On October 3, Microsoft officially launched its new Cloud Partner Program. It’s a streamlined approach to recognizing partners who create value for their customers.
With 6 solution areas, the program provides opportunities for partners to stand out from the competition by demonstrating their ability to deliver high-value solutions. Partners can obtain one or more solutions partner designations.
Recognizing skills and experience
With the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program, Microsoft is aiming to recognize not only the technical capabilities of its partners, but also their success in deploying the following solutions:
- Business Applications
- Data & AI
- Digital & App Innovation
- Azure Infrastructure
- Modern Work
ITI is going the distance
ITI is a long-standing Microsoft Gold Partner, and we announced last April that we obtained Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop advanced specialization. In July we announced a second specialization in Windows Server and SLQ Server Migration to Microsoft Azure. These were early steps in our ambitious plan to fully embrace Microsoft’s latest program.
It was a priority for us to make sure our credentials were recognized right from the start.
4 Microsoft designations won by ITI
With dozens of eligible projects to its credit and 50+ Microsoft certifications, ITI has earned solutions partner designation in 4 of the 6 areas. ITI is working on the Security designation and we are confident it will be added to our long list of IT certifications in the coming months.
ITI skills recognition
Solutions partner certification process
Microsoft has adopted a holistic approach to assessing which partners meet its solutions partner standards. Prospective partners must score a minimum of 70 out of 100 points based on criteria in 3 areas: performance, skills, and customer success.
Performance is measured by the number of new customers a partner has acquired for the designation. Skills must be demonstrated through training, especially intermediate and advanced certifications. Customer success is measured based on usage growth.
Customers want to work with partners with certified skills and a proven ability to meet their needs. The solutions partner designation clearly identifies companies with the specific knowledge and experience needed to deliver best practice solutions.
Benefits for partners and customers
The Microsoft Cloud Partner Program has numerous benefits for solutions partners and their customers, beyond the title and certification itself and the increased credibility it provides. Partners get a direct line to Microsoft’s presale team and its expertise. Technicians get access to Microsoft experts to validate processes and answer questions before and after projects. This deep integration guarantees that services are delivered according to industry standards and provides peace of mind for customers undergoing transition.
Obtaining the designations isn’t the end of the road. They must be renewed each year and partners are required to submit a sufficient number of new customers, demonstrate usage growth, and maintain the necessary certifications.
It’s a big investment of time and effort for the team, but it forces us to stay on the cutting edge and at the head of the pack.