Day 1 of the New Microsoft Partner Network

Last week, we counted down to the final stages of transitioning to the “new” Microsoft Partner Network. Thanks for your positive feedback about the Daily Double posts, where I covered tools and resources to help you assess where you are and decide where you want to be in the new Network. With the arrival of the new Microsoft Partner Network comes a fresh approach to program membership, and some new ways to engage with Microsoft have been added.

The labels “Registered Member,” “Certified Partner,” and “Gold Certified Partner” are so last Friday. Instead, you’ll hear us talking about these layers of participation.

  • Participate in Communities. There are two aspects of community in the Microsoft Partner Network—think of them as not structured vs. structured.
  • Join the Microsoft Partner Network. Complete a short profile and become a member to take advantage of core benefits, like access to low-cost/no-cost online business and technical training; customizable marketing campaigns; and no-charge, online technical support. You can also list your company’s solutions on Microsoft Pinpoint to help make your company known to thousands of potential customers.
  • Purchase a Subscription. The Microsoft Action Pack, which comes in two flavors, Solution Provider (SP) and Develop & Design (DD), and the new Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack, which became available today, all provide internal-use rights and other business, sales/marketing, and technical benefits.
  • Earn a Silver Competency, or Attain a Gold Competency. The new competencies are aligned to how your customers buy, and are mapped to Microsoft campaigns to drive customer awareness and respond to their needs. Partners asked us to help them better differentiate themselves and demonstrate their specific areas of expertise to customers, and the new competency structure does both. Eric Ligman, in the Worldwide Partner Group that is responsible for the global structure of the Microsoft Partner Network, articulates several of the nuances of the competencies in his blog post announcing the new Network.

We’re excited to finally be able to say that your new Microsoft Partner Network is here.


Diane Golshan
Sr. Marketing Manager, U.S. Partner Team
Learn more about what I do at Microsoft.

Join our new U.S. Partner Community on Facebook and LinkedIn, and follow @msuspartner on Twitter.

Comments (3)
  1. The new competency structure is a slap in the face to the Partners that have chosen to work with Businesses with less than 50 users.  Requiring that a Partner achieve a Competency in the Mid-Market solutions to be deemed "competent" and keep their software rights is ridiculous (those solutions have little to no application to our market space), and shows a total disconnect from the real world in which very competent Partners provide hardware and services to this market space.  This will be the third time I've had to totally change out our Internal Use Software (format and reinstall) and rebuild our network due to wavering commitment  and unclear vision for the Small Business segment, making one of the most valuable assets provided by Microsoft (Internal Use Licenses) much, much less valuable.

  2. Hi Christopher – Yes, let me follow up on this and I will e-mail you as asked above!


  3. Christopher C. Welber says:

    I've been trying to access the newsgroups and they seem to be down the last 24 hours because when I go to the web based groups, no messages show up and I can't post a message. I am leaving this comment as a last result can someone please email me at and let me know how to connect with the community?


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