imageLast month, Microsoft Learning announced that it has reinvented its certification program to directly address technology’s evolution to the cloud. We caught up with Scott Akin, Microsoft U.S. Partner Enablement and Learning Channel Director, to see what the new certifications mean for partners.



There has been a lot of buzz about Microsoft bringing back the MCSE credentials since Microsoft Learning made the announcement. Why are you excited to introduce this new certification program to partners?

Scott: Microsoft expects its partner organizations to help customers implement the latest technology solutions. We’re excited to introduce rigorous certifications that validate that our partners have the expert-level skill sets necessary to help customers build and manage these solutions in cloud-based environments. While the MCSE abbreviation is the same, it now stands for Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert. And we know many of our partners are indeed experts in this arena.

What results do you anticipate for partner organizations that employ team members certified in Microsoft cloud solutions?

Scott: With the industry transition, IT organizations need to cultivate new cloud architecture skills, understand how to use and maintain deep domain expertise, virtualization and technology convergence. More than ever, customers will need help in bridging the IT skills gap as they move toward the cloud. Microsoft partners that have the skill sets that Microsoft Certifications validate will be well-positioned to help customers complete their journey to the cloud.

What advice would you give to partner organizations that don’t yet provide cloud solutions but are interested in getting in on the game?

Scott: The first step is to ‘get ready’ by taking advantage of the learning opportunities available:

IDC’s research predicts revenues from cloud innovation could reach $1.1 trillion per year by 2015, which, combined with cloud efficiencies, will drive significant organizational reinvestment and job growth ( Partners not yet providing cloud based solutions are missing a rare opportunity to participate in this growth and grow their own businesses. That said, the next step is to get current on today’s certifications, proving to customers your ability to provide both on-premise and cloud solutions. Microsoft will soon have upgrade paths from current certifications to the cloud-based certifications to help Microsoft Partners make the journey to the cloud as quickly as possible.

Learn more about the new Microsoft Certifications – reinvented for the cloud.  Visit .