Headshot_Carlos-Marquez-
Carlos Alexei Marquez Global Partner Enablement Lead for Microsoft Azure

Azure Cloud Week offers new skills and benefits for Microsoft partners

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The rapid growth of cloud computing has created a strong need for IT professionals who possess skills and knowledge related to developing, managing, and securing cloud networks and solutions. Acquiring the certifications and experience needed to be a cloud architect or take on a similar in-demand tech job can benefit both your career and your company.

Earning a certification in Microsoft Azure Fundamentals or other role-based exams can be a key step in moving into more technical roles. The areas covered in the certification training and exam are relevant to anyone who works with Azure and its related cloud computing applications, and completing a certification is a tangible sign of your knowledge of cloud computing, models, and services. Ninety-three percent of surveyed decision makers say Microsoft-certified employees add more value, close the skills gap, are more productive than non-certified peers, and are better at meeting client needs. Additionally, more than one-third of surveyed tech professionals said earning certifications led to pay increases.

To make Azure courses and certification easier for our partners and their employees—including sales-oriented and non-technical professionals—to access, we’ve recently held two Azure Cloud Week for Partners events. We now are planning one more Azure Cloud Week on May 9-13, the last to be held for a while. Participants who join all five days of a technical track will be eligible for a free voucher to get Microsoft certified.

Training offered for Azure fundamentals, advanced courses, and sales

Azure Cloud Week for Partners offers three different paths for learning, depending on your role and experience levels:

  • Fundamentals track: This track, designed for those just getting started with Azure certifications, includes Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals, and Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals.
  • Role-based track: For more experienced professionals already adept in the fundamentals, this track includes courses on developing solutions for Azure, being an Azure administrator, being a solutions architect expert, designing and implementing Microsoft DevOps solutions, and configuring and operating Azure Virtual Desktop. Note that it’s recommended to first become an Azure administrator before working toward the Azure Solution Architect certification.
  • Sales track: For sales-oriented employees, this track covers the Partner Sales Acceleration Program (PSAP), which gives you access to sales assets and guidance on how best to use these in enterprise sales engagements. This program focuses on navigating the "moments that matter" conversations with various sales decision makers.

The two technical tracks, while differing in focuses, both include instructor-led training, hands-on sessions, exam preparation, lab support, and Q&A opportunities. They are held at various times during each of the five days to best fit your schedule, no matter where around the globe you’re located. The sales track includes live lecture sessions and self-study time. For all these tracks, we recommend using our library of self-study content to complement what is covered. Microsoft Learn is a good starting point for such content.

If you are relatively new in your role, some technical proficiency and familiarity with the certification exam you want to take and its learning objectives are helpful before participating in Azure Cloud Week for Partners. If you already are proficient and preparing for a certification exam, the week’s training is especially advantageous, as sessions focus on topics within the exam that learners typically find to be most difficult.

How cloud week attendance and certification benefits our partners

Our partner companies can benefit from this training opportunity to increase their IT professionals’ knowledge. Additionally, with recently announced changes coming to the Microsoft Partner Network, this event can help partners start qualifying for the new designations of Solutions Partner and Specialized and Expert.

The newly named Microsoft Cloud Partner Program is launching later this year to better align partners’ go-to-market activities with their customers' current purchasing strategies. The program is focusing on proficiency in six cloud solution areas: Data & AI, Infrastructure, Digital & App Innovation, Business Applications, Modern Work, and Security. We’ve also developed a new framework for measuring partner success and skilling, the partner capability score, which is based on a partner’s certifications, added customers, successful deployments, and overall growth.

Having employees participate in Azure Cloud Week and go on to become certified can boost those capability scores toward qualifying for the new partner designations. Under the skilling category, points are awarded for each person on your team with specified certifications.

Register now for Azure Cloud Week from May 9-13

Whether you’re still mastering the fundamentals of Azure, improving your cloud solution sales strategies, or aiming for more specific, advanced knowledge to run cloud computing networks, this event is designed to help you and your organization. Our courses and exams are designed by experts in education and learning to address real-world needs, and our instructors are well-versed experts. Working toward certifications will improve your personal skills related to your present or future cloud computing roles and can enhance your company’s capability score within our partner network.

Register and find more detailed information about the Azure Cloud Week for Partner schedules, available languages, and more. While all sessions are presented in English, we offer closed captioning in several languages during various times of the day.