Partner Capability Score

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

A partner capability score is a composite score that quantifies the performance of a partner in three categories:

Partner capability scores are calculated from measurements of information that is already captured in Partner Center.

Each of these six solution areas has a maximum of 100 points across the three categories:

  • Data & AI (Azure)
  • Infrastructure (Azure)
  • Digital & App Innovation (Azure)
  • Business Applications
  • Modern Work
  • Security

Each of the three categories, performance, skilling, and customer success, has metrics with various weights and thresholds. When you reach a metric's threshold, you receive the maximum weighted points for that metric. You get partial points for any progress on that metric.

Scoring framework

Category Performance Max points Skilling Max points Customer success Max points
Metrics Net customer adds xx Intermediate certifications xx Usage growth xx
Advanced certifications xx Deployments xx

Qualifying for a Solutions Partner designation

To qualify for a Solutions Partner designation, you must meet the following criteria:

  • A partner capability score for the solution area (for example, Security) of at least 70 points.
  • Every metric in the solution area is greater than zero points.
  • Meet the above criteria on any day during the qualification eligibility window.

The scoring framework

  • Provides partners with the flexibility to choose their own path towards attaining the qualifying criteria.
  • Requires that partners demonstrate their ability to provide high quality service to customers.
  • Ensures that customers who are searching for partners can trust Solution partner designations.

Qualification eligibility window

If the partner isn't enrolled in a given solution area:

  • The qualification eligibility window includes the current month and the previous five months. The partner must qualify on at least one day during the qualification eligibility window. For example, if the partner isn't enrolled in Modern Work, and today is August 15, 2023, then in order to be eligible, they must have been qualified for at least one day between March 15, 2023-August 15, 2023.

If the partner is enrolled in a given solution area:

  • The qualification eligibility window includes the renewal month and the last five months. For example, if the partner is enrolled in Modern Work, and the Anniversary date is August 15, 2024, then the partner continues to be enrolled until August 15, 2024, even if their partner capability score decreases. The partner has to qualify on at least one day during the qualification window, which in this example is from March 1,2024—August 31, 2024.

Scoring History

The Scoring history page displays the scores of the current month and the last five months.

Current Membership / purchase Qualification criteria Purchase scenario
Legacy Gold/Silver If you aren't enrolled in any solution area, then you need to achieve Qualified status during the qualification eligibility window. You don't need to purchase the Solutions Partner designation. Once you qualify for any solution area, you're automatically enrolled into the solution area.
Solutions Partner If you're enrolled in any solution area, then you continue to be in Enrolled status in that solution are until the Anniversary date. During the renewal window, you need to renew the solutions partner designation, for which you need to achieve Qualified status on at least one day during the qualification eligibility window. The qualification eligibility window includes the renewal month and the previous months. You need to renew the Solutions Partner designation in the upcoming renewal window.
Solutions Partner If you're already enrolled in one solution area, and when you achieve qualified status in any other solution area during the qualification eligibility window, you're automatically enrolled in the other solution area. You don't need to purchase a Solutions Partner designation because you're already a solutions partner.
Not a Solutions Partner and not a legacy Gold / Silver partner Once you achieve Qualified status in any solution area, on at least one day during the qualification eligibility window, then you're eligible to purchase a Solutions Partner designation. The qualification eligibility window includes the current month and the last the five months. You need to purchase the solutions partner designation on the Membership offers page to get Enrolled in this solution area.

Multiple qualifications tracks

Some solution areas have disparate partners with growth strategies and work with customers of different sizes. In two of those solution areas—Modern work and Business applications—we've created multiple tracks, and each track has different thresholds to attain points to qualify for a Solutions Partner designation.

Enterprise and Small and Medium Business paths

There are two distinct attainment paths to earn a Solutions Partner designation in the Modern work and Business applications areas.

  • Enterprise
  • Small and Medium business (SMB)

Each path has its own thresholds and qualifying criteria to earn points to qualify for a Solutions Partner designation.

In Modern Work Solutions area, we evaluate you on both paths. We then choose the highest of the two partner capability scores towards qualifying for the designation. In Business Applications Solutions area, your organization is automatically categorized into one of the two tracks, depending on the number and the size of customers you tend to serve.

The three categories

A partner capability score is a composite score that quantifies the performance of a partner in the categories of performance, skilling, and customer growth.

Diagram of requirements for each Solution area.

Performance

The performance category measures the ability of partners to expand both your and Microsoft's customer base. Its primary metric is Net customer adds.

