You may come across the phrase, “As a Microsoft Gold Partner,” at the end of a technology blog or find it scattered across a technology consulting website. It sounds like a nice accolade, but it does not carry much weight if the reader or customer does not know its meaning.
To provide greater insight into what it means to work with a Microsoft Partner, we share all the details of how you become a partner, what type of partners are available, and the benefits of being a partner below.
What is a Microsoft Gold Partner
A Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certification is a way of validating IT professional and developer technical expertise. A certificate requires companies to complete rigorous, industry-tested, and industry-recognized exams successfully.
The exams cover a vast range of Microsoft products, technologies, and solutions. When a company receives MCP certification, it is like a product receiving the ‘Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval,’ guiding consumers to the market’s highest quality options.
Levels of MCP Certifications
Microsoft offers a wide range of certifications for companies and individuals, including fundamental, role-based, and specialized certificates. For organizations specifically, there are four partner programs available with two certifications: gold and silver.
Gold and silver certification requires companies to pass required exams and skill validation, meet performance requirements, and pay an annual fee.
Choosing the Right Competency
Microsoft uses metallic designations to distinguish the business’ expertise within the network. The difference between the gold and silver certifications remains in how advanced a company is in each competency category.
There are four categories of competencies for Microsoft Certified Professionals: App and Infrastructure, Business Applications, Data and AI, and Modern Workplace and Security.
Each main category contains subcategories for a total of 18 competency areas. A company must have expertise in each category to be certified, but there are more competency credentials and requirements for the gold level than silver.
Benefits of Microsoft’s Professional Certification
Many companies decide to become a Microsoft Gold Partner because they become entitled to many benefits and privileges such as access to exclusive Microsoft tools and utilities and the opportunity to participate in Microsoft’s ongoing training programs and tutorials at little to no cost.
Still, there are many benefits to becoming a Microsoft Gold Partner beyond those few, which we outline below.
Besides the opportunity to attend training and workshops, Gold partners can receive up to 100 licenses for each Microsoft product they want or need to strengthen their business and deliver value to their customers. Plus, they receive more partnership opportunities with Microsoft and can provide Microsoft-based IT services to clients.
Microsoft Gold Partners receive ongoing technical support, news, updates, and useful information regularly from the Microsoft headquarters. As a member of the partner network, companies have an opportunity to build a strong network of connections with other organizations and gain exclusive access to a member resources library.
How to Become a Microsoft Gold Partner
There is much more to becoming a Microsoft Gold Partner than merely passing tests and paying an annual fee. To obtain the highest level given to Microsoft partners, a company must first join the Microsoft Partner Network community and qualify for membership.
A company must meet certification and sales requirements laid out by Microsoft and have four qualified Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs) that have passed at least one certification exam by Microsoft.
One of the MCTs must have passed the licensing overview assessment, and two MCTs must have passed the sales and marketing assessment. Additionally, a company needs to submit five customer references, earn 120 partner points, and pay the annual fee.
Once a company has completed each step successfully to achieve Microsoft Gold Certification, it is vital to maintain the membership. To do so, the company must renew its membership within the 90-day annual renewal window.
The Bauen Group is a Proud Microsoft Gold Partner
The Bauen Group is a proud Microsoft Gold Partner, which means we leverage the Microsoft suite of services to help you build solutions unique to your company’s needs. The Microsoft Power Platform, Azure Cloud Architecture, and Dynamics 365 are only a few of the tools we use to support you in building your technology infrastructure.
We harness the power of a proven, workshop-based approach to help you leverage a unique combination of services to achieve your competitive edge. Bauen’s team of Microsoft experts are well-equipped and ready to help.