Microsoft MCPP: Your route to cloud excellence

Microsoft Azure

Have you ever walked into a restaurant and noticed the framed awards and accolades on the wall? They may not seem like a big deal, but they're a subtle way for the restaurant to show that they're a step above the rest. In the world of cloud computing, obtaining a Microsoft MCPP status is just like those awards. It's a symbol of credibility and expertise that sets you apart from the competition. 

The world of technology is changing at the speed of light. Over the past few years, you might have been able to adapt to these changes by leveraging your expertise in areas like security and data management. However, as the cloud becomes increasingly important in organizations' IT strategies, it's crucial to understand how you can capitalize on this huge opportunity. Enter the Microsoft MCPP program. With the countless benefits available through this program, there has never been a better time for you to enhance your visibility within the thriving Microsoft ecosystem.

Let’s explore why achieving a Microsoft MCPP status is so important for you as a cloud partner and how it can help your business grow and thrive.

Competitive edge

Achieving a Microsoft MCPP status signifies a high level of proficiency and specialization in the cloud computing field. Partners who obtain this certification have met the rigorous standards set by Microsoft and possess the knowledge and expertise required to provide top-notch services to their customers. This certification sets you apart from the competition and customers are more likely to choose partners with an MCPP status. It is a symbol of trust and credibility that can help you establish your reputation and give you a competitive edge.

Customer loyalty

When you earn a Microsoft MCPP status, you gain access to a vast range of resources that include training, marketing materials and technical support. These help you stay current with the latest technologies and provide better services for your customers. By continuously updating your skills and knowledge, you can adapt to the changing needs and demands of your customers and demonstrate your commitment to ongoing innovation. By taking advantage of these resources, you can provide more innovative and cutting-edge solutions to your customers.

Expand your reach

Obtaining a Microsoft MCPP status can help you expand your offerings, win new customers and boost revenue. It conveys credibility, expertise and a commitment to excellence. The resources provided by Microsoft through the MCPP program will help you enhance your capabilities and enable you to offer more comprehensive and innovative solutions. This is crucial for attracting new business and increasing revenue. An MCPP status is not only a certification but also a gateway to a world of resources that can aid in business growth.

What if you’re already a CSP partner?

As a former CSP partner, it's important to understand that Microsoft phased out the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program in October 2022 and transitioned to the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP). The MCPP program represents a significant shift in how cloud partners do business with Microsoft. It's designed to provide you with a more streamlined and comprehensive set of benefits, including access to a wider range of Microsoft resources, tools and support. The MCPP program will also help you align to customer demand and areas where you have the greatest opportunity to scale your business and meet customer requirements. By transitioning to the MCPP, you can position yourself for long-term success and ensure you are well-equipped to meet the ever-evolving needs of your customers.

So how is the MCPP program different from the CSP program?

Simplifying partner programs

Microsoft has simplified its partner programs with a new single-tier Solutions Partner designation that’s focused on six solution areas and the Microsoft Cloud:

  • Data and AI (Azure)
  • Infrastructure (Azure)
  • Digital and App Innovation (Azure)
  • Business Applications (Dynamics and Power Platform)
  • Modern Work (Microsoft 365)
  • Security (Microsoft 365)

Additionally, there are specializations and expert programs to further differentiate your organization. This allows you to demonstrate your organization’s capabilities in delivering customer success in areas that are aligned with Microsoft's go-to-market strategy and customer demand. 

The new program provides a streamlined approach for partners to achieve success and differentiate themselves in the market, while also making it easier for customers to find the right partners that meet their needs. By aligning with this strategy, you can enhance your reputation and drive business growth opportunities.

Holistic measurement

Microsoft values your growth and success, which is why they've introduced the partner capability score. This holistic measurement tool assesses your performance, skilling and customer success. It's designed to align with Microsoft solution areas and cloud offerings. 

By focusing on what you know and use every day, the partner capability score enables you to demonstrate your organization's expertise in delivering customer success and helps you identify areas for improvement. With this tool, we can work together to achieve mutual growth and success and drive better outcomes for you and your customers.

New benefits to help you grow

As a cloud partner, achieving Microsoft MCPP status unlocks access to a range of updated benefits that can help you grow your business. These benefits are aligned with the new solution area designations and include things like technical and business training, support and co-selling opportunities. By taking advantage of these benefits, you can increase your organization's capabilities, expand your reach and ultimately boost your revenue. With a focus on delivering greater customer value and recognizing how you deliver customer success, the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program provides you with the tools and resources you need to thrive in a rapidly changing digital landscape. MCPP benefits include product benefits, incentives, go-to-market services, co-sell eligibility, skilling and sales enablement resources and new customer-facing badges to help you market your expertise.

What about your current competencies?

As of September 30, 2022, legacy competencies and their associated badges are no longer valid, and partners are longer able to renew them. 

If you missed the deadline of September 30, 2022, you will not be able to renew your competency. Instead, you can choose to subscribe to Microsoft Action Pack, work towards a Solutions Partner designation or sign up for the ISV Success program if you are an ISV partner. 

However, you will still retain your legacy benefits until your next anniversary date. If you have a legacy competency and aren’t planning to obtain a Solutions Partner designation, you can purchase a legacy benefits package and continue to be eligible for incentives until your first-anniversary date. 

Double incentives will not be possible. In the long run, obtaining a Solutions Partner designation will be required to be eligible for incentives and legacy competencies. Benefits will no longer be recognized as eligible criteria unless stated otherwise in applicable incentive program terms.

What about your current benefits?

You will continue to receive legacy benefits (benefits you received based on the competency you held on September 30, 2022), for legacy competencies until your next anniversary date. After that time there will be an option to continue to purchase legacy benefits.

It's essential to assess how the new designations of the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program fit into your strategic plans. By doing so, you'll be better equipped to leverage the new program's updated benefits. It’s vital to act now to keep the benefits you receive today. Make sure you understand the changes and align them with your business goals.

How to obtain a Solutions Partner Designation

The new Solutions Partner Designations will help identify your broad technical capabilities and experience in high-demand Microsoft Cloud solution areas. They’ll also showcase your demonstrated ability to deliver successful customer outcomes. Success is measured by performance, skilling and customer success.

Each area will have a specific number of points. You have the flexibility to focus more on one category versus another. There will be holistic qualifications to measure your organization’s technical capabilities, allowing you to showcase solutions. The new customer-facing badges help you stand out and market your capabilities.

There are 100 points possible in total. A minimum of 70 points must be earned with points in each of these categories:

•    Performance - measured by net customer adds in the last 12 months
•    Skilling - verifies and demonstrates your dedication to skilling and training by intermediate and advanced certifications
•    Customer success - measured by usage growth and the number of solution deployments

How can we help you?

Achieving Solution Partner Designation is one of the elements that will help you distinguish your company from the competition. Obtaining these credentials can also unlock new incentives and internal use rights. The road to achieving Solution Partner Designations is paved with many different paths and each partner will have a unique approach. By partnering with Ingram Micro Cloud, our Microsoft Cloud experts can help you find opportunities, gain insights and achieve Microsoft MCPP status. 

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  • Category Growth & Best Practices

  • Written by Elja van de Stolpe

  • Published on June 07, 2023

Elja van de Stolpe

Elja van de Stolpe, Cloud Marketing Manager, Strategic Vendor, Ingram Micro Cloud

Elja leads the marketing strategy in the Benelux for Ingram Micro Cloud. She helps identify the best solutions for common technology challenges, translates these into effective marketing plans and campaigns and connects with technical and sales gurus in the cloud field.