by Sharon Collins, Microsoft U.S. Competency Lead

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In July, Microsoft made important announcements about forthcoming Microsoft Partner Network changes that are relevant to partners who have one or more Microsoft competencies. Summaries of two of these announcements, plus links to get more details, are below.

Microsoft Partner Network brand refresh. Partners told us it was difficult to incorporate the MPN logo into materials and communications, so we simplified it. It’s easier to work with and showcases your partner status much more clearly.

Here is the old logo:

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Here is the new logo:

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Now, your customers can more easily see the credentials that distinguish you from competitors. Read the blog post that details this change, and use Microsoft Logo Builder to get your customized logo.

Revamping existing Microsoft competencies. In November, we are consolidating, merging, and streamlining competencies to better align to partner business models and the evolution of Microsoft products like Microsoft SharePoint and Windows.

  • ISVs, Application Providers, and Developers – we are consolidating the ISV, Software Development, and Web Development competencies into a single, new Application Development competency. All partners in these existing competencies will be transitioned into the new competency at launch automatically.
  • Microsoft SharePoint-focused partners – based on continued SharePoint product evolution and full integration of FAST search capabilities into the core SharePoint product, we are merging the Portals and Collaboration, Content Management, and Search competencies into a single, new Collaboration and Content competency.
  • Core Desktop partners - with our impending Windows 8 + devices release, the Desktop competency will evolve to become Devices and Deployment competency, oriented around Devices and Deployment to recognize and reward partners who help customers select, configure, and manage range of secure, productive devices.

Read the blog post that outlines the changes to understand how they will affect you, and refer to the competency directory on the partner portal to review any changes to the specific competency or competencies you hold.

Competency resources. A new Competency Roadmap will be available for download around the end of August and provide a comprehensive look at all of the changes coming over the next several months. And, if you would like a competency consultation to discuss your next competency renewal to be sure you are ready to meet new requirements, contact the U.S. MPN Experts team by email, phone, or chat.