Author: Sarah Broadbent
Demonstrating differentiation is a great way to stand out in today’s technology market. It not only strengthens your customer relationships but better positions you with companies that are seeking partnerships for strategic growth.
The Microsoft Partner Network differentiates partners by their areas of capability and expertise through competencies. Microsoft competencies are aligned to customer needs. Attaining a competency is a validation of your broad technical capability to deliver services on a Microsoft product or technology. Competencies are available for a wide range of the technology services and expertise that customers need to realize their business goals. For each competency area, there is a set of requirements and benefits for silver, and a set of requirements and benefits for gold.
How can a competency help my business grow?
Recognition. When you attain a competency, you receive a badge that you can display in your marketing and sales materials and a certified letter. These help you demonstrate your capabilities to customers.
Increased visibility. Partners with a silver or gold competency receive access to tools that increase the visibility of your business with customers and to other partners. Partners with competencies and that have a referrals business profile are prioritized in the Microsoft partner directory and on partner finders on the Microsoft website. Your competency badge is displayed in your listing.
More support. Partners with a silver or gold competency receive support benefits, such as support from Microsoft for presale and deployment assistance, so you have the support you need to help your customers.
Which competency is right for my business?
You have a range of competencies to choose from across Microsoft solution areas and products. When deciding which ones to pursue, start by reviewing the competencies aligned with the solution areas that your Microsoft practice is aligned with. Then, consider how the area of expertise relates to your business and what you want to achieve.
For example, if you build solutions using Azure, you may want to assure prospective customers that you’re the right partner to develop their new SaaS product. The Cloud Platform competency is a good place to start. This will certify that you’re skilled to deliver services and build products using SaaS and PaaS solutions on Azure, and that you can help them modernize their infrastructure or migrate to the cloud with confidence.
Which is right for my business—Silver or Gold?
Each competency has requirements for a silver competency and requirements for a gold competency. To decide which is right for you, review the competency requirements page. Requirements vary for each competency. Requirements may include:
- Performance, such as revenue thresholds
- Technical assessments or exams
- A fee, due one time per year
If you’re a small and growing business, silver may be a good option to get started with partner competencies. As your business grows, you can decide when it’s time to pursue the gold competency. Larger businesses that service large customers may be ready to go for gold.
How do I get started?
To start differentiating your Microsoft practice, visit the competency page on the Microsoft partner website and review the competencies available for your specialty area. Select a competency of interest, and then go to Competency Details for the benefits and requirements at both levels. When you’re ready to get started, click on Ready to go Silver or Gold? to register.