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Anita Swann, Director Microsoft Alliance

Here at Logicalis we’re hugely excited by the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP). Launching on October 3rd,  it’s the biggest shake-up in the Microsoft partner ecosystem for over a decade. Some fear it will cause a tidal wave of disruption, but we’ve worked really hard in the last six months to prepare for this change, and are ready to ride the crest of that wave. 

MCPP will create a new world where customers will easily be able to find the right partners to help them. They’ll have clarity on the level of expertise every partner has in each cloud solution designation. Crucially MCPP gives Microsoft the strategic lever to differentiate and elevate the fully qualified and specialist partners. There will be credibility in the way partners are stack ranked, and customers will be able to trust the Solution Partner Badges and the Partner Capability Scores.

As an Azure Expert MSP, Logicalis has always led the field in Cloud. We now also hold elite Specialist and Expert status in the Security designation.

Plus we already have Solution Partner Badges for:

  • Infrastructure (Azure)
  • Data & AI (Azure)
  • Digital & App Innovation (Azure)
  • Modern Work

Less than 70 Microsoft Managed Service Providers (MSPs) globally have this many certifications, and we are proud to be elevated into this elite echelon. These are exciting times for Microsoft customers, and Logicalis is privileged to be spearheading the growth of Microsoft Cloud. 

Why the Microsoft partner ecosystem needed an overhaul

The Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) was introduced in 2009, and it’s fair to say it worked well for a decade. But over the last few years, it’s become stale and unwieldy. The number of competencies has swollen to 19 and they don’t match the way Microsoft Cloud is taken to market. This makes life hard for customers who need partners that can handle the integrated way Microsoft Cloud works.  

The most confusing aspect of MPN, however, was that the Silver and Gold accreditations in these 19 competencies had become too commonplace. This meant that customers had to search through thousands of MSP’s to find genuine experts in each area. It was very difficult to get any clarity on which partners had the deep expertise and scale to cope with their projects. 

The overall result was that MPN caused dissatisfaction for the customers, and frustration for Microsoft, as they couldn’t strategically steer the growth of Microsoft Cloud. 

The difference between the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program and the old Microsoft Partner Network. 

The first big refresh is that the 19 legacy competencies have been rationalized down to 6 Solution Partner Designations:

  1. Infrastructure (Azure)
  2. Data & AI (Azure)
  3. Digital  & App Innovation (Azure)
  4. Modern Work
  5. Security
  6. Business Applications

The other upgrade is the phasing out of Silver and Gold accreditations, and replacing them with two new qualifying levels:

  • Solutions Partner
  • Specialist and Expert Programs

Solutions Partner Designation in MCPP

To become a Solutions Partner, MSPs have to score over 70 out of 100, in each of the three categories of the new Partner Capability Score (PCS):

  • Performance – Measured by net customer adds.
  • Skilling – Verifies your dedication to skilling and training with intermediate and advanced certifications.
  • Customer success – Measured by usage growth and the number of solution deployments.

Solution Partners are easily identified by customer-facing badges, which are a trust mechanism, or “badges of honor” that customers can rely on. 

Specialist and Expert Designation in MCPP

Specialist and Expert designation is achieved by getting advanced Microsoft Certifications. 

For instance, Logicalis achieved advanced specialization in security by completing the full suite of security certifications:

  • Cloud Security
  • Identity & Access Management
  • Information Protection & Governance
  • Threat Protection

We are members of MSSP and MISA, which are elite, invite-only, managed security service provider (MSSP) programs. These certifications and memberships mean it is easy for customers to identify Logicalis as one of the best global MSP’s for security.

We have also developed a suite of global managed services in cloud, security and collaboration, built on Microsoft technologies with our own proprietary IP and global services embedded.

How Logicalis is making the most of the MCPP overhaul

In many of the Solution Partner Designations, Logicalis has developed unique IP and expertise. We have worked really hard, not only to be aligned with Microsoft Cloud, but also with Microsoft’s focus sectors. We have deep expertise in retail, health and financial services, and can leverage the full potential of Microsoft Cloud in every sector. 

So roll on October 3rd. We are really excited about the potential of MCPP to strategically grow Microsoft Cloud, and give customers the clarity they need to pick the most capable partners.

To learn more about our Microsoft partnership, visit here.