It’s a common scenario for the MPN Support team. “My anniversary date is tomorrow and I’m having trouble renewing my competency. Can you help?”
Lots of things in our day-to-day lives require us to renew them – car insurance, cable and phone services, subscriptions of various kinds, rental agreements for homes and office spaces. Inevitably, with an ever-increasing number of choices in front of us, we often wait until the last minute to see available options before committing to a service provider for another year.
Some renewals require more timeliness than others, however. If you have taken advantage of the many benefits your Microsoft Partner Network membership offers, renewing your membership – and planning for your renewal ahead of time – falls into that important renewals category. The benefits and resources that you receive as a Microsoft partner help you build and grow your business and lead customers to new cloud opportunities. You’ll want to retain them without any disruption.
This year, the Microsoft Partner Network competencies are evolving. There’s a new customer-centric competency framework, new competency requirements, and some competencies are being retired. In August, changes were made to the competencies in the list below. You can review the current requirements on each competency’s web page. If your competency isn’t listed here, it’s still a good idea to review the requirements and prepare early.
- Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions competency
- Cloud Productivity competency
- Cloud Platform competency
- Enterprise Mobility Management competency
- Application Lifecycle Management competency
Three steps for a smoother competency renewal process
1. Determine your anniversary date
Establish the timeline for your renewal. Sign in to the MPN portal with your Microsoft account (formerly Live ID) that is associated to your MPN membership. Once you’re signed in, click on the welcome message at the top right corner, and you’ll see your company’s membership expiration date. This is also called your anniversary date.
- If your date is fewer than 90 days away, you should start the renewal process. Review and use the online competency renewal guide.
- If your date is more than 90 days away, add a reminder to your calendar. I’ve created a calendar template that includes a renewal checklist. Set the date to three months out from your anniversary date, as 90 days is the point at which you can begin your online renewal. Download the 90-day renewal calendar reminder template.
2. Identify your company’s Microsoft account administrator
Your company’s Primary Program Contact is typically the person authorized to update your organization’s membership profile and manage the renewal in the Partner Membership Center. The name of your company’s Primary Program Contact is listed in the Organizations tab on your Individual Account home page in the Partner Membership Center.
- If you are the Primary Program Contact and authorized to renew your company’s membership, use the online competency renewal guide and recommendations below to get started.
- If you are not the Primary Program Contact, share this post and the online competency renewal guide with him or her.
- For assistance at any time with your renewal, contact MPN Support. Sign in to the Support page on the MPN portal to see your options for contacting the MPN Support team. There is also a list of top partner questions on that page that may be helpful.
3. Plan ahead
As your company approaches its membership anniversary date, your company’s Primary Program Contact will receive email notifications from Microsoft with information about renewal, and should see renewal information in the Partner Membership Center starting at 90 days from the anniversary date. And, throughout the year, if there are changes to a competency your company has that affect requirements and/or benefits, you will receive email communications and see notifications in the Partner Membership Center.
I have created two calendar reminder templates that you can customize according to your anniversary date:
90-day calendar reminder to start your renewal
This template includes a checklist to prompt you to review competency requirements, review notifications in the Partner Membership Center, schedule time for technical assessments/exams, budget ahead to pay any applicable competency fees or exam fees. If you’re already within your 90 days, it’s time to start the renewal process for 2016, but you can set a reminder for 2017.
2-week calendar reminder to complete your renewal
This template prompts you to complete the online renewal early so that you can address any unexpected issues and renew your internal use license keys. Once you’re done, you can update this reminder for 2017.