Microsoft has launched its new Cloud Partner Program (MCPP). Originally announced in March, The program marks a shift in the partnership’s strategy towards a cloud-centric approach with Azure at the forefront.
Microsoft calls it the partner program’s “first material change in 15 years,” targeting all partners in its ecosystem, regardless of whether they create and sell services, software solutions or devices.
According to Microsoft, the program “aims to better align the go-to-market movement of partners with the way customers buy Microsoft products today.
Getting the program up and running is one of the first tasks for its new chief partner, Nicole Dezen, who joined the company in July.
From now on, the old powers Silver y Gold are replaced by six new “Solutions Partner” designations, which are now available to all partners.
The six solution areas are data and AI (Azure), infrastructure (Azure), digital and application innovation (Azure), enterprise applications, modern work, and security.
To “better understand a partner’s capabilities,” Microsoft has unveiled two qualification levels. One of these is a Solution Partner tier that is designated based on a partner’s “capability score” (PCS). Partners earn a capability score based on their certifications, customers added, successful implementations, and overall growth.
To earn the Solutions Partner designation, partners will need to earn a PCS of at least 70 points out of 100 available in all four measurement areas.
“Investing in partner growth and success requires robust and objective measurement of progress in the partner’s chosen solution areas,” Microsoft said in a statement, adding that the PCS will help it “quantify” that progress.
Members who have already met the requirements for the designation through legacy benefits will receive it immediately. Members who meet the requirements but do not have legacy benefits will receive the designation after paying the fee.
competition badges Gold y Silver inherited are no longer valid. Los partners will continue to receive inherited benefits until their next anniversary date, at which time partners they have the option to keep their old benefits aligned with their gold or silver status. However, partners who qualify as Solution Partners will have the opportunity to switch to the new benefits.
A Solution Partner Dashboard in “Partner Center” provides tracking of designation status. These designations are joined by other industry designations for partners who create software, starting with retail, healthcare and financial services.
“With Microsoft’s global reach, strategic investments, and technology stack, we empower our partners to build and sell differentiated products and end-to-end solutions for customers in any scenario and across industries,” Dezen said in his blog. “In addition, we are committed to making the Cloud Partner Program a win-win for all partners, whether they build and sell services, software solutions or devices.”
Microsoft has also launched a resource for independent software vendors (ISV), el ISV Success Program. This branch of the show is currently in private preview, and will go into public preview “later this year.” Details of the program were released earlier in the year and were met with mixed feelings from partners.
The cloud has been on Microsoft’s agenda for several years. However, as more customers accelerated cloud transformations during the pandemic, Microsoft’s commitments to the cloud increased.
In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread across the globe, Microsoft introduced a number of competency extensions to specific product portfolios such as Teams and Azure, as well as postponing Microsoft Partner Agreement implementation plans. This was coupled with intensifying online training and certifications, supported by better access to digital marketing resources.
At the time, Microsoft said its goal was to—in its own words—empower companies in their respective verticals to deliver value faster, quickly adapt to changing conditions, and build for the future, with security at its core.
Shortly thereafter, Microsoft Channel Head Gavriella Schuster stepped down after more than five years, paving the way for Rodney Clark to take over.