Our customers are at the center of everything we do. They drive our focus and ultimately the journey we are taken on together to meet their evolving needs. The market has recognized the transformative power of cloud technology—from analysts to partners to customers. The research supports it, customers are demanding it, and we want to help you build a successful business around it.

As technology has evolved over the years, we’ve evolved together, helping customers take advantage of new innovations that drive down costs while increasing productivity and security, providing the flexibility to scale, and ultimately enabling customers to realize their boldest ambitions.

Nowhere is this evolution more apparent today than in cloud services. Customer expectations of technology have changed. They’re looking for instant, on-demand delivery that’s cost-effective and provides a fast ramp to results without compromising quality. Customers are turning to the cloud to meet these expectations.

The business opportunity this creates for partners is truly incredible. According to IDC research, greater cloud spending will exceed $500 billion by 2020*. Many of the partners I talk with have recognized the explosive opportunities the cloud presents. In fact, IDC found that 48 percent of partners have already adapted their business models to offer project services, managed services and IP, and I have heard from many more partners who are in the process of making this transition.

As your customers increasingly look to the cloud to meet their evolving business needs, they want to know that you have the expertise to help them.

Evolving MPN competencies to meet customer demands

Today, we are announcing changes to competencies that will streamline our program and help focus our efforts and investment on building successful cloud practices together. Over the next 18 months, we will retire some competencies and add new ones. The remaining competencies will better align your Silver and Gold competency recognition with the current and future needs of our shared customers, and allow us to focus our investments in continuing to create stronger connections between partners and our mutual customers.

The retiring competencies include:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Devices and Deployment
Digital Advertising
Identity and Access
Intelligent Systems
Midmarket Solutions Provider
Software Asset Management (SAM)
Volume Licensing


With these changes, we will be adding a new Windows & Devices competency later this month which has been designed to help you take advantage of the unprecedented demand we’re seeing for Windows 10 and mobility. With this increase, there is a need for a rich ecosystem of partners from application developers to deployment services, device sellers to experts in the Internet of Things. If you focus on or around Windows 10, having this competency will help you market yourself and take advantage of the demand.

If you have a competency that is impacted by this change, we have built a comprehensive set of resources to guide you in the transition:

  • Interactive MPN Evolution Guide – This NEW interactive tool is your first step to guide your decision process. Use this to explore all of the new paths and options and easily identify which is the best fit for your business.
  • MPN Evolution Page – This is an overview of the changes, including the full list of impacted competencies and timeline.
  • FAQ – We have received feedback from some of your peers in our advisory councils and compiled answers to some of the questions we anticipate you might have. We will continue to build on these as we receive new questions.
  • Live Chat – If you have any questions, please contact us through live chat, available on both the MPN Evolution page on the MPN portal and in the Interactive MPN Evolution Guide listed above.
  • The Modern Microsoft Partner IDC eBook series – Learn more about the cloud opportunity and customer demand for cloud solutions.
  • The MPN Competency Value Pack Offer – This will help your business complete exam requirements towards eligible cloud competencies. Each pack allows one user to take up to three required exams of your chosen eligible cloud competency with up to fifteen total attempts.

We recognize some partners may need to make changes to adapt and that changes like this take time. The 18-month transition period has been designed to give those partners the time needed to develop capabilities in cloud solutions, expand or build new practices, and transition into the competencies that will align your expertise to your customers’ needs.

Ensuring future success—for all of us

We have a big, bold mission at Microsoft: Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Realizing this mission takes creativity, determination, and you—our partners.

For us to be successful together in this journey, it’s critical that we continuously evolve. It’s also why we remain relentless in our commitment to helping you, our partners, regardless of where you sit in this journey, so that you can be successful now and into the future.


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