Microsoft Partner Network – Is there value in being a Microsoft Partner?

Hi Everyone,

This is a topic that I have always felt passionate about and I have never really known how to address it. I am hoping to take a discussion oriented approach and I hope that readers will post comments. I am on the board of the International Association of Microsoft Certified Partners and the goal of that association is to look out for existing and future partners. The association strives to help partners progress, cooperate and collaborate.

  • I would like examples of what you think Microsoft could do better.
  • Has being a partner has been good for you.
  • What do you think is missing in the partner program.
  • Would you like to engage with partners better.
  • Is there value in being a Microsoft Partner?

Please post a comment and let me know what you are thinking. The above is just a suggestion… please feel free to comment anyway you like.

Jeff Loucks
Available Technology
Available Technology
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4 thoughts on “Microsoft Partner Network – Is there value in being a Microsoft Partner?

  1. My successful small company (15 people) has been a certified partner for 10+ years but the majority of the value has been:

    1. The Microsoft software licensing grant alone makes the approx $1500/year cost well worth it.

    2. It provides a form of “credentializing” you to your customers.

  2. Thanks for your post. It is clear to me the central value most partners find is access to partner licenses. It takes a few employees for the licenses to pay off.

    Regarding the credibility with customers aspect, do you find your customers check your status?

  3. Well, the New Improved MPN site is about the same as the old one, just with a new theme to it.  Really.  There’s not that much that’s changed, so I’m wondering why all the woohoo from MS about this.

    Also, it seems to be less stable than the old one in critical areas, such as MAPS downloads and Keys (sure, not in the old one, but then we used to get shipped physical media and keys back then).

    And then there’s the VLSC site and its month+ long issues with getting old agreements listed and also getting new agreements listed.

    Hhmmm, is there value in the MPN?  Not really, aside – as was mentioned – the NFR Licensing that we get access to so that we can try out the products that we then sell to and support for our clients.  But that’s what any other software company (unless they are a direct model only) does anyway.  So, there’s nothing different that Microsoft is providing here.

    Could I see value in the MPN if it was meaningful to our business?  Definitely.  Is there much value now?  Not really.

    Now, we’ve never had a client query our “credentials” as we work pretty much on word of mouth advertising.  We get recommended by one of their contacts and we never get asked for exam, certification nor any other credentials.  I’d also be guessing that approximately 100% of our clients wouldn’t know an MCP from an ABC from an MCSE from a Do Re Mi.  So, becoming a Certified Partner or a Gold Certified Partner or an SBSC or an MCTS would be meaningless to our clients and *only* useful if we actually gained knowledge in gaining this certification.

    And yes, we’re SBSCs, only because it is relevant to our martket, not because our clients even know what it means (nor, actually, that it exists).

  4. Hilton,

    Great post. I think you show a degree of understanding that the MPN has missed. Certification is a barrier to delivering value to customers. The process of gaining knowledge has value, the requirement to certify is a hurdle.

    I am certainly not one to argue against certification. I think certifcation has some value. However certification is not a primary concern for clients. This is a big miss in the program.

    The program does not understand that clietns want solutions not complications. Understanding what a certification means, how it is relevant, why they should care, that is all of no value to them.

    MPV must focus on delivering value to customers. It must focus on making that process easier.

    Thanks Hilton again for your post.

    Jeff Loucks

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