Mar 09,2021

Get the credit you deserve: The power of an advanced specialization

Every Canadian Microsoft partner, especially partners with a gold competency should better understand the power of advanced partner specialization. In this post, you’ll learn how an advanced specialization can help you further differentiate your business and  customer and Microsoft seller confidence and awareness in your organization’s specific technical capabilities with an advanced specialization.​

In a recent post, Kerri wrote about the incredible business journey Canadian partners take. She explains how partners can make their way from cloud resellers to market innovators, mastering AI and marketing their own solutions and intellectual property as a value creation partner with Microsoft at their side.

Today, let’s double-click on the role of a partner with advanced specialization, and discover how eligible partners can differentiate their businesses and attract more world-class opportunities simply by earning an advanced specialization.

Microsoft advanced specializations build on related gold competencies.

Make no mistake: digital skills and certifications drive partner success. In a rapidly digitizing economy increasingly ruled by digital platforms, the organizations with the most digital skills and knowledge win. And, that is doubly true for partners who drive digital transformation in the field, every day, nationwide.

Anyone can claim to be a technical expert in one subject or another. Microsoft certification and an advanced specialization quantifies that expertise, providing instant credibility and a compelling point of differentiation

Of course, all the technical prowess in the world only matters if people, specifically current and potential customers, know about it. This is where Microsoft comes in. When Microsoft certifies a partner’s competencies and/or advanced specializations that partner can point to the badge or customer-facing label as proof of their capabilities.

Advanced specializations

Partners with a related gold competency who demonstrate deep knowledge in a specific area may pursue an advanced specialization. Earning an advanced specialization strengthens and differentiates your practice in specific technical areas with high customer demand—and helps customers identify your organization’s ability to meet their specific needs. Your organization receives a customer-facing label that shows your ability to deliver repeatable and high-quality services in a specific technical capability. ​

This helps customers easily identify partners that have already objectively validated their ability to meet their specific business need, driving confidence in your organization and streamlining their partner selection process.

Work your strengths. Partners with a gold competency can leverage the expertise they already have (or at least are close to having) to achieve advanced specialization.

Advanced specialization opportunities

Ready to level up? Microsoft continually evolves its advanced specializations to keep up with market and customer demand. Make sure you visit the advanced specialization website for available specialization opportunities, news, and information. Microsoft Learn also offers details on the advanced specialization application process.

Azure Advanced specializations:

– Analytics on Microsoft Azure

– Data Warehouse Migration to Microsoft Azure

– Kubernetes on Microsoft Azure

– Linux and Open Source Databases Migration to Microsoft Azure

– Microsoft Low Code Application Development

– Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop

– Modernization of Web Applications to Microsoft Azure

– SAP on Microsoft Azure

– Windows Server and SQL Server Migration to Microsoft Azure

Business Applications Advanced specializations:

– Microsoft Low Code Application Development

– Small and Midsize Business Management

Modern Work Advanced specializations:

– Adoption and Change Management

– Calling for Microsoft Teams

– Meetings and Meeting Rooms for Microsoft Teams

– Microsoft Low Code Application Development

– Teamwork Deployment

Security Advanced specializations:

– Identity and Access Management

– Information Protection and Governance

– Threat Protection

Learn more about advanced specializations on the partner website 

How does it work?

Partners seeking an advanced specialization must meet demanding requirements, that include attaining a related gold competency, skills attainment, performance measurements, customer references, and more. This rigorous process ensures that customers can count on the technical expertise and capabilities expected from this top tier of Microsoft designation.

Once earned, partners with an advanced specialization receive a customer-facing label they can display on their business profile in the Microsoft solution provider finder. When customers search or ask for Microsoft partners with specific skills, those with an advanced specialization receive “top billing.”

Of course, these partners also get the brand and reputational benefits. They get to use the customer-facing label and advanced specialization designations across their marketing and sales materials—on their websites, social media, press releases, and sales collateral, like presentations and proposals—as a powerful differentiator and “reason to believe.”

Explore the opportunities

Get the credit you deserve. Demonstrate your deep knowledge and experience in a specific solution area by working towards an advanced specialization with Microsoft. Here’s a summary of some of the key resources:

https://partner.microsoft.com/en-ca/membership/advanced-specialization -> visit this website for current and available advanced specialties from Microsoft

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-ca/partner-center/advanced-specializations-apply -> visit this article at Microsoft Learn for details on the application process

https://partner.microsoft.com/en-ca/campaigns/cloud-practice-playbooks -> these partner playbooks provide comprehensive guides that enable general specialization