Channel chiefs, Channel partner programs, Channel technologies, Distributed Workforce

Microsoft Evolves Partner Competencies

Microsoft Channel Chief Gavriella Schuster
Gavriella Schuster

When it comes to partner program competencies, less is more. Indeed, Microsoft is eliminating a lengthy list of MPN competencies -- some of which seemingly date back to the client-server age. The goal is to further accelerate cloud and Windows 10 momentum among the company's partner base -- while also setting the stage for Internet of Things (IoT) success.

"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."

Looking ahead, Microsoft will add a Windows & Devices competency later this month. Pushing traditional PCs, the competency will include an ecosystem of application developers, deployment services, device sellers and experts in the Internet of Things, Schuster wrote.

At first glance, Microsoft's decision to phase out selected competencies certainly makes sense. Times change. But partners that invested in those competencies will want new options that allow them to stand out in the crowd. It sounds like the transition won't be complete until mid-2017.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.