Microsoft is Making Major Changes to its Partner Program

Posted on March 16, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Microsoft, Microsoft 365 with 10 Comments

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.

You can learn more about this change here.

Tagged with

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (10)

10 responses to “Microsoft is Making Major Changes to its Partner Program”

  1. dougkinzinger

    I remember back in the day the celebration when the company I work for made the leap from Silver partner to Gold partner. Good times.

  2. Piyer

    Just went through the details in our partner portal. This is terrible.., at least for us as an independent software company, creating products that run on windows and azure. We do not even qualify - have been a partner for I think almost 20 years.


    All I see in the new program is Microsoft wanting to recruit lackeys to peddle their products and services


    The partner program was really a good program with incentives and to train our team internally for the full Microsoft stack. Without this, Micrsoft will not only lose companies like us, but the next gen of developers.


    Good on you Microsoft! - shaft your partners!

    • solomonrex

      I think realistically they have already lost two generations of devs. The Web generation and the mobile generation. Not that they don't have a real business there, because they do and that's why they've been a little bipolar about the cloud migration, but it's not a tenable situation.

    • dougkinzinger

      Yes, these changes combined with the NCE stuff will probably make for some pretty unhappy partners for sure.

    • moogleassassin

      Same. We're a small business ISV with Gold Partner status and have been for years - I'm looking at this and there is almost no way we can qualify for even the Solution Partner level... we depend on the InternalUseRights licences to run our business and spend thousands monthly on Azure. This is going to really, really hurt us. Feeling pretty bitter about this right about now.


      Another home goal from MS that just continues to hurt the people that should be aiming to keep onside.


      Just once... once... could you guys not just f the whole thing up? just once?

  3. IanYates82

    They wanted to make changes 3-4 years ago. I was worried we wouldn't qualify anymore. They backed down though, but the writing was on the wall. ISVs are living on borrowed time now

    • IanYates82

      From memory, the internal use rights were going. Frankly they are what gives us the best benefit of being a Microsoft partner - we use the same things our customers use, and build our stuff to work with the Microsoft environment with which we're familiar (due to internal use)

      • arnstarr

        All my clients use Business Premium, not E3. And E3 is what is included in the Action Pack so I don't think what is included is helpful to me at all.

      • Which Cloud

        I was told the same thing as the 'Canada MSP' comment above - existing silver/gold partners will be grandfathered into those benefits packages regardless of their partner status next year.

  4. jboman32768

    Yeah - they tried to eliminate the partner program once before a couple of years ago, but there was an outcry. Seems they have done it again but this time with a longer transition period.

Leave a Reply