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How YOU can solve your certification needs towards the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP)

Friday, December 30, 2022
Reading time: 8 minutes

You, as many other partners, might feel overwhelmed by changes when there is a new compelling event, such as the recently announced changes to the current MPN competencies. Many partners we have had conversations with in the past six months are telling us that this is something that will impact their business. The loss of their invaluable Silver or Gold badge for Dynamics, Internal User Rights (IUR) and partner incentives, can be seen as a debilitating factor. In this article, we are showing you how you can confidently approach this change of circumstances.

Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP) was announced by Microsoft on March 16, 2022. This program will replace the current competencies available through the Microsoft Partner Network program (MPN). The deadline for the start of this new program, which will completely replace MPN, is October 1, 2022, and it includes a completely new structure and associated significant changes. The Solution Partner accreditations will be simplified from the current 18 competencies under MPN, to 6 solutions areas. One of these areas is Business Applications. Microsoft will use the “Partner Capability Scores” (PCS) to measure partners’ capabilities in each of these solution areas.

To look at the full details, including compelling timelines, please visit our Hub page on this topic.

IMPORTANT – Latest changes to the MCPP competency program for SMB!

On September 22, 2022, Microsoft has announced the introduction of two paths for partners to attain their Business Applications Solutions Partner designation badge – the SMB track and the Enterprise track. These tracks replace the previous Larger Markets and Other Markets tracks. This update will ensure that the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program is inclusive of all partners, regardless of the size of the organizations they do business with. 

While meeting the threshold of 70 points is still required to earn a Solutions Partner designation, the required criteria for each category include different thresholds depending on the associated track. The specific track that is applied is automatically assigned based on the number and size of the customers you serve. You can see your track allocation and your partner capability score in Partner Center as of September 22, 2022. 

And remember, you don’t need to achieve the maximum number of points across each of the three categories. If you have at least one point in each category (and a minimum of 70 points total), you are eligible to receive a Solution Partner designation — Microsoft refer to this as using partial points. This enables you to optimize in the category that best suits your business.

Moreover, regardless of which track you qualify for, a single Solutions Partner designation badge and associated benefits are granted to all partners upon meeting the criterion.  

For partners who are assigned the SMB track, these are the changes: 

Threshold SMB Track Max Points
Intermediate Certifications
5 Functional consultants + Developers
Advanced Certifications
2 Architects

Read the full article here

Loss of incentives: How can you remove this obstacle?

At a glance:

Losing incentives, proves to be a big impact on partners’ profit and loss accounts in the long term. Therefore, partners ask us what they can do to mitigate this impact.

The official Microsoft Solutions Partner FAQs states:

If you have a legacy competency, you have options to continue attaining partner incentives.

October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023:

  • Legacy competency is renewed by September 30, 2022.
  • Solutions Partner designation is not attained. You can continue to be eligible for incentives until your first anniversary after September 30, 2022, or later (until October 1, 2023) if you choose to purchase a legacy benefits package on your anniversary date.

NOTE: Double incentives will not be possible.

October 1, 2023, and beyond:

Attaining a Solutions Partner designation will be required to be eligible for incentives. Legacy competencies and legacy benefits will no longer be recognized as eligible criteria for incentives, unless otherwise stated in applicable incentive program terms.

Therefore, planning to attain a Solutions Partner accreditation is the first step towards ensuring profitability!

Certifications as a first step towards attaining Business Applications competency

As detailed in the preceding paragraphs, the new Business Application competency is achieved when your company hits certain key metrics:

70 points is the minimum threshold required to attain a new Solution Partner accreditation.

35 points (maximum) can be attained through Skilling.

For Business Applications, there are 15 Intermediate certifications, and 3 Advanced certifications as detailed in the following table.

Full details regarding exams linked to each of the below certifications can be found here

Business Applications certifications
Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate
Dynamics 365 Commerce Functional Consultant Associate
Dynamics 365: Finance and Operations Apps Developer Associate
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management Functional Consultant Associate
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing Functional Consultant Associate
Functional Consultant Associate for Dynamics 365 Customer Service
Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate
Dynamics 365 Field Service Functional Consultant Associate
Dynamics 365 Business Central Functional Consultant Associate
Power Apps + Dynamics 365 Developer Associate
Dynamics 365 Marketing Functional Consultant Associate
Power Platform App Maker Associate
Data Analyst Associate
Power Platform Functional Consultant Associate
Power Platform Developer Associate
Dynamics 365: Finance and Operations Apps Solution Architect Expert
Dynamics 365 + Power Platform Solution Architect Expert
Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Solution Architect Expert

How YOU can accelerate your path to Business Application competency through Booster Programs

Booster programs for Business Central – powered by Plataan
You as a partner can receive the following benefits through engaging in the Booster programs:

  • Real-life implementation scenarios
  • Real-life implementation case studies
  • They start with MB-800 as the baseline
  • Students’ progress to higher skillsets through Advanced and Premium levels

Best suited for:

Instructor-led training (ILT) for Business Central

Best suited for:

Partners often ask about Microsoft Learn and Certification Week events and how these compare to our Booster programs

Microsoft Learn
You can start your learning path with Microsoft Learn content which we, for your convenience, also incorporated into the Academy offerings.

However, if you would like to accelerate your journey learning from real-life scenarios, have an instructor that you can reach out to with your questions, and have your resources going through structured learning journeys, then Companial Booster programs could be the right next step for you.

Certification Week events
In some regions, Microsoft occasionally offers these free events.

Usually delivered in groups of students and capped at a certain number, they are not available all the time and do not allow for scaling capacity in our ecosystem.

How does the Companial Academy support the certification efforts that partners face with the new MCPP?

Together with our sister company Plataan and a large ecosystem of training vendors we have agreements with, we can offer training courses and programs aimed at meeting exam requirements. From Business Applications, Power Platform to Modern Workplace, Azure, Data & AI, or Security, we got you covered.

Using your Companial Coop funds for Skilling
Companial members can use accumulated Companial Coop funds to pay for skilling requirements. Partners who have considerable Coop funds available, do not have to budget from scratch for their readiness needs. They simply book the training they need using our Companial Academy eCommerce facilities and our Finance department will deduct the costs from available Coop.

1: many training vs. bespoke
We have a multitude of training courses and programs designed as standard and available on demand, or in a virtual classroom.

Sometimes, our partners require some bespoke training, and we are here to facilitate this. We have training experts who can plan readiness together with you.

How does a Professional start with Companial Academy?

The Companial Academy offers different learning offerings based on the relationship with Companial. Membership partners benefit from reduced prices on selective training and have access to a vast array of training. These are not limited to technical subjects, but also include complementary soft skills and recognizable industry curricula, such as Prince 2 and ITIL.

All it takes is a self-registration at Companial Academy.

Further assistance with MCPP

For further information or assistance regarding readiness for MCPP, please reach out to your local Companial representative.

Andy De Rosa

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