and any additional commitments.
- Bonus Tip: While the Small Business Specialist Community is not an official competency, the link to it in the Network Membership tab is directly below the Competencies link.
Whew. We’ll continue the countdown on Wednesday 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 later this week, too). And don’t forget that 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
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