When evaluating a new Microsoft partner, you may check out reviews, depend on professional assessments, and most commonly rely on tech-related certifications that help you make the right decision. After all, it is important that you select a partner that can help you develop and implement vital technology solutions for your business, ensuring they really have the skills and qualifications necessary to help you succeed. Most partners may be certified in one area or another by Microsoft, they may also have been awarded a tier of qualification in their areas of competency.
This blog will help you better understand the potentially confusing titles that Microsoft gives out, and enable you to make an informed decision when choosing the partner that can best support your technology aspirations.
Partner Certification Tiers
Microsoft refers to its certifications as ‘competencies’ demonstrated by technical skill, on-hand experience, and proven skill. Microsoft competencies are aligned with real-world requirements and customer demand, this helps you easily identify a partner’s capabilities and expertise.
When carrying out partner evaluations, the first thing to consider are their Microsoft certifications. These are classified into three tiers based on competency - Microsoft Certified Partner, Microsoft Silver Certified Partner, and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. Partners can also be certified in specialized areas and may have varying certification levels by competency.
Microsoft Certified Partner: This is the lowest tier of licensed partner and can be attained with an official registration and partner fee, qualifications are not a requirement, therefore there is no guarantee that they have experience with the software or services they sell. Once the IT company has obtained the status of Certified Partner they are required to select specific areas of focus and demonstrate competency within those focus areas to gain a higher ranking.
Silver Certified Partner: To upgrade to a Silver Partner, the company must demonstrate expertise within a specified area, with a distinct commitment to a particular business solution. Based on the selected area of competence, the partner is required to meet an annual license, and grow its customer base or revenue threshold in order to be considered for the tier of Silver Partner. Some areas of competency even require members of staff to pass tests conducted by Microsoft on the related product or service. Microsoft Silver Certified Partners are amongst the top 5% of Microsoft Partners worldwide.
Gold Certified Partner: Microsoft Gold Certified Partners are at the highest level in the Microsoft Partner Network. The Gold Partner status is coveted by all Microsoft Partners, however, only an elite 1% of all Microsoft Partners worldwide are honored with this status. These are the partners who have repeatedly demonstrated an outstanding level of technical expertise with proven experience in their areas of specialization, they are powered by Microsoft-certified professionals, and are committed to delivering excellence via expertly implementing evolving Microsoft solutions to help maximize the benefits clients receive. Gold Partners are the safest bet when selecting a competent partner for the successful delivery of technology solutions.
What are the Benefits a Gold Partner receives?
- Proactive, Up to Date, and Evolving: Microsoft technologies constantly evolve, and so do the competency requirements associated with them. Gold Partner ensure they too evolve with technology and market evolutions in order to stay ahead of the game. It is therefore important that you leverage the latest Microsoft technology and technical expertise to help attain business success.
- Meet the Highest Standards: Gold Partners are required to meet the rigorous and increasingly difficult standards set by Microsoft. The global giant requires a minimum of 15 employees to pass various core value tests before the company can receive Gold Certification. Gold Partners will therefore have a significant number of highly qualified staff members on hand, ensuring internal turnover won’t affect your project or engagement.
- Direct Connection to Microsoft: Gold Partners are proven experts in their specialized field of competence, and therefore would rarely need to consult Microsoft when in need of assistance. However, should this occasion present itself, they need to open a support case with Microsoft, enabling direct access to advanced support partners within Microsoft Business Solutions, ensuring faster response times and best-in-class support.
- Proof of Concept: Gold Partners have access to the latest product training materials, along with access to various product licenses and pre-sales deployment environments enabling them to develop demos to prototype and demonstrate Microsoft’s latest offerings.
Why Choose Allion to be your Microsoft Gold Certified Partner?
In the Olympics, you don’t go for silver, you aim for the gold. Likewise, when opting for a Microsoft Partner, why not do the same?
Allion is a longstanding Gold Certified Microsoft Partner for its competence in Application Development and Application Integration.
We are highly knowledged, experienced, and specialized in the development, implementation, integration, and support of Microsoft technologies across diverse business verticals, ensuring we are the Microsoft Application Development and Application Integration partner of choice. Our proven ability to develop, deploy, and integrate Microsoft business solutions that have helped our customers enhance capacity, improve competitiveness, and strengthen their business resilience.
Our team of experts includes Azure Solutions Architect Experts, Azure Data Fundamentals, Azure Developer Associates, AWS Certified Solutions Architects, AWS Certified SysOps Administrators, and more.
Allion was founded in 2006 and today, the company has over 200 employees and offices in Sweden, Australia, Canada, India, and Sri Lanka.