Microsoft’s partner program has changed, keep earning incentives 

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What does the Microsoft Cloud Partner
Program mean for you?

New ways to qualify for incentives 

You’ll be awarded points according to your performance in specific areas to make up your partner capability score. Your goal: earn at least 70 points. 

No more competencies

Solutions partner designations will replace Silver and Gold competencies. Show your expertise and technical capabilities in six solution areas aligned to how Microsoft goes to market. 

Choose your path 

You have options for the first year—renew your legacy competencies by September 30 to retain legacy benefits or start working towards a solutions partner designation as of October 3. 

What is MCPP?

Jan. 1, 2023:

Legacy incentives have ended

Before Oct. 2023:

Partners should focus on attaining at least one solutions designation

Oct. 1, 2023:

Solutions partner designation required to qualify for incentives


Legacy Silver and Gold partners are allowed to renew their legacy benefits on their anniversary

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Plan your transition to Microsoft’s new partner program

Our comprehensive guide walks you through the changes and provides actionable insights to help you transition.


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Your guide to the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program

Your guide to the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program

Microsoft has announced big changes to its partner program and the time to act is drawing closer. Find out what you need to know to prepare.

Microsoft Cloud Partner Program: Spring update
On-demand webinar

Microsoft Cloud Partner Program: Spring update

Our Microsoft experts break down the latest MCPP updates related to solutions partner designations, incentives and benefits.

Microsoft Silver partners and changes to the Partner Network
On-demand webinar

Microsoft Silver partners and changes to the Partner Network

Learn how changes to the Microsoft partner program will impact Silver partners and get practical insights from our certified experts.



How is the Microsoft Partner Network changing?

The evolution to the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP) reflects Microsoft’s effort to simplify their partner program to meet customer needs. They’ve introduced new ways to qualify for incentives with the partner capability score. They’ve also introduced solutions partner designations in six key areas aligned to how Microsoft goes to market:

  • Data & AI (Azure)
  • Digital & App Innovation (Azure)
  • Infrastructure (Azure)
  • Business Applications
  • Modern Work
  • Security

This new model provides two qualifying levels: solutions partner and specialist.

When will these changes happen?

After September 30, 2022, legacy competencies and associated badging will no longer be valid. If you have earned a competency and purchased the silver or gold membership by that date, however, you’ll retain your benefits until your next anniversary date.

Solutions partner designations will be available starting October 3, 2022.

Are competencies going away?

Yes, they will be replaced by solutions partner designations. September 30, 2022 is the last day to renew competencies and retain your benefits. As of October 3, 2022, competencies will no longer be valid and will not be promoted by Microsoft.

Can I retain legacy benefits after September 30, 2022?

You'll retain your legacy benefits until your next anniversary date, based on the competency you held on September 30.

If you don’t meet the requirements for a solutions partner designation on your next anniversary date, you’ll have the option to pay the fee and keep your legacy benefits until your next anniversary.

If you meet requirements for a solutions partner designation, you immediately attain the designation and the new customer-facing badge.

Where can I see how many points I have towards a solutions partner designation? 

Admins can sign into Partner Center and visit the Solutions Partner page to see their points and how their business is progressing.

Why should I attain a solutions partner designation? 

Like competencies, solutions partner designations demonstrate your skills and ability to deliver customer success. They differentiate you from your competitors and show customers (and prospective customers) your commitment to skilling, training and innovation.

You also must have a solutions partner designation to qualify for the incentives program.

Do I need to pay a separate fee for each of the six solutions partner designations? What is the fee?

The annual fee for a solutions partner designation, regardless of how many designations, is $4,730 USD (or equivalent, local fees vary). This is aligned to the legacy Gold competency fee. If you earn multiple designations, you do not need to pay the fee again.

What if I do not have the 70 points required to attain a solutions partner designation?

If your organization has not earned the required 70 point minimum (out of a possible 100), you can sign into the Solutions Partner page in Partner Center for guidance on how you can improve your score in each of the categories: performance, skilling, and customer success.

You also have the option to purchase an Action Pack.

Do I need 70 points to earn a specialization? 

Yes. To pursue a specialization, you must first attain a solutions partner designation which requires a minimum of 70 points (out of a possible 100) plus at least
1 point across each subcategory.

For example, to earn the Calling for Microsoft Teams specialization, you must first attain a Solutions Partner for Modern Work designation then meet the specialization requirements.

If our partner capability score is less than 70 points, will working towards a specialization boost our score? 

No. Specializations are a way for you to differentiate your organization's deep technical expertise, they do not contribute to your partner capability score. You must have a partner capability score of at least 70 points (out of a possible 100) to earn a solutions partner designation then pursue a specialization.

Your partner capability score is determined by these metrics:

  • Performance: Measured by net customer adds
  • Customer success: Customer usage growth and number of successful deployments
  • Skilling: Points are awarded for each person on your team with specified certifications

Content of this publication may only be copied or printed with the written authorization of Sherweb and only by giving credit to this company. The information contained in this document is based on the resources available at the time of publication and is subject to change without prior notice. The conclusions and recommendations issued by Sherweb are the sole responsibility of the author, do not constitute legal advice and are also subject to change. Actions or decisions taken pursuant to this guide are the sole responsibility of the reader and Sherweb or any other entity designated in the guide shall have no liability in this regard. All brand, company and product names are used for identification purposes only and may be trademarks owned exclusively by their respective owners. 

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