Introduction to Solutions Partner designations

Appropriate roles: Global admin, Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program partner admin

Solutions Partner designations program was launched on 4 October 2022 when old Silver and Gold memberships were retired.

Silver or Gold membership

If you hold legacy Gold or Silver membership today and if you meet new requirements of Solutions partner designations, then you'll earn new Solutions partner designation and associated customer facing badging automatically without any extra cost. This will have no impact on your Anniversary date or benefits awarded. Learn more about Silver or Gold membership and its renewal policies.


Microsoft Action Pack purchases aren't affected by this change. You can continue with Microsoft Action Pack purchase or renewals as usual.


Solutions Partner designations are aligned to Microsoft solution areas and include incremental benefits so you can stand out from the competition and increase your customer reach. This program is open for both new and old Silver or Gold Partners. There are six Solutions partner designations available for partners. Each of these designations aligns to a specific solution area offered by Microsoft.

Qualification for Solutions Partner designations

Eligibility for Solutions partner designations is based on the partner capability score achieved by your organization. A partner capability score is a composite score that quantifies performance across three categories - Performance, Skilling, and Customer success. This score is calculated through measurements based on information that's already captured in Partner Center. Learn more about how this score is calculated.

Partners with the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program partner admin role can track progress toward attaining any Solutions partner designation from the Solutions partner dashboard.

Purchase of Solutions Partner designations

Once you're qualified in one or more Solution Area designations, your status will change to Qualified. You can then proceed with payment to get enrolled into Solutions Partner designation program. Learn more about how to make a payment.

Renewal of Solutions Partner designations

Once you purchase (new partners) or get upgraded from older Silver or Gold to new Solutions Partner designations, you'll be allowed to do renewal. Your renewal window opens on your Anniversary Date (date of last purchase). You'll be able to renew your membership anytime after this date. We highly recommend you renew within 30 days of opening of the window to ensure continuity of your Benefits (Azure credits, Cloud services, or Software). In case you were unable to renew within 30 days, don't worry, you can proceed with a fresh purchase post this period as well.

Partners who meet Solutions Partner designations qualification requirement

New or existing partners can buy or renew their Solutions partner designation membership. You should make the payment and then enjoy the benefits associated with new Solutions partner membership. During the purchase, you'll be presented with options to pick different benefits:

  • Option 1: Opt for new Solutions partner benefits.
  • Option 2: Opt for legacy Gold or Silver benefits (but still enroll in the new Solutions partner program). This option is applicable to only existing partners who had existing Gold or Silver benefits.

Benefits options with Solutions Partner designations

During the purchase of Solutions Partner designations, partners get two benefits options to pick. Irrespective of option you pick, you get enrolled in new program of Solutions Partner designations with badge available for you.

  • Option 1 (available for all): New Solutions partner benefits OR
  • Option 2 (available only for old Silver or Gold active partners): Legacy Gold or Silver benefits (as you had as of 30 September 2022)

New benefits with Solutions Partner designations

To support you as you grow your business, the Solutions partner program has an improved benefits bundle that is aligned to the six Solutions partner designations. If you opted for new benefits during your purchase of Solutions Partner designations, you're eligible to receive the new benefits package associated with that designation.

The three Azure Solutions Partner designations share core benefits and each have incremental benefits. Download Solutions Partner Benefits Guide to learn more.

Specializations impact due to Solutions Partner designations

Earlier to achieve a Specialization, the prerequisite used to be to attain the Gold or Silver competency. However, going forward you need to attain the relevant Solutions partner designation badge to be eligible for Specializations.

Your existing Specialization will remain unchanged until Anniversary Date of these specializations. However, on the anniversary of your Specializations, you must attain the required Solutions partner designation along with the other requirements to be eligible to renew. You won't be allowed to renew your Specialization if you haven't attained relevant Solutions partner designation. See the following section for mapping of Specializations to relevant Solutions Partner designations.

Benefits associated with Specializations and Azure Expert Managed Services Provider (MSP)

With Solutions Partner designations program, we also introduced product benefits aligned to specializations and Azure Expert Managed Services Provider (MSP). If you opted for new benefits during your renewal or fresh purchase of Solutions partner membership, extra specialization benefits are awarded. Look at details in Solutions partner benefits guide.

These extra benefits are aligned with your Solutions Partner designation Anniversary Date. Additionally, there's a capping - maximum number of Specializations allowed to get benefits within each Solution Area:

Specialization's Solution Area Maximum number of Specializations allowed to get benefits
Azure (Data and AI, Digital and App Innovation, Infrastructure) 5
Business Applications 1
Modern Work 3
Security 3

Mapping of Specializations to relevant Solutions Partner designations

Specialization aligned to solution areas Solutions partner designations required as a prerequisite
AI and Machine Learning on Microsoft Azure Data & AI OR Digital & App Innovation
Analytics on Microsoft Azure Data & AI
Build and Modernize AI Apps with Microsoft Azure Data & AI OR Business Applications
Data Warehouse Migration to Microsoft Azure Data & AI
DevOps with GitHub on Microsoft Azure Digital & App Innovation
Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure with Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Infrastructure OR Data & AI OR Digital & App Innovation
Infra and Database Migration to Microsoft Azure Data & AI OR Infrastructure
Kubernetes on Microsoft Azure Data & AI OR Digital & App Innovation
Microsoft Azure VMware Solution Infrastructure
Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Migrate Enterprise Apps to Microsoft Azure Data & AI OR Digital & App Innovation
Networking Services in Microsoft Azure Infrastructure
SAP on Microsoft Azure Infrastructure
Modern Work
Adoption and Change Management Modern Work
Calling for Microsoft Teams Modern Work
Customer Solutions for Microsoft Teams Modern Work
Meetings and Meeting Rooms for Microsoft Teams Modern Work
Teamwork Deployment Modern Work
Modernize Endpoints Modern Work
Cloud Security Security
Identity and Access Management Security
Information Protection and Governance Security
Threat Protection Security
Business Applications
Business Intelligence Data & AI OR Business Applications
Finance Business Applications
Intelligent Automation Digital & App Innovation OR Business Applications
Low Code Application Development Business Applications OR Digital & App Innovation
Sales Business Applications
Service Business Applications
Small and Midsize Business Management Business Applications
Supply Chain Business Applications

Mapping of Solutions Partner designations to old Gold or Silver competencies

Each of the six designations is mapped to a Microsoft solution area, simplifying partner programs from earlier 18 Gold or Silver legacy competencies. The following table maps legacy competencies to the new Solutions partner designations.

Old legacy Gold or Silver Competency Solutions Partner designations
Cloud Business Applications, Enterprise Resource Planning, Project Portfolio Management Business Applications
App Integration, Data Analytics, Data Platform Data & AI (Azure)
Cloud Platform, Datacenter Infrastructure (Azure)
Application Development, App Integration, DevOps Digital & App Innovation (Azure)
Cloud Productivity, Collaboration and Content, Communications, Messaging, Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions, Windows and Devices Modern Work
Enterprise Mobility Management, Security Security

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