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There are numerous benefits of being a Microsoft partner, including:

  • Building networks within Microsoft and with other Microsoft partners
  • Access to Microsoft software and in-depth product information
  • Promote your offerings on Microsoft.com

 

There are 3 different levels of Microsoft partner: Registered, Certified and Certified Gold. Information about the benefits you get at these different levels and how to get to each level is described below:

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Registered partners

This is the first level of Microsoft partner. As a registered partner, you can access product training, subscribe to the Microsoft Action Pack and take advantage of product promotions and offers.

 

Benefits:

  • Run your business and provide demos to customers with the internal-use software you can receive through the Microsoft Action Pack Subscription (MAPS).

  • Build credibility with existing or new customers with a direct connection to Microsoft.

  • Develop your skills with online technical and sales training.

  • Provide promotions, product offers, and financing to your customers.

  • Increase your business efficiency with customisable sales and marketing materials exclusively focused on small and midsize business needs.

  • Better predict and prepare for technology advances with timely alerts through RSS feeds and the Registered Member newsletter.

How to become a registered partner:

  1. Create a Microsoft Windows Live ID account, if you do not already have one.
  2. Sign in to the Partner Membership Centre.
  3. Agree to the Microsoft Partner Program terms and conditions.
  4. Complete your individual and organization profiles.

For further information, download the Microsoft Partner Program Guide, review the Windows Live ID FAQ, or contact your local Regional Service Centre for help.

 

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Certified Partners

This is the second level of Microsoft partner. As a certified partner, you will have access to exclusive content and the certified partner program toolkit and you will receive the certified partner program newsletter.

 

Benefits:

  • Internal-Use Licences Free licences for Microsoft software to use within your organisation. Check this list for licence entitlement.
  • Partner Learning Centre
    The Partner Learning Centre is your premier resource for a variety of local classes, online courses, Virtual Labs, independent study resources, and more. Develop your sales, technical, and marketing skills to hone your business efficiency and create advantages in the marketplace.
  • Certified Partner Logo
    A key benefit for Certified Partners is the ability to use the Microsoft Certified Partner logo in partner-branded marketing materials. Display your company's strong industry experience in providing services, software, or support for Microsoft technology. And show customers that you're reliable, broadly skilled, and endorsed by Microsoft.
  • Partner Program Toolkits
    After you enrol as a Certified Partner, you'll receive the Microsoft Partner Program Toolkit for Certified Partners.
  • Technical Sales Assistance
    Microsoft Certified Partners have free and unlimited access to Technical Sales Assistance. Staffed by skilled Microsoft support professionals, the Technical Sales Assistance team provides technical, business, and competitive sales assistance. Direct phone and online access helps you speed sales and position Microsoft technologies as the preferred solution for your customers.

 

How to become a certified partner:

  1. Complete the Registered partner steps
  2. Assign key contact roles through the Partner Membership Centre. For help, see the “Program Enrolment and Administration” section in the Microsoft Partner Program Guide.
  3. Employ or contract with at least two exclusive MCPs or develop at least one tested solution. Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) must enter their names in their profiles exactly as they are displayed at the MCP Member Site. The name is case sensitive.
  4. Earn 50 qualifying Partner Points.
  5. Associate Partner Points to your organization’s account in the Partner Membership Centre.
  6. Earning a Microsoft Competency is the easiest way to achieve your desired level in the Microsoft Partner Program. For example, you earn 30 qualifying Partner Points, when you achieve your first Microsoft Competency. As a bonus, you receive 20 additional Partner Points when you earn your first competency.
  7. Pay the annual Microsoft Partner Program fee.
  8. The program membership term runs for 12 months from the date of enrolment and fee payment. For example, if you enrol in January 2008, your program term will run through January 31, 2009. The entire fee, along with applicable taxes, is due at the time of enrolment. You may pay the annual fee by credit card, check, demand draft, or wire transfer. (Payment methods may vary by country.) Contact your local Regional Service Centre to get information about the fee for your country.

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Gold Certified Partners

This is the third and highest level of Microsoft partner. As a certified gold partner, you will have a very close working relationship with Microsoft and you will have access to the Partner Knowledge Base and receive priority listing in Microsoft directories.

 

Benefits:

  • Internal-Use Licences Free licences for Microsoft software to use within your organisation. Check this list for licence entitlement.
  • Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Announcement Kit
    After you've attained Gold Certified Partner status, announcing it with a press release can help you generate new business, increase your credibility with existing customers, and distinguish yourself from your competition.
  • Gold Certified Partner Logo
    A key benefit for Gold Certified Partners is the ability to use the Microsoft Gold Certified Partner logo in partner-branded marketing materials. Display your company's high level of industry experience providing services, software, or support for Microsoft technology. And show customers that you're reliable, thoroughly skilled, and endorsed by Microsoft.
  • Access to all certified partner benefits

 

How to become a certified gold partner:

  1. Complete the Registered partner steps
  2. Assign key contact roles through the Partner Membership Centre. For help, see the “Program Enrolment and Administration” section in the Program Guide.
  3. Employ or contract with at least two exclusive MCPs or develop at least one tested solution. Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) must enter their names in their profiles exactly as they are displayed at the MCP Member Site. The name is case sensitive.
  4. Attain at least one Microsoft Competency.
  5. Earn 120 qualifying Partner Points.
  6. Associate Partner Points to your organization’s account in the Partner Membership Centre.
  7. Earning a Microsoft Competency is the easiest way to achieve your desired level in the Microsoft Partner Program. For example, you earn 30 qualifying Partner Points, when you achieve your first Microsoft Competency. As a bonus, you receive 20 additional Partner Points, when you earn your first competency.
  8. Pay the annual Microsoft Partner Program fee.
  9. The program membership term runs for 12 months from the date of enrolment and fee payment. For example, if you enrol in January 2008, your program term will run through January 31, 2009. The entire fee, along with applicable taxes, is due at the time of enrolment. You may pay the annual fee by credit card, check, demand draft, or wire transfer. (Payment methods may vary by country.) Contact your local Regional Service Centre to get information about the fee for your country.

 

The best place to find out about Partner Program benefits is in the Microsoft Partner Portal. To discuss the benefits of certified and certified gold partner levels, talk to your Microsoft Account Manager or email me.