Net customer adds:

  • Points are awarded for the number of eligible customers added in the trailing 12 months. (Lost customers are subtracted from new customers.)
  • Each of the six solution areas (for example, Security) has a customer growth threshold for partners to reach.
  • Each of the six solution areas has its own eligibility criteria for new customers.
  • The eligible customers are customers new to the partner. This can be a customer new to using Microsoft products or a customer using Microsoft products that moves to a new partner. The customer must be associated with the partner to be included in the metric.

Skilling

The skilling category measures capabilities and skills acquired as the number of people in a partner organization who are certified.

Specific certifications and courses are required in each of the six solution areas. Credits in the skilling category are based on the certifications earned by learners linked to your organization.

There are two metrics in the skilling category:

  • Intermediate certifications measure your organization's progress towards having an adequate number of people with intermediate certifications in specified solution areas. (In some of the six solution areas, only intermediate certifications are available.)
  • Advanced certifications measure your organization's progress towards having an adequate number of people with advanced certifications in specified solution areas.

As solution areas evolve and change, required certifications are expected to change as well. For the latest required certifications, see the Partner Center pages for that solution area.

Customer success

The customer success category measures your organization's ability to enable growth in the use of Microsoft products, or in the expansion of Microsoft's services and workloads used by customers.

The are two metrics in the customer success category, usage growth and deployments.

  • Usage growth measures the growth in usage of Microsoft's products by your customers in the past year. Each solution area has its own thresholds, weight, and qualifying criteria for which customers earn you points in this metric. To learn about the details of criteria for this metric, refer to the detailed requirements for each solution area.
  • Deployments measures your ability to expand the deployment of Microsoft workloads and products within a specified solution area across your customer portfolio. To learn more about the criteria for this metric, refer to the detailed requirements for each solution area.

See your partner capability score

  1. Sign in to Partner Center and select Membership.

    If you don't see the Membership workspace, check your assigned roles in Partner Center. You must have the Global admin or Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program partner admin role to view the Membership workspace.

  2. Select Solutions Partner > Overview. Here's what the status means for each solution area.

    • In progress: You aren't yet qualified for this solution area to get enrolled into this solution area. This status appears when you've earned some points, but either have less than 70 total points, or when you have 0 points in an individual metric.
    • Qualified: You've met the qualifications and are able to purchase a Solutions Partner designation. Make a payment in Membership offers to enroll.
    • Enrolled: You're enrolled in the Solutions Partner designation for this solution area. You remain enrolled until your anniversary date regardless of increase or decrease in your score. Because you're enrolled, you can see your renewal status and qualification eligibility window on this page.
    • Enrolled (Renewal due): You're currently enrolled for this solution area and are within the renewal window. To maintain your enrolled status, renew before the last date of your renewal window.
  3. Select View details for any of the solution area cards on the page, or select any solution area of interest on the navigation menu.

    The page that appears shows the details of your partner capability score for the solution area. If multiple tracks are available for the solution area, the page shows the score of the selected track. You can change the selected track by selecting the page title that also contains the name of the selected track.

    After you select a track, you'll see multiple cards—one for each metric that makes up the partner capability score for that solution area. Each of these metric cards provides you with several details about the metric: the criteria, your score, and other details for the metric. To view an example of these details, see the following figure.

Diagram of the partner capability score model in Partner Center.

Recommendations

Note

This is in private preview mode.

The Recommendations section shows suggested actions to help you improve your score, or to help you avoid a reduction in your score.

  • Solution area score: Recommendations for this score display when a Solutions Partner designation score isn't qualified, either because it is below 70 points, or isn't qualified for some other reason.
  • Skilling category: These recommendations help you identify opportunities to improve the score. The recommendations also show when there's a risk of the score dropping when certifications are close to expiring. For example, when the Valid date for a certificate isn't renewed and expires, it can lead to a score drop in the Skilling category. Recommendations are in development to help with other categories, including Performance and Customer success.
  • Net customer adds: These recommendations help you identify opportunities to improve the score. The recommendations are shown in these circumstances:
    • When you're close to reaching the threshold value of being eligible.
    • When you're at risk of the score dropping. (Only new customers from the current year and previous years are counted. Existing customers aren't counted.)

Data freshness

Performance and Customer Success subcategories are typically refreshed by the 20th of every month. However, there might be more minor data refreshes throughout the month.

Skilling subcategories are typically refreshed within 10 days after certification is completed.

Next steps