So the good news is that SBSC is here to stay. The next news regarding the partner program is gold and silver is here to stay as levels of partners.
The way the partner programs works is if you specialize in small business you want (you need) to get the SBSC updated credential. It’s a doable exam. If you want to showcase a level up from SBSC you go for the Mid market gold or silver compentency. Now if I were in charge of the universe I would have made it the small and mid market competency, because as a small business I hear “mid” and I tune out thinking that’s not for me.
Between now and October it’s time to take that SBSC exam!
Microsoft Partner Network and Microsoft Partner
The Microsoft Partner Network remains the name for Microsoft’s overall partner ecosystem community that provides opportunities for partners to find customers, create innovative solutions and strengthen their competitive advantage in the marketplace. Members of the Microsoft Partner Network are Microsoft partners, and beginning in October 2010 they will be eligible to use a new market-facing Microsoft partner designation along with reference to any gold competencies and/or silver competencies they’ve earned. As an example:
Rebranding Advanced Competency and Competency to Gold Competency and Silver Competency
Gold competencies and Silver competencies (formerly Advanced Competency and Competency) enable partners to differentiate their business, demonstrate recognizable expertise, and capitalize on benefits tailored to specific business needs. Partners with Gold competencies have demonstrated the highest, most consistent capability and commitment within a Microsoft business solution area and are entitled to the highest value benefits from the network. Partners with Silver competencies have demonstrated strong competence and capability within a Microsoft business solution area and are also entitled to high value benefits and a competitive advantage with this designation. The requirements to earn these designations have not changed.
Competencies are aligned to how customers actually buy, making it easier for partners to demonstrate relevant areas of expertise.
Gold” and “Silver” describe specific competency expertise, not the aggregate partner.
Partners can earn a combination of both Silver competencies and Gold competencies.
Gold and Silver competencies, new membership opportunities, will be available to partners beginning in October 2010.
More information about competencies is available at: https://partner.microsoft.com/program/competencies