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The Next Step for Microsoft Partners: Microsoft Solution Partner Designations

Expert Insight

The New Microsoft Partner Designations

2022 started with a bang for Microsoft Partners. At the beginning of the year, Microsoft introduced the New Commerce Experience (NCE), a change to pricing structures, and essentially an adjustment to the Cloud Solution Provider Program (CSP) program.

More recently however, a new change has been announced.

As of October 2022, the Silver & Gold partner competencies will be removed, and instead there will be a range of Microsoft Designations.

What are Microsoft Partner Designations?

The new solutions partner designations will help identify the broad technical capabilities and experience in high-demand Microsoft Cloud solution areas. They’ll showcase a partner’s demonstrated ability to deliver successful customer solutions, and they appear to require even more commitment than the previous set of competencies.

So, what are the new Microsoft Designation areas?

There are six new designation areas, covering:

Azure data and AI

This designation highlights a providers skills in managing customers’ data across multiple systems to build analytics and AI solutions.

Azure infrastructure

This designation allows partners to demonstrate their ability to help customers migrate key infrastructure workloads to Azure.

Azure digital and app innovation

This solution designation showcases partners that build, run, and manage applications across multiple clouds, on-premises, and at the edge.

Business applications

The new Business Applications designation is a great opportunity for partners who provide consultation, deployment, or ongoing management services for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.

Modern work

A Solutions partner for Modern work demonstrates broad capabilities in helping customers boost their productivity and make the shift to hybrid work, using Microsoft 365.


A Solutions partner for Security must demonstrate a broad skillset to help customers safeguard their entire organisation, by using integrated security, compliance, and identity solutions.

How do you attain the new Microsoft designations?

The new approach has been established around capability scores, based on a points system.

To attain a Microsoft Solutions Partner Designation, a partner will need to earn at least 70 points (including points in each subcategory) out of the available 100 points. These are measured by:

  1. Performance: Measured by customer additions.
  2. Skilling: Verifies and demonstrates a partner’s dedication to skilling and training. Points are awarded for each person on a team, with specified certifications.
  3. Customer success: Measured by usage growth and number of successful solution deployments.

While the existing partner program is available until October 3rd, partners will have up to 18 months to transition to the new Microsoft Partner Designations.

Does this change affect Microsoft customers?

Customers want to work with partners who have the necessary skills and expert capabilities to meet their requirements, along with demonstrated ability to deliver customer success. As such, this change is coming to provide customers with the power to easily identify partners with vast experience in high demand Microsoft solution areas.

At Stripe OLT we specialise in secure, cloud-first Microsoft technologies. These technologies underpin all of our core solutions and as cloud and security specialists we look forward to what’s ahead for Microsoft Partners… watch this space!

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