We are continuing to invest in a mobile-first, cloud-first strategy as a company, which means that we are continuing to evolve our program to ensure we are supporting your success in this new world as well. Part of our work has been to understand how and what customers are buying in this new world. As a result of that work, we are evolving our program to provide you with the support and resources you need to be successful with your customers.
Accelerating success with mobility and devices
We’ve been talking about this new mobile-first, cloud-first world for over a year now and we have spent a great deal of our energy over this last year on the cloud-first transformations. With the advent of Windows 10, we are turning our attention back to the mobile-first transformation and we are ready to incorporate this element more strongly into the Microsoft Partner program.
Here are some NEW things you’ll see over the next year:
  • Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) competency: This competency spans all the key elements of managing mobility to meet your customers’ need to balance the flexibility of a more productive workforce with the security of company data: Mobile Device Management, Access & Identity, Information Management and desktop virtualization. This latest addition to Microsoft’s cloud competencies is also performance-based, which means that the main criteria for attainment is based on successful customer engagements, in addition to passing technical assessments. Once you have obtained this competency, you’ll unlock a range of benefits from incremental seats of Enterprise Mobility Suite for internal use, to access to cloud Incentives and eligibility to participate in FastTrack and the FY16 EMS Adoption Offer. The competency launches later in 2015.

  • Windows and Devices competency: The newly announced Windows & Devices competency will also launch later this year and will provide partners interested in building customer offers around Windows 10 and IE 11 with a dedicated learning path, additional Windows 10 software for internal use, and access to key resources such as Windows Accelerate. Initially, the competency will focus on our partners who offer services around the Windows platform, but over the coming months, there will be additional paths to attain the competency, including a route for partners who build and sell Windows devices and another for partners who build apps on the Windows 10 platform. For more information, visit our Windows 10 page on the MPN Portal.
Maintaining momentum in the cloud
While we’re excited to be bringing you more support and opportunities to grow the device-focused aspects of your business, we’ve also seen that more and more of you are already finding success in the cloud. We’re introducing a few changes that will help enable even more of you to make the transition into cloud competencies that will enable your success in selling the cloud, and also to help those of you who are selling in the cloud already to build on that success through active usage.
The first update we are excited to share is that we will continue to offer the Cloud Platform Silver Competency as free for this year as well to partners who qualify. In addition to this, we are refreshing this competency to improve the relevance and value of partners delivering Azure-based solutions. We will do this through:
  • Digital Partner of Record (DPOR) Integration: We will continue to improve our capabilities for DPOR and will extend this to cover Azure as well. This means that you no longer need to manually enter your information on Azure, and you will have detailed visibility to customers’ Azure performance through the Partner Online Services Dashboard. We will also be using it to determine Azure performance for our Cloud Platform Competency qualification.

  • Lowering the performance thresholds: As the price of Azure has decreased over this past year, we are lowering the performance threshold as well. For Silver, the new threshold with be $15K trailing twelve months Azure Consumption ($10K in Emerging Markets). In addition to this, we are lowering the thresholds for our Small and Midmarket Cloud competency, thus opening Azure and SCCMs up to more partners.

  • Application certification: Our new application certification platform will enable Cloud ISVs and App Builders to qualify for our Cloud Competencies (Cloud Platform / Cloud Productivity / Cloud CRM) solely through the performance of their certified cloud applications. We believe this will expand the opportunities that competencies offer to even more of those partners out there who are building on our technologies, and make it even easier for you to do business with us. We will announce more details as we get closer to launching this capability next year.

  • Improved Internal Use Rights (IUR): In order to increase the value and flexibility of when and how our Cloud Platform partners can use their IURs to support their business, we are now increasing the value of and providing a single bulk credit for Azure IURs.

  • New benefits: We want to empower you to build modern web and cloud applications on your favorite platform – Linux, Mac OSX, Android, and Windows – and make sure you can do development in all stages. To support this, all cloud and application building competency partners will receive Visual Studio 2015 Enterprise with MSDN, the top-of-the-line edition. This also includes an increased Azure monthly credit subscription.
We are looking forward to working with you to support your continued success in this mobile-first, cloud-first world, and I’m excited about all of the ways that we will evolve our program to invest in your businesses. We want to share with you some successful models, best practices, and how to help your business thrive, so be sure to join me in my session Microsoft partner programs and opportunities to learn more about the investments we’re making in you this year, get a look at what’s coming in the future, and hear how we will support your cloud business transformation.
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