Microsoft technologies and solutions are trusted by millions of users around the world. The wide range of offerings from Azure, Office 365, OneDrive, Teams, and other cloud solutions offered by Microsoft has helped businesses modernize their workforce and streamline IT processes.
To help SMBs take full advantage of their solutions, Microsoft also certifies IT service providers with the Microsoft Partner certification. The certification is given to organizations that exhibit the highest standards in delivering Microsoft solutions to their clients. Certified Partners are equipped with the expertise and learning resources to smoothly implement Microsoft solutions. Working with a Microsoft Partner in Eugene allows you to take advantage of the exclusive support and resources that Microsoft shares exclusively with its partners.
How IT Support Firms Become Microsoft Certified
Microsoft has put a rigorous certification process in place to enable only IT service providers who follow best practices to receive the partner certification. Microsoft offers two types of partner certifications – Gold and Silver. These certifications are offered for as a part of a long list of available competencies. Competencies are areas of expertise that a company demonstrates in a specific technology area.
For example, under the Applications and Infrastructure area, Microsoft offers the following 5 competencies:
- Application Development
- App Integration
- Cloud Platform
In total, there are 18 competencies offered by Microsoft, in 4 different areas. You can have a look at the list of all the competencies here.
Depending on the certifications, value, and annual revenue of an IT service provider, they can attain Gold or Silver certification for the competencies they have.
To achieve the competency, a company first has to join the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). Enrolling in the partner network allows an IT service provider to manage their membership, utilize sales and marketing resources, access training and support, build a cloud network, and access program incentives offered by Microsoft. IT service providers can use the training resources to prepare for the certification exams that are required for their competency.
Once the specific competency fee is paid, the employees at the IT service provider acquire the prerequisite certifications, the company profile has been submitted and approved, and client testimonials have been reviewed, the provider is awarded the Silver or Gold Partner certification. The certification is valid for a year and needs to be renewed on an annual basis. Renewing the certification is important to continue enjoying the benefits of the competency
Benefits of the Partner Program for IT Firms
Microsoft Partners are experts in providing Microsoft solutions to their clients. They can use the resources provided by Microsoft to deliver end-to-end solutions to their customers. Benefits include access to priority support, licenses for demo and trial, the ability to offer trial licensing to customers, and centralized service platforms for managing client environments.
Become a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP)
Microsoft Partners can join the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. The CSP program allows partners to offer cloud solutions to their clients using Microsoft’s trusted cloud applications network. IT firms who are partners can package their plans and tools and offer them to the customers. This lets partners act as trusted advisors by offering customized solutions to their clients. Instead of investing in dedicated cloud infrastructure and solutions, partners get to use CSP to offer more scalable and affordable business services.
Access to Training Center
The Partner Program for IT firms allows them to enjoy continued training and learning resources. They can use the learning portal to enhance their skills in specific competencies and get further certifications. There are role-specific tutorials and the training resources are regularly upgraded to meet evolving business needs. Partners also have access to the Microsoft Partner Network community that helps them stay updated, discuss, and learn about new tools.
Undivided Microsoft Support
Microsoft Partners are regarded as experts in their competencies and can quickly resolve your requests. However, sometimes there might be complex issues that requires advanced support direct from Microsoft. As a Microsoft Partner, IT firms get access to 24-hour Microsoft Support. Partners can reach out to Microsoft to raise issues and get them solved. This ensures clients of Microsoft Partners enjoy continued support and minimal interruption.
How to Find Local Microsoft Partners
Finding a certified Microsoft Partner has been made very easy by Microsoft. You just have to follow the below steps to connect with a Microsoft Partner in Eugene.
- Visit the Microsoft Certified Partners directory website.
- Enter your location, company size, and the solution(s) you are looking for. The directory will display information about certified partners in your area.
- Select the partners that you want to connect with.
- Once you have selected the partners, you will be asked to provide details about the solutions you need. You can type in the specifics in the “Provide more details” text box.
- Enter personal and organization details in all the fields displayed.
- Click on Submit.
Microsoft will send your request to the service providers you selected in Step 3. The service provider(s) will see your request and reply within 72 hours. If they don’t reply, Microsoft will send you an email with suggestions of other partners who offer the solutions you are looking for.
When selecting an IT service provider to implement Microsoft Solutions at your business, it is very important to go with a Certified Microsoft Partner. The rigorous certification requirements and the resources that Microsoft Partners have access to make them better placed over non-certified IT services providers. Certified Microsoft Partners can leverage their expert knowledge base and access to exclusive Microsoft tools to help your organization grow and succeed.