Jun 16,2022

Silver and Gold Competency Partners – Guidance on Renewal

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As you may already be aware, Microsoft has announced a new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program that will take effect on October 3, 2022. For details on the program changes, you can read the earlier community post and access resources.

Below you can find answers to the top 10 questions our partners have, to help them transition their legacy competency to the new program.

1.  Are competencies going away?

Yes. September 30, 2022 is the last day for partners to renew competencies. From October 2022, competencies will no longer be valid, meaning that badges will go away, and competencies will not be promoted by Microsoft. Partners will retain their benefits. Dates subject to change.

2. What should I do today if I have legacy competencies?

If you have competencies, you will have time to learn more and assess how the solutions partner designation fits into the strategic plan for your business. September 30, 2022 is the last day to renew legacy competencies. Once solutions partner designations are available on October 3, you will have the option to retain legacy benefits.

3. My competency renewal is before September 30, 2022, should I renew my legacy competency or wait to attain the solutions partner designation?

You should assess the new designations and benefits to determine how they align with your business plan.

You can work with your global or MPN partner admin to sign in to Partner Center to check your progress towards attaining the solutions partner designation.

If you choose to renew your legacy competency before September 30, 2022, you will be provided your legacy benefits through to your next anniversary date, and can renew them at your next anniversary date. If, after October 3, 2022, you attain 70 points for the solutions partner designation, you will immediately receive the new customer-facing badge and no additional fee is paid. On your next anniversary date, you will be able to choose whether to retain your legacy competency benefits or move to the updated solutions partner designation benefits. You will pay the appropriate fee and receive the benefits. However, you may choose not to renew your legacy competency and instead focus on attaining the solutions partner designation. In this example, once you attain the solutions partner designation, since you do not have legacy benefits, you immediately have the opportunity to pay the fee and move to the new solutions partner benefits. However, note that in this case you would not have the opportunity to select your prior legacy competency benefits as part of your solutions partner membership.

4. My competency renewal is after September 30, 2022, can I renew under legacy in September?

No, you can’t renew your legacy competency before your anniversary date.

If your anniversary date is after September 30, you will have options. If you meet the requirements, you immediately attain a solutions partner designation and the new customer-facing badging. Legacy competencies and associated badges will no longer be valid after September 30, 2022. However, you will retain your legacy benefits (benefits you received based on the competency you held on September 30, 2022), until your next anniversary date. On our anniversary date, if you don’t meet the requirements for the solutions partner designation, you will have the option to pay the fee and retain your legacy benefits (benefits you received based on the competency you held on September 30, 2022), until your next anniversary date.

5. If we renew our gold competency between now and September 30, 2022, can we get a pro-rated discount to the end of September?

No, however you don’t pay another fee until your next anniversary date. If you have renewed your legacy competency ahead of September 30, 2022, and you attain the solutions partner designation from October 3, 2022, onwards, you will immediately receive the new customer-facing badge and no additional fee is paid. On your next anniversary date, you will be able to choose whether to retain your legacy competency benefits or move to the updated solutions partner designation benefits. You will pay the appropriate fee and receive the benefits.

6. I have a legacy competency and choose to attain a solutions partner designation. What is the process?

Starting October 3, 2022, solutions partner designations will be available for partners to attain. If you meet the requirements and earn the required partner capability score, you immediately attain a solutions partner designation and the new customer-facing badging. Legacy competencies and associated badges will no longer be valid after September 30, 2022. However, you will retain your legacy benefits (benefits you received based on the competency you held on September 30, 2022), until your next anniversary date.

On your next anniversary date after October 3, 2022, you will have the following options:

  • Maintain a solutions partner designation if you have attained one. To receive the solutions partner designation benefits you will pay the annual fee. Annual fees for solutions partner designation will be aligned to the legacy gold competency fees.
  • Retain your legacy silver or gold competency benefits and pay an annual fee. Annual fees for legacy silver or gold competency benefits will be aligned to the legacy silver and gold competency fees.

7. I have a legacy competency and will not attain a solutions partner designation. What is the process?

Competencies and associated badges will no longer be valid after September 30, 2022. You will continue to receive legacy benefits (benefits you received based on the competency you held on September 30, 2022), for legacy competencies until your next anniversary date. After that time there will be an option to continue to purchase legacy benefits.

8. Why should I attain a solutions partner designation?

Customers want to work with partners who have the right skills and capabilities to meet their needs, along with demonstrated ability to deliver customer success. The solutions partner designations clearly differentiate you from your competition. By attaining solution area designations, your partners will demonstrate your organization’s breadth of capabilities in delivering customer success in the solution areas aligned to how Microsoft goes to market.  That’s valuable for you, because it is where we see customer demand, and where the opportunity is for partners to scale to meet customer needs. To learn more about the solutions partner designations, please visit the Microsoft partner website.

9. Where can I track my progress towards attaining a solutions partner designation?

You can track your progress towards earning a solutions partner designation by signing into Partner Center and navigating to the solutions partner page.

10. What are the benefits associated with solutions partner designations?

Program benefits will continue to support you as you grow your business. The solutions partner designations benefits include internal use licenses (IUR) as well as other familiar benefits such as go-to-market services and resources, support and more. All solutions partner designations include benefits such as marketing, support, and advisory benefits. Each designation also has specific incremental benefits. To learn more about solutions partner benefits, please visit the benefits guide on the Microsoft partner website.

Dates subject to change.