Microsoft will rename its Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) to the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP) and is making major changes.
“As a part of our investment in the cloud as a strategic lever for innovation and growth, and as a reflection of our continued commitment to partners, we are announcing that effective October 2022, we are changing the name of our partner program from the Microsoft Partner Network to the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program,” Microsoft corporate vice president Rodney Clark writes. “This announcement is about more than a name; this change better reflects the enormous and ongoing transition of business operations to the cloud, and how Microsoft intends to support partners in the future. It aligns our partners’ go-to-market motions with the way customers buy today.”
Going forward, the MCPP will focus on proficiency in six solution areas that are, of course, aligned with the Microsoft Cloud: Data & AI (Azure), Infrastructure (Azure), Digital & App Innovation (Azure), Business Applications, Modern Work, and Security. And there will be two qualifying levels, solutions partner and specializations and expert programs. Solution partner will designate those partners that meet specific requirements across Microsoft’s new partner capability score in each solution area. And specializations and expert programs will give solutions partners a way to demonstrate their deep technical expertise and experience in specific technical scenarios under each solution area. Oof.
Given the enormity of this change, Microsoft will give its partners time to make the shift. Nothing is happening immediately, and October is just the start of the transition. But it’s unclear what the full timeline is for those transitioning. But Microsoft says it will give partners at least six months’ warning before the changes begin. Expect some pushback.