Microsoft scraps partner network

Microsoft campusMicrosoft has scrapped the Microsoft Partner Network as it rebrands to the Microsoft Cloud Partner Programme.

From October 2022, all 400,000 partners in Microsoft’s egosystem will use the Microsoft Cloud Partner Programme instead of the Microsoft Partner Network.

Gone will be the days of Microsoft’s Silver and Gold-level certification badges along with the Microsoft Partner Network name which was first launched over 15 years ago.

Microsoft said that changing the partner programme name was a reflection of “the enormous and ongoing transition of business operations to the cloud” and how it claims to support partners in the future.

The tech giant says that the new partner programme is centred on partners’ level of proficiency in six solution areas aligned with the Microsoft Cloud: data and AI (Azure); infrastructure (Azure); digital and app innovation (Azure); business applications; modern work; and security.

Vole has changed the way that it categorises partners and measures their success. Under the new programme, partners can join two qualifying levels: “solutions partner” and “specialisations and expert programmes”.

To become a solutions partner, partners will need to obtain a new partner capability score (PCS), which scores partners’ performance on a scale of 0-100 across the six solutions areas.

Microsoft dubbs this a “holistic framework” which evaluates partners based on a set criterion including certifications, added customers, successful deployments and overall growth.

Partners will need to earn a PCS of at least 70 out of 100 points across the measurement areas to be a solutions partner. Partners can track their PCS and their progress towards solutions partner status through a new dashboard in the Partner Centre. Customers will not have access to PCS scores, Microsoft added.

Specialisations and expert programmes will be available for partners to demonstrate their “deep technical expertise and experience” in technical scenarios.

Now all partners can access their dashboard in Partner Centre to “chart their progress” towards solutions partner status.