Introduction to Solutions Partner designations
Appropriate roles: Global admin, MPN 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 are not affected by this change. You can continue with Microsoft Action Pack purchase or renewals as usual. Learn More.
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.
- Solutions partner for Business Applications
- Solutions partner for Data and AI (Azure)
- Solutions partner for Digital and App Innovation (Azure)
- Solutions partner for Infrastructure (Azure)
- Solutions partner for Security
- Solutions partner for Modern Work
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 is already captured in Partner Center. Learn More about how this score is calculated.
If you're a partner with the MPN admin role, you can track your progress toward attaining any Solutions partner designation at Partner Center at the Solutions partner dashboard.
Purchase of Solutions Partner designations
Once you are qualified in one or more Solution Area designation, 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 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 will 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 any time 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'll 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'll not be allowed to renew your Specialization if you haven't attained relevant Solutions partner designation. See below 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 is 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|
Mapping of Specializations to relevant Solutions Partner designations
Below table on left captures the list of Specialization aligned to different Solution Areas. On the right side of this table, required Solutions Partner designations needed as pre-requisite is mentioned.
|Specialization||Solutions partner designations required|
|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|
|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|
|Identity and Access Management||Security|
|Information Protection and Governance||Security|
|Business Intelligence||Data & AI OR Business Applications|
|Intelligent Automation||Digital & App Innovation OR Business Applications|
|Low Code Application Development||Business Applications OR Digital & App Innovation|
|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|