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Microsoft Partner Network – Invest in competencies for the future

Microsoft recently changed its Microsoft Partner Program to the Microsoft Partner Network – an initiative to fortify and better support partners. 

This change has been brought about with the premise that changing industry climates would require changing competencies – ones that partners can and should use to their advantage, and reach their optimum potential.

Microsoft has consistently strived to maintain its commitment to its partners by providing solutions and programs designed to give them a business edge that allows them to enhance sales and effectively relate to end-users, so that doing business is more of a success, and less of a worry. 

Through this Network, partners can get first-hand access to the latest Microsoft software and tools, while taking advantage of great support resources through online communities, telephone support and e-mail, and of Microsoft’s marketing campaign. When required, partners can make the most of the numerous trainings available online, that are created for both products and for personal skills. Another great reason to partner with Microsoft is eligibility for joining the Microsoft Club – a commission-based program, among other rebate programs, that awards cash rebates and marketing funds to partners for software sold. And partnering with Microsoft ultimately gives end-users the peace of mind in knowing that Microsoft partners are best able to help with purchases, and when it comes to implementing and supporting. 

Where Microsoft Partner Network differentiates itself from other such programs, is largely accounted by the fact that a partner of any type can evolve with Microsoft technology, do business in a changing market landscape, and still remain profitable. Microsoft offers tailored benefits to address various partner types and focus, ensuring the highest levels of commitment and intuitive insight to customer satisfaction. 

The Microsoft Partner Network brings with it a three fold mission to strengthen partner capabilities, enhance customer service and to support communities that spark innovation and connection; to create innovative solutions that drive profitability and sustain competitive advantage. The best part is that everybody in the program gets to take advantage of the many benefits of being a Microsoft partner, enabling them to grow their business effectively and efficiently. Joining is a process that consists of having your Windows Live ID ready, entering your contact details and accepting the general terms. What’s more, they even have a Partner Learning Center which is great tool that helps educate partners free of cost.  

Effective October 2010, The Microsoft Partner Network targets four areas of engagement including Community & Quick Starts, Subscriber, Competency Partner and Advanced Competency Partner. 

Community and Quick Starts reiterates that all members of the Microsoft Partner Network are part of the Microsoft community and foundation – so that all new and existing partners can engage themselves through listening and participating in online communities such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. 

Subscriber allows startup companies, small business and new partners to develop their business and seek new market opportunities with the support of the Microsoft Partner Network. Today, these partners have access to a deeper set of benefits with useful programs such as MAPs, Empower and BizSpark. The future may see more subscription offerings to attract partners and develop engagement. 

Competency Partner, with over 30 competencies aligned to customer demands, provides the perfect way to help businesses demonstrate their expertise, making their certification recognizable to prospective customers. 

Advanced Competency allows partners with prolific expertise to differentiate this in the marketplace with a specific brand. Partners eligible for this showcase best-in-class solutions that have been through a rigorous and auditable process to demonstrate customer value. 

The corresponding benefits for each competency and advanced competency package are essential resources that support partners through their business cycle, allowing them to plan, enable, create, demand, sell, service and retain. 

There are several ways of preparing for the Microsoft Partner Network. Partners who are Gold Certified or are re-enroll in the program, must have participated in the Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Index within the previous 12 months. They are also required to update their marketing material to reflect the competencies and designations they have attained. And with the new competencies arriving soon, partners will soon be able to  start using the new Microsoft Partner Network logos as well.

Microsoft recently changed its Microsoft Partner Program to the Microsoft Partner Network ? an initiative to fortify and better support partners.

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