Microsoft to Implement Competency Categorization, Points Accrual System for PartnersBy Channel Insider Staff | Print
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Sticking to the channel roadmap it unveiled last October, Microsoft announced plans to help partners position themselves with customers and better align their business with Microsoft's marketing initiatives.Redmond, Wash. Sticking to the channel roadmap it unveiled last October, Microsoft Corp. is expected to open its Microsoft Competencies and Partner Points components for participation in April, marking a major milestone in its overhauled channel strategy for the next decade.
The components are meant to help partners identify their areas of expertise clearly, making it easier to position themselves with customers and to better align their business with Microsoft's marketing initiatives and business groups, said Allison Watson, Vice President of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Sales and Marketing Group.
To achieve a competency, partners must meet technical certification requirements and provide verifiable references of recent solutions implemented for customers. Partner Points are designed to create a level playing field for solutions partners regardless of all size, and can be earned in a variety of ways, including Microsoft Premier Certified Professional certifications, tested Microsoft-based solutions, customer satisfaction, unit sales of Microsoft learning products, distributed licenses, and partner conference attendance. Points can also be earned by achieving a Microsoft Solution Competency.
Partners can qualify for 11 different competencies, said Wueste. Eight will be available immediately with three others slated for later in 2004. They are:
"What we're trying to do is drive a single framework for how partners deal with Microsoft," said Wueste. "Our goal is a single point at Microsoft for each partner. We won't get that done on day one, but these programs are a huge move in right direction."