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Microsoft Dynamics Partner Gut Check: Upcoming Certification Changes Realign VAR Ecosystem (Part 1)

by Linda Rosencrance
Contributing Writer, MSDW
September 26 2010

When it comes to how Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM partners relate to users, important changes are in the making, forcing increasingly intense competition among partners and more stringent standards by Microsoft.

Beginning at the end of October 2010, Microsoft will require its ERP and CRM partners to become more industry focused, more scaled up, and better able to tell the full story of an integrated solution. 

"We're aligning our partner program to what the customers want to see," said Jeff Edwards, Director of Channel Strategy, Microsoft Business Solutions.

Edwards said one of the main complaints from customers was that too many partners qualified for Gold Partner status, making it impossible for one partner to differentiate itself from another and making it difficult for a prospect to figure out which partner was really good at what.

"The changes are helpful for our strategy, which is that partners have to be qualified in the specific competency and gain all the requirements specific to that competency," he said. "In the past you had kind of a point system where people could pick up a couple points and add them up and be Gold but not be terribly good at one thing. So we're shifting from the old Certified and Gold Certified to the new Silver and Gold."

Edwards said the requirements to qualify as a Gold Partner are "different and higher." And specifically for ERP and CRM partners, such requirements include:

  • Minimum revenue requirements (up to $100,000 direct annual license revenue for "Advanced Competency" VARs
  • Requirements for partners to employ a higher number of technically certified people-three for Silver Partner status and six for Gold Partner;
  • ...

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About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in the Boston area. Rosencrance has over 25 years experience as an reporter/investigative reporter, writing for many newspapers in the metropolitan Boston area. Rosencrance has been writing about information technology for the past 16 years.

She has covered a variety of IT subjects, including Microsoft Dynamics, mobile security issues such as data loss prevention, network management, secure mobile app development, privacy, cloud computing, BI, big data, analytics, HR, CRM, ERP, and enterprise IT.

Rosencrance is the author of six true crime books for Kensington Publishing Corp.