In October, there are several updates taking place to Microsoft Partner Network silver and gold competency benefits and requirements, which may affect your company. Below is a list I have compiled that gives you a quick look at what you can expect to see in the next few weeks, and provides you with resources to prepare now.
- Logo and software benefits extension expires October 31.
- You must discontinue use of the Microsoft Gold Certified and Microsoft Certified logos, and begin using the new Partner Network logos. Create customized logos aligned to the Microsoft competencies you have achieved using Partner Logo Builder.
- You must discontinue using, and uninstall, legacy software that you obtained as a Microsoft Gold Certified or Microsoft Certified partner, unless you have been awarded usage rights for the software under the new Microsoft Partner Network membership structure.
9/16 Update: For a deeper dive and guidance on the expiration of these benefits, read Eric Ligman’s blog post, “Certified and Gold Certified partners, your Microsoft partner logo and software usage rights are about to expire.”
- The Unified Communications competency splits into the Messaging competency (focused on Microsoft Exchange) and the Communications competency (focused on Microsoft Lync).
- Exams that qualified for competency attainment covering previous versions of Microsoft products are being retired, and you will need to qualify for your next membership renewal based on the latest Microsoft product version in market.
Two Must-Have Resources for U.S. Partners with a Competency
For a comprehensive look at the competency changes taking place in October 2011 and May 2012, download the Competency Roadmap, which was updated on September 12. If you would like help ensuring you understand how these changes will affect your next membership renewal so you can maintain your competencies, the U.S. Microsoft Partner Network Experts team is available by phone, email, and chat.
Take Advantage of Your Benefits
As a competency holder, you are also eligible to purchase Competency Exam Packs, the Windows Phone Discount Program, and a Windows Phone app that features product news as well as technical and sales resources. More Partner Network Core Benefits on the U.S. partner portal.