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Microsoft overhauls partner programme

Microsoft has overhauled its partner programme, a move that that will affect the 400,000+ organisations currently delivering Microsoft products and services to customers around the world.

The four big changes are: Cessation of the Microsoft partner network and its silver and gold badges. Introduction of the Microsoft cloud partner programme with two qualifying levels: a solutions partner level and a specialisation/ expert level, which enables solutions partners to highlight additional expertise in specific areas. Application of partner designations to six solution areas aligned with the Microsoft cloud: data & AI (Azure); infrastructure (Azure); digital & app innovation (Azure); business applications; modern work and security. Introduction of a partner capability score, a new framework for evaluating partners and tracking their proficiency in the six solution areas listed above based on their performance in four areas: certifications, added customers, successful deployments and overall growth.

All existing partners can transition into the new Microsoft cloud partner programme with a base membership and then qualify for solutions partner and specialisation/expert levels by meeting certain standards, measured by their partner capability score